Isaac the Warrior Part 2

Isaac the Warrior Part 1

The time came when Shim decided to go to war with us; the purpose was to take over my Father’s throne. We prepared, as much as we could prepare. We fought hard, we prayed hard. Too many of our people were killed in battle. They were fierce. They fought like dragons. They killed my wife, two of my children, some of my siblings, other extended family and many close friends. They burned our homes, our churches, our businesses. We fought back, we were just trying to preserve our way of life, our freedom. Our fighting seemed in vain as more and more of our people were mercilessly slaughtered.

Too many of our people died. My father called a council which included his family, generals, a prophet, and other trusted associates. He did not want to see any more deaths; he wanted the slaughter stopped. They prayed; they pled with God. They begged for help. They questioned why God was not helping them. As they knelt in prayer, pleading with God, each member of the council felt a sweet assurance from the Holy Spirit that they would be okay, that God was with them more than they knew. All members of the council recognized what they needed to do. The slaughter must stop. We needed just to give my evil brother the throne. We knew that we would be taken captive or even killed; but deep down, we knew this was what God wanted us to do and somehow we would be blessed for this.  My father never ceased to amaze me with his unwavering faith and devotion to God.  Although he knew the consequences of this decision, he had complete faith in God that they would be protected and preserved.

However, before surrendering, we realized that we needed to stockpile weapons and hide them in an obscure location. Shim and his people would surely take our weapons from us, but we would eventually require a way to fight back, when the time was right. We employed our weapon makers to make as many weapons as they could in a short period of time, a few short weeks. They worked hard, they prayed hard as they made an unusual amount of weapons in just a short period of time; thousands of swords, bows and arrows, and other various weaponry. We found a place, hidden away in an obscure hill , where we concealed all the weapons. We worked swiftly and discretely to avoid any of Shim’s people finding us. Before we left the hiding place, we prayed that the angels would protect the weapons and prevent Shim and his people from discovering them.

After the weapons were securely hidden, my father sent a message to Shim saying that he would give Shim the throne if he would stop the bloodshed. Shim responded saying that he wanted the head of my father, otherwise he would not stop the killing. My father was about to willingly go to him, but my mother sent an urgent message to Shim, pleading with him that he would spare the life of my father. Somehow, miraculously Shim agreed not to take the life of my father but instead to bring us all into captivity, and Shim would have control over us. We would be given a place to live, to grow our crops and our herds, but we would have to give Shim one-half of all our increase. We would not be allowed to pray or to worship God in any way. Shim would not be able to promise us that his people would not abuse us in anyway, but at least we would be alive, and have food to eat. My father again called the council together; we prayed for a different solution, yet, felt peace that this would be right for now. We dreaded the possible abuses that could happen to our people, but felt a promise that if we remained faithful we would be protected. That didn’t mean that we would be protected from any type of mistreatment, but even if any of our people were abused or harmed in anyway, they would be quickly healed.

We delivered the message to Shim, agreeing to his demands. His people allowed us to retrieve our flocks, herds and seeds, then escorted us to a very barren land; a place that no one had ever lived because it appeared so desolate. We felt discouraged, yet were reminded to have faith. There were thousands of us, warriors, workers, women, and children.

Guards were placed all around the land, hundreds of guards. They were armed with whips, knives, and swords. If anyone was caught praying, they would be whipped. So, we prayed in our hearts; we poured out our hearts to God. If anyone was caught speaking about Jesus Christ, or anything considered a spiritual nature, they were whipped or beaten. To avoid punishment and to continue to talk about Jesus Christ, we learned to talk in a type of code. We were fortunate that one of the children, a young boy, was able to hide some scriptures in his case of personal belongings before we were brought into captivity. We had no idea how Shim’s guards missed that; we knew that it was a blessing from Heaven. We were very careful with those scriptures; we did not want to lose them. I, myself, carefully made a hiding place for them, so when the guards came around to check on us, the scriptures would not be found.

