2 Nephi 7
Not only do heroes believe in the Lord, they “stand together“ with the Lord. Isaiah assured us that “the Lord is near” and reminded us that we are the ones who step away from the Lord when we turn our backs on Him through sin or rebellion (see 2 Nephi 7:1, 5). We may feel alone or that the Lord has moved away from us because our actions displeased Him. Instead, the Lord asks us to remember how near He really is and how much He really wants to and can help us. “Wherefore, when I came, there was no man; when I called, yea, there was none to answer. O house of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or have I no power to deliver?” (2 Nephi 7:2). His hand is not shortened, it is stretched out waiting for us to take hold and stand together with Him.
The Lord loves us and wants us to be with Him forever. He doesn’t want us to walk alone or “in the darkness [with] no light.” “The Lord will help [us]” and assist us in our battles against the adversary if we will simply open our ears, answer His call, take His hand, and follow His light. He invites us to believe in Him and believe in His power to redeem and deliver us. Even if our belief is just small, like a spark, that’s enough to light our way back to Him and His everlasting kindness and mercy (see Isaiah 54:8). The instruction is clear: “kindle fire” with whatever sparks of belief we have. Or, as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland counseled: “fan the flame of your faith.”
We kindle our sparks of faith by choosing to do those things that keep us near the Lord and His light. Our consistent actions of faithful devotion and obedience increase our knowledge and understanding and fill us with truth and light (see Doctrine & Covenants 93:28). The Lord invites us to “compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled” (2 Nephi 7:11).
The simple acts of prayer, scripture study, and church attendance keep us standing near the Lord and walking in the light of our fire of faith. When we neglect these devotions of faith, we walk away from our fire leaving it untended and unfed so that it eventually dies out leaving us alone in the dark. Each time we choose to obey the Lord, we kindle more sparks of faith to add to our fire. When we disobey the Lord’s commands and reject His counsel, we essentially stamp out the flames of our faith. It is only with His help that we can repent and rekindle the flames so that we may walk in the light again. When we stand together with the Lord and with others who share our faith in Jesus Christ, we create a firewall to block out the winds of the adversary and his attempts to extinguish our fires of faith.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf invited us to stand together in his talk “Come, Join With Us.” He reminded us, “One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true. (See Hebrews 11:1; Alma 32:21.)
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. (See F. F. Bosworth, Christ the Healer (1924), 23.) We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
*What are you doing to stand together and be near the Lord?
*How did you surround yourself with gospel sparks or fan the flame of your faith today?
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