Jacob-Mosiah 3…Trifle Not

Picking up where we left off, Nephi has grown old and has given his brother, Jacob the small plates with the charge to write only the most precious truths on them for the benefit of their posterity and us reading them, helping to persuade all of us to come until Christ. Together with his brother Joseph, they spend the remainder of their days teaching the people of Nephi. “And it came to pass that Nephi died.” (Jacob 1:12)

Jacob wastes no time and gets to work, though not happy that he does because of the things that they are doing. “…O that ye would listen unto the word of his commands, and let not this pride of your hearts destroy your souls!” (Jacob 2:16) The people have become very rich from all the wealth the earth has to offer and has corrupted themselves in various ways, breaking the hearts of the tender among them. One is the riches themselves that they have set their hearts on and are neglecting the poor. Jacob lets them know that riches aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but you must fist seek for the Kingdom of God, then if you want riches seek them, but “for the intent to do good-to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and afflicted” (Jacob 2:19)

Another is purposefully misinterpreting the Brass plates (the Bible) and the stories of David and Solomon to mean that because they had wives and concubines, the Nephites can too. Not really. Jacob gives them a sound prophetic lashing against what they’re doing. One wife. One spouse. Anything more is adultery. Period. In fact, because of this, the Lamanites were more righteous than them. Clearly the Lord sees chastity as one of the most important commandments. Because the Lamanites chose to observe this one commandment, they were spared forever.

Jacob continues to minister and labor among the people and cant’t write even one-hundredth part of what he does and says. But with the limited space and time he has, he feels it important to include a chapter from the book of Zenos, who was a prophet from the Brass plates. It’s an allegory of the tame and wild olive trees, which is alluding to the history of the earth and the Lord’s dealings with it. Not going to expound on it as to do so would take pages!

Jacob is getting old and so gives the plates to his son, Enos and bids us adieu, “hoping that many of [his] brethren may read [his] words.” (Jacob 7:27)

Enos. Jarom. Omni. These next three books are all one chapter in length. We have always been told that the plates were small, and now it appears they are running out of room.

Enos is interesting. He doesn’t sound or write like his father and Uncle. He’s a bit more easygoing, I think. More laid back. Nephi was older and has been through more than any of us can imagine, when he wrote his portion in the plates. Jacob was born into adversity and it seems it never left him. He was a sober writer. Not given to much happiness, only his own deeply personal joy in his Savior.

Then we have his son Enos, who seems little like his father, at first. Enos goes out to hunt. We have no idea how old he is. We do know that his father taught him in the Nephite language, “and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord”. (Enos 1:1). But apparently, while Enos was taught, he didn’t act and completely follow those nurturing and admonitions, nor did he read his scriptures. So while he was hunting, he starts to think about all the things his father had taught him. Another point is that we have no idea if his father is dead or alive at this point. So he’s thinking and what’s really happening is that he’s allowing the Spirit to touch him. I’m going to assume that his father is dead because among what he’s thinking about is eternal life. Losing a parent would cause one to think about such things. We also see that he’s spiritually starved for he says that his “soul hungered”  (Enos 1:4). So he kneels down and prays. But not any simple prayer, he “cried unto him in mighty supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did [he] cry unto him; yea and when the night came [he] did still raise my voice high that it reached to heavens.” (Enos 1:4). For an entire day,  Enos prayed continually. He hears a voice that tells him that he’s been forgiven and will be blessed.

This part is important: “And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.” Through the lessons hid father taught one thing we see he had an unshaken testimony of, that God can not lie, that he knew the perfect character of God. Wondering, though, he asks how could he be forgiven. His answer, faith. Faith in Jesus Christ who Enos had not seen or heard before, unlike his father and Uncle who had seen him.  Faith is always at the root of all doctrine. It is why it’s the first principle of the Gospel.

