by Rene Allen
It is autumn and the subtle, seasonal changes of southern Arizona are in the air—cooler mornings, shorter days, brighter, bluer skies . To the west of town at a spot in the road called Three Points, fields of pumpkins show bright orange balls ripening underneath a dying canopy of leaves. In my own front yard, dense with desert vegetation, I filled buckets with burgundy colored prickly pear fruit and now my pantry shelves are stacked with jars of jelly. It is the season of harvest, of plenty, of thanksgiving.
And so this Monday morning as I gaze out the window and watch dawn happen—the lightening of sky, and return of color to the landscape as the sun illuminates and turns to morning gold the tops of my eucalyptus tree, the highest in the neighborhood and the first to catch those early rays, I am filled with gratitude. Two days of spiritual feasting are over, our own semi-annual general conference, watched in the comfort of my family room, the anticipated marker of both autumn and spring.
In this season of harvest and thanksgiving, I think of feasts, of the grand preparation of food for the body that marks the holiday of Thanksgiving, of what it means to feast, and recall the words of Nephi that “if ye shall press forward feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father, ye shall have eternal life.” 2 Ne 31:20.
To feast means to enjoy some unusual pleasure or delight. A feast is an elaborate and abundant meal, often accompanied with some kind of ceremony. To partake means to ingest, to take into yourself some of that abundant nourishment, pleasure and delight.
Press forward feasting upon the word of Christ—for two days I was spoon fed; all that was required of me was that I listened, equivalent to opening my spiritual mouth to receive the delicious words of truth. I feel invigorated, more able, and strengthened in my charge to press forward. I feel blessed.
How I wish this spiritual feast which is available to all, were partaken of by all. I would love to walk over to my neighbor’s and say “Didn’t you just love what President Uchtdorf said when he talked about hope? Weren’t you touched by the words of our prophet? It is so good to have a prophet.”
There is a bit of circular reasoning in Nephi’s words, in his charge to press forward feasting upon the words of Christ and endure to the end, for that is how we receive the strength and resolve to do it. This weekend has been a time of feasting, a time of harvest, a time of plenty. And I am grateful.