17 But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life.
18 Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my father, Lehi, yea, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to prophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard.
19 And it came to pass that the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations; and he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book, manifested plainly of the coming of a Messiah, and also the redemption of the world.
20 And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.
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So Lehi prays, sees a vision and gains an unshakable faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. So burning with the fire of a newly converted, a changed man, he goes out and wants to share what he's learned with others. He tells them of their wickedness and calls them to repentance. That's pretty typical, but the next part is what baffles me. All my life I went to church (I was raised Lutheran) and was taught Bible stories and I always thought the Jews were God's chosen people. Way back with Moses and the whole 'let my people go' thing, those were the Jewish people! So here fast forward and they seem to still be struggling with basic concepts. In the wilderness there was lack of faith and the people were bit by serpents and had to just look and live, turn to the symbol of Jesus Christ and live. Here they seem to be in a similar plight though not as obvious to them. They are ripe with sin and iniquity, further study shows the particulars. But it seems that God's chosen people are yet again struggling to be faithful. Did God choose the wrong people, poor slackers who can't hold to the faith for 2 minutes? Or are we all like the Jews, full of sin and quick to anger. Quick to see the faults of others yet slow to see our own? Seems like this might help us do our own little personal inventory. When we hear something we should be doing, when someone testifies of our wickedness and our abominations, how do we react? With angry or humility?
Here is what I wrote years ago in 2010 or 2011 about verse 19... (told you I have tried to read the scriptures, quit, and tried again)
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It’s been a while since I started this Book of Mormon journal; I have not been studying regularly. I am going to start writing the date on my entries to help me keep track and remind me to study every day. A year ago, Elder Bednar came to visit our stake. The Bishop said that everyone should prepare for his coming by reading his talks. I didn’t think that was really necessary. I didn’t openly mock the Bishop, Lehi must have been mocked rather harshly and violently, other prophets had been killed prophesying like he did, and they were going to kill Lehi had he not left. I didn’t think I needed to prepare, I had never been asked to do that before and we had baby Charlie and the other 4 kids keeping us pretty busy. I didn’t even know if we would be able to go to the adult meeting. The adult meeting was the Saturday before Stake Conference—for adults only, and I was told directly from the Relief Society President that there would not be room to sit in a side room with the kids as we had done several times before. I knew he was an apostle and I was ready to hear what he had to say and uncertain where I would be when he came, I might not even be able to hear him with my kids. Oh how wrong I was! I didn’t heed the warning. I rationalized and made excuses and did not prepare. Chris ended up saying that I ought to go alone; he thought I needed it more than he since I had been struggling with things and events after Charlie’s birth. So I ended up going alone, and a lot of what he said went right over my head!
Here I am a year later struggling… how did I get here?
I have had a pattern… it might have started from reliance on the pastor, or Sunday school teacher. But I have this pattern: whenever I have a problem, I ask all my friends, read books, getting a general consensus of what I should do and then follow it. WRONG!! I have found myself trying that and it is NOT WORKING!! Everyone has their own opinions. There is no general consensus, and the answer they gave would most likely not be what I need. I need to do as Lehi and pray with all my heart. I have learned in the past how to handle post partum depression: Sun + Food + Exercise. I have depression, lack of motivation, turmoil inside. Sometimes I feel like I have a black cloud following me around. I do not feel like myself. When I heard Elder Bednar speak he gave a very strong promise that if you read the Book of Mormon looking for “strength of the Lord” –it will change you. I don’t know very many times that I’ve heard “strength of the Lord” in the Book of Mormon, and since I need to change a whole lot and desire to really soak up the scriptures, I have decided to go verse by verse looking for the times we reach out to God and for the times God reaches out to us.
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So here it is 2015 and I am still trying to accomplish this goal of reading and really studying The Book of Mormon. Charlie isn't a baby anymore, he is 5 years old. I still feel pretty much the same as I did back then. But rather then dwell on my lack of progress I am going to dwell on my ability to pick myself up over and over and over again. But I can't take all the credit. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ simply do not give up on us and weather it takes a year or a lifetime he is always there encouraging us forward.