The weather in California isn’t nearly as cool as some other places in the country this Sabbath day. However, I have to say we’re feeling a lot cooler than it has been so far this year. I am grateful for the cooler weather because I truly miss the seasons I’ve experienced living in other parts of the country. A couple years ago, following a promise of employment and other security, we moved from Illinois returning to California almost 10 years after we left. It was something of an exodus, that 2000 miles. I avoided the most harrowing part of the trip since time did not allow for me to stay with the family, flying home to make it back to work on time.
Still, I look at the trip and cannot help thinking about other exoduses others have had to make. Of course, Moses led a grand exodus which took the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses spoke of the greatness of this exodus when he said, “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him (Deuteronomy 4:32–35).”
A nation had to be formed, and that people had to leave Egypt in order for the nation to be created. Many generations later, Jeremiah saw visions of a latter-day event that the Lord said would be as great as the Exodus. Jeremiah recorded, “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. (Jeremiah 16:14–16).”
Could Jeremiah have been seeing the Latter-day Saint exodus to the Salt Lake basin? Could have he also seen the great missionary work that has taken place since the restoration of the gospel? I think so. Jeremiah speaks of fishers and hunters sent forth by the Lord. Elder LeGrand Richards said that the fishers and hunters described in Jeremiah 16:16 are missionaries of the Church. We have a part in this today!
I am grateful to have some insight into this kind of exodus. Still, I am more grateful for the work those who’ve come before me have done. I am grateful the Lord has provided for us to take part in this great gathering.
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