We learned that an angel came to the young boy, the nephew of our church leader, and told him to pack the scriptures. The angel told the boy that he and the scriptures would be protected. The boy grabbed the scriptures without telling anyone and packed them with the few personal belongings that he had. For whatever reason, we knew it was a blessing from God, that the guards did not check the boy’s belongings.

Life in captivity was tough. Guards would strike us for no reason. They raped our young women, even our older women. They were completely deprived of the spirit of the Lord. Shim would come around and beat on our father, and even our mother. It was heart wrenching as we felt powerless to help them. Nevertheless, as promised in our council, each time someone was mistreated, they were quickly healed by the power of God.

Even though the land we dwelled on was barren and desolate, it produced amazing crops. Our flocks and herds thrived. We had more than we needed, even after giving Shim more than one-half of our increase. We felt blessed. We knew the Lord watched over us.

Despite Shim’s wealth and the wealth of many of his people, and the taking of our crops and herds, they did not thrive as much as we did. Their crops did not produce like ours produced; their flocks and herds were adequate, but not great. We knew that we had been blessed by our loving God.

(To be continued…)

Petah and the Red Candles

Petah was a young Jaredite girl, about 5-6 years old, who lived in a home where her parents were not faithful in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, although they were raised to believe in Jesus, they chose not to follow His teachings. She came from a large family, 5 older siblings and 2 younger siblings. Although her parents and most of her siblings were not faithful in the Gospel, they still tried to be respectable people They were kind to each other, they were almost always honest in their dealings with others. Petah’s father was a candle maker, one who made exquisite candles.

Petah had long, light-colored hair, her eyes were blueish-green, and she had a few freckles on her light-colored nose and chubby cheeks. She loved being outside, especially with her family’s animals; she particularly loved playing with her family’s chickens. After waking up in the morning, the first thing Petah would do was to go outside, play with the chickens, and search for chicken eggs. The chickens loved her and would quickly come to her when she came. Of course, it helped that Petah brought food for them. Petah’s grandmother gave her a cute basket so she had something to put the eggs in each morning. Petah loved her basket and used it every day.

Petah had a female cousin her same age that lived very close to her; in fact, Petah was two weeks older than her cousin. They loved to play with each other. her cousin’s family had nine children, most with about the same ages as Petah’s family.  Petah and her cousin were the closest in age and friendship.  The cousins would spend time at each other’s homes to play, work, and help each other with their chores.

Petah also loved to visit her cousin’s house because there was a different feeling there, a reverent feeling, a feeling of love and peace. Because her aunt and uncle still believed in the coming of Jesus Christ, they often told stories from the prophets about Jesus and taught their children about the plan of salvation. She loved hearing the stories and always wanted to hear more. She desired to tell her family the stories, but her parents just were not interested. Sometimes her younger siblings, and a couple of her older siblings would listen and some also enjoyed hearing the stories at her cousin’s home.  Petah’s favorite story was about Peter walking on the water. She loved to hear how Jesus pulled Peter out of the water after his faith faltered and carefully and steadfastly walked with him back to the boat.

Deep down, even at a young age, Petah knew the stories were true from the sweet whisperings of the Holy Spirit and she desired to follow Christ and to be baptized which she did when she was older.

Petah adored her father and loved to spend time with him as he made beautiful candles for others. She loved talking to her father while he worked. Sometimes her father would let her help him, even with pouring hot wax into the molds. Petah enjoyed putting the dyes into the wax and watching how the wax became a new color. She loved when her father would layer several different colors into a single candle.

Petah’s favorite color was red because red reminded her of Jesus and how Jesus would come to the earth and die for her sins. Even though her father did not believe in Jesus, he made her a beautiful red candle for her seventh birthday. The candle had gold and silver strands mixed in the wax; he even put red crystals in the candle. Petah cherished her candle. Because her father put his heart into it, it brought joy and happiness to her. The candle was only lit on special occasions; however, her father reminded her that she could use it whenever she wanted. He would always make her a new candle.

