11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
In the parable it uses the phrase “ he came to himself.” Then the teacher asked..."What does it mean to come to oneself?" Here were a few of the answers...
*wasn’t thinking clearly before but now realize what blessings you have
*gaining an understanding that you are a child of God
* a realization of blessings that had been available
* a desire to come back / repent
Change can be hard at times. It’s easy to become complacent and comfortable with our current conditions and situation. Then she compared our testimonies to a story from her family that went something like this...
Last month, I went camping with my family. Normally, my husband takes full responsibility for the fire. But this time, I asked if I could. I had learned how in Girls Camp, but haven’t used that skill since. I wanted to revive my skills when I had someone who could guide me.
I did well setting up the kindling. (Okay, I also cheated and used fire starter.) My matches were a little old. It took a few matches before I was able to get a spark and light the kindling. Then I thought I could sit back and enjoy the fire. But Scott gave me a look. The look that said, aren’t you going to do something else. When he realized I didn’t know what he was referring to, he told me: fire needs to be continually attended to and rekindled. I needed to be adding logs, and rearranging the wood as necessary to keep the flame going.
In many ways, my campfire is similar to our spiritual lives. It is up to us to foster an environment where those sparks can take light. At the same time, our flame needs constant attention, otherwise, it will dwindle.
It’s possible that we have had a strong flame at some point, but it has died down? We could be going through a trial which shakes our faith, and makes it harder for us to discern the Spirit in our lives. Or perhaps we have sinned, or have not put sufficient effort into maintaining our spiritual strength. It’s also possible that we give off the appearance of being strong, when actually our testimonies are very weak?
I loved the analogy that she gave, that is so true. I feel like when I go to church that my testimony is strengthened by those who share theirs with me, from the lessons and scriptures that are taught, from the examples that I see and especially from the wonderful spirit that I feel there. I feel like my fire has been relit or at least attended too regularly and well, when I go to church each week.
What a great way to keep that fire of testimony and devotion to the Lord burning. It truly is up to us to make sure that that fire and desire to do what's right, is attending to and burning brightly!
It was a great lesson and one I seriously needed, here are some more scriptures that I think went well with today's lesson...