Sunday, March 23, 2008

I See… an Easter Feast

Easter is for feasting, right? Not your run-of-the-mill lasagna-and-salad meal, but three types of meat, vegetables sautéed in sauces you can’t pronounce, and a day that develops so slow that you find time for several turns at the dinner table. Feasts are more satisfying when you’re hungry.

The Easter feast I’m thinking about today is a little different. This was a feast 17 years ago, when my soul hungered for a deeper testimony of the Savior and a closer connection with my Heavenly Father. It was the same hunger that tortured the yearning souls of Enos and the boy prophet Joseph Smith. In my case, I was a young father with a young wife and a young kid, and I had to make a career-defining choice. I needed to feast on the word, because, as we all know from reading Nephi’s words, “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”

I took a day off of work, grabbed my favorite bag of mint chocolate chips, a comfortable pillow and a sturdy camp blanket, and found a small patch of cleared ground enveloped by a cradle of tall trees facing a small pond a couple of miles away from home. I also left that morning with the last book of Bruce R. McConkie’s immortal six-volume “Messiah Series,” 3219 pages of raw testimony and straight doctrine on the pre-mortal, mortal, and millennial Christ. He was an apostle who spoke with more power and authority than any other non-prophet personality of my generation. Since Christmas, I had read the other five volumes throughout the day between work and ward clerk business and diaper changes with an uncommon tenacity and dedication they may have scared my wife into thinking I knew something she didn’t: was the second coming of the Savior really so close that Richard was cramming for a “final exam?”

Not hardly. It was merely a case of productive spiritual hypnotism; I was under the trance of McConkie’s moving memoirs of his lifelong love of the Living Christ, and now the almost daily late-night dates with the first five volumes was not enough; hence, my plan to read all day long in an isolated, uninterrupted setting, surrounded by God’s creations, and gorge myself on the glories of God’s love for man, the gift of His Son.

There aren’t words to describe what happened next. All I can do is explain the results. Other than an occasional gentle breeze massaging my face and small, random infusions of mint chocolate, I was consumed in racing through the last 720 pages of doctrine and testimony on the Second Coming. Other than pausing from my reading marathon every once in a while to check in with my physical senses and remind myself I was still in mortality, time and space were temporarily suspended and I was completely wrapped up in the life and love of my Savior. I came home that evening spiritually fat and satisfied that at least, for that moment, there was nothing more I could do to know Him better.
There's no need to talk about the decision I made, because it’s significance pales in comparison to the process I went through to make it. Feasting on the word of God is the most satisfying method for feeding the soul. When is the last time you lost yourself in the Savior’s love by feasting on his word?

No comments:

Post a Comment