Religious and Family Freedom and the Wake County School Board

Saturday, July 29, 2006

We've had another person contact us about the lawsuit today. I'm beginning to understand that there are a lot of people who have been upset by these circumstances, but they just haven't known where to turn. We're glad to give out what information we know. We hope to link some of it here to the blog.

I'd like to share an interesting experience I had today. I was contacted yesterday by our sunday school leader for the children under 12. We call it Primary. She told me that some teachers were out of town tomorrow and asked if I would like to help teach a class. I told her that I'd be happy to, as I love to teach. She told me the lesson number.

Today, I looked up the lesson and found that we are going to be studying the Old Testament, from 1 Samuel, Chapter 17. The name of the lesson? "David and Goliath." It struck me greatly as I read from the chapter. I've always loved this story and remember the many times my father told it to me and explained the origin of my name. The words and story are so compelling to me that I can see the story in my head as I read it.

I've put a few bits of the chapter here, because it's beautiful, and it's relevant to our current circumstances. If you'd like to read the whole story, you can find it here: http://scriptures.lds.org/1_sam/17/1-50#1
4 ¶ And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of aGath, whose height was six bcubits and a span. [This is nearly 10 feet.]
5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
6 And he had agreaves of brass upon his legs, and ba target of brass between his shoulders.
7 And the astaff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. [His gear weighed around 150 pounds.]
8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me.
9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us.
10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.
11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.
12 ¶ Now aDavid was the son of that Ephrathite of Beth-lehem-judah, whose name was Jesse; and he had eight sons: and the man went among men for an old man in the days of Saul.
13 And the three eldest sons of Jesse went and followed Saul to the battle: and the names of his three sons that went to the battle were aEliab the firstborn, and next unto him Abinadab, and the third Shammah.
14 And David was the youngest: and the three eldest followed Saul.
15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Beth-lehem.
16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.
17 And Jesse said unto David his son, Take now for thy brethren an ephah of this parched corn, and these ten loaves, and run to the camp to thy brethren;
20 ¶ And David rose up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a keeper, and took, and went, as Jesse had commanded him; and he came to the trench, as the host was going forth to the fight, and shouted for the battle.
23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them.
24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the aliving God?
30 And he turned from him toward another, and spake after the same manner: and the people answered him again after the former manner.
31 And when the words were heard which David spake, they rehearsed them before Saul: and he sent for him.
32 ¶ And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant awill go and bfight with this Philistine.
33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a ayouth, and he a man of war from his youth.
37 David said moreover, The LORD that adelivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will bdeliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a adog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the aname of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the LORD adeliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may bknow that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the abattle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hands.
48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
The Israelites were fighting for their freedom both from bondage and for their ability to worship as they believed. I love David's words to Goliath, "Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied." David was a small boy standing alone on the field of battle with the largest, strongest man in either army standing opposite him. David's words are truly an example of courage and faith in difficult circumstances.

I think it is a timely reminder to me that it is not our lot to complain when the task is hard or to get depressed when we feel that our trials are overwhelming. We are asked only to have faith and to fight for what we know to be right.

It is a good lesson for all of us.

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