Divine Nature Stories
Vaughn J. Featherstone
“King Louis had been taken from his throne and imprisoned. His young son, the prince, was taken by those who dethroned the king. The thought that inasmuch as the king’s son was heir to the throne, if they could destroy him morally, he would never realize the great and grand destiny that life had bestowed upon him. [Sounds exactly like Satan’s plan for us today! Destroy our morals and we never do realize who we are or why we’re here.] “They took him to a community far away, and there they exposed the lad to every filthy and vile thing that life could offer. They exposed him to food the richness of which would quickly make him a slave to appetite. They used vile language around him constantly. They exposed him to lewd and lusting women. They exposed him to dishonor and distrust. He was surrounded 24 hours a day by everything that could drag the soul of a man as low as one could slip. For over six months he had this treatment-but not once did the young lad buckle under pressure. Finally, after intensive temptation, they questioned him. Why had he not submitted himself to these things-why had he not partaken? These things would provide pleasure, satisfy his lusts, and were desirable; they were all his. The boy said, ‘I cannot do what you ask for I was born to be a king’ ” (“The
King’s Son,” New Era, Nov. 1975, p.35).
(This story was quoted in the book WHY SAY NO WHEN THE WORLD SAYS YES in a chapter by Jack R. Christianson. He added the following comment after sharing it.) What a heroic response! The prince would not give in to all the pressures because he knew he had been born to be a king! You and I are also born to be kings and queens, priests and priestesses. Our Father is a King. He is the Kings of kings-the King of all things. He is God.
The open door was welcoming me in. Eagerly I stepped forward upon the threshold of mortality. Turning, I faced Father one last time embracing he love and warmth I had known there in my pre-mortal life. My eyes were brimming with tears of love and joy, yet a gentle sadness too at having to leave this home I loved so much, especially leaving Father’s presence for even the moment of mortality was hard. Yet, I was excited too because I knew I was ready for this journey and oh, I wanted to succeed and do the will of Father and further his kingdom upon the earth.
With the farewell blessing, a final embrace, and with I’m sure, an ache that only a parent can feel, He sent me forth on my own into the world. “Be courageous daughter and learn to walk by faith” were His final words as the veil closed behind me.
What is my purpose here upon the earth at this particular time, in this particular place? God placed me here. He didn’t place me here to fail. He loves me and wants me to obey His commandments so that I can return to Him someday. The Lord has not promised that this life would be one of ease and luxury, continuously getting all our needs fulfilled or even a few of them. He has promised us that this is to be our second estate, uniquely our own to grow and learn. Every person has their own individual paths to follow, to strengthen those traits within themselves that need to become celestialized. If my trial seems greater than another, then I must accept the fact that I needed to endure this hardship for a reason, perhaps only known to Heavenly Father, who did not make a mistake in sending me where and when he did.
I must plan and chart my course carefully today, gathering strength when walking through fragrant meadows for sharp cliffs may be just around the bend. When the giant bluffs do appear, I must remember that my loving Heavenly Father did not make my mountain insurmountable, so I must take inventory of the entire obstacle, and with faith and courage take one step at a time till I have conquered this precipice and oh what joy there will be, the soul will sing, for in conquering each ledge, the ground is higher than before and the air so much cleaner and fresh and sweet.
Some cliffs may be more difficult and at times seem treacherous with hidden traps and sliding rocks and more than once I may fall, but bruised and torn as I may feel, only the Prince of Darkness would have me despair for he doesn’t want me to see the angels singing joy at the ridge just beyond.
I must look for the good in my life and wallow no longer in the heaping pot of yesterdays sorrow and despair. Neither can I continue to yearn for the great desires of tomorrow, for there may be no tomorrow. Simply I must live the little goals of today and line upon line, precept upon precept I will acquire those things that matter most in the eternal perspective of things. I must forgive myself, humbling myself, becoming meek and submissive to do those things that my Father in Heaven requires of me.
Everyone has mountains to climb, many valleys to endure. My mountain is mine to scale and if at times it seems endless, I must then rest a moment and reflect on the strengths I have been given and with eyes turned toward Heaven cut a new path and with faith unwavering continue on.
I pray for courage to face the challenges that today may bring, for determination to stand firm even in the strongest winds of temptation and despair. I pray for gentleness to reach out and touch those around’ me, especially my precious children. They are unique and wonderful, each a child of Heavenly Father that He has trusted to my care. What is good for one may not be for the other. While one may learn a difficult lesson by one means, the other may learn only through an entirely different one. There’s a lesson there for me. I’m sure my Father in Heaven loved me enough to give me my own unique mountain to climb. He knows that the things that I will learn while stumbling up its paths will be for the good of my entire entity.
I know the winds will come, the storms of loneliness, discouragement, fatigue; yet, I know as I conquer each cliff, added strengths and blessings will follow me to help me to endure whatever forceful storms prevail just beyond the next bend.
I need to drink deeply of my own uniqueness, my own personal identity, for I belong to an eternal family and God is perfect in his love for each and every one of us. He is no respecter of persons. By seeking excellence in all righteous endeavors, one day the Lord will bless me beyond my expression.