How often do we starve our souls? What’s the longest that we have ever prayed? How often do we allow the Spirit of the Lord to soften us and change us in such a way that it becomes impossible for us to live any longer without knowing that we are in the Lord’s favor?  Enos gives us a powerful example of how to pray.

The plates are now transferred on to Enos’ son, Jarom, which my husband and I named our son after. He doesn’t feel the need to say much in the way of doctrine, explaining that all had already been said by his predecessors. And while he says that the people and hard-hearted, deaf and blind as to the gospel, but despite that, they are a strong people who keeps the pure law of Moses, keeps the Sabbath day holy, does not profane, or blaspheme. Because of this, they are able to win the wars against their enemies, the Lamanites, despite the Lamanites being exceedingly more numerous than they. The language of Jarom is short and to the point, and he passes the plates on.

The last book in the Small Plates of Nephi is a series of short writings from 5 men. Son to son to brother to son to son. Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom, and Amaleki. Omni admits to being wicked and so does his duty by writing in them and then gives them to his son. Amaron tells us in 4 verses that during his time the more wicked of the Nephites were destroyed for not keeping the commandments and that the righteous were spared from the Lamanites. He then gives the record to his brother. Why? No son? Hmm….

Chemish is the shortest author in the entire Book of Mormon with one single verse written. (Omni 1:9) At this point, we’re aware that the plates are running out of space to write but really? One verse? In this verse he tells us that he’s writing a few things int eh same book as his brother that he saw write his part in the book with his own hand. He tells us that Amaron didn’t write his part until the day he delivered the plates to Chemish. Why was that? Procrastinator perhaps? Waiting until the end of his life to sum it up? More likely. Reading along….why yes! In this one verse we learn that it is only until they are at the end of their life that they are to then write in the plates. That it is a commandment to witness their predecessor writing with his own hand the things they are inspired to write! How important is that instruction for us to know! All along we had been told that they were given commandments, but that was it. So then, how were they able to remember everything they were supposed to write in there? For those at least that had much to say. Did they keep their own personal journal?  Musings. Other than that, we know nothing of Chemish. Good, bad or otherwise. I hope to meet him someday in the Eternities. Please don’t skip over this man’s contribution. Though it is only one verse, it is still mighty.

From here, Abinadom takes over and tells us of the wars that happened and that like his great-grandfather thinks that all the revelations have been revealed and so there’s no more need to talk about the Gospel. The end.

Now, Amaleki speaks to us somewhat. Lots happened in his time. The Nephites are told through a man who would be king, Mosiah, to flee out of the land. So, as many as would go left and eventually came to a land called Zarahemla, but the land was not empty. Turns out there are a people there who was also brought out from Jerusalem about 20 years after Lehi. Unlike the Nephites, they have no written record and because of that, their language had become corrupted and they lost the full truth of the Law of Moses. They combine people, calling all Nephites and Mosiah becomes their king and prophet, teaching the people of Zarahemla the their language. They give him a large stone engraving that he’s able to translate through the Spirit. Amaleki gets old and since he had no children, is inspired to give the plates to Mosiah’s son, King Benjamin, who is a just man and becomes a prophet. But before he leaves, Amaleki bears his testimony of the Gospel. Something that hadn’t been done since Enos.

The small plates are done. First person, done. We now move into the rest of the Book of Mormon, where the book gets its name from as it was a man named Mormon, who was the second to the last of the righteous people of the Nephites, the narrative changing to the third person. He was called to abridge 600 years worth of writings into one single book. So to meld the two together, Mormon inserts his own tiny, one chapter book, explaining what’s going on simply titled, “Words of Mormon“. Mormon tells of the trouble that the holy and righteous King Benjamin had in laboring to bring peace to the land with the help of other prophets.

