Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Family Home Evening Lesson #51: BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE

1. Opening Prayer

2. Sing "As Zion's Youth in Latter Days" Hymns pg. 256

3. Read Joshua 1:9  Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

4. Read and discuss "For Times of Trouble" from the October, 1980 New Era.

Elisha, with a power known only to the prophets, had counseled the king of Israel on how and where and when to defend against the warring Syrians. The king of Syria, of course, wished to rid his armies of this prophetic problem. So, and I quote:

“Therefore sent he thither horses, and chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about.

“… [They] compassed the city both with horses and chariots.” (2 Kgs. 6:14–15.)

If Elisha is looking for a good time to be depressed, this is it. His only ally is the president of the local teachers quorum. It is one prophet and one lad against the world. And the boy is petrified. He sees the enemy everywhere—difficulty and despair and problems and burdens everywhere. The bus is gone, and all he can see is Chicago. With faltering faith the boy cries, “Alas, my master! how shall we do?” (2 Kgs. 6:15.)

And Elisha’s reply?

“Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kgs. 6:16).

“They that be with us?” Now just an Israelite minute here. Faith is fine and courage wonderful, but this is ridiculous, the boy thinks. There are no others with them. He can recognize a Syrian army when he sees one, and he knows that one child and an old man are not strong odds against it. But Elisha’s promise:

“Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

“And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” (2 Kgs. 6:16–17.)

In the gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil and you must never forget that. When disappointment and discouragement strike—and they will—you remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection. They will always be there, these armies of heaven, in defense of Abraham’s seed.

I close with this promise from heaven.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;

“And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along.”

“… I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, … and mine angels [shall be] round about you, to bear you up.

“… The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.” (D&C 78:17–18; D&C 84:88; D&C 78:18.)

~Jeffery R. Holland

5. Closing Prayer

Additional Resources: An Ensign to the Nations, a Light to the World (Liahona, Nov. 2003)
Courage Counts (New Era, Sept. 2006)

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