In class a couple of weeks ago we talked about the similarities between the Old Testament Exodus and the Restoration Exodus. I was so surprised to find so many similarities. The Lord asks a lot of His people, but it is only because He wants us to get to a certain place, whether spiritually or physically.
In the Old Testament, the Lord calls Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. Moses warns the Pharaoh several times until the Lord sends down all sorts of horrible things. Eventually, the Pharaoh allows the Israelites to leave, but now without a fight first. Fortunately, they escape through the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea. However, the journey does not end when they reach the other side of the Sea, but rather they spend forty years wandering around the wilderness before they can enter the promised land. But before this, Moses goes up to Mount Sinai to receive the law from the Lord. He had to go to a high place in order to receive this law, and it was given to him shortly after they left Egypt. Eventually they did make it to the promised land where they lived in relative peace after their years of servitude and then their years of wandering.
During the Restoration, the Lord asked the saints to make a similar journey. The Church began in New York, then went to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, and then Utah. Such movement was highly uncommon in that day (nothing like how we move around today) and there was purpose in it, just like with the children of Israel. The saints needed to be refined and purified before they could receive all of the Lord's blessings. The law came from the Lord when the saints went to Ohio and built the Kirtland temple--a symbolically high place, much like Mount Sinai. There the Lord poured out blessings upon the saints. But that was not the end, they were asked to move several more times before they could reach their refuge--the Salt Lake valley. It was in the Salt Lake valley where they could finally live in peace and could prosper.
We also talked about the geographical similarities between the Salt Lake valley and the Holy Land. Both have a freshwater lake that flows into a river (Jordan River in both instances) that feeds into a saltwater lake. These two locations are the only two in the world with that geography. I find that incredible. The Lord really does put His people where He wants them. I am constantly amazed at the patterns in our lives and what the Lord tries to tell us through them. He knows where we are and what we are doing.