Moving to the last 3 chapters of what I was to read about. From here, we see the beginning of our modern day General Conference. King Benjamin is getting old and will confer the kingdom to his son, Mosiah. While he does this, he wants to give one final admonition to his people. All come with their tents to hear him. He build a tower, but there’s still too many people, so he has his words written down and circulated among the people. He starts by telling them that he didn’t call them to listen for them to not listen. He says, “…I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with my words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear and your hearts that ye may understand and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.” (Mosiah 2:9)

Some key points king Benjamin spoke of that I’ll list out before I wrap this up:

  • Keep the Commandments
  • Kings are no better than anyone else
  • Kings are servants
  • When we are in the service of our fellow beings, we are actually in the service of God.
  • No matter how hard we try to be perfect, we will always be unprofitable servants
  • We will be immediately bless if we keep his commandments
  • Contentions allow us to obey Satan. Beware of contention.
  • If we don’t repent in this life, we will not be able to endure standing before God
  • If we keep the commandments, we will be happy and blessed both temporally and spiritually.
  • And Angel spoke to him
  • Our natural selves are enemies to God.
  • We will not inherit Eternal Life without becoming as children and yield to the enticings of the Holy Ghost
  • We become saints through the Atonement of Christ.
  • We are to become: submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things.

Concluding musings for the week. The prophets don’t speak to us for us to only think that what they are saying are nice things and apply to others, but not to ourselves. Or that what they’re saying is too hard now, but eventually, some magical day we’ll get around to it. The word “trifle” used here is not referring to the dessert. Trifle means, “something that does not have much value or importance, and, something of little value, substance, or importance” (Merriam-Webster)

Knowing its full meaning, is this what we’re doing with the words of the Lord from his servants? I will say that I have viewed prophetic counsel in this way. Not that I would ever consciously think so, but my actions, or rather, inaction proves otherwise. How often do we really think about and then act on what we are taught from General Conference? Though we are not supposed to run faster than we have strength and we learn line upon line and precept upon precept, we are supposed to act and apply something that has been taught to us. If we are not daily striving to become more like Christ, than we are actually falling back. If we yield to out natural selves, we will never achieve the righteous state that we’ll need to be in to have Eternal Life, which is the greatest of all the blessings God can give us, which is the entire point of his existence. To bring us back to him.

Choose something. Choose just one thing that you will strive daily through concentrated, consistent action to become more like Christ. I promise, you will not regret it!

 

 

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2 Nephi 17-33…Believe in Christ

The people of Nephi are settled in their new land. They live the commandments and because of this, the Lord was with them and they “did prosper exceedingly” (2 Nephi 5:11) . They build swords to protect themselves. Through the guidance of the Lord to Nephi, he teaches them how to build buildings and work with the materials of the land. They built a temple. They were industrious and worked with their hands.

In all this, 40 years passed.

In those 40 years, the people began to forget the Lord and they needed reminding. Nephi loved the words of Isaiah, which he read from in the Brass plates. These words are identical to the words of Isaiah in the King James version of the Bible! And so for 13 chapters in 2 Nephi, Nephi quotes from Isaiah, specifically from Isaiah 2-14. Why? He’s teaching his people and us about prophecies surrounding the times around the Second Coming concerning the House of Israel. What we should know about this time, some of which has come or is coming to pass. He prophesies about Christ, most importantly, and what will happen with him.

In the ending of the book, Nephi provides gloriously sound doctrine. He worries for us, for his people. His words are for all dispensations and especially the last dispensation.

For all dispensations, he pleads for all to follow Christ. To obey the commandments. We are warned and shown the nature of Satan. How Satan binds us and leads us away.

How in our day, Satan will (2 Nephi 28:20-22) :

  • Rage in hearts.
  • Stir up to anger against what’s good.
  • Pacify.
  • Lull away into carnal security.
  • Cheat our souls .
  • Lead us away carefully down to hell.
  • Flatter us away.
  • Whisper in our ears until we’re grasped in his chains.

As William Shakespeare says in King Lear, “The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.”

We see this today all around us!! We find this happening to ourselves. We have to completely, thoroughly, absolutely and exhaustively protect ourselves and turn to the Lord.

