Written by Dad
Growing up I loved playing Tennis! I would play often with my dad and my cousins. When I entered High School, I practiced real hard so that I could be on the Tennis team and I made it! I was so thrilled. For 3 years I was able to play on the High School team at Hunter High School. I also played one year in college at Dixie College before my mission. I loved Tennis so, naturally, I hated the wind. Every time it was windy it messed up our practices and our matches. We still had to play even in the windy conditions, so it just created difficulties for us! For years and years I hated the wind.
The last few years of my life I have begun to appreciate the wind to some degree. I like the cleansing effect it has as it pushes out all the bad air in our valley. I like how it cleans leaves, grass and weeds off the pavement. I like how it brings in a rainstorm or snowstorm for badly needed moisture. I can understand its value that it brings.
Yes there are still times I hate the wind like when it ruins the brand new hot tub cover I just installed or breaks one of our trees in half!
Is wind good or bad?
In Ether 6:5, "the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land...” Was the wind good or bad? Did it help them or hurt them? Vs. 5 says it blew towards the promised land. Although the barges had no sails (at least not mentioned) the wind helped push them towards the promised land.
However, in vs. 5 it says "and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.” The wind caused the boat ride to be quite bumpy as they were tossed around on the waves…this had to be a really rough ride!
Furthermore, "they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind” (vs. 6). The wind was so bad that it caused them to be buried under large waves. This rough, partially submerged journey seems pretty awful at first, but because "they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them” (vs. 7).
"And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind” (vs. 8). The wind was actually a great blessing. It pushed them towards the promised land. It made waves large enough to bury the ship so it could not be damaged. It made their trip to the Americas only 344 days where it could have been much longer.
The Jaredites understood this, at least their attitude reflects it… "And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord” (vs. 9).
They could of easily complained, “Why can’t the Lord make this a smoother ride?” or “What is taking so long, we have been in these barges forever!” Instead, they recognized the Lord was in charge and He knows best. They were grateful for the journey whatever it entailed. They expressed their faith and gratitude to the Lord for guiding and blessing their lives.
When the winds come in our lives may we too look for the good, the blessings in disguise. May we turn to the Lord, praise His holy name and give gratitude for every experience we are able to have knowing that each experience is in reality pushing us towards the promised land of the celestial Kingdom.