As recently as last year, if you would have asked me for my least favorite book in the Book of Mormon, I would have said, without hesitation, “Jarom.” I don’t think I’m alone, because as I searched for a picture for this post, I couldn’t find a single picture of Jarom! (If you find one, please tell me!)
Lately though, I’ve been loving Jarom. Have you noticed the powerful phrases contained in this book? Here are a couple I’ve been pondering lately (among other powerful Jarom one-liners).
“As many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit” (Jarom 1:4)
What does the phrase, “Have communion with the Holy Spirit” mean? It’s a question worth asking, because as you can see from this graph, we use the word “communion” a lot less than we did in the days when the Book of Mormon was translated.
The dictionary defines communion as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.”
Thinking about this causes me to ask myself, “How often am I exchanging intimate thoughts and feelings with the Holy Ghost.” One of my favorite quotes is from President Henry B. Eyring suggests that we might all need more communing with the Spirit than we did previously:
“As the forces around us increase in intensity, whatever spiritual strength was once sufficient will not be enough. And whatever growth in spiritual strength we once thought was possible, greater growth will be made available to us. Both the need for spiritual strength and the opportunity to acquire it will increase at rates which we underestimate at our peril.”
What do I need to be doing to more fully commune with the Holy Spirit?
“Look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was” (Jarom 1:11)
I never noticed this verse until I read Adam Miller’s An Early Resurrection. His book (highly recommended!) has prompted me to think more about how my life would be different if I were living my life now as though Christ were already here. If the Second Coming were yesterday, how would I behave today? If I knew that Christ was going to be at sacrament meeting, would I show up a little earlier? Prepare a little more? Have a completely different spirit about me? If Christ was right next to me, would I be a little kinder in my home?
Miller writes, “For the Nephites, the temptation was to think that Christ only belonged to the future. For me, the temptation is to think that Christ only belongs to the past (or, again, to some future world). Either way, the temptation is to think that Christ does not belong to the present. But a past or future Christ is not enough. It is not enough for me to believe in the past or future idea of Christ. To be Christian, I have to learn how to share my life with Christ in the present” (p. 3).
How can I believe in Christ to come as though he already was? Now that’s a question worth communing with the Holy Spirit about.