Thankfully, the Lord through Nephi gives us the solution to what we are to do, which way we are to turn. We are to (verses in 2 Nephi 28-33):

  • Follow the Son (Jesus Christ)
  • With full purpose of heart, acting in no hypocrisy or deception, with real intent
  • Repent
  • Witness to the Father that we are willing to take upon us Chris’s name.
  • Be baptized
  • Receive the Holy Ghost
  • Endure to the end
  • Follow the example of the Son
  • Have unshaken faith in Christ
  • Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ
  • Have a perfect brightness of hope
  • Love God and and all men
  • Feast upon the words of Christ (the scriptures)
  • Search knowledge
  • Hearken unto the Spirit
  • Pray always
  • Believe in Christ (which Nephi quotes four times in two consecutive verses)

Nephi makes it crystal clear how we can overcome Satan. How we can be saved. And actually there is no other way we can be saved. Only through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

With this, he bids us an “everlasting farewell” (2 Nephi 33:14), if we don’t do as he’s been commanded to tell us. We will be judged by his words, the Lord’s words. We will never see Nephi if we don’t do these things. I would rather be able to say hello to Nephi someday. So all I have to do is what he says. Can I do this on my own. Not at all!  But as our Savior says, “…With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) I am in that “all”, and you are too.

 

2 Nephi 1-16…Delights

Catching up with our beloved family, we find that after 8 years of travel, they make it to the seashore, which they name Bountiful. Nephi is able to rest for “many days” (it would be nice to know exactly or even approximately how long Nephi thinks many days are, as he uses that term a lot) and then the Lord tells him to go to a mountain and talk to him. The Lord tell Nephi to build a ship to carry he and all his family across the waters to the promised land. Dear, righteous Nephi doesn’t complain or ask how, he simply asks where to find the ore to be able to make the tools to build the ship.  Oh how we wish to have the faith of Nephi!
Nephi’s brothers are back yet again to their murmuring ways and put Nephi down for thinking he can build a ship and refuse to help. With the Lord’s help, Nephi puts them back in place and they build the ship. We then find out that Sariah had 2 more sons in their travels, Jacob and Joseph. They get out in the ocean and Laman and Lemuel and others decide that they’ve yet again had enough with Nephi and tie him up. Tight. The Lord doesn’t like that so much. The Liahona stops working and a great storm arises to the point that they’re about to wreck when finally, finally they see that God was doing this because of them and let Nephi go. And instead of complaining for having “exceedingly swollen” wrists and ankles, dear, righteous Nephi praises God all day. He prays and the storm calms, the compass works and they set off again to their promised land.

After setting up camp, planting seeds and setting up an establishment, Lehi and Nephi delve into the Brass Plates in depth and talk about it to their family, which of course, Laman and Lemuel refuse to understand and has to have it explained to them.

Now we come to the chapters of this entry’s title. The journey had taken a toll on Lehi and he finds that he’s somewhat soon to die. He calls in each of his children and their families and Ishmael’s children and bestows a Patriarchal Blessing on each of them. Lehi dies and Laman and Lemuel see that this is finally their chance to be rid of their high and mighty brother once and for all. But the Lord warns Nephi so he packs up with all those going with him, Jacob, Joseph, Zoram, Sam, his mysterious sisters that nave had no mention up until this point, their families and leaves, traveling for “many days” (seriously, how many are many?!) and sets up a new land living “after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27). The families of Laman and Lemuel and all those who chose to follow him are cursed, however, they are cut off from the Lord. Sad.

I was not born in, but raised in the church. My mother converted when I was 3. I was actually baptized Episcopalian as an infant, which I still need to get the full story about from my mother. Anyway, being raised in the church, I never developed the proper reverence and appreciation for the Book of Mormon. I knew it was true, beyond a doubt. I prayed about that and received one of the strongest confirmations of my life, so that wasn’t the issue. Although I knew that this was an amazing book that testified of Jesus Christ, that it was a big deal, I never fully understood why it was so amazing and such a big deal… until now.