Petah lit the candle when she felt sadness or felt fearful. She stared at the flame and watch as it appeared to dance above the candle. The dancing flame brought light, faith, and hope to her heart and spirit. When others around her felt sad or afraid, Petah brought her candle to them and lit it for them, they felt light, faith, and hope too. Soon, Petah and her candle became well-known for the joy they brought to others.

Eventually, the candle burned down to a small stub. As promised, her father made her another candle, this one more beautiful than the first. He saw how Petah shared her candle with others and he was very proud of her and wanted to reward her with more candles.

Petah eventually became a candle maker like her father. Most of her candles were custom-made for her customers. People came from all over to purchase her candles. One of Petah’s greatest delights was to give each of her customers a beautiful red candle to bring them light, faith, and hope.

Isaac the Warrior, Part 1

I am a Jaredite warrior. I fought for my father (earthly father), to help free him from captivity.

My older brother, Shim, took my father and many of my family and friends into captivity. I do not understand what happened to Shim, why he became so hateful. He was raised by loving parents who taught him about Jesus Christ. As he was in his 20s, he connected with some friends (and I use that term loosely, I would not consider them friends) who allowed pride and greed to take over their lives. They desired wealth and would do anything they could to obtain wealth, even if that meant taking advantage of others. Even though they became wealthy, their greediness caused them seek even more wealth. They lost all sense of consciousness. They did not care if someone else was hurt because of their evil doings.

These friends knew Shim and my family for years, but specifically wanted him in their group because he was the son of a king. Not only did they want additional wealth, they wanted power. They slowly enticed Shim into their group; they did it slowly because Shim, at one time, was an exceptionally righteous man. They were slow, yet very deliberate. They started out with a beautiful woman. Wow, she was stunning, but evil! They occasionally drugged his food and drink, which began to affect his mind. The drugging was so subtle, that my brother was not aware that anything happened, but we knew; we could slowly see changes. My parents warned Shim about his friends and what they were attempting to do, but he just did not see it, nor would he see it.

For a very long time after Shim connected with these friends, he continued to attend church, continued to believe in the coming of Christ, but gradually pulled away. He began arguing with our parents. He pulled away from us. He spent more and more time with his new friends, especially his beautiful girlfriend, until he decided that he didn’t want anything to do with our family. He tried enticing some of my brothers and sisters to go with him, and unfortunately, some wen. We were heartbroken. My parents were heart broken. They knew some of the people that Shim associated with and knew they were evil.

Shim was very handsome and charismatic. He began to draw away many from our people to follow him. He was very careful who he chose at first, but because of his charming personality, many more wanted to associate with him. Shim was an excellent orator and could easily convince people that his ways were right. He became wealthy and would use his money to bribe others to follow him. He drew more and more away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as he was able to convince them that there would be no Christ.

Eventually, Shim gained thousands of followers and decided that he wanted to be king. Of course, his friends helped to convince him of that; they wanted the power. Shim knew that he had enough people who would fight for him to become their king. They loved my brother, well, at least they thought they loved my brother. They were enamored with him.

It took time, in fact many years, for Shim to gather enough people, and flatter them enough and convince them that he should be the king; that he was worth fighting for, worth giving their lives for. Oh, the hatred and the lies that he spewed forth about my father, our father. He lost all light and became so dark. My parents were heartbroken at what they needed to do; which was to gather an army to defend themselves and those who followed Jesus Christ, against my brother. Thankfully, there were many who still believed in my father and the good man that he was, and came running to help him.

We gathered together a large army. We armed ourselves with the best weapons of our time, but so did Shim and his army. We fasted and prayed and put our faith and trust in God. We tried communicating with Shim to talk him out of war, to negotiate and to compromise, as much as we could compromise without offending our God. His pure heart was gone; replaced with darkness.

