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New Testament Sunday School Lesson 31: "And So Were the Churches Established in the Faith"

by | Sep. 17, 2015

Lesson Helps

BE CONSTRAINED BY THE SPIRIT

There is a difference between constrained and restrained.  Here the Spirit, by means of a vision, tells Paul where to go and preach. 

“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.  And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.  Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course...” (Acts 16:9-11).

Notice that after seeing the vision, Paul tried immediately to make the journey.  They departed and came to their destination "with a straight course . . ."  What a useful lesson.  When the Spirit says, "Move," we ought to move immediately and in a straight course.  Call your home teaching family. Visit your neighbor in the hospital. Write a letter to your Aunt Matilda. The following account is a nice illustration of how this ought to work"

“While sitting in the meeting, listening to the preaching, being much interested in what was being said, the Spirit of the Lord came upon me, and revealed that I was to visit the minister of the Anti‑Masonic party, Judge Cushing, and tell him of his foolishness and wickedness in increasing the spirit of division between those who ought to be united as brethren in one common interest. It rained hard at the time, and feeling rather taken up with the preaching, I thought I would delay until the close of the meeting. This mission to me was a very hard task. How was I, a man from the thrashing‑floor, to reprove a minister, and, moreover, a judge? But a few minutes had scarcely elapsed, before the Word of the Lord came to me again, with greater power than before, that I was to go at once! I had covenanted with the Lord, and I felt determined to fulfill, if it killed me; so I sprang to my feet, took my hat, and departed from the meeting” (Benjamin Brown Testimonies For The Truth (1853), p.3).

Here is another illustration.

“Amidst the terrible hostilities in Missouri that would put the Prophet in Liberty Jail and see thousands of Latter‑day Saints driven from their homes, Sister Drusilla Hendricks and her invalid husband, James, who had been shot by enemies of the Church in the Battle of Crooked River, arrived with their children at a hastily shaped dugout in Quincy, Illinois, to live out the spring of that harrowing year.
Within two weeks the Hendrickses were on the verge of starvation, having only one spoonful of sugar and a saucerful of cornmeal remaining in their possession. In the great tradition of LDS women, Drusilla made mush out of it for James and the children, thus stretching its contents as far as she could make it go. When that small offering was consumed by her famished family, she washed everything, cleaned their little dugout as thoroughly as she could, and quietly waited to die.
Not long thereafter the sound of a wagon brought Drusilla to her feet. It was their neighbor Reuben Allred. He said he had a feeling they were out of food, so on his way into town he had a sack of grain ground into meal for them.
Shortly thereafter Alexander Williams arrived with two bushels of meal on his shoulder. He told Drusilla that he had been extremely busy but the Spirit had whispered to him that ‘Brother Hendricks' family is suffering, so I dropped everything and came [running]’" (Cited by Jeffrey R. Holland, "A Handful of Meal and a Little Oil," Ensign, May 1996, 31).

When the Spirit whispers to constrain us to a particular course of action, the idea ought to be to drop everything and come running.


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