"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
August 18, 2014
Ancient Israel Syndrome
by Sydney Bone

You know those weeks where everything hits you all at once? You’re a happy little red kite floating along in the breeze, and then WHOOSH! A gust of wind blows you into a tree. A cat, also stuck in the tree, starts to scratch you. Then the whole park gets hit by a comet. As you’re lying face down in the crater, you realize that you still have to get out of the tree.

Last week, I was the kite, and my tree was finals week — my last finals week, as long as I passed my statistics exam. Difficult, but nothing I couldn’t handle on my own. Then Comet Influenza came crashing into my life. (Yeah, I know I’m being dramatic. When I’m sleep deprived, I enjoy hyperbole more than I should.) Anyway, I spent the week taking care of my sick family instead of studying.

On Wednesday, my husband got a blessing. I asked for one too, and I was promised that I would be protected from illness so I could take care of my family and do well on my exam. I realized that the only way I would be able to make it through the week would be by relying on the Lord. It worked. I can say without a doubt that He protected me.

With my husband and daughter, the illness came on suddenly, without any warning. I, on the other hand, felt a bit off on Thursday and Friday, but didn’t get really sick until after my last exam was over and my family was on the mend.

It wasn’t just the illness either. Statistics has been a challenge all semester, but in the little time I had to study, it came easily. Topics I didn’t understand previously were remarkably clear. They were so straightforward that I knew I wasn’t learning by my own skill alone.

Here’s the clincher: if the Lord just wanted to bless me, He could have prevented my family from getting sick in the first place. What are the chances of getting the flu in August, anyway? The thing is, the Lord has come to my aid in other ways, and I’ve forgotten. I may have even passed off some of the more recent miracles as happenstance or my own abilities.

Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure Ancient Israel did that about five thousand times in the Old Testament. The treatment was always the same — the Lord humbled His people, and then got them out of trouble.

My favorite example is Gideon, whose army of just three hundred men drove out the “host of Midian.” Time and time again, God made sure Israel was saved by unmistakable miracles, so they remembered His hand in their deliverance.

In my case, if I had been given ample time to study, plenty of sleep and a clear head, I would have seen my success as all my own. Instead, I was powerless to do anything but have faith and take my vitamins. Now, passing my exams is nothing short of a miracle, and the Lord reminded me how big of a role He plays in my life.

Let’s just hope that next time, I don’t forget in the first place.


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About Sydney Bone

When Sydney Van Dyke was five years old, she wanted to be an inventor like her grandfather. She grew up surrounded by engineers and decided that was what she wanted to be as well.

She went to Utah State University to earn her BS in Biological Engineering. While there, she met and married fellow engineering student Jarret Bone. They are the proud parents of Emelia Rose, born the summer before they finished their senior year of school.

Sydney Bone is now adjusting to the change of pace that comes with being a stay-at-home mom. She loves having time for her family, with some leftover to explore the things she loves to do.

Sydney still wants to be like her grandfather, but she is now focused on emulating his kindness and generosity, rather than his impressive professional qualifications.

Sydney is currently serving as a gospel doctrine teacher in her home ward.

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