Saturday, April 8, 2017

Fanciful Flowers Offering Potent Principles.

Boyd K. Packer had the magnificent hobby of bird watching. No wonder he was such a great man. He was also great at learning from the nature he observed, and pulling life-long lessons out of animal behavior and natural phenomena. A scripture, on which his book The Earth Shall Teach Thee is based, is found in Job 12:7-8.

7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.

After pondering this scripture, I thought of some other scriptures that teach the same lesson; that we can learn from the Lord's creations. Jesus was the master of pulling these lessons from the earth. One is found in the sermon on the mount, where he says:

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin (Matthew 6)

Jesus remarks on the simplicity of how the flowers of the filed grow and live. The complex molecular structures of a plant perform an overall-simple process: taking in CO2 through the pores of their leaves and water through their roots to create carbohydrates that will provide additional structure and growth for the plant.

I've read this scripture various times, and it has reminded me to simplify my thoughts in the past, and it has returned to do so again. When we have so much going on in our life, we tend to get all jumbled up about the future and getting everything done. In this scripture, the Savior asks us to take a step back and think about the simplicity of a flower's life. They do not worry or complain about what they ought to do, they just do it. Obviously, it's easier said then done (considering that lilies don't have brains). However, if we take a step back, consider our blessings, realize we don't have to do everything in this very instant, only what we can do today, and have a little faith, then the things we need to do become easier to do. We won't be weighed down by unnecessary troubles of the future. We will recognize that everything is possible one step at a time.

I think about this as finals approaches and as I plan for the next step in my academic plan, but I also think about how the Savior wants us to become more like him one step at a time; grace by grace. I can imagine that many of us have gotten frustrated at one point because we're not as Christ-like as we would like to be in a certain point of time. Then we begin to think about all the things we need to improve on and it overwhelms us. That's not what our Heavenly Father wants us to do. He is patient with us, so he wants us to be patient with ourselves as we try to progress heavenward. He certainly knows that we can't do everything at once, but by doing things one by one we can accomplish anything. It will be of great benefit to us all to take a step back once in a while, consider the lilies, and modify our daily lifestyle to follow the example they set.

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