It wasn’t until this past week, when after several chapters of Lehi, Nephi and Jacob talking about Christ, that the dawn appeared and I am beginning to grasp what all the amazement is about. I had finished rereading the New Testament late last year, so it’s fresh in my mind. For me it was the epitome of talking about Christ, since he’s actually in it for about 30% of the book. However, now, this week at long last, my eyes have been opened and I know why. It’s the doctrine. The pure and simple doctrine of Jesus Christ and the explanations of things from the before the world was, the creation, our lives on earth, what happens after earth and what will happen in the end. Almost all of it! While the bible may talk about these things, there may be some things missing, or it’s just a shadow in verse. The Book of Mormon expounds on all these things! It truly has the fullness of the Gospel and now I can see why Joseph Smith promised what he did in the Introduction that “… a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”. ANY other book, including the Bible. I can see that now.

 

Through the chapters Nephi let’s us know what he delights in. Among these are the scriptures, the things of the Lord, the words of Isaiah, proving to his people the truth of the coming of Christ, the covenants of the Lord, His Grace, justice, power and mercy. He delights in proving that if Christ didn’t come, all would perish.

I too delight in the scriptures and in the things of the lord. I delight in His covenants, grace, justice, power and mercy. I am learning to delight in Isaiah 😉 and in proving to people about Christ and to believe in Him.

 

 

***Some extra musings: What happened to Sariah? There is no mention of her dying. Also, in the Brass Plates, Lehi and Nephi quote a lot from it, including writings from Joseph of Egypt. Nephi says that “the prophecies which he wrote, there are not many greater”. What did he write?! I know we’re not ready yet for further scriptures, we hardly handle the ones we have, but someday it  will be wonderful to read all these other words.

1 Nephi 15-22…Curious Ball.

So…figuring this new school thing out, I failed to understand initially that these blog entries about my Book of Mormon reading are every other week, so the story will get erratic. Oops.

To bridge the gap between last time and this week, a brief synopsis. Once the sons return from Jerusalem, they are immediately sent back to include a family in their travels, the household of Ishmael. He happens to have 5 unmarried daughters, 2 married sons with families and is of the house of Ephraim, both of which are extremely important and why the Lord spoke to Lehi to have them go get them for Lehi was of the house of Manasseh and his sons and Zoram needed to be married to continue the line and build up a new nation in the promised land. What’s interesting to note here is that this is the only time that I have seen that Laman and Lemuel do not murmur when asked to do something. Go get some girls, oh, yeah! But then they murmured on the way back and tried to stage a coo to kill Nephi, but was once again someone had to intervene, this time the people in their company and they softened and Nephi “frankly” forgave them.

They get back to their parents and Lehi has the vision of the Tree of Life, which I’m not going to explain, and Nephi humbly goes to ask the Lord to see the vision too. Not only does Nephi see the same vision, but he sees much, much more and also the Father and the Son.

Now we pick up where we are for this week. Nephi comes back from seeing his visions and his brothers, Laman and Lemuel are once again whining because they don’t understand what their father was talking about. Nephi asks if they have inquired of the Lord, which they hadn’t, so he patiently explains it all to them. The sons of Lehi and Zoram and the daughters of Ishmael then marry and up to this point, Lehi had “…fulfilled all the commandments of the Lord…” (1 Nephi 16:8). That night the Lord commands Lehi that they are to start thier journey.

Lehi wakes the next morning to find on the ground “a round ball of curious workmanship…within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go in to the wilderness.” (1 Nephi 16:10)

The Lord gave them a GPS! But as we will see that this is no ordinary compass, this one only worked on obedience. If the families were disobedient, the ball or Liahona as it is named, refuses to work and tell them where they should go. Because of this, they end up wandering in the wilderness for 8 years. 8 long, tiring and affliction ridden years when it could have taken a much, much shorter period of time.

