return to I Love My Journal
A Little Closer to Center...
Musings about Life, Linux, and Latter-day Saints.
Pages
About Me
Links


Tags
PERSONAL 512
SPIRITUAL 408
LDS 312
BOOK OF MORMON 237
SCRIPTURES 154
STUDIO-JOURNEY 122
RELIGION 112
LINUX 79
COMPUTERS 65
LIFE 60
GENERAL CONFERENCE 45
GENTOO 39
MISCELLANEOUS 37
MUSIC 37
PROGRAMMING 33
CARS 29
FAMILY 23
MICROSOFT 23
AUDIO 21
I LOVE MY JOURNAL 18
FUN 15
CHILDREN 12
CURRENT EVENTS 10
NATURE'S WAY 10
VIDEO 9
DRM 9
CONEXM 7
BABBLINGS 7
PROVO CITY CENTER TEMPLE 6
FRIENDS 6
HEROD THE FINK 5
COMPUTER HARDWARE 5
GAMES 5
DRUMS 4
HAND OF GOD 3
AUDIO HARDWARE 3
STUDIO 3
KDENLIVE 3
ADVERSITY 3
GENERAL INSANITY 3
THANKS4GIVING 2
CATS 2
CHURCH NOTES 1
FOREVERGREEN 1
POLITICS 1
POETRY 1
YOUTH CONFERENCE 1
GOSPEL 1
PARENTING 1
MY JOURNAL 1
EVERYDAY THOUGHTS 1


RSS Feed

RSS FeedSubscribe!
Tue - Jan 08, 2008 : 09:42 pm
grateful
   rated 0 times
>>next>>
<<previous<<
1st Nephi : 4
One way I really enjoy reading the scriptures is from a very empathetic point of view.  I find I learn more when I study, if I try to imagine what would *really* be going on if I were actually within the scripture.

Chapter 4 is perfect for this.  Reading somewhat between the lines of the first part of this chapter allows us to imagine what Nephi had previously known, what was on his mind, and what was truly important to him.

From verse 6, we gather that Nephi knew things of a spiritual nature.  He had experience with the Spirit.  He knew what it was to be "led by the Spirit of God".  Otherwise, he wouldn't have had a clue what he was doing.  So, Nephi knew what the Spirit was.  He also knew the scriptures, and he believed they were true.  Otherwise, he wouldn't know who Moses was, much less relate his current situation to his crossing the red sea on dry ground.

Something else I like to keep in memory is the frame of mind Nephi was in while having this adventure.  Did Nephi know he would grow up to be a fantastic prophet?  Honestly, I don't know, but I'm pretty sure of is that Nephi was still quite young.   Besides evidence in previous scripture stating his stage in life, brothers in their 20s and 30s don't tend to beat each other up when things go wrong.  Maybe they did 2500 years ago, who knows.  Anyway....

I bring up this point to hit home that Nephi was much like any of us when given a task we're not sure how to accomplish.  Nephi had tried everything, and I mean everything he could think of to get those plates.  He wasn't turning back, so I imagine he thought "I'll put the Lord to the test.  I've done all I can do for myself, and nothing has worked.  If God wants us to have those plates, then he'll let it be known to me how it is to be done", as he walked toward the walls of Jerusalem.  Of course, being guided by the Spirit always helps as well.

Verses 10 through 17, to me, are a roadmap to discerning spiritual thought patterns.  Let me explain:

In the news within the past decade or so, have been some stories about people, who have thought they received inspiration from God to kill people - even their own kids.  I seriously doubt they really did.  So.... What makes Nephi any different?

Nephi's thought pattern here could be analyzed for pages and pages to decipher whether or not he really was under the influence of the Spirit while pondering Laban's murder.  A few key points make it really a no-brainer for me (aside from the point that I personally have received witness after witness that the Book of Mormon is true, thus making the account of verses 10-17 true as well)
  1. At the first constraint of the Spirit, Nephi "shrunk" from the thought of killing Laban.  He simply did not want to do it.  He had never killed anyone before and he knew it was against the commandments of God to do so.
  2. The 2nd spiritual constraint was vocal.  The spirit told him that Laban had been delivered by the Lord into Nephi's hands.  His thoughts then turned to various wicked things Laban had done.
  3. The spirit constrained him the third time vocally as well, and explained 2 key points:  1. For God's purpose, He slays the wicked.  2. It's better that one man die than a whole nation should spiritually perish.
  4. After receiving the third vocal witness, he thought of various reasons why it would be best that Laban should die. (verses 14-17)
  5. He then followed God's commandment and killed Laban.

Sounds like a good plan to follow.  I still doubt I could do anything even close, even if the Spirit did constrain me.  Nephi must have had an extremely close relationship to God.  Anyway... On with the study.

The rest of the chapter isn't given the detail the beginning was, as to the thoughts and spiritual promptings of Nephi.  We can only assume he was still being guided by the Spirit.

Still an incredible story.

One last thing which interests me each time I read it, is that as soon as Zoram swore with an oath he would follow them to their father, and dwell with them, their "fears did cease concerning him."

Wow, how times have changed.  A stranger's word in today's world is worth about as much as a gram of dirt.  How I long for a time when people do what they say, and personal honor is generally accepted and worth something.  *sigh* - Satan sure has a stranglehold with deceit now-a-days.