(This will be continued…)

 

 

Genesee and the Bowl

Genesee was a young righteous Jaredite women.  She lived during a mostly righteous and prosperous time, although some Jaredites were beginning to become a bit prideful.  Genesee was medium height, had long, light brown hair, and sparkling blue eyes.  At this point in time, she was married and had four children.  Genesee’s prized possession was a beautiful ceramic bowl that she used to serve food.  She was an incredible cook and was well known for her cooking.

While visiting another city, Genesee and her family went to the local marketplace.  As she admired all the goods, she found, what she considered was the most beautiful bowl and lid she had ever seen.  She quickly purchased her bowl from the vendor, who was also the craftsman.  The workmanship on the bowl and lid were superb.  The bowl was a light brown color, wider at the top than the bottom.  The bowl was about 5-6” in diameter on the bottom and about 10” in diameter at the top.  It was about 7-8” tall.  The bowl and lid were painted with colorful flowers that gave appeal and exquisiteness to the bowl.  Genesee wanted to purchase more ceramics from the vendor, but knew she would have to come back another time.

Genesee used this bowl to serve the delicious food that she prepared.  Often, she invited guests for dinner because she loved to cook, not only for just her family, but others.  She always used her bowl to serve her guests.  They all marveled at the craftsmanship and beauty of the bowl.

One day, a highly prominent man in their government, and his wife and children, came to Genesee’s home for dinner.  His wife heard about Genesee’s cooking and the bowl and wanted to come see for herself.  Genesee felt a bit nervous about the visit, but knew all would be well.  The dinner was exquisite, and all were amazed at the beauty of the bowl.  The man’s wife decided that she needed to travel to where Genesee purchased the bowl, she desired to have one for herself.

Because the bowl was ceramic and breakable, Genesee exercised great caution with her bowl.  She stored it in a protected place that her younger children would not be able to easily access.  However, she was not so protective of the bowl that she would never use it, as she used the bowl several times a week to serve her family.  Her children knew and understood the importance of the bowl and also became protective of it, especially when other children were over.  In fact, one time, one of Genesee’s daughters became a bit too overprotective, and acted rudely toward another child.  Genesee gently reminded her that people were more important than things; things could be replaced, but people could not.

Genesee had a best friend from her childhood, Gwinn.  They shared many fun times and memories as they grew older.  As they grew up, married, and started families of their own they continued to be best friends, well, next to their husbands.  However, in time, Gwinn become jealous of Genesee because she was highly recognized for her cooking abilities.  Gwinn was also, but she was not as accomplished or well-known as Genesee, which started to upset her.  Gwinn would become angry when she would hear about Genesee’s cooking, so much so, that it affected their friendship in a negative way.  They were not spending the time together like they used to, even as married adults.  Gwinn also loved Genesee’s bowl and desired to have the bowl, so much so, that one day when Genesee and her family were away from their home, Gwinn came and took the bowl; enesee’s favorite and cherished bowl.

The next time Genesee tried to retrieve the bowl, she discovered that it was missing.  She frantically searched and searched.  She questioned each of her children if they knew what happened to the bowl.  Of course, none of them knew.  Genesee greatly grieved the disappearance of the bowl.

Several weeks after the bowl’s disappearance, a friend visited Genesee and stated that she saw the bowl at Gwinn’s house.  Genesee couldn’t believe that her best childhood friend would take the bowl.  Genesee and her husband walked to Gwinn’s home to confront Gwinn.  At first Gwinn denied taking the bowl, but couldn’t hold back the tears any longer.  She started to sob, retrieved the bowl and gave it back to Genesee.  She tearfully apologized and asked for forgiveness.  Genesee hugged her and quickly forgave her.

Because Genesee did want to travel to the craftsman who made her bowl, she asked Gwinn if she wanted to also go.  Gwinn was ecstatic about the chance to go!  They made plans, went to the city where the marketplace was, and they were both able to purchase some amazing ceramics.

