A Jensen Muse Post

Opposition in All Things

by Elder Mathias Held – Of the Seventy, April 2024 General Conference

Let us constantly make a very conscious effor to see both sides of every coin allotted to us in our lives. Even though both sides might sometimes not be immediately visible to us, we can know and trust that they are always there.

Opposition in All Things by Elder Mathias Held, April 2024 General Conference
Ammon Defends the Flocks of King Lamoni by Arnold Friberg

This is similar to Jesus suffering in the Garden of Gethsamen, yet the joy that was placed before him, took up the cross.

We call it “study”‘ and that’s good because it implies effort. But we don’t always need to learn some new fact. Sometimes reading the Book of Mormon is just about feeling connected to God today – nourishing the soul, being strengthened spiritually before heading out to face the world, or finding healing after a rough day out in the world.

It Is Wisdom in the Lord That We Should Have the Book of Mormon by Mark L. Pace, April 2024 General Conference

5 years ago on my 50th birthday my children made special pictures of things I love and that were framed and would hang in my office. Raquel drew a picture of the horse named Snowman, about an ordinary horse that did the extraordinary. My son Andrew drew a picture of Antipus from the Book of Mormon. Andrew asked me why he was special to me. I don’t think I explained it well, I told him he represents Jesus and what I call the “Power of the Dads”. On this Memorial Day weekend, I will attempt it again.

When I attempt to feel answers to my prayers. I will stand, fold my arms, close my eyes and ask Heavenly Father a yes or no question and ask that just as moved the needle in the liahona that he nudge me forward for yes and back for no. My daughter Olivia was concerned she had a meeting with her program administrator over the Christmas break, just before her final semester in the Dental Hygiene program. She was worried and sought my support. I prayed and asked God to help her. I felt that she would be ok and told her the meeting would go well. The meeting didn’t go well and she was given the choice to either leave the program or repeat the last year of classes. She was very depressed. I felt I failed as a Dad and my ability to hear and discern the things of the Spirit we wrong and I too was discouraged. Well about a week went by and Olivia’s program administrator went to her home and reversed the decision that she can make up the clinic hours performing cleanings over the summer.

What if I look at my challenges like the 2000 stripling warriors. Believe in the Heavenly Father’s covenant path, that it is “strategic and wise.” And realize on opposite end of the trial is an Antipus and his men, doing a double march, relentlessly pursing me, to protect me from the strongest lamanite army, yea the most numerous and in the end, gave his life for me. So I can WIN.

Sacrament Talk

Sunday, 26 May 2024, tanglewood ward in clemmons north carolina by jeffery j. jensen

Goal of my talk is to share a few words so you can feel connected to Heavenly Father and to express gratitude to those unseen people who sacrificed their lifes for us on this Memorial Day weekend.

Essential Question #1 – What is the difference between the mentor/guide/sage and the Hero?

Essential Question #2 – How are we blessed by seeing both sides of our trials in life?

Essential Question #3 – What does the scripture mean

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you

John 14:18

Essential Question #4 – Why must there be an opposition in all things?

My name is Jeff Jensen. I’m from Las Vegas NV and here in your ward to date Mundi Banks and to be with my daughter Raquel and her family living in Belmont NC.

1-War in Heaven

Essential Question #1 – What is the difference between a Mentor and Hero.

The war in Heaven between Jesus and Satan boils down to the difference between a Mentor and Hero. In the mind of Jesus you and I are the Heros. As for Satan, he and he only is the Hero. Both plans would save us but in the case of Satan that is all it would do. Satan would say, look you came into this life as seeds and you died as a seed. I saved you, give me all your thanks, love and glory. But in the case of Jesus, he knows what we can become far more than just a seed, but a tree. Jesus says I love you, I can help you, I will do the impossible for you, I will help you transform into something great. We can do it together, we can all share in the glory, we can win. I will be your mentor, counselor, friend and Savior and you will be the Hero.

2-Story of my divorce – shake my fist at God

Essential Question #2 – How are we blessed by seeing both sides of the trials in life?

In the April 2024 General Conference talk, Opposition in All Things by Elder Mathias Held, I quote

Let us constantly make a very conscious effor to see both sides of every coin allotted to us in our lives. Even though both sides might sometimes not be immediately visible to us, we can know and trust that they are always there.

Opposition in All Things by Elder Mathias Held, April 2024 General Conference

Around January 2023, I went for a walk on a desert trail alone. I was living in denial about the circumstances I was in. Facing the challenge that my marriage was going to end in a divorce. I was angry at God. I’ve been praying for some 5 years about this problem. Asking, seeking, knocking for his help. I shook my fist at Him and said I’m done play this game. You are playing with my emotions and it hurts something fierce. So three times, I said I’m done and you can take my life. Well as you can see that prayer wasn’t answered.

