Lesson 28 I've actually given this lesson a subtitle.
While Decker was alive, we were together in the Mesa Temple and while waiting for a session to start, I said a prayer. While praying, I was shown a vision of my holding our newborn son. He looked just like Decker. He was dressed in white, but what confused me about the vision was that I was also dressed in white. But I didn't care, I had this beautiful little boy in my arms and he would be ours. For all eternity.
Then, out of the blue, Decker died.
Shortly afterwards, I was visiting with a few of Deckers family and I told them about the vision. I was told by one of the family that it was nice, but it will never happen. When Decker comes back, he will be resurrected and his body will no longer be capable of fathering a child.
I was devastated with these words. And angry. I felt set up by God.
I went to the Lord, in tearful prayer, asking Him why He would give me this blessing, knowing full well He would never make good on the promise behind it.
The Lord understood my pain, and very lovingly sent me a message I still use in my life today:
"Why are you placing limits on what God can do?"
While the story behind the message doesn't altogether pertain to this lesson, the message from the Lord does.
When we meet Elijah, he has already lived a full life. Not only was he called as the Lord's prophet, he had already partaken of all of the ordinances required by God to hold the keys of sealing through the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood. We don't know anything of parentage, we also don't know if he ever married or had children. However, it is also apparent that this did not hold him back in the slightest from the work God had for him.
There are pieces of his ministry that mirror that of Moses, however the difference that decides his ministry is the fact that Israel was in the bondage of sin and had no desire to leave that bondage (vs. the bondage of slavery in Egypt at the time of Moses).
Beginning the ministry: The Fast
All holy ministries begin with fasting: Moses, Elijah and Christ are those that are most notable. It's a way to cleanse the body of spiritual toxins as well as the physical.
Following this fast - where much guidance was probably given to Elijah as to what the Lord wanted him to do, God has Elijah declare a "fast" (or drought) for Israel. God wants Israel to worship Him, and has sent in the big guns to do it.
Elijah seals the heavens from rain, according to the word of the Lord.
During the course of the drought, Elijah's water supply dried up and the birds feeding him must move to places not affected by the drought. Elijah was sent to a widow, who had prepared herself and her young son to die. Elijah is sent to one of God's holy widows, one who was willing to give the last of her food to a stranger - living the Law of Consecration.
Elijah then performs more miracles - this time challenging false priests worshiping the god Baal. The priests find nothing in a false god, while Jehovah uses fire to consume the sacrifice, the wood it laid upon, the 12 stones (representing the 12 tribes of Israel) comprising the altar as well as the water used to make the sacrifice harder to burn. The people witnessing this finally bowed in praise for God.
Water and fire for a sacrifice - could this also be symbolic of the water and spiritual fire for cleansing? Had this truly converted the people, think of what could have happened with the people: a prophet with the sealing power to bind families, including the widow of Zarephath.
Once everything had been consumed and the people bowed and praised God, Elijah unsealed the heavens and brought rain.
Did this last, though? No. They had not been truly converted in their hearts and Jezebel sought Elijah's life. Once again he was in hiding, fasting and praying for peace after telling the Lord he was ready to give up and asking to die.
The Lord, through the Holy Ghost, provided instruction for Elijah. While there were many still living in sin, there were some who were not worshipping Baal. They worshiped the true God. 1Kings 19:18
Given the state of the world today, this is a message we could all use.