That’s not what I wanted

That’s not what I wanted

We make a lot of plans in life

The reality is… a lot of them don’t pan out.

My sister Jenny recently pointed out an interesting example of this in the Book of Mormon.

Looking for help

The people of Limhi were trying to escape slavery, and understandably they sent scouts to try to find their relatives.

Being grieved for the afflictions of my people, I caused that forty and three of my people should take a journey into the wilderness, that thereby they might find the land of Zarahemla, that we might appeal unto our brethren to deliver us out of bondage. (Mosiah 8:7)

Being grieved for the afflictions of my people…

What they found instead

Think of how disappointing it must have been when, instead of Zarahemla, they…

…were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days [and] discovered a land which was covered with bones of men, and of beasts, and was also covered with ruins of buildings of every kind… (Mosiah 8:8)

It’s kind of like when you’re hoping for a soulmate and find heartbreak, or for a pregnancy and get another period.

Disappointing is an understatement :(

Was there something more though?

While there they also found…

…twenty-four plates which are filled with engravings, and they are of pure gold. (Mosiah 8:9)

…twenty-four plates… filled with engravings… of pure gold

It was valuable (all that gold!), but may have kind of seemed like a consolation prize… even if they tried to use it to buy their freedom, their slave-drivers would just claim it as their own.

And what’s more, the records were in an undecipherable language — nope, not an escape plan :/

Our Heavenly Parents saw a bigger picture

They soon sent people from Zarahemla to free them :)

And 29 years later, the purpose of those 43 people getting lost in the desert was revealed when King Mosiah….

…translated and caused to be written the records which were on the plates of gold which… gave them much knowledge, in the which they did rejoice. (Mosiah 28:11, 18)

Then about 440 years later, Mormon abridged that translation down to only a “hundredth part“, which Joseph Smith translated into English another ~1400 years after that as part of the Book of Mormon.

So now that “hundredth part” is the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. It highlights a history beginning around 4,500 years ago and teaches about faith, the Savior, prophets, and salvation.

Ether finished his record… and he hid them in a manner that the people of Limhi did find them.

Words from those chapters have blessed my life personally multiple times — here are just a couple of my posts inspired by them: The wind did never cease, He touched the stones one by one.

But that’s not what they wanted!

I guess that’s how life often is… We know what we want, but our Heavenly Parents know what we and others need.

That’s not what I wanted!

Limhi’s experience with “that’s not what I wanted” was part of a plan spanning thousands of years with potential of impacting the whole world.

I think our wanderings may sometimes be like that too!

My recent HWN is recognizing that the purpose of disappointments may not be known for years, but the impact will be worth it!

p.s. An unexpected blessing from Coronavirus has been spending more time (3.5 weeks) at my parents place than I have in about 10 years! I recently got a drone and have enjoyed making some videos/photos while here :)

5 thoughts on “That’s not what I wanted

    1. Good timing with “Come, Follow Me”, right? :) The thoughts for this post actually started about a month ago, but I didn’t get around to posting it until this week.

  1. Looks like successful scriptural treasure hunting runs in the family! :-) Thanks as usual for great insights. :-)

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