Thursday, December 18, 2008

RS Enrichment

About 3 weeks ago, I was asked to do a part in our ward's Relief Society Enrichment. They wanted me to do a Chautauqua as a Nephite woman at the time of the Savior's birth. They wanted 10 minutes. I procrastinated. This was not easy for me. I like to perform, I don't like to prepare the dialogue, etc. for my performance. One time, I tried out for an LDS movie company. I was supposed to have a monologue to perform. I procrastinated that until I made a fool of myself in front of the judges. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I must have learned a little from that experience. At least I didn't have to memorize this. So, I even wore a little costume and sang a song. I guess it went well, I got compliments. But, sometimes I don't count compliments that come from church members. They might just be trying to be nice. I mean, what else would they say - "eh, that was Okay." Anyway, I thought I'd share what I wrote as my part, because reading it aloud made me cry, and it doesn't hurt to think a little more about what it was really like. I don't know if I've ever really thought about that before now. It's made me a little more aware of the reason for the season.

I know this is long, bear with it, or skip it - I'll never know! =)

In the 86th year a Lamanite prophet came to our city, Zarahemla. His name was Samuel. The people were pretty wicked then, and they wanted him to leave. They didn’t want to hear what he had to say. Nobody wants to be reminded of the things they are doing wrong. But, Samuel stayed. And the things he prophesied were great. I wasn’t there that day. I was doing what I do most days. Cleaning, cooking, caring for my brothers and sisters. That’s my responsibility as the oldest female of our family. But, my father and brother were there. They listened to his words and felt the power and truth of them. They believed and so sought Nephi. When they found him they confessed unto him their sins and desired to be baptized. After they told me, I too, chose baptism.
One of my favorite parts of Samuel's prophecies was about the birth of the Son of God. He said it would happen in 5 years, and that a sign of the birth would be great lights in heaven. Also, that the night before his birth, there would be no darkness. That is would appear as day - we would see the rising and setting of the sun, but nevertheless the night would not be darkened. We were to know that this would be the night before he was born. He also said that a new star would arise, one we had never before beheld. I often spend some of my evening watching the stars, wondering where the new star will be, and if I will be able to tell it from the others.
Nephi has continued to baptize, prophesy, preach, cry repentance, show signs and wonders, even working miracles. That others would believe and know that the Christ must shortly come. I listen to him as often as I can get away. I want to remember these prophecies so that when they happen I can be a witness. Many have believed, but more have not. The wicked, who would not be softened to Samuel's words, tried to kill him. And more and more often, those of us who do believe, are persecuted by the nonbelievers. It is now the 92nd year. And in the last few years there have been great signs and wonders. The words of the prophets have begun to be fulfilled. Angels have appeared to wise men and declared glad tidings of great joy. But the nonbelievers have hardened their hearts and say, “Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.” They also say that IF there really was a Christ and he is the Son of God, then why not appear to us, why only Jerusalem? They call it a wicked tradition to believe in such things. My heart tells me I am right to believe. And because of my belief and that of the other believers, we are persecuted.
Something hard to believe has happened, though. Greater signs and greater miracles are happening among the people! It’s incredible to witness. But, this does not soften the hearts of the wicked. They say that the time is past and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled. They rejoice in these thoughts. I sometimes worry that this may be true, but I’ve still watched steadfastly for the day and the night and the day which should be as one day as if there were no night.
The nonbelievers said that tomorrow we would all be put to death if the sign did not come to pass. Our prayers have mingled with those of Nephi. He has been praying all day, and the word has finally come to us that this is the night! And that tomorrow the Savior will come into the world! I feel relief and then joy. It’s really going to happen! And now, instead of fearing my death on the morrow, I feel as though my life has just begun.
It is time now, for the setting of the sun. We would be preparing for bed soon, cleaning up from our evening meal. Instead, we sit and watch. The sun has set. And it is still light. Oh, how does one sleep on a night such as this!? A part of me feels like laughing - we were right! We believed the prophecies and they have come true! Others will surely believe us now. They know that the prophecies are coming true, now. Look, they fall to earth in astonishment. I’m grateful that I don’t feel astonished, that I had hope and now feel joy. I feel peace, also. This is the birth of the Savior! The Christ! The one who will save us from our sins! I feel in my heart that I’ve always known this truth. Always known he would come. I wonder, too, why now? Why do I get to witness this great event? Why not my mother? But then, maybe she is witnessing in her own way tonight.
It is as bright as noon-day. And now the sun rises. This is the day that the Savior will be born. No chores today, who could concentrate on them? Our lives have been spared in more ways than one, this day. And see the new star in the sky?! It is so much brighter than the rest, I could not miss it! Each time I see it I will be reminded of this glorious occasion.
And even though there are many spreading lies, trying to get us to disbelieve what we have seen and witnessed, we still believe. And many others have joined us. Nephi continues to teach us and there is peace in the land again. And peace in our hearts as we imagine that Savior child and the good he will do for us all.

Here is a link to where I got the song I sang. Scroll down to the song titled "On the Morrow He Comes" and click on the music note on the left side to listen.


Hanna said...

Liz-You did such a beautiful job that night. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go or not, but I had a neat experience while you were singing and I was so grateful I had gone! I LOVE Ben's response to Kannon!

Teri said...

Thanks for sharing your Nephite Woman script with us. That was great and helped me think more about the Savior. Merry Christmas.