Putting out a fire one bucket at a time
If you pick up the newspaper or turn on the news, it only takes a few seconds to learn that the world is on fire.
Learn how to fill your spiritual well to be prepared to put out the world's spiritual fires.
The voice was done by a non-member, notice how he pronounces Moroni. Good missionary opportunity.
If you pick up the newspaper or turn on the news, it only takes a few seconds to learn that the world is on fire. You read about natural disasters, wars, famine, the degradation of marriage, pornography running rampant, civil unrest, political infighting, corruption, bribery, and crime that all happened before you even finish your breakfast. Society is on fire and burning and as we learn in the scriptures, it is going to get worse before it gets better.
It can be discouraging to see all of these things happening around us, and it would be easy to say “let the world burn, the world started the fire so let them put it out.” You can even find scripture support for this attitude from one of the greatest heroes in the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni. After fighting his whole life to protect the Nephites, the Nephites had become wicked, “boast[ing] in their own strength,” and refusing to turn to the God that had saved them so many times before..
As Captain Moroni saw the Nephites set fire to the nation he has worked so hard to preserve, he “utterly refuse[d] from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abomination.”
Yet, as Captain Moroni sat and watched the world burn to ashes, he decided to pick up a bucket and put out as much of the fire as he was able, saying, “I did go forth among the Nephites, and did repent of the oath which I had made that I would no more assist them; and they gave me command again of their armies, for they looked upon me as though I could deliver them from their afflictions.” Even with Captain Moroni’s renewed efforts, the world still burned and the Nephites were wiped away from the earth. So why did Moroni pick up the bucket and try to put out as much of the fire as he could? Because, with each bucket of water he put out a small amount of the fire and provided time for at least one more soul to repent and come unto Heavenly Father.
Putting out the fire
So what buckets of water can we pick up to help put the fire out in our part of the world and help extend the time of repentance for ourselves and others? Here are a few ideas on how to help put the fire out one bucket at a time:
Form a bucket brigade
Before the advent of hand pumped fire engines, when there was a fire in the community, people would come running to form a human chain to fill buckets at a well and pass the buckets, one by one down the line one person at a time until they reached the fire, while only the last person actually threw the water on the fire, each person had to do their part in the brigade for the bucket to make it to the end.
Similarly, as communities, neighbors, and families, we can work together to lift those around us and change our communities for the better. While our individual efforts may not individually put out the fires in our communities, collectively we can make a difference and work to put out the fires where we live.
Have water on hand
To be able to put out a fire, there must be water. If our well is running dry, we can have the world’s best bucket brigade that pass the buckets to perfection, but the buckets will be empty and the fire will continue to grow. So we need to fill our wells with spiritual waters so that we can pass it along to put out the fires.
In John 4:14 we learn the source of all of our spiritual waters when Christ shared that, “whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” As we fill our spiritual wells, we will have water to pass down the line of the bucket brigades. The more of us that fill our spiritual wells, the more water reserves will be available to put out the fires.
Fighting fire with fire
The term fighting fire with fire comes from a fire-fighting technique developed by US settlers in the 19th century. The settlers guarded against grass and forest fires by deliberately raising small controllable fires, which they called 'back-fires', to remove any flammable material in advance of a larger fire and so deprive it of fuel.
Similarly, in our lives and communities, we can preemptively anticipate potential fires and work to guard against them by controlling the fires. We can get involved with our neighborhoods and communities so that we are in positions to starve the fires before they consume the community. Community involvement can put out many fires before they ever get started.
In Psalm 66:12 Heavenly Father promises us we go, “through [the] fire and through water…[he bringeth] us out into a wealthy place.” As we battle the blazes around the world as the world continues to burn, our Heavenly Father promises he will bring us through the fire to our place prepared for us in heaven. So pick up a bucket and get to work putting out the fires in your communities.