Mon - Jan 07, 2008 : 09:10 pm
1st Nephi : 3
Within the first 5 verses of this chapter, I'm reminded again of how a person works who is truly interested in God's commandments.
Lehi was commanded of the Lord to have his sons return to Jerusalem to get the plates of brass from Laban.
Telling Laman and Lemuel would most certainly have some consequences in that they would automatically assume that Lehi was delirious or something. Did Lehi care? Probably, but it didn't stop him.
I relate this to our time by asking "If revelation was received which would ultimately lead you to looking stupid / foolish / delirious in front of the people you love, would you do it?"
Too often, people care too much about the way they appear by the world's standards. People who love the Lord will care how the Lord sees them, not the way the world does.
Verse 8 can be related as an example to what D&C 50:22 refers.
Verse 13 is a very good reason why I love checks and balances in a government. Nobody of power can legally say "I think you're a robber, so I'm gonna kill you.", for simply making a request.
Verse 14 tells me something quite important: Nephi was writing the account, and the word "we" was used. That implies that Nephi, too, was also sorrowful for not having obtained the plates, and also having Laman's life sought. One huge difference, however: How did Nephi's reaction compare to Laman's reaction?
Laman's reaction: I quit - this sucks - no more - can't be done.
Nephi's reaction: "As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us."
Quite the contrast from two reactions coming from the same situation.
Verses 16-21, as I see it, are a prophecy fulfillment of Lehi's stating that Nephi would be a teacher and leader over his brethren. (1 Ne. 2:22) Didn't take too long for that one to be fulfilled.
Verse 25 is an even more powerful witness against a monarchy. "Uhh... I see you are rich. I want your riches, so I will command people to kill you so I can have it." Democracy at least provides a way of checks and balances to combat that mentality.
The rest of the chapter is a testament that an evil heart, no matter what happens, (like a freakin' angel appearing to you, and telling you you're wicked) change must be made from the inside-out. External factors may help, but at the minimum, a desire to change must be kindled within, first.
Didn't take too long for Laman and Lemuel to start murmuring again (like uh... 10 seconds?)... Crazy.
This chapter, to me, reflects a great example of how the completion of God's commandments must be carried out. No matter what happens, if God commands it, the commandment can be fulfilled if we have the faith necessary.
Each time I put myself in the situation Nephi found himself in, I wonder if I would have the faith to persevere - even in the face of people I love being drawn to mock me and beat me because of it.
Verses which speak of Christ - 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,15,16,19,20,21,29