Prayer Is the Soul’s Sincere Desire

For our opening hymn on Sunday, we sang “Prayer is the Soul’s Sincere Desire”. This is one of my favourite hymns. I find it so poetic, and parts of it really resonate with me.

The phrase “prayer is the burden of a sigh” brings to mind all those times when praying where I felt stress and burdens melt away.

“The upward glancing of an eye” reminds me of all those times I looked to heaven and said a quick, silent prayer before a talk, or presentation, or entering a home to counsel someone.

I think my favourite verse, however, is the fourth:

Prayer is the contrite sinner’s voice,
Returning from their way,
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, “Behold, he prays!”

Oh, to imagine the angels rejoicing when my family members and close friends decided to turn back to God!

It is no wonder the suggestion in the hymnal is to sing this song peacefully.

Age of Lehi

I have always pictured Lehi as someone who was old. Perhaps part of that is all the LDS art I have seen portraying him. All the ones I have seen show him with long, grey hair and a long, grey beard. I read something the other day that made me question that idea.

Shortly after arriving in the Promised Land, Lehi blessed his children. Many people believe that Lehi died shortly after this, but in 2 Ne 4:12, we learn that Lehi “waxed old” after the blessings and before he died. Presumably, it was a significant enough period between the blessings and his death for Nephi to point out that his father grew old.

By the time the Nephites and Lamanites separate, it had been 30 years since they left Jerusalem (2 Ne 5:28), which means that Lehi was at least 30 years younger when he left than when he died.

If we assumed He was 75 when he died, that would have put him in his 40s when Joseph and Jacob were born, which is certainly believable. There is no indication that there is any parallel between the birth of Joseph and Jacob and the birth of Isaac to Abraham and Sarah.

In 1 Ne 2:6, we read that Nephi was “exceedingly young”, presumably a teenager or a preteen, again supporting the idea that Lehi was in his 30s or 40s when they left Jerusalem.

Playing God: What Would You Do?

Let’s say there is an opening at a company and two people are being considered.

The first is a woman. She has very little of the skills and experience they are asking for, but she has a university degree like the ad asked for, but not in the field requested. She is raising two small girls with her husband. She is recently graduated with a college diploma in an area related to the position, but previously spent 20 years as a teacher. This will be her first full-time job since graduating from the college a year ago (she has been doing freelance until now).

The second is a man. His skillset and experience are broad enough for the position qualifications, but maybe not deep enough. He has no university degree. He is raising four children with his wife. His has been working with the company in another department for over nearly 10 years, and does part of the duties the new position would be taking over. He is about 10 years younger than the first candidate, and he asked for $10,000 more per year in salary expectations (but it is the same amount the company pays him now).

You are God, and both candidates are praying to you, asking that they get the job.

Whom do you bless with the job?