Saturday, February 8, 2014


Southern California has been in a drought and the snow pack this winter is nearly non-existent.  This drought has caused many of my plants to whither and die.  My backyard looks like it has been scorched by fire.

Last month Latter-Day Saints were asked to pray for rain during our monthly fast this month.  Many did fast and pray for the relief of rain.  Last Sunday during Sacrament meeting many bore testimony of the blessings given by Heavenly Father when we are obedient to his commandments. 
Heavenly Father promises temporal and spiritual blessings when his people keep His commandments.  Israel was commanded to keep His Sabbaths and to reverence His Sanctuaries with blessings attached to those commandments:
"Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary:  I am the Lord.  If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit."
Leviticus 26:2-4
Besides keeping the Sabbath day holy, there are other commandments that bring forth abundant blessings.  Paying an honest tithe and a generous fast offering bring forth blessings.  We have been promised so much that we will not have room for it.  We have also been promised that we would not be burned if we pay our tithing.
Blessings come when we hearken to the counsel of our leaders.  Submitting to the counsel of our leaders to pray for rain shows obedience to the Lord's counsel and shows forth a sign of faith.
In Chapter 5 of Moses the Lord had commanded Adam and Eve and their children to offer the firstlings of their flocks.  Abel obeyed, but Cain heeded the words of Satan and offered the fruit of the ground.  The Lord did not accept Cain's offering because it was not done in the manner that was prescribed by the Lord.
"If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted.  And if thou does not well, sin lieth at the door"
Moses 5:22
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:  "Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock.  Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith.... Shedding the blood of the Only Begotten to atone for man ... was the plan of redemption;... and as the sacrifice was instituted for a type, by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared; to offer a sacrifice contrary to that, no faith could be exercised...; consequently Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not faith, is sin" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976, 58).
The Saints in Southern California humbled themselves and exercised faith in the counsel given by the Lord's servants to pray for rain.  The rain began slowly for us in Oxnard, California last Sunday as we attended our meetings.  The rain has continued off and on this past week.  Truly a blessing from the Lord.
This morning, Victor and I travelled to the Los Angeles Temple.  I observed the clouds continuing to gather and knew that we would be blessed with more rain.  After worshipping in the Lord's Sanctuary we travelled home to Oxnard and again noted the darkness in the sky as the gathering clouds grew thick with new rain.  As I type this blog there is a soft sprinkle falling from the sky.  The leaves and petals of the plants, shrubs and flowers in my front yard are quietly rejoicing as they are being cleansed and nourished this night.
We rejoice in the Tender Mercies of the Lord.  He hears and answers our prayers.  He knows our needs and grants us blessings when we are obedient and when we are willing to sacrifice our time, talents and means to bring about his great purposes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was an article on KSL news here in Utah about the ranchers asking for the people to fast for rain up here, so that's what we've been doing, too! I looked out at the rain yesterday and today, and was somewhat skeptical at first, and then thought, "Why not? Why wouldn't God answer my prayers, and the prayers of everyone else?" :D