I finished up first Nephi where the main theme toward the end seems to be how the Lord will lead the righteous to the promised land.  He has promised to preserve it for the righteous' sake and none other will find it except if the Lord leads them there. 
    Some of my favorite verses come from Nephi quoting Isaiah.  In chapter 20 verse 10 (compared to Isaiah's ch 48) the Lord says "For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."  Nothing brings me more comfort in times of affliction than the Lord's reference to the refiner's fire.  At the end of this post I will give the reason in a short little story, but first I want to quote my other favorite verse from 21:16 - "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me."  How does the Lord remember each one of us always?  Well not only is He a God, but the Lord Jesus Christ has special reminders of us daily - He kept them with Him even through the resurrection when His body was to be restored to a perfect state:  those nail prints in his palms.  I truly know He remembers us always and His love is continually turned toward us to be received as long as we turn toward Him.
    Now one of my favorite stories as quoted from one of the first pages of the book In Quiet Desperation.

The Refiner's Fire
    Some time ago, a few women met in a certain city to study the scriptures.  While reading Malachi 3, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: 
    "And he shall sit a s a refiner and purifier of silver" (Malachi 3:3).
    One woman proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them on what he said about the subject.  She went accordingly, and without telling the object of her errand, begged the silversmith to tell her about the process of refining silver.  After he had fully described it to her, she asked, "But sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"
    "Oh, yes, madam," replied the silversmith.  "I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."
      The woman at once saw the beauty and comfort in the expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."  God sees it needful to put his children into a furnace.  His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and his wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for us.  Our trials do not come at random, and he will not let us be tested beyond what we can endure. 
    Before she left, the woman asked one final question.  "When do you know the process is complete?"
    "Why, that is quite simple," replied the silversmith.  "When I can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is finished." 

    Author Unknown
 


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