Saturday, December 4, 2010

But if not...

      Recently I have been thinking of a story in the old testament, from Daniel chapter 3.  There was a king, named Nebuchadnezzar, he created a golden image and commanded that his people worship it.  Among these people were three men named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, they believed in the true God of Israel.   They refused to worship the king's golden image.  The king in his rage commanded them to be brought before him, and threatened if they don't worship his god's then they would be cast into a fiery furnace.  These three men then said to the angry king, "if it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.  BUT IF NOT, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image..." (Daniel 3:17-18)

     To this the king was full of fury, and commanded that they be cast into the furnace.  When the king came again to see what happened to them, he was astonished because he beheld four men in the midst of the fire.  He said, "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (Daniel 3: 25)

        We can learn a lot from this story, but what I want to focus on is those three words: But if not...
These three men when facing a great trial, didn't have a perfect knowledge of what would happen, but they believe and trusted in god and that was good enough for them.  When they said those three words, But if not, this was not a lack of faith.  They were just simply saying, no matter what.

      Sometimes in this life we face trials, these may come from a lot of different things: fear, lack of knowledge, being unable to comprehend certain things.  We are placed in a position where we must choose faith, where we must simply be willing to trust in something we believe in but are not certain about.

      In my life I have been in this situation many times, one that sticks out to me the most is coming on a mission.  When I graduated from High School, I was not sure if I wanted to serve a mission, I decided that I would go to school instead.  While at a Young Mens event, I felt very strongly that I should serve a mission.  I wasn't sure exactly what would happen, or even if I was capable of serving.  I didn't know the scriptures, I didn't know a whole lot about the church, but I did FEEL that I should go.  Now that I am here, I KNOW that this is where I am suppose to be, this has been the greatest decision I have ever made. 

       Neil L. Anderson, an Apostle, recently said "Will we understand everything? Of course not. We will put some issues on the shelf to be understood at a later time."  In the Book of Mormon we learn that we must learn "line upon line, and precept upon precept." (2 Nephi 28:30)  Even though we will not know everything, and even may have some questions, we still can have faith that it is true.  We might not be able to understand how the Savior was able to suffer for our sins and pains, but we can have faith in his atonement.  We must choose faith, and have the attitude and trust that Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego had.  I promise that if you do, the questions that you have will one day be answered.