Abigail and the Doll

Abigail was a young Jaredite girl, about 8 years old.  She lived during a time of great prosperity.  Most everyone did their best to keep the commandments of Heavenly Father and strove to be like Heavenly Father.

Abigail loved to play with some dolls.  She has several dolls made of various materials.  One was especially beautifully handcrafted wood.  Her father saw this doll in the market and purchased it for Abigail.  The wood was a medium brown, a type of hardwood.  The details in the face were very intricate. The eyes were painted blue and the lips a light shade of pinkish-red.  The hair on the doll was brown, made from furs and tails of animals.  The doll was clothed in a bright pink (pink was Abigail’s favorite color) linen dress and shoes to match.  The dress and shoes were removable.  The hands and feet on the doll were also intricately carved.  The detail was immaculate.  Abigail would play with this doll, along with her other dolls for hours at a time.

Because Abigail lived in a peaceful, prosperous time, she lived a happy and pretty much a carefree life.  This didn’t mean that she didn’t have tough times and that she never argued with her parents or siblings, or never did anything to get into trouble, because all of that happened.  She could play outside her home without fear of danger (except from some animals).  She and her family were free to worship Christ in the manner that they knew best.

Abigail had many friends and cousins her age that she loved to play with.  They would go to each other’s homes to play, eat, and have fun.  She also helped her parents and siblings take care of their home, garden, flocks, and other business pursuits.  Her family loved to travel and see different places not too far distant from there home.

From a very young age, Abigail knew Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ very well.  From the time she was an infant, she loved to hear the stories about Jesus and see the pictures of Him.  She learned to pray and loved to pray to Heavenly Fathers.  In fact, she would often talk to Him while playing with her dolls.  She would line up her dolls and teach them about Jesus.  She would teach them about the Plan of Salvation.  She would “invite” Jesus to come to them and would bring in a “Jesus” doll that she received as a gift.

Abigail was blessed with many spiritual gifts (as many of the Jaredite people during this time), which became accelerated after she was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  She walked and talked with angels.  She became very gifted with animals and could understand their wants, needs, and feelings.  She could calm down an upset animal in their herds.

As animals were used for food and sacrifice, she was quick to remind everyone to give thanks to each animal for its sacrifice for them and to give thanks to Heavenly Father for providing the animals for food and for sacrifice.  Because of Abigail’s sensitivity toward animals, she helped others understand the role that animals played in their lives.

As Abigail grew older, she knew the power of righteousness.  She lived in a time of righteousness, and because of that, they lived in peace.  Everyone had what they needed.  Her greatest desire was to tell others about the power of righteousness and the effect that could have on families and even entire nations.

Abigail knew about what we call the pride cycle.  She knew that individuals, family, and nations need not go through the pride cycle, meaning becoming prideful and falling after prosperity.  She lived in a great time of prosperity that lasted for several generations.  They had more than what they needed and lived after a manner of happiness.  They worked hard, but also played hard.  They traveled and visited many beautiful places.  They grew closer to God as they lived in righteousness.

Atarah and the Painting of Jesus

Atarah was a beautiful young Jaredite girl.  She was best friends with Dinah, the daughter of one of the kings, who was the same age as Atarah.  Atarah’s parents worked for the king, so they would bring Atarah to the king’s palace with them.  Atarah was an only child.  Her parents desired more children, but more did not come to them.  Dinah had many siblings who cared for Atarah as one of their own.

Atarah’s father worked in the King’s garden, while her mother worked in the palace helping the queen.  One of Atarah’s main jobs, especially as a young girl was to dust the furnishings in the palace.  She was given a beautiful feather duster made from feathers of an ostrich-like bird.  Atarah loved the duster as the feathers were carefully dyed with many beautiful colors.  She would dance through the palace with her feather duster, carefully dusting the many furnishings in the palace.

