As we were reminded in a recent talk by Elder John A. McCune, of the Quorum of the Seventy, Lehi taught us a very important insight on how to best beckon loved ones to Father and His plan of happiness.
Elder McCune explained that “our most deeply focused efforts should be within our own homes.” Thus, this week’s article is geared to all members, regardless of their calling because right now, our family is who we actually get to see most regularly.
In Lehi’s dream of the tree of life, there is much to be learned regarding our spiritual journey, staying fast, and beckoning. As we break down these areas, perhaps some additional insights will flow to your mind and heart regarding your unique approach to “beckoning.”
Getting Through Our Personal Darkness
In our life’s journey, just like Lehi, we all must traverse through a “dark and dreary waste.” As we make our personal journey to get through the darkness, we will discover our own unique desire and approach to find Father and embrace the plan of happiness in our life.
The actions we take to get out of our challenges, trials or “wastelands”, aren’t always obvious. After praying, Lehi beheld a large and spacious field which wasn’t darkness, but it wasn’t the solution either. In our case, when we seek help, we may not be taken directly to a solution, but we are pointed in the correct direction.
Lehi then beheld a tree “whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.” What a great example of spirituality. Lehi could sense that the fruit would make him happy so he took action. Lehi went forth and partook and it was sweeter than all that he had ever tasted before. As we see opportunities for eternal happiness, do we partake of them or say, “I’ll get to that later”, not realizing how partaking will be abundantly greater than we had imagined.
Beckoning in Faith and Love
After Lehi partook, it filled his soul with exceeding great joy and he began to be desirous so that his family would partake. The same happens to us too; the gospel brings so much joy to us that we desire to share it with our family.
However, there is a side note to consider. Do we truly feel the joy of the Gospel, or are we steeped in tradition that says we should do certain things that disciples do but we don’t truly have a change of heart and feel that joy? We can’t inspire others and beckon them if we don’t find joy in having and living the gospel. You can be assured, our family members will know if it’s embedded in our heart, or if we’re just going through the motions and do not have a changed heart.
When Lehi looked for his family, he saw Sariah, Nephi and Sam near the river and “not knowing where they should go.” Lehi beckoned to them with a loud voice to come and “partake of the fruit that was desirable above all other fruit.”
First, let’s consider an inspired insight shared by Elder McCune. Lehi didn’t go down to the river where they were. He stayed spiritually with the Lord and invited his family to come join him. There may be times when we may feel, or loved ones may suggest, that if we truly loved the wayward one, we’d go to where they are and help them back. The challenge with going to where there are is the fact that we are now no longer near the Lord. That is a dangerous place to find ourselves and should not be taken lightly. In fact, it is an unwise journey that is more likely to pull us down rather than lift up our loved one.
Second, what does a “loud voice” to beckon them, look like? Is that voice loud, strong or emphatic in expression, excited and candid? Perhaps that voice is just a candid open conversation because we love the Lord and want the best for them.
It’s important to realize that we call out individually to each person and how we beckon to one person may differ from how we beckon to another.
Lehi next saw Laman and Lemuel near the head of the river. The fact that they were near the head of the river and not in the great and spacious building gives us hope. However, when he beckoned to them, they would not come and partake.
This time, as Lehi beckoned to Laman and Lemuel, it wasn’t a “loud voice”. This may give us pause to consider how would he have beckoned to his rebellious sons differently than Sariah, Nephi and Sam? Can we beckon them to be part of the family in softer or quieter ways; love them even in their differences; participate in their meaningful life events and inviting them to ours; encourage them to come “nearer” by including them in spiritual family opportunities; share our sweet experiences but simplify them a bit? Lehi clearly beckoned to them differently than he beckoned Sariah, Nephi and Sam.
We need to strive to obtain heavenly guidance on what “beckoning” looks like to each individual member of our family. There just isn’t a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to things of the heart.
Remaining as a Beacon
There are times when the best we can do is stand as a beacon. Beckon is from the same root as beacon. A sailor can use the beacon to guide them through dangerous waters. They can also choose not to follow the beacon; regardless, the beacon is always there for them to follow when they are ready. The beacon light stays on as does our light stay on because we continue to fuel it with holy habits.
We can stand as a beacon whether we are a parent, a child or a sibling. We need to embrace that Father has divine timing on all He does for His children. In speaking of struggling children with a friend recently, he wisely stated, “Father’s divine timing always trumps agency.” Meaning, Father never takes away our precious agency, but He will continually provide us with opportunities to improve and grow into the chosen spirits that we have been created to become.
Beth Young is the written content manager at Leading Saints. She is a convert of 41 years; served a mission in North Carolina; has been married for 32 years to her sweetheart, Bob; has 5 children and one grandchild. She raised her family in Texas for 25 years where she served in various capacities in church and in her community. She loves writing, teaching and inspiring others to make changes to their physical, mental and spiritual health.