A Famine of Hearing the Words of the Lord

The prophet Amos prophesied of a day of future famine, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11). This prophecy was partially fulfilled after the death of Jesus and His apostles. His authority was lost from the earth and His words were changed – not all of them, but enough to leave people without a fullness. With the restoration of the gospel and priesthood authority, the words of the Lord once again went forth in purity. However, many in the world still suffer this spiritual famine. They willingly or unknowingly seal off their hearts and homes from the words of the Lord. The words of the Lord are ever-present but many will not hear them. Their homes become deserts without the waters of life that flow from the Lord and His anointed.

This can happen even within the membership of the church. And so I ask: is there a desert in your home? Are the words of the prophets in your homes? Is the spirit of revelation found there? Do you live the life you profess to live? Do you live the commands of the Lord and His living prophets? Is in your home a watered garden feeding and nurturing a tree of life or do you starve in a famine of hearing the words of the Lord? If you are experiencing a famine, what can you do to counter it?

There is one sure source of spiritual moisture – the Holy Ghost. Through the gentle yet piercing promptings and proddings of the Holy Ghost you can have your thirst sated. How often are you asking for this influence and nourishment in your life? Are you supplicating God in the name of Christ daily? Do you plead for forgiveness of your sins so that you might be better able to feel the influence of the Holy Ghost? If you used to pray frequently, do you do so now? “And now behold, I ask of you…have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?… And now behold, I say unto you…if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” (Alma 5:14,26). A one-time change of heart is not enough. King David was a man after the Lord’s heart but he made mistakes and sinned. The Lord requires life-long endurance.

Have you kept your home an oasis of life in the midst of a desert, or have you allowed the desert to encroach into your home? Do you allow the east wind to blow through your home, drying it out and filling it with scorching heat and suffocating sand? What influences do you allow in your home? Do you eschew evil, or is it embraced? Is your home built by the iron rod and upon a rocky foundation, or have you established a residence in the great and spacious building, which has no foundation? Do you live full-time in a holy house or do you keep a summer cottage in Babylon? Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated, “Even if we decide to leave Babylon, some of us endeavor to keep a second residence there, or we commute on weekends” (The Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, p.25).

Do you call upon God and plead with Him to abide in your home? Lowrie Hofford wrote this moving plea for comfort from Jesus:

“Abide with me; ’tis eventide.
The day is past and gone;
The shadows of the evening fall;
The night is coming on.
Within my heart a welcome guest,
Within my home abide.

O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.

Abide with me; ’tis eventide.
Thy walk today with me
Has made my heart within me burn,
As I communed with thee.
Thy earnest words have filled my soul
And kept me near thy side.

O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.

Abide with me; ’tis eventide,
And lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee
Nor find in thee my light.
The darkness of the world, I fear,
Would in my home abide.

O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me;
Behold, ’tis eventide.” (Source).

Have you asked the Lord that He enter and remain within your home? Have you made your heart and home a welcome place for Him? Have you walked with the Lord on your own road to Emmaus? Have you felt your heart burn within you? If you have, do you still feel it burn? Are you experiencing a personal and spiritual famine or do you drink deeply from the well of eternal life?

None of us are perfect and none of us will be in this life. However, we can, like Elder Maxwell said, strive to live close to Him who is perfect (see Neal A. Maxwell Quote Book, p.275). We have a perfect source of comfort and nourishment in the Lord. If and when we stumble and slip and fall – we all do – all we need do is get back up. If we ask, the Lord will be by our sides to help pick us up. By remaining close to Him we will find an endless well and be sheltered from personal and spiritual famine.

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