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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Dream: Calling Off My Trip to South Africa

by Nicky Smith

A week ago I had a dream in which I was preparing for a trip to South Africa to see my family. I was going by myself and I was very excited. I had packed and I was ready to leave for the airport when my husband approached me and said: "I strongly believe you shouldn't take this trip. I believe you'll be in danger, but it really is your choice what you do." I then started to cry. 



I said I wouldn't go. I believed him but still cried a lot. I felt very sad. I hadn't been able to go to South Africa in a long time and knew I wouldn't be able to go again anytime soon. Over the next 36 hours I watched the news to see if there was any plane crash, but there was nothing. Despite that, I knew that I had made the right decision not to take the trip. I then woke up.

One particular message that God has for me in this dream is that once I have made a decision to do something God wants me to do, I must not look back and mourn my losses. Instead I must look forward and rejoice. 

Recently the Lord asked a difficult sacrifice of me. I was doing what the Lord asked me to do and I was receiving wonderful blessings continuously from the Lord as a direct result, but my heart still occasionally mourned what I had lost. When I had this dream I knew the Lord was telling me to stop mourning what I had lost and look forward rejoicing.

When the city of Sodom was going to be destroyed, two angels came for Lot, his wife, and their two daughters. They lingered and so the angels really pushed Lot and his family to leave. Destruction was imminent. 
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. (Genesis 19)

Lot and his family moved to Zoar and the next day both Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed with fire and brimstone from heaven (Genesis 19:23-24). However, Lot's wife looked back:
But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26)
When the Lord gives us a commandment or asks us to sacrifice something difficult, sometimes we have a tendency to think about the things we have lost. Lot's wife lost her home, most of her possessions, her friends, and whatever else she left behind in Sodom. She mourned the things she had lost, despite the fact that her sacrifice in leaving Sodom meant that she was not going to die in Sodom. Her heart was still in Sodom. 

Paul wrote to the Philippians that one thing he does is forget the things behind him and reaches out to those things God has in store for him:
13 ... but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3)
When we commit to follow Jesus no matter what, He will lead us into places that are uncomfortable. It will require giving up aspects of the world and being asked by Him to make great sacrifices. 

One day a man came to Jesus and said that he would follow Jesus where ever He goes. But, this man, like most, did not understand the kinds of sacrifices he would be required to make. 
57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9)
Following Jesus means being willing to do WHATEVER he asks of you. This entails more than simply giving up what we have been told to sacrifice. God wants our hearts. In other words, He wants our hearts and minds to give up those things too. When we look back it suggests that our hearts and minds have not really sacrificed, even though we may have physically given up what we were asked. We then show that we are not fit for the kingdom. Following Jesus not only entails giving up the things of this telestial world, but it requires our hearts changing too. This is the only way to receive the eternal rewards we are after: 
25 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.
26 And now for a man to take up his cross, is to deny himself all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and keep my commandments.
27 Break not my commandments for to save your lives; for whosoever will save his life in this world, shall lose it in the world to come.
28 And whosoever will lose his life in this world, for my sake, shall find it in the world to come.
29 Therefore, forsake the world, and save your souls; for what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (JST Matthew 16)
Yesterday while I was working in the yard moving lots of split wood I was praying. I wasn't praying about anything specific; rather, I was just talking to the Lord about everything. As I was asking for light and truth from Him, these words came to me: "Let your heart rejoice!" I felt an incredible amount of joy and peace within me and I reflected on the fact that no matter what trials comes and no matter what God asks of me, my aim is not to mourn, but to rejoice. 

In my dream, God wanted to protect me by telling me not to travel to South Africa. As I strive to be completely obedient to the Lord, every experience, every commandment He gives me, and every sacrifice He requires of me is for my good. And, that is something to be joyful about!
Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end. (Doctrine and Covenants 100:12)

2 comments:

  1. This principle and the story of Lot's wife was a great strength to me during the first year or so of marriage and adjusting to my new Ward, culture etc.
    A great reminder. Thanks. Always well written!
    Just thinking too that life is always a balancing act of longing for greener pastures and not looking back.

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