Last year I learned that Martin and Lucy Harris’s ancestral home was modern day Lincoln, Rhode Island—that’s right near me! Today I took my family on a field trip to view the Harris Family Burial Ground which volunteers have been renovating for almost a year. Join me on a short tour of the burial ground and learn a little more about Martin Harris’s family background.
Click here to see the video on YouTube.
Now as concerns the reading this week in Doctrine and Covenants sections 3-5, I find it fascinating how God so willingly works with us as partners in His Plan of Salvation. He is patient and loving. But when we don’t do our part or follow through on our promises, we may just lose the partnership. It’s been an important lesson for me to simply do what God asks and not stress that my weaknesses will somehow mess up God’s plan. The other great lesson is that I need to value and care for the partnering opportunities God gives me whether it is cultivating my marriage, raising my children, or serving my fellow women and men.
Martin Harris was promised that if he repented and renewed his commitment to obedience and the Book of Mormon manuscript disaster, he could once again partner in the work of the Restoration. And God was merciful! Martin Harris eventually became one of the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon and signed his name to the testimony of its divine origins, its translation by Joseph Smith through the gift and power of God, and it’s signaling the Restoration of priesthood keys, ordinances and church organization, all under the direction of Jesus Christ. Despite his weaknesses, Martin Harris did not mess up the Lord’s plan. Rather, he was once again entrusted with sacred responsibilities. He was able to participate in and contribute to the marvelous work of publishing the Book of Mormon and establishing the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
New year, new goals––including blogging with a little more frequency! So here I am at the start of a fresh Come, Follow Me study guide and I am so excited to share my first insight of the year with you!
Last week while reading Doctrine and Covenants section 1 I read the verses that serve as the Lord’s preface to this new book of scripture in which He states that He has called a prophet in the latter-days to warn all people on earth of coming calamity (see D&C 1:1-17). With a pandemic raging across the world, mutating and outpacing human response, and civil unrest spreading across the United States, my sense of foreboding is more than heightened. This is some scary stuff! But, I wondered, why warn us if only to frighten us? As I read further, I felt like I saw between the lines of text. This book of scripture is called Doctrine and Covenants––it contains the same eternal truths and foundational doctrines as the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon, but it also points us to saving ordinances in which we make sacred covenants with God. Covenants, I realized, are the key to our preparation and protection in these unsettling and calamitous times. Hence the Doctrine and Covenants IS God’s warning as well as our survival handbook!
Covenants will prepare us for and protect us as we face whatever else is coming. My one resolution for this new year is to do a better job keeping the covenants I have already made with God at baptism and in the temple (both Endowment and marriage). I want to better understand the promises I made and identify ways I can more strictly honor them. In D&C 82:10, the Lord says, “I, the Lord am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” When we keep our covenants, God is required to provide for us. With an uncertain future ahead of all of us I find God’s promise immensely reassuring.
How does keeping your covenants bring you peace? How do you think keeping covenants will both prepare and protect you?