Sunday, 29 August 2010

5 Loaves and 2 Fishses

In John 6:1-13 we read the story of Christ feeding the five thousand with five loaves of barley bread and two fishes. I've heard and read this story many times in the past, but today it struck me differently than before.

Just as he was able to magnify that bread and fish in a physical way to feed the five thousand, so to can the Lord magnify us spiritually if we put our faith and trust in him. We learn from Ether 12:27 that the Lord's grace is an enabling power. It enables us to do things far beyond our own capacity--things we would not be able to do otherwise. Faithful saints can share story after story of how the Lord's hand has blessed and strengthened them beyond their own physical capabilities.

We read in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon about various groups that won great battles in the face of terrible odds as they put their trust in God. The story of Gideon in the Old Testament is a prime example. With 300 soldiers Gideon defeated an army of over 10,000 Philistines. The story of the 2000 Stripling Warriors in the Book of Mormon is another great example. On more than one occasion the Nephites appeared to be on the losing end of the battle and these 2000 young men, though greatly out numbered, stood firm and undaunted before their enemies. They had been taught to trust in God and the knew that as they did so He would bless them according to their faith. Because of their faith, even though everyone of them was wounded multiple times, not one of them died in battle, while all around them there were many of the other Nephites who did. Additionally, because of their firmness before the enemy, their enemies fled, despite the fact that their enemies greatly out numbered them.

How does this apply to you and me? We live in a day and time of great wickedness. The prophets of old speaking of our time knew we would. They knew that in comparison to the "great whore," the number's of the Saints would be few. Yet, they also knew and prophesied that the Saints would be armed with righteousness and power and that, in spite of the staggering odds against them, the Saints would win.

Well may we ask ourselves, "but what can I do? I'm just one person?" The answer lies in the examples already given. We can put our faith and trust in God. We can arm ourselves with righteousness. We can be up and doing as was Captain Moroni. We can stand firmly and boldly, undaunted before the enemies of truth and right. As we do so, not only will we come off conquerors, but we may also be instruments in God's hands to bring many thousands of our brethren who now struggle in the darkness to the marvelous light of the gospel.

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