Since I taught the lesson on the brother of Jared a while ago in Sunday school, I have been thinking of one specific verse in that great record.
And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea? Ether 2:25
How many of us haven’t found ourselves “swallowed up in the depths” of sorrow, sickness, pain, or other circumstances at one time in our lives? Although we aren’t trying to cross the seas, we are trying to endure our trials faithfully and that isn’t always easy.
The brother of Jared went to Heavenly Father with three questions: How will we steer these boats? How will we breathe? How will we see in this darkness? Heavenly Father answered the first two himself, but asked the brother of Jared to come up with his own solution to the third. The first thing I understand from this scripture is that Heavenly Father expects us to think and ponder solutions to our problems then going to Him with the solutions, not just bring our problems to Him and drop them at His feet, thinking He will rescue us from the trials if we but ask. I know that He helps us even while we are using our own efforts to come up with a solution by enlightenment from the Spirit.
Here is part of an article from Robert D. Hales entitled “Channeling Your Creativity” in New Era, Feb 2004. (Read it all Here)
I’m sure there could have been other acceptable solutions to the same need for light. Once, at home evening, my son suggested that the brother of Jared should have had the Lord put his finger in a can of paint. Then the glowing paint could have been applied to the boat’s interior. But the brother of Jared decided to use rocks, and the Lord accepted his solution.
We are thinking, reasoning human beings. We have the ability to identify our needs, to plan, to set goals, and to solve our problems. The characteristics of a creative person can be used to develop solutions for seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We can use originality to overcome opposition. We can develop new ways to help others resolve difficult situations in their lives.
The creative approach is a disciplined approach to meet life’s needs. Creative thinking is not a substitute for education, integrity, or living the commandments. Nor is it a shortcut around the challenges of life. Creative thinking can become a process of inspiration that leads us to decisions.
Creative people must have a constant curiosity. They should be constantly observing and listening to new ideas. They should be willing to admit that someone else’s solution might be better. And they should learn the lessons provided by previous experience—both their own and others’.
May each of us use our creative reasoning to do all in our power to solve our problems and then look to the Lord for the reassuring, peaceful confirmation that we have made the right decision. Surely then our harvest will be plentiful.
(End of Elder Hale's aricle)
The second thing I learn from the scripture is that Heavenly Father never, ever leaves us alone in our trials. He won’t take away our trials, but He wants to provide a light for us--like the saying, “Sometimes He calms the storm and sometimes he calms the child.” Heavenly Father is there, waiting for us to come to Him with faith and with possible solutions. He says, “I will prepare you against the waves of the sea”, not that He will take away the waves. He knows that our trials really will help us to learn and grow and become more like Christ. He has the power to take away the waves, but leaves them because He loves us and wants the best for us, like a parent who allows a baby to fall when learning how to walk.
I’m so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who loves me enough to let me fall (over and over again)and who expects me to help myself as much as possible, without leaving me alone. I love the scriptures and all that we can learn from them. I know I’ll be learning from them for the rest of my life.