Yesterday we went on an interesting field trip to several outlook points over Jerusalem. We went Gibeah, which is the hometown of Saul, and where Jonathan and David pledged to be friends, and where David played the harp for King Saul.This is a view from the top of the Augsta Victoria Church of the Ascension, which is a beautiful tower at the highest point of the Mount of Olives which is the mountain Christ ascended into heaven from. About 5 miles beyond the tower in this picture is Bethlehem. The Church is a beautiful church with great acoustics, so we all sung some hymns in there.
Next door to the Jerusalem Center is the very large Hebrew University. We went in there and I got a taste of what it must feel like to be illiterate. No matter how long you stare at those hebrew words you'll never get more understanding. I was thankful, however, that they were playing Shania Twain in english in the bookstore! I couldn't help but sing along.
Today we had a GREAT lesson in my Old Testament class, which is by far my favorite class. We talked about the near sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. That happened on the top of Mount Moriah, which is now the Dome of the Rock (the gold building in the 2nd picture above). An Abrahamic sacrifice is any sacrifice we make when we are willing to give up something that is most important to us besides the Savior. Anything that we put before God, no matter how good or in-line with the gospel it is, can keep us from exaltation. Now whenever I see the Dome of the Rock, I'm reminded that I want nothing to stand in the way of me and God. I want Him to always be the most important thing in my life. When that perspective is clear, life is so much more simple, too.
It was a good reminder that God may give us trials to help us remember to put Him before anything else. It gave me a new perspective on trials. If we are willing to sacrifice what God asks of us, we will receive all and more than what we were willing to give up.