The Book of Mormon includes the record of a people known as the Jaredites. This name comes from the principal ancestor of their people named Jared. Jared’s brother was a prophet and they lived at the time and place of the Tower of Babel spoken of in the Bible. When the Lord counfounds the languages of the people at the tower Jared and his family avoid this fate through earnest prayer. The Lord then promises them a choice land, and tells them that He will lead them there. This land is the Americas. The Book of Mormon tells us the desire of the Lord for these people, “And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop [at] the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should [go forth] even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people” (Ether 2:7). So, the Lord led this people through the wilderness and had prepared a way for them to cross the sea to the Americas. Despite this fact, the people halted their progression. “…the Lord did bring Jared and his brethren forth, even to that great sea which divideth the lands. And as they came to the sea they pitched their tents; and they called the name of the place Moriancumer; and they dwelt in tents… upon the seashore for the space of four years” (Ether 2:13). Eventually they do figure things out and the Lord helps them cross the sea, but I want to reflect a bit on this cessation in progress, and liken it unto us.
The Lord has great blessings in store for all of us. He has an eternal perspective and knows our potential. He knows where we can end up in life. If we pray sincerely, He will be our guide. I think this is a very common occurrence. The majority of people at some time in their life become overwhelmed and find comfort in trusting in the Lord. This could be a result of difficult questions like, “I graduated high school, now what?” “What should I major in?” “Who should I marry?” “Where should I live?” I know that the decisions I made after highschool to attend BYU and in time to dedicate two years of my life to the Lord in Mexico, were decisions that depended heavily upon the guidance of the Lord. I felt his hand guiding me through those decisions. But maybe recently, I have pitched a tent. I don’t doubt that Moriancumer where the Jaredites pitched there tents, was a beautiful place. It was a virgin beach, and had at least enough plants and animals to maintain their group for four years. Like that beachfront property, I’m in a good place. I’m in a great university, I am very pleased with the two years of service that I gave to the Lord, I have a job—things are going great. There are many of you that might be in this situation, and things don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be comfortable. We feel like we’ve reached some destination, when really we’re still on the journey! We know we should be here because the Lord guided us here, but we are blinding ourselves to the fact that the Lord is saying, keep on going.
So how is it possible to change this? The Lord chastens the brother of Jared for his lack of prayer. The brother of Jared was a prophet. It is unlikely that he stopped praying. But maybe his prayers changed. He probably continued to thank the Lord for life and happiness, but maybe he stopped seeking that guidance from the Lord. Maybe he stopped asking questions and therefore stunted his flow of personal revelation. We can learn from this experience. We are not at the destination that the Lord has in mind for us. We need to keep on moving, and doing it with constant and profound prayer. Hear the Lord, and then don’t forget to seek that guidance continually. Don’t forget the feeling of the Holy Ghost as it whispers to your soul.
There is no better way to say it, then to quote Journey. “Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling.”