Monday, December 20, 2010

Zion's Camp Inspiration

Inspirational phrases are like boomerangs--be cautious when you use them, because they're bound to come swinging back in your direction.

About six months ago I was asked to give a talk in church about following the Spirit, or the answers God gives us in prayer. Interestingly enough, I cited the story of Zion's Camp, the account of 500 men called to march 900 miles to redeem Zion. When these men reached their destination, the Lord told proclaimed, "therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion." (D&C 105:13). Or in modern terms: Turn Around, Go Home Boys!

I have found this story applies in our times--oftentimes we are called to go in one direction for a time, only to be told months or years later its time to turn around. We can moan the entire way back, or trust that the Lord has a greater plan and will truly fight our battles (D&C 105:14). Thanks Megan, for reminding me of that power.


masterbuilder said...

Dear Tamra,
Great post! I have to agree that it would be disconcerting to be following directions, marching in a certain direction, only to be told to turn around and go back.

I'm not sure which movie I saw it in - it was probably one of The Work and the Glory series - but Joseph was being open or candid with Brigham, and asked "What [(or how)] am I going to tell the brethren?" It was hear-wrenching to witness the prophet himself not understanding why the Lord would have them go to "redeem Zion," only to be told to turn back.

I'm not sure I have an answer for that, but perhaps it gave the mob pause (for the time being) before further persecuting the Saints. (I don't recall what happened next in Missiouri, after Zion's Camp left, so I can't be too sure about my hypothesis.)

The other possibility is that Brother Joseph essentially did this on his own, and that it wasn't exactly what the Lord would have directed him to do; thus in the end he was simply told to back off.

The one thing that The Work and the Glory account does effectively is show that while Joseph was a prophet - the greates of this dispensation, and one of the greatest of any dispensation - he was also a man, with all of the feelings and emotions of any other mortal. So, in life, we are all "stuck" with the cold hard realities that make it the perfect testing and developing ground.

Great blog, Tamra. Keep on writing.
Tom Ballantyne - Queen Creek, AZ
PS. Since you like to "think deeply," you would have liked my first book, The Secret of Life.

masterbuilder said...

Make that "heart-wrenching!"
I hate typos!
Tom Ballantyne

masterbuilder said...

...that would be "greatest!"

Shannon said...

Tamra, I decided to check your blog this morning after our wonderful visit last night (I've been horrible at staying on top of things - sorry), and I love that your latest post is about what we talked about last night. Must be something we need to learn, right? I'm so grateful we're in the same neck of the woods together again. Love ya!