What left me wondering from this is what am I doing in my own life from being disobedient that is causing me to wander and take much longer than it needs to? I know that I had certainly done that in the past. I can look back on my life and clearly see when my Liahona stopped working and I was left to myself until I could start being obedient again. Those were bigger things, which I am past now. Then what am I doing now that I could be more obedient about for things in my life to flow more smoothly? Move more quickly? Do more according to the Lord’s will?

Much more happened in the space of this reading, but I will leave you all with that thought. Think about it. What are you doing that is taking longer than it needs to because of your disobedience?

 

1 Nephi 1-5…Beginnings

I have read the Book of Mormon many times in my life. However, each time I read it, I am in a different place in my life of seasons and so have new insights and knowledge…and hopefully a tiny bit more wisdom.

I have approached each new reading differently. In the earlier days, I would read because I knew I was supposed to. Then I started reading to learn some thing, anything. Then I read it for a Young Women’s Personal Progress Virtue Value project. Then having become very familiar with it, completely loving it and being excited to read it again to get another view, I eagerly started to read, only to slow down because I knew the ending and I was sad to read about an entire nation, two actually, destroy themselves. That was tough to finish, but I did and then took a short break, reading the New Testament again instead.

Now I am here, with a fresh outlook with the aim to not just read, nor study, but as Elder Scott ( I think, this was quoted at our Stake Conference) has said to advance my level of scripture reading by:

  1. Hear
  2. Read
  3. Study
  4. Search
  5. Treasure
  6. Feast

He said that it’s in the last 3 where revelation comes. And that:

SPIRIT + WORD = POWER

All that said, let’s delve into what I have learned from my reading, studying and searching.

The first verse of the first chapter in the Book of Mormon sets up the entire book. Nephi’s parents were righteous. They were obedient to the Lord. This sums up what the the whole book is about, namely being obedient or not, and the consequences if you aren’t.

Lehi sees a vision of both Elohim and Jehovah. There are only a handful of scriptures where both God, the Father and His Son are seem together at the same time. Lehi got to be one of those people, through his faith and obedience in praying to the Lord for his people. He then goes and prophesies to the people of what he’s seen, namely the destruction of Jerusalem, but the people don’t really like that and want to have him killed.

Lehi is then told in a dream that he needs to take his family and leave. Being the righteous, obedient and faith-filled Prophet that he is, he collects his family which consisted of his wife, Sariah, and his 4 sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi.

When I read a book, I try to imagine myself there. When I was reading this time, I made more of an effort and also tried to know more about the people themselves. Visualize the setting. So, I was thinking of Lehi and his family, a thought came across my mind about Ancient Israel’s marriage customs. Doing some searching on Google, I found that it was the custom for Jewish men to be married around 18-21 and the women around 14. Which to me, means that Lehi might have been in his late 30’s, Sariah in her early 30’s with Laman somewhere around 17 and the rest of the boys following behind, leaving Nephi to possibly be around 12-13. Which would make sense since Nephi himself states that he was “exceedingly young” (1 Nephi 2:16) and later we see that Sariah bears 2 more children. I think that we tend to skip the part where he says “exceedingly young” and jump on “being large in stature”. My own 14 year old son was 6 feet tall at 13. Being both exceedingly young and large of stature can happen, but we need to remember that he was very young and not a grown man or older teenager.

This can also explain why the behavior of Laman and Lemuel and why they were such whiney brats. They were like High School Juniors asked to move before their senior year and give up their Xbox and the new BMW they got for their birthday, well Laman anyway and Lemuel was just his puppet. And as with all families, every child is different. Laman and Lemuel were very worldly and prideful of their father’s wealth, we know practically nothing about Sam, only that he has enough faith to agree with Nephi and then we have sweet, young Nephi who was taught all the same things as Laman and Lemuel, grew up in the same house with all the same shiny things and yet had the courage and faith to pray to know for himself if his dad was crazy or not. Laman and Lemuel chose to be kept in the dark concerning the Lord and his ways. From my viewpoint, this sounds like some families I know now, or have seen. Behaviors anyway, not the getting married at 14, of course!

