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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Spiritual Goliaths

I have recently recommitted to my goals for weight-loss. After several difficult months, I had let these aspirations become pushed to the back burner, but now I am feel ready to again face my "Goliath."

Speaking of Goliath, today as I studied the scriptures, I chose to read the account of the young shepherd boy who conquered his literal giant. After digesting the scriptural account, I found an amazing article by President Monson: "Meeting Your Goliath," from 1987.

"There was one, however, who did not quake with fear nor run in alarm. Rather, he stiffened the spine of Israel’s soldiers by his piercing question of rebuke toward them: “Is there not a cause? … Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (1 Sam. 17:19, 32.)

As I look to the future and think of my righteous desire for a healthier body and lifestyle, I can't help but repeat David's words in my mind: "Is there not a cause?" YES! I KNOW that Heavenly Father stands ready to help me if I will allow His love to heal me. I KNOW that as I grow healthier, He will bless my life and the lives of those around me. I KNOW that as I lose the weight, I will live a longer life, and have countless opportunities to do good with my new-found energy. I WILL NOT let my heart fail me because of Satan's lies: that I cannot do this and that I am not worth the effort. I will go and fight with this "Philistine."

President Monson said: "Is there a Goliath in your life? Is there one in mine? Does he stand squarely between you and your desired happiness? Your Goliath may not carry a sword or hurl a verbal challenge of insult that all may hear and force you to decision. He may not be ten feet tall, but he likely will appear equally as formidable. . . The giant you face will not diminish in size nor in power or strength by your vain hoping, wishing, or waiting for him to do so. Rather, he increases in power as his hold upon you tightens. . . The battle for our souls is no less important that the battle fought by David. The enemy is no less formidable, the help of Almighty God no farther away. What will our action be? Like David of old, “our cause is just.” We have been placed upon earth not to fail or fall victim to temptation’s snare, but rather to succeed."

"David went to the brook and carefully selected five smooth stones with which he might meet his enemy. He was deliberate in his selection, for there could be no turning back, no second chance—this battle was to be decisive."

"Just as David went to the brook, well might we go to our source of supply—the Lord. What polished stones will you select to defeat the Goliath that is robbing you of your happiness by smothering your opportunities? May I offer suggestions:"

1. The stone of COURAGE will be essential to your victory. As we survey the challenges of life, that which is easy is rarely right. In fact, the course that we should properly follow appears at times impossible, impenetrable, hopeless.

2. Next, I select the stone of EFFORT—mental effort and physical effort. The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Ladder of St. Augustine.”)

3. Then there must be in our selection the stone of HUMILITY, for haven’t we been told through divine revelation that when we are humble, the Lord, our God, will lead us by the hand and give us answer to our prayers?

4. And who would go forth to battle his Goliath without the stone of PRAYER, remembering that the recognition of a power higher than oneself is in no way debasing; rather, it exalts.

5. Finally, let us choose the stone of LOVE OF DUTY. Duty is not merely to do the thing we ought to do, but to do it when we should, whether we like it or not. . . "

Armed with this selection of five polished stones to be propelled by the mighty sling of faith, we need then but take the staff of virtue to steady us, and we are ready to meet the giant Goliath, wherever, and whenever, and however we find him.

Above all else, may we ever remember that we do not go forth alone to battle the Goliaths of our lives. As David declared to Israel, so might we echo the knowledge, “The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give [Goliath] into our hands” (1 Sam. 17:47) (Thomas S. Monson, "Meeting Your Goliath," Liahona, May 1987).

You can view this article in its entirety at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=c93a8b5c1dbdb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=f318118dd536c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD


jnkeller said...

I love this article! It's very much needed in my life right now! I think my Goliath (at least one of them) is this adoption process. I hate the waiting and the unknown! It's good to know we're not facing this alone!

K Walton said...

I know! What a comfort that is! I agree with you that waiting is the WORST! Sometimes I wish someone would just tell me exactly what to expect in life, but in reality, I know that life's unexpected moments make it richer. Thanks Nicole! We'll keep praying that things will work out for you guys!