Today's Favorite Verse: Ether 2:14-15
"And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.
And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And these are my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice above all other lands."
I have always been uncomfortable when people have said that the brother of Jared was chastened for not praying. It has never made sense to me that he would one day just stop doing that, and even more so over a 4 year period of time. The more I attend the temple I realize that a typical prayer to the Lord is not what is being talked about, when it says "he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord". In fact it doesn't even mention prayer here. I believe the brother of Jared, their spiritual leader was neglectful of kneeing at the alter and calling upon the name of the Lord in their behalf. He was guilty of not calling to mind the covenants they had made with the Lord in a holy prayer.
As I ponder on that it makes me think of temple attendance. How frequently does a person need to go? How often should we "call upon the name of the Lord". If the brother of Jared, their prophet and spiritual leader was guilty of not remembering to do it, how long had it been since he did? Is not attending the temple sin? It says it is. But so is not reading our scriptures daily a sin unto us. They are sins of omission, these are things that keep us in remembrance of the Lord. Without them the spirit will not strive with us and become a distant memory. Isn't it something that the Lord could chastise the brother of Jared and then spend three hours with him. That was not a man that wasn't prayerful and deserving, his sin was omission. The Lord loved him enough to chasten him to keep him on the path of righteousness.
The Jaredites at this point in time had been very busy gathering all the things the Lord had commanded them to put together for their trip north and then "across many waters" to the land of promise. Yeah, they got to busy to "go to the temple". There were very pressing things they needed to get done. How many times in my life have a I felt that way. Even last night I thought about rescheduling my Tuesday morning temple worship for another day. After all I go all the time, one week of missing it wouldn't hurt. Honestly, that was my thought last night. I decided it would hurt and went anyways with only 5 hrs of sleep, and it was wonderful. I sat in the celestial room and read this chapter. It really put these verses into context in my life.
Day 395 Tami Fitzgerald Harris