I WILL RETURN TO LIVE WITH MY FATHER IN HEAVEN AGAIN. To do this, I must begin right now to look for the things I can do, not at the ones I can’t. I must look at the things I can have and not yearn for the things I can’t. Using wisdom in taking small steps one day at a time, I will strive to do the best I can with what I have been given. I will develop and use the talents I have today being thankful for them and not yearn for those not yet learned. I must learn to be patient and endure what is happening to me this minute, remembering my bountiful rich blessings instead of aching for those things that are not mine. By doing these things I soon will be able to look for the good in every situation I face throughout life, no matter how dark it may seem.
What will my finished portrait be when I stand before my Father in Heaven to be recognized and judged? Will it hold majestic beauty through honorable actions and decisions or will my portrait be the sad face of a life tragically wasted.
I will be brave and drink deeply of the glorious truths of the gospel. Reaching upward positively, I will seek excellence in all righteous endeavors and become more concerned with being righteous than being selfish. With the Lord’s help I will be able to conquer my mountain, to see above the next steep ridge long enough to endure the hardships along its trail, until the day comes that the sun s all not set and I will stand before my Lord and Savior and walk with Him humbly into celestial glory.
~ To Lisa From Heavenly Father ~
My companion’s name, at the time, was Elder Don Coleman. He was a fine man and a fine missionary. We used to joke about who was the senior companion, as we couldn’t recall which one of us departed the ship first when we landed in Copenhagen, Denmark. We solved the dilemma by taking turns with the senior companion responsibility.
Our field of labor was on the northern tip of Denmark on the island of Vensyssal in the town of Hjorring. It was referred to then as a two man town. The two of us had most of the responsibilities. One Sunday evening for sacrament meeting, Elder Coleman had greeted at the door while I played the prelude music. He then took his place at the stand and conducted the meeting. I played the opening hymn and sacrament hymn, and helped pass the sacrament. It was also my turn to be the main speaker that evening.
Now, new missionaries often called upon some secret assistance when delivering a talk those first few times. We didn’t realize that most of the members present recognized the “secret” immediately. The secret consisted of slightly modifying a discussion and giving it as a talk from the pulpit. I suppose every missionary thought he discovered the idea. I did, and was about to present mine on the subject of the Book of Mormon.
When Elder Coleman announced my name as the main speaker, I stood and immediately placed my notes upon the small podium. I had written the entire talk/discussion in phonetics, to better assist me in reading the still very difficult Danish language. I began with the words “Gode aften min kaere soskerne og venner. (Good evening my dear brothers, sisters and friends.) Det er godt at vaere her med jer. (It is good to be here with you.) Iaften, ville jeg gerne tale om (This evening, I would like to speak about) At that moment, prior to telling them the subject of my talk, there was a disturbance in the back of the old hall where we met. Because of the creaking wood floors, and wooden folding chairs, it didn’t take much to cause a disturbance.
I looked up for a moment and noticed a teenage girl taking her place in the congregation. Her name was Lisa. She sat down as quickly as she could. In that momentary break, however, as I looked down again at my notes, very suddenly the deeper, more sensitive part of my spirit heard the still, small voice. It said distinctively, “That young girl who just entered does not need to hear another discourse on the Book of Mormon at this time in her life. She needs to hear a strong testimony on the importance of living a virtuous life. Teach her the law of chastity.” To my great disadvantage, I had never heard a strong testimony about chastity. Secondly, the natural man within me wanted to immediately leave the stand and find someone more qualified to fulfill the responsibility. But simultaneously came automatic movement of my left hand. I pushed my prepared notes to the upper left corner of the stand. I took a firmer grip on the edges of the pulpit and slightly leaned on one elbow for extra stability. I suddenly commenced upon this most challenging assignment. It was one of those moments when all doubt is removed as to the origin of the text, as one is literally carried by the Spirit and the power of the Holy Ghost. It became one of those circumstances indeed, as President Marion G. Romney reported, “I always know when I’ve spoken by the spirit because I learn something from what I’ve said.” The discourse commenced, and I must confess was one of the best I had ever heard. It was even masterful.
There were times during the presentation that I couldn’t wait to hear what I was going to say next. No one was more thrilled or listening more attentively than was I.
At the completion of this miraculous event I took my place on the stand, prior to moving onto the organ bench for the closing hymn. Elder Coleman, who I might add, was a very reserved, almost dignified sort of fellow, leaned over to me and whispered, “Do you know how long you spoke?” I said quietly, “Fifteen minutes or so?” He said in a serious and slow fashion, “Forty-five minutes, in a foreign language, on a most difficult subject, without notes.” Then he reached his hand over to me, shook my hand and congratulated me. I couldn’t believe it. It was a lovely and miraculous event in my life.
But the wonderful miracle was not over. When the closing hymn was announced and I began playing it, I glanced over at Lisa. The hymn was “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.” I noticed she had taken a hymn book in hand. But she did not sing, and after the first few stanzas, her emotions broke. She bowed her head, placed her hands over her eyes, and began to weep uncontrollably, like a little child. Then the true meaning of the
preceding miracle became evident to me. The special message in my talk was directly from Heavenly Father to his own daughter, Lisa. He just asked me to deliver it. And I did. (Don J. Black, A Pocket Full of Miracles, pp 11-13)