Shadows Walking (A Book of Hours 1)
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He was given a knowledge of the resurrection, and of the Redeemer, and he knew that although he should die yet should he, in the latter days, see his Redeemer on the earth [see Job —26 ]. The temptations to which he was subjected showed that he valued these heavenly considerations above everything else.
We may have to continue to be subjected to many conditions that are disagreeable. By them we are enabled to show the angels that we love the things of God better than the things of the world. Many of you may have severe trials, that your faith may become more perfect, your confidence be increased, your knowledge of the powers of heaven be augmented; and this before your redemption takes place.
I feel, my brethren and sisters, to exhort you with heartfelt expression. Be honest, be virtuous, be honourable, be meek and lowly, courageous and bold, cultivate simplicity, be like the Lord; hold to the truth though through fire or sword, torture or death. From the time of our receiving the Gospel to the present, the Lord has from time to time given us trials and afflictions, if we may so call them; and sometimes these trials have been of that nature that we have found it very difficult to receive them without murmur and complaint.
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Yet at such times the Lord blessed us and gave us sufficient of His Spirit to enable us to overcome the temptations and endure the trials. Every man and woman who serves the Lord, no matter how faithful they may be, have their dark hours; but if they have lived faithfully, light will burst upon them and relief will be furnished. He will give us knowledge upon knowledge, intelligence upon intelligence, wisdom upon wisdom.
May God add his blessing upon this people. When we contemplate what the Lord has done for us in the past, our present surroundings, and our future prospects, what a blest people we are!
I have thought sometimes that one of the greatest virtues the Latter-day Saints could possess is gratitude to our Heavenly Father for that which He has bestowed upon us and the path over which He has led us. It may be that walking along in that path has not always been of the most pleasant character; but we have afterwards discovered that those circumstances which have been very unpleasant have often proved of the highest advantage to us.
Every trial a man goes through, if he is faithful in that trial and does honor to God and his religion he has espoused, at the end of that trial or affliction that individual is nearer to God, nearer in regard to the increase of faith, wisdom, knowledge and power, and hence is more confident in calling upon the Lord for those things he desires. I have known individuals who have trembled at the idea of passing through certain ordeals who after they were through the temptation have said they could approach the Lord in more confidence and ask for such blessings as they desired.
We have every reason to rejoice and to be full of joy and satisfaction, notwithstanding the difficulties that surround us. And how far have we advanced, how much knowledge have we obtained and how much more are we able to bear now than one, two or five years ago, and are we able to stand more now than a few years ago?
The Lord has strengthened us and increased us in our growth. Like the infant, when it grows up it knows not how it received gradual strength and the manner in which it increased in stature. It is larger this year than last. So in regard to our spiritual advancement. We feel stronger today than we did a year ago. The sacrifices you have made, the hardships you have endured and the privations you have suffered will … sink into insignificance, and you will rejoice that you have obtained the experience which they have furnished. Consider these ideas as you study the chapter or as you prepare to teach.
For additional help, see pages v—vii. Ponder the account on pages — How were many of the Saints in this account able to be happy despite their suffering? What can we do to encourage people who are experiencing trials? In what ways should we respond to trials and temptations? For some examples, see pages — How does the Lord help us in times of trial?
Read the last section in this chapter. What have you gained from the challenges you have experienced? Look for one or two statements in this chapter that give you hope. What do you appreciate about the statements you have chosen? Consider ways you might share these truths with a family member or friend who needs encouragement.
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Teaching Help: Consider contacting a few participants in advance, asking them to prepare to share experiences that relate to the chapter. For example, before teaching from this chapter, it may be helpful to ask a few people to prepare to talk about what they have learned from their trials. And I still dont know if I am an eagle or a storm or a great song.
I may not ever complete the last one, But I give myself to it. I circle around God, that primordial tower. I have been circling for thousands of years, And I still don't know: am I a falcon, A storm, or a great song? I know you're all alone in that room. If you should be thirsty, there's no one to get you a glass of water. I wait listening, always. Just give me a sign! I'm right here Each thing each stone, blossom, child is held in place. Only we, in our arrogance, push out beyond what we each belong to for some empty freedom.
If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees. So like children, we begin again to learn from the things, because they are in God's heart; they have never left him. This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Break off my arms, I shall take hold of you and grasp you with my heart as with a hand; arrest my heart, my brain will beat as true; and if you set this brain of mine afire, upon my blood I then will carry you. It was not pleasure you fell into.
It was joy. You were called to be bridegroom, though the bride coming toward you is your shame.
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What chose you is the great desire. Now all flesh bares itself to you. On pious images pale cheeks blush with a strange fire. Your senses uncoil like snakes awakened by the beat of the tambourine. But now, like a whispering in dark streets, rumors of God run through your dark blood. Casual, easy, they move in the world as though untouched. But you take pleasure in the faces of those who know they thirst.
You cherish those who grip you for survival. The trees flee. Their flight sets the boulevards streaming. And you know: he whom they flee is the one you move toward.
All your senses sing him, as you stand at the window. The weeks stood still in summer.
Now you feel it wants to sink back into the source of everything. You thought you could trust that power when you plucked the fruit: now it becomes a riddle again and you again a stranger. Summer was like your house: you know where each thing stood. Now you must go out into your heart as onto a vast plain. Now the immense loneliness begins.
Rilke's Book of Hours Quotes
The days go numb, the wind sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves. Through the empty branches the sky remains. It is what you have.
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Be earth now, and evensong. Be the ground lying under that sky. Be modest now, like a thing ripened until it is real, so that he who began it all can feel you when he reaches for you. I want to know my own will and to move with it. And I want, in the hushed moments when the nameless draws near, to be among the wise ones— or alone.