Because Atarah spent so much time in the palace, she became part of the family (as well as her parents).  She was educated with the king’s children and she played with them.  One of her very favorite things to do was to sit in the king’s living room and listen to him read the scriptures to his family.  Every day, the king would gather his family to read scriptures and to teach them about Jesus Christ.  Now, having several children, some days were quite chaotic, but that did not discourage him.  He had a strong testimony of the coming of Jesus Christ and wanted his children to learn to love Jesus, as he loved Him.

The king knew that it was easy for people to fall into wickedness, as it had already happened several times among the Jaredite people.  The king did not want this to happen to any of his children, so he testified often about Jesus Christ.

One of Atarah’s favorite things to do, especially as she grew older, was to draw and paint.  She was blessed with a unique gift to draw people, especially faces.  She was able to capture emotion in each of her drawing.  Because the king knew the brilliance of Atarah’s gift, when he sent people to various cities to shop at their markets, he told them to purchase the best canvases, paints, brushes, and other tools they could find.  They brought back paints, papers, brushes, and canvases made of the best materials.  Atarah was elated every time she received new materials.

As Atarah listened daily to the king and his family talk about Jesus Christ, she desired to draw pictures of Him.  She talked to the king about Jesus and how he thought she should draw and paint His picture.  The king introduced Atarah to one of the prophets so she could talk to him of how she could draw and paint His picture.  Atarah prayed for knowledge and guidance to know how to draw Him.

Atarah began having dreams about Jesus.  She saw many aspects of His life.  She dreamed about His birth, baptism, the Sermon on the Mount and other teaching, His apostles, His death and resurrection, and many other parts of His life that are not recorded in scripture.

She talked to the prophet and the king about her dreams and what she thought Jesus would look like.  The prophet confirmed her thoughts.

After drawing and painting the faces of many different people, mostly her friends and family, she finally became comfortable in attempting drawing the face of Jesus.  She first used a pencil type tool, something that she could easily erase as needed.  When she had a drawing she felt pleased with, she took the drawing to the prophet.  He loved the drawing and gave her a couple suggestions.  Atarah modified her drawing and took it back to the prophet.  The prophet showed the drawing to his wife and she was in awe.  The Spirit touched her heart and soul that Atarah’s picture was very similar to what Jesus would actually look like.  Atarah was in tears, the prophet and his wife were in tears as they contemplated the earthly mission of Jesus Christ.

Atarah then began her first painting of Jesus.  She had the best tools to work with.  She had the best paints of a variety of colors.  She had the best canvas that was brought to her.  She wanted the materials to be the very best as she was going to paint the face of the person who would save her and her people from their sins. The king allowed her to use a room in the palace to paint.

Atarah worked for weeks on her painting.  Occasionally, the prophet and his wife would come and view the progress.  The king and the queen would come in to look at the painting.  Anytime anyone would come and look at the painting, they would feel reverence and awe for their Savior.

Finally, Atarah finished the painting.  It was magnificent!  It was holy!  It was placed in a sacred area where many could come and view it.  Those who looked upon it were filled with the spirit and hope that Jesus would actually come and Atone for their sins as was prophesied by the prophets.

Atarah continued to paint pictures of Jesus.  She painted many different pictures of his life and his mission.  She painted pictures of his suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross.  She painted pictures of his resurrection and his visits to his apostles in Jerusalem and visits to the inhabitants of the place she lived.  She also painted pictures of Jesus in the latter-days and the millennium.  Her paintings and drawings were well-known and many would travel great distances to see her paintings.

Eber–Keyboards

We loved music!  We had many different instruments, some similar to the one you use, but most were different because of our different technologies.  We had keyboards, not like pianos that you have now, but similar.

Music is universal and musical notes are universal.  This is one area where Heavenly Father has kept the music pure.  You notice that everything with music has a pattern, the notes, how music is notated.  We notated pretty much the same that you do now.  We had sharps and flats, but called them by different names.

I made and played a piano-type instrument.  It didn’t have quite as many keys as your current piano.  I played concerts for many people, and kings and queens, and prophets and prophetesses!  We had many different styles of music as there were many very talented musicians and composers throughout our history.