I had to face my fears of being rejected and being lonely. My counselor said I needed to work on having Jesus fill the void in my life. Something I should have already done but relying on my wife to fulfill. Well small miracles started happening. I was blessed with serving in the Temple to help me get through the week and felt comforted and loved there. I had a miracle in my work, I’m a civil engineer and the office I was working was stressful and demanding. I had an old friend called me out of the blue, said he had an opening at his office. It paid more and was less stress. I had Church leaders – Bishop, Elders Quorum Presidency, quorum members who, in my opinion had heavier cross to bear and, well, they made it through and were better off from the experience, and were happy. This gave me hope.

My counselor also had me do a similar exercise as seeing both sides of every coin the Elder Held spoke of and had me make a list of all the good thinges/benefits/positive changes that occurred because of my failed marriage. Reluntantly I did this and this is what I learned.

On one side of the coin I complained that Jesus wasn’t answering my prayers and that I had a half-dozen solutions he could easily do to fix it. As I changed my focus, to the other side of the coin or trial, I saw something different. May I read a story by Elder D. Todd Christoffer

Elder Brook P. Hales related the story of Sister Patricia Parkinson, who was born with normal eyesight but by age 11 had gone blind.

Elder Hales recounted: “I’ve known Pat for many years and recently told her that I admired the fact that she is always positive and happy. She responded, ‘Well, you have not been at home with me, have you? I have my moments. I’ve had rather severe bouts of depression, and I’ve cried a lot.’ However, she added, ‘From the time I started losing my sight, it was strange, but I knew that Heavenly Father and the Savior were with my family and me. … To those who ask me if I am angry because I am blind, I respond, ‘Who whould I be angry with? Heavenly Father is in this with me; I am not alone. He is with me all the time.’

Our Relationship with God by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, April 2022 General Conference

I agree with Sister Patricia Parkinson and would like to add one additional insight. When I looked at the other side of the coin, not only was God with me in my divorce, but he was suffering with me, ‘Oh you are feeling this pain along with me. I didn’t know that. I am sorry I was angry with you.’

Seeing both sides of the coin revealed to me that Jesus is both with me and suffering the same pains I have. I know have a better appreciation and understanding of this scripture:

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

Alma 7:11

3-We will do the impossible together

Essential Question #3 – What does the scripture mean

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you

John 14:18

In Mark 6 we read the king beheaded John the Baptist and the miracle of feeding 5000 men with just 5 barley loaves and 2 small fishes. Jesus did this”

45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea…

Mark 6:45-48

The disciples of Jesus are doing exactly what Jesus said and are suffering. Who should they lash out at for this injustice and pain? What is the other side of the coin? Well if it was Satan, he wouldn’t have waited for the 4th watch to allow them to toil and grow. He would pampered them, and bragged how he saved them, “now you run along and be good seeds” said Satan. No, the unseen is that Jesus saw them toiling, felt their pain, had compassion for them as they strugged and grew, prayed for them, and did the impossible “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” even if that means I have to walk on water.

4-Win with Jesus

Essential Question #4 – Why must there be an opposition in all things?

5 years ago on my 50th birthday my children made special pictures of things I love and that connected us. We framed them and would hang in my office. Raquel drew a picture of the horse named Snowman, about an ordinary horse that did the extraordinary. My son Andrew drew a picture of Antipus from the Book of Mormon. Andrew asked me why he was special to me. I don’t think I explained it well, I told him he represents Jesus and what I call the “Power of the Dads”. On this Memorial Day weekend, I will attempt it again. The story of Antipus is found in Alma 56 if you would like to follow along:

15 I [Helaman] found Antipus and his men toiling with their might to fortify the city.

16 Yea, and they were depressed in body as well as in spirit, for they had fought valiantly by day and toiled by night to maintain their cities; and thus they had suffered great afflictions of every kin.

30 Now…we were desirous to bring a stratgem into effect upon [the Lamanites]; therefore Antipus ordered that I should march forth with my [2000] little sons to a neighboring city, as if we were carrying provisions to a neighboring city.

Helaman 56:15-16,30

I think it was around 2006 I was pondering upon Antipus and this “stratgem” of his and asked in prayer, Dear Heavenly Father, was Antipus “strategic and wise” in his plan? And firm was the response of yes! After that he became my hero of what the unseen can do.

back to the story in Alma 56

32 And it came to pass that [Helaman and his 2000 sons] march forth, as if with our provisions, to go to [the city by the seashore]

33 And it came to pass that Antipus did march forth with a part of his army, leaving the remaided to maintain the city. But he did not march forth until [Helaman] had gone forth with [2000 sons], and came near the city Antiparah.

34 And now, in the city Antiparah were stationed the strongest army of the Lamanites; yea, the most numerous.

35 And it came to pass that when [Lamanites] had been informed by their spies, they came forth with their army and marched against [Helaman].

36 And it came to pass that [Helaman] did flee before [the Lamanites], northward. And thus we did lead away the most powerful army of the Lamanites;

37 Yea, even to a considerable distance, insomuch that when [the Lamanites] saw the army of Antipus pursuing them, with their might, [the Lamanites] did not turn to the right nor to the left, but pursued their march in a straight course after [Helaman]; and, as we suppose, it was [the Lamanites] intent to slay [Helaman and his 2000 sons] before Antipus should overtake them, and this that [the Lamanites] might not be surrounded by [the Nephites].

