last sunday i asked my girls what news stories their friends and parents are discussing – the economy. the presidential election. the bombings in mumbai. gang wars – i expected these answers. i helped them realize how using our time wisely and preparation, both physical and spiritual, can help us overcome fear. a list of names was behind me on the board: gandhi, the brother of jared, noah, neil armstrong, orville & wilbur wright, rosa parks, moses, nelson mandela, martin luther, john the baptist, susan b. anthony, jesus, helen keller, jackie robinson, jane austen, joseph smith, the founding fathers, beethoven, captain moroni, albert einstein, the pilgrims, mother teresa, michelangelo.
at the end of the lesson i brought their attention to this list. some took issue with the wright brothers sharing the same space as the likes of nelson mandela. others – saw what linked them all. they were all examples. when the time came, they all paved a way for something bigger, greater. some magnified their talents. others were righteous servants of the lord. essentially their souls yearned for service and their duty was clear. the discussion brought to mind a hymn we recently sang in church. a hymn i was less familiar with but felt a strong connection to:
thy spirit, Lord, has stirred our souls, and by its inward shining glow we see anew our sacred goals and feel thy nearness here below. no burning bush near sinai could show thy presence, lord, more nigh. “did not our hearts within us burn?” we know the Spirit’s fire is here. it makes our souls for service yearn; it makes the path of duty clear. Lord, may it prompt us, day by day, in all we do, in all we say. (text: frank iemke kooyman. thy spirit, lord, has stirred our souls)
this hymn is considered a closing prayer, a perfect “amen” to a spiritual meeting where we are acknowledging hearts truly have been touched and eyes opened. the congregation renews their commitment to this, the highest of spiritual goals. a spiritual experience as this song mentions is a private possession and through the words of a hymn becomes a personal testimony. two scriptural references are crucial: the burning bush and the road to emmaus – signifying that both times the Lord personally appeared and communicated directly with His followers under memorable and dramatic circumstances. in turn it is implied that we have had a comparable experience. (our latter-day hymns – the stories and the messages by karen lynn davidson)
remove my shoes before a burning bush?
and they all cried with one voice, saying: yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil , but to do good continually.