Tuesday, September 22, 2015

1 Nephi 1:1-3

1 I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.

 2 Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.

 3 And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.
- - - - - -

Yellow is for priesthood or power of God. I chose to mark 'born of goodly parents' because how you were raised can be a power and a strength. Lehi taught Nephi its says 'somewhat in all the learning of my father'. That may have been a father teaching his son his business profession but I think it goes further, I think Lehi taught his sons how to be men. I think goodly parents teach their children. Even with good parents and teaching, Nephi still saw many afflictions and I think he turned them into strengths as we'll see over and over again. Perhaps all of this combined helped prepare him to go to the Lord and gain 'great knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God'. Although his 2 older brothers were doubtless raised in the same home and yet they were not prepared or chose not to go to God in prayer. Even being raised in a wonderful home with every opportunity, some still stray. While some being raised in horrible homes with little to no opportunity find their way.

Nephi is a good example of a positive attitude. To be able to look back on his life and recognize that while he can't deny there were sore afflictions and hard trials, he still feels highly favored of the Lord. That tells me he was able to endure his trials with the grace and dignity of one who has kept close to the Spirit.

If you make a record or journal of your life and proceedings then you will see your blessings, cultivate an attitude of gratitude and be able to say that your past was goodly along with your parents, and you will see and feel highly favored and blessed of the Lord and you’ll begin to gain a knowledge of the goodness of God.

If you keep a journal and stay close to the Spirit then the Holy Ghost can help you make sense of your trials and see them as growth experiences.

How?
Nephi wrote of his day to day life but above all he mostly wrote of his visions—the more spiritual part of his life.  I can keep a journal and write down my day to day happenings, I need to write down my trials and pour out my heartfelt feelings in prayer and the Lord can help me through them, help me find peace and feel highly favored. I need to write down and treasure the spiritual promptings that I have. Sometimes spiritual promptings are telling us what we should do, I need to follow these promptings.  Sometimes spiritual promptings help us understand the mysteries of God.  All of these promptings I need to write down. Prayer, scripture study and a journal will help me. Nephi must have read from the scriptures, listened to the prophet: his father Lehi and prayed a lot to have so many visions and to be so valiant.  He didn’t judge his father or criticize him when his father had a moment of weakness after his bow broke.  He was quick to forgive his brothers for the many wrongs they committed.  Nephi wrote a record, but he must have read, prayed and thought a lot.  He must have prayed and pondered—asking God questions and listening to the answers.  Nephi was such a good example of a valiant person, we are lucky to have his journal.  

What about kids who are abused and neglected?  Raised in homes where they feel they are worthless.

Did Nephi come from an abusive home?  Doesn't seem like it, seems like he had really awesome parents but that his brothers were abusive. Can someone say they were 'born of goodly parents' if their parents were abusive? Does it matter? Can you still be highly favored of the Lord? Seems like the 'many afflictions of the course of my days' is where you insert abuse, neglect, and pain. How do you go from 'many afflictions' to 'highly favored'? What if those 'many afflictions' left scars so deep you may never heal in this life? Seems like Nephi's afflictions while great happened in his later years after he had already been raised by good parents that helped him form healthy mental and emotional attitudes.

Food for thought....


* * *
Here is what I said on the subject years ago:

6/18/13
Try… try… again.  Where do I begin?  From the very beginning?

- - - - -
I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
- - - - - -

Nephi was taught by his father.  He is thankful for good parents who gave him an education.  Goodly might mean good parents but it also could mean well off.  It appears Lehi had lots of gold and silver so Nephi could have grown up in a well to do, rich home.  Lehi taught Nephi his trade.  It’s been speculated in other books that Lehi could have been a traveler, trader, or tour guide of sorts because he appears to know his way around the vast desert of the area.  Nephi is feeling highly favored, perhaps because he and his family were spared from the Babylonian invasion or perhaps they were living rich and a bit too worldly before.  Whatever the case, Nephi is expressing those precious converting feelings of being highly favored to have received a strong relationship with God and having been saved from your former life.

I feel highly favored of the Lord, had I not met Denee and joined the church I would have remained Lutheran.  I would have continued to going to church no doubt.  My mom instilled in me a very strong church going duty.  We believe you go to church on Sundays, no question.  Though what you do after church is your own business.  Unlike the kids I went to church with as a youth, from what I hear, most have fallen away and don’t go to church or take their children to church.  I feel fortunate to have found a deeper church.  One that challenges me to do and be better.  I think had I stayed Lutheran, I would have met someone and had a couple kids and lived our lives as best as we could.  But I don’t know I’d be where I am today.  5 kids, ruptured uterus and nearly ready for the home study in the adoption process.  Would I have stretched the limits of my child bearing abilities to have so many children?  Would I have had children later and still ruptured my uterus?  If my life were different, if things would have worked out different—turning Joe so he wasn’t breech—would I have still ruptured my uterus?  Was adoption in God’s plan all along?  And if it was, if I am truly doing what the Lord wants, why do I feel so distant from Him?  Why had my head been swirling in a mist of darkness when I am supposed to be doing His will?  If I had stayed Lutheran would I feel any different then I feel now?    


No comments:

Post a Comment