Aside from feeling like skim milk who mistakenly got bottled up with the cream of the crop, this week has been wonderfully busy and lots of fun. Last night we all went to the Western Wall at sundown for the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath. Hundreds of nicely-dressed men with smiles as obvious and their kippas grabbed each other’s shoulders and marched into the square singing and dancing, celebrating the beginning of Sabbath. It made me ask myself why I am not that happy when the Sabbath arrives each week. Then I went to the women’s side of the wall, where women of every kind were praying diligently or reciting Hebrew scriptures aloud. Everyone had walked there, because they don’t drive on the Sabbath. There were beautiful young mothers with their babies in strollers who had made the effort to come. Farther from the wall, there were younger women singing and dancing in large circles. We linked arms with them and joined in. The Spirit was there and you could almost taste the happiness that was thick in the air. I loved being there with so many devoted people! I could type two more pages about this experience.
Yesterday in my Old Testament class we had another wonderful lesson. We read the story of Joseph who was sold into Egypt. We talked about how he is a type of Christ. The comparisons are incredible! Anyway, one thing I really liked was the lesson that sometimes blessings do not immediately flow from obedience. Joseph fled from Potiphar’s wife, the righteous thing to do. He was then put into prison after being falsely accused. He could have wondered why the Lord didn’t bless him for this righteousness, just like Joseph Smith or the pioneers could have questioned, too. In hindsight we know that he was greatly blessed for his obedience—he was brought as high as he could go and blessed beyond anticipation. The same thing will probably happen to all of us—we will not see blessings immediately flowing from an act of obedience. Keep in mind “these things will be but a small moment” and in the eternal scheme of things obedience always brings the greatest happiness.
|One day a few of us went out for lunch and explored Zedekiah's cave, which is a quarry under the city they used to get stone to build Solomon's temple.|