Sunday, June 19, 2016

Land of my Fathers: Holy Land

Very touched reading Isaiah passages in Second Nephi last night. 
For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
And the people shall take them and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and they shall return to their lands of promise. And the house of Israel shall possess them, and the land of the Lord shall be for servants and handmaids; and they shall take them captives unto whom they were captives; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall give thee rest, from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve. (2 Nephi 24:1-3, cf., Isaiah 14).
Now, I'm well aware that original context is Babylonian captivity and even because of that some scholars say that Isaiah may not have even written it or whatever. That doesn't really matter to me because it spoke something else in my own context to me. Or the Spirit "likened it unto" me. Or something like that.

All I could think about was that I am going back to Wales, returning to my Land of Promise. I've been once, so that's technically correct. And I feel that I am fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy in my own context that I, and even the modern Welsh, some of whom are my distant cousins, have "rest from [our] sorrow, and from [our] fear, and from the hard bondage wherein" our fathers and mothers were "made to serve."

Economic opportunities aren't the greatest is some of the Valleys, but at least most pits and furnaces are closed and the Valleys have returned to more green. And the people thrive with new opportunities with higher standards of living in a more modern, more socially responsible, post-industrial world.

I know I worry too much, even about spiritual things, so I should just calm down and "go with the flow" of the Spirit. But I do worry that as I will be in Merthyr First Ward on Fast Sunday that I'm going to stand up and say something stupid like some visiting bozo from Utah getting all emotional about my ancestral connections. Yeesh!

What I really want to do is stand and ask for a show of hands.

"Any Vaughans out there? Watkinses? Anybody named Jenkins? Price? Lewis? Powell?"

Maybe I'll just wait and hang out in Sunday School and High Priests.

And we won't be working for any Babylonian taskmasters in the pits or furnaces. Only visiting as tourists.

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