Moving on, the Lehi family travels near the borders of the Red Sea, which according the the Book of Mormon Student Manuel, Religion 121-122 this journey wan’t easy. The way was dangerous with unsavory people and they went far, which was probably around 12-14 days. So they travel for a couple of weeks in an arid climate, set up camp.

Though they all go and Laman and Lemuel were the most vocal about not wanting to, we also need to remember that Nephi has misgivings of his own. Yet, the main difference was that he prayed to know for himself if what his dad was saying was true. He needed his own testimony. He wasn’t content to follow blindly. Nor should any of us. This was Nephi’s first great example though, at a tender age. The Lord blesses him with the Spirit to be comforted and he believes his dad.

On this spiritual high, Nephi goes to his father and learns that the Lord told Lehi in a dream to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get the Brass plates, which was a record of the Law of Moses and their genealogy. Another 14 day trip, one way, through the desert with the possibility of coming into harm’s way via bad people. After being told that this is a commandment of the Lord, Nephi gives the clearest insight into his heart and character with”…I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them to accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7)

What absolute obedience, faith and trust in the Lord! I can imagine him humbly stating this to his anxious father. I can imagine his father swelling with relief and honorable pride for his youngest son. The gratitude he felt to the Lord for blessing his son with the Spirit.

From here we have the next huge test, in fact as we learn from Elder Holland, “If Nephi cannot yield to this terribly painful command, if he cannot bring himself to obey, then it is entirely probable that he can never succeed or survive in the tasks that lie just ahead.” (“The Will of the Father” Jan 17, 1989) Which is to kill a man to obtain this essential record. This pre-teen kid, who has more than likely strictly obey the Law of Moses which plainly tells that no one should kill is being asked 3 times, not once, but 3 times by the Spirit to kill Laban, the man who is laying drunk in the street at the feet of Nephi in whose possession rests the plates. What brings it all home for Nephi is yet again obedience, but in a round about way in that he starts to think and comes to the conclusion that if he wants his family and posterity to be obedient and follow the Law of Moses, they needed the plates and this was the only way he could get them. He is obedient, so he takes Laban’s exceedingly fine sword and cut off his head. He takes Laban’s clothes (which I always wonder how bloody they must have been) and meets a servant of Laban along the way, Zoram, who just “happens” to have the keys to the treasury where the plates are. They get them and then Nephi gets out, with Zoram as a new ally and friend.

They make it safely back to their parents who have been anxiously waiting for them, for they spent considerably more time than what was thought. They thank the Lord but offering sacrifices, and then searched the records. Searched.

While reading these first few chapters, how often do we compare ourselves with Nephi? How often do we question our own willingness to be obedient to our Fathers/Leaders/Prophets/ Lord?

Or how often do we murmur like Laman and Lemuel? Almost everyone complains and murmurs at times. The biggest question is will you complain to the point where you cast aside the Spirit of the Lord or will you soften your heart and be obedient through faith? The choice is yours. 

Introduction

Hello anyone and everyone!

Thought I should start out with an introduction to my new blog. New, as in I already have a Family blog….but I completely forgot about it and I haven’t touched in 6 years!

Re-starting fresh.

My husband, James, and I started college again through Pathway,  a program offered through BYU-I. One of the two courses for the Semester is a Religion class on the first half of the Book of Mormon. As part of an assignment for each week, we’re asked to put all our learning for the week together in a way which we can choose from. I chose to write a blog!

I may choose to blog about other aspects of my life, if I have time. I do love to write and let my inner voice be heard, for anyone who happens to read it anyway. But, now that I’m in school, I have to choose what I do with my time, wisely. Beware, I tend to be a bit long winded.

So happy (hopefully) readings! Hope you’ll take a moment to comment on anything you find intriguing. 🙂

And away we go….