Sunday, August 30, 2015


The last of the wine at the wedding in Cana had barely been poured when the astonished guests began to disperse and the miracle started to fade into dusty memories.

Shortly after being raised from her death sleep, Jairus’ daughter was now back at her daily routine, thinking more about sweeping and preparing meals than about that climatic moment which had so dramatically altered her life.

The twelve baskets of left over bread were still fresh when most of the 5000 who had sought and been fed by the Savior had returned to their homes and daily tasks.

It doesn't take much of an imagination to conjure up the remorse and resignation which must have come upon the Savior’s countenance as He looked to those special disciples whom He had called and to whom He queried, ‘Will ye also go away?’

Some years ago I took a mental inventory of some of those whom I had known who had gone away after having had varying personal spiritual experiences and levels of testimonies.

• There was a friend in primary who attended no more, because another had taken his treat.

• There was a sweet young lass who turned and went away because of the judgements she felt were being heaped upon her inactive father.

• There was a faithful sister who was replaced in her favorite calling because others needed the experience.

• There was a young man who went away because he had become non-existent sitting on the bench of a basketball game.

• There was a sister who, after laboring all day on her casserole, returned home with her untouched dish and never returned.

• There was an older gentleman who had served faithfully for years, but now felt he could sit alone at home rather than in a chapel full of people.

• There were those who thought church leaders were called to administer with love rather than with chastisement.

Our walk upon the pathway which leads to the Tree of Life and the love of Christ is cluttered with twists and turns, pitfalls and prejudices and it seems that even the most valiant can be turned from walking upon it if they are struck at the wrong moment with the wrong stimuli.

• Though like Laman and Lemuel we have been attended by angels, we still face the possibility of leaving the path.

• Though we have witnessed loved ones miraculously raised from beds of affliction, we still face the possibility of leaving the path.

• Though we have endured faithfully for years, we still face the possibility of leaving the path.

• Though we have a long legacy of faithful ancestors, we still face the possibility of leaving the path.

• Those whose youthful testimonies are still but tender shoots are especially vulnerable to the vexations of life which will cause them to stumble from the path.

• There may be singular moments and misfortunes which contribute to the most faithful leaving the path.
Sadly, there never has existed a temporal motivation strong enough to cause the servant to cling to the master once the bread basket is empty.

There are many whose daily routines become paramount over all else, once the pain and anxiety of their affliction is gone.

There are many who do not continue faithfully on the path when they are confronted with actions which make them feel unnecessary or unwanted.

It would be wonderful if, like Peter, we were always able to reply to the Savior’s query, ‘Where would we go, for in Thee only we have eternal life.’ But then we are quickly reminded that in a given moment under given pressures Peter denied the Savior three times.

Mark Twain in his book, The Diary of Adam, has Adam writing about why he partook of the forbidden fruit with the words, ‘It was against my principles, but I find that principles have no real value when one is not well fed.’

We have probably all had enough personal experience and sufficiently witnessed the struggles of others to at least begin to realize that, in certain circumstances, like little children, all our testimonies are like tender blades of grass which can be trampled and their growth terminated.

Likewise, we have all had enough experience to realize that one great feast, even though provided by the Savior himself, will not provide sufficient strength to sustain us through tomorrow’s inevitable trials.

It is absolutely true that we must become converted to the Bread of Life which the Savior told the Samaritan woman at the well He was. It is just as true that if we do not partake of that bread liberally and daily like the children of Israel eating the manna in the wilderness, our souls will hunger and we become weakened and vulnerable to straying.

If we want to have the strength to faithfully traverse the path leading unto Eternal Life we must continually partake of the sustaining Bread of life. For it is only when we are constantly partaking that our bodies and souls will have the strength to sustain us against the buffetings which are surely going to come and attempt to divert us from our desired goal.

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