Feasting on the Word…
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not claim to understand every word, but I know it is the word by which we may receive spiritual nourishment, the pathway to our heavenly home. As the body needs vitamins, proteins, minerals, nourishment in great variety, to be of full health and strength, so do our spirits require the whole gospel of Jesus Christ, and not only those parts we might perceive most desirable to our tastes. The word of God is a meal, a great feast, that if we will receive with eagerness and gratitude we will find fullness in life and in the eternities to come.
They say, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make ‘em drink.” It was my experience as a human child that with sufficient incentives and patience one can make a little boy eat, or at least clean his plate. I was raised in a family where it was required that we eat everything that was put on our plates. There was no negotiation, no discussion, we were always required to eat our supper and drink our milk.
Nevertheless there were ways around the cleaning of one’s plate. My brothers, sisters, and I were glad that there were often small dogs under the table we could sneak food to. That method of food avoidance would usually work on an over cooked piece of roast. There were times though when not even the dog would be willing to eat some items from our plates. Then we would fill our mouths with green beans, or some other undesirable, as a child sees it, and seek excuse to go to the restroom. The key was making sure that you flush the toilet after you spit your food in it, otherwise you were always at risk of being discovered. I remember my siblings and I being discovered on more than one occasion using one method or another to avoid eating some food we did not like. Usually that meant an additional helping. Yum!!!
When Ezekiel was called upon by the Lord to serve as a prophet and testify of His word, he had a profound vision containing great meaning for his understanding. Before he heard the voice of the Lord, Ezekiel first witnessed a great brightness, to my understanding, an explosion of light and color, “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This,” as Ezekiel testified, “was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake” (Ezekiel 1:28).
As Ezekiel’s instruction from on High continued, he saw in vision as if the Lord had prepared a great meal from His word for Ezekiel to eat, and bade him to eat. The Lord said, “Open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.” And Ezekiel recounted, “When I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And He spread it before me; and it was written within and without.” The Lord commanded him to eat the roll and then speak the words of the Lord to his fellowman. “So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll. And He said unto me, ‘Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee.’ Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness” (Ezekiel 2:8-10, 3:1-3).
As the Lord invited Ezekiel to partake of His word, and by responding well to the invitation Ezekiel found the Lord’s word “honey for sweetness,” so are we invited to feast on the scriptures.
“…feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do”2 Nephi 32:3
The Prophet Nephi declared, “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).
This is one feast that you cannot be forced to eat. You can read the scriptures, you can hear to the words, but if you do not take them in, satisfying your hunger for truth, you will never know the true nourishment of soul that comes with the word of God. And so it is also, that you will not be able to declare the word in true form lest you first know the honey sweetness of it.
To Hyrum Smith the Lord counseled, “Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men” (Doctrine and Covenants 11:21).
“Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word,…”Doctrine and Covenants 11:21
The word of God is a meal we must consume, and we must feast willingly, not denying ourselves full nourishment, thinking ignorantly that some may be less desirable, and discarding it under the table to the dogs or in the toilet to be flushed away. If we will feast on the word of Christ we will know of its honey sweetness, and we will have the courage and power to declare them unto to all whom we shall have opportunity, even unto the convincing of men, that they too may know of its savor and sweetness.
May we know the Savior and His sweet mission by His word, returning to His presence with all who will hear the word by our sharing. Let us feast on the words of Christ and prepare also place at our table for all who would hear and feast with us. May we enjoy the supper of the Lord, His word divine, living in drought or famine no more, but feasting always to our fullness and joy, even unto basking in His light and glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.