38 And now Antipus, beholding our danger, did speed the march of his army. But behold, it was night; therefore they did not overtake us, neither did Antipus overtake them;…

Alma 56:32-38

Let me pause for a minute, our newest Apostle Elder Patrick Kearon said

God is in relentless pursuit of you

God’s Intent Is to Bring You Home by Elder Patrick Kearon, April 2024 General Conference

Compare this to Antipus and his relentless pursuit to save Helaman and his 2000 little sons. Please think of Jesus and his desire to follow Heavenly Father’s plan. That he sees us here in life, in danger from Satan who is pursuing us with the intent to slay us so we can be miserable even as he is.

42 But it came to pass that [the Lamanites] did not pursue [Helaman] far before they halted; and it was in the morning of the third day of the seventh month.

43 And now, whether [the Lamanites] were overtaken by Antipus we knew not, but [Helaman] said to the [2000 little sons]: Behold, we know not but [the Lamanites] have halted for the purpose that we should come against them, that they might catch us in their snare;

49 And it came to pass that [Helaman] did return with [his] two thousand against these Lamanites who had pursued us. And now behold, the armies of Antipus had overtaken [the Lamanites], and a terrible battle had commenced.

50 The army of Antipus being weary, because of their long march in so short a space of time, were about to fall into the hands of the Lamanites; and had [I Helaman] not returned with my two thousand they would have obtained their purpose.

51 For Antipus had fallen by the sword, and many of his leaders, because of their weariness, which was occasioned by the speed of their march…

Alma 56

I am sure you have loved ones in your family history who have served our country in times of war and gave their life in efforts to protect us. These are the unseen heroes we honor on Memorial Day. They are represented by Antipus and Jesus.

4th Verse: How infinite that wisdom, The plan of holiness,

That made salvation perfect And veiled the Lord in flesh,

To walk upon his footstool And be like man, almost,

In his exalted station, And die, or all was lost.

Hymn #175 – O God, the Eternal Father

What will you choose to do knowing of their sacrfice? Will you follow President Nelson who is symbolized by Helaman in this story and stay on the covenant path all of your days?

Closing

Looking at both sides of your trials helps you to see the unseen. The truth of John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

Essential question #1 – What is the difference between a mentor and hero?

How Satan wanted to save you and I by keeping us as seeds, free from the struggles that come with growing and learning and becoming. Compared to that of Jesus who is doing all that he can, :in relentless pursuit,” so we be as he is, so we can be the Hero.

Essential Question #2 – How are we blessed by seeing both sides of our trials in life?

My personal story when I was struggling with the realization I will be divorced, the unseen was not only that Jesus was with me, but he was suffering and feeling my pain, which thing I didn’t know. I don’t shake my fist at Jesus anymore, but I express gratitude in the pain of my trials, for I know he is suffering right alongside me.

Essential Question #3 – What does the scripture mean – I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you (john 14:18)

In the story of the disclipes of Jesus struggling to row their boats in a storm, the unseen is Jesus doing the impossible walks on water at the 4th watch to help them.

Essential Question #4 – Why must there be an opposition in all things?

In the Book of Mormon we read the story about Antipus who represents Jesus, and the 2000 little sons who represent us, the hero. They are being pursed mentorically by Satan, that is the most powerful lamanite army, yeah the most numerous. The unseen is mentorically Jesus, that is Antipus and his men, doing a double march, who gave their lives to rescue them.

Was the sacrifice of soldiers in your family, Antipus and Jesus all in vain? Think upon Antipus how he must have felt. I failed thee God, I couldn’t save my family. I am dead and the Lamanite army will slaughter my people and 2000 sons.

Then comes the miracle, of the Power of the Dads, back to Alma 56

54 And now it came to pass that we, the people of Nephi, the people of Antipus, and I [Helaman] with my two thousand, did surround the Lamanites, and did slay them; yea, insomuch that they were compelled to deliver up their weapons of war also themselves as prisoners of war.

56 …behold, to my great joy, there had not one soul of [the 2000] fallen to the earth; yea, and they fought as if with the strength of God…

Alma 56:54,56

Essential question – why must we have opposition in all things? It is so we can grow and transform as we allow Jesus to guide us. Trusting in Heavenly Father’s plan, that it is “strategic and wise.” Yes Antipus died, feeling like a he failed to save his family, but a far greater blessing than being saving was created. Antipus sacrfice transformed the 2000 little sons into the Stripling Warriors, into Heros. Yes everyone of them wounded and scared. Yes all with their lives, and all who together WON the battle!!!

Yes, Jesus saves us and even died for us. But His sacrfice does far more than that. It is with His compassion, suffering besides us. His teachings which trains and transforms from seeds into trees. Even into a Tree of Life, like Him, so we can all WIN!!!

So thank you unseen soldiers of the United States of America, thank you Antipus and thank you Jesus.

This I say in the cheerished name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen

1 Comment

  1. Rachel

    Wonderful Talk. Thank you for sharing :).

    Reply

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