Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1 Nephi 1:4-15

4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.

 5 Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people.

 6 And it came to pass as he prayed unto the Lord, there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did quake and tremble exceedingly.

 7 And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.

 8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.

 9 And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day.

 10 And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.

 11 And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.

 12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

 13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon.

 14 And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!

 15 And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him.
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Lehi stopped and listened and learned from the prophets, unlike so many others who were persecuting the prophets. Similar in our day we have the missionaries teaching the restored gospel to all who will listen. Lehi heard the message and immediately found a place to pray about it. He prayed with all his heart for his people and possibly to clarify the teachings of the prophets, as we should all do. When we learn things, pray for guide, assurance, and direction.  He prayed with all his heart and he received a powerful answer to his prayers.

If you repent, pray with all you heart—having a question or problem then you will see a vision helping you know what to do and your heart will be filled with love for God and his mercy and his greatness in responding to your prayers and filled with peace in the future knowing you’re doing the right thing.
How?
I think you have to be in the practice of regularly praying.  As we pray regularly it gets better—the more often we pray the better and more sincere our prayers become.  We need to ask the right questions and pray with humility and love.  We have to pray with faith and search for it.  When we were looking for our first home to buy, I searched and searched trying to find the perfect home for our family—the one home to meet all of our needs for a long, long time—like THE house.  Searching all over the internet and around the neighborhood, trying to think about what our true needs were, trying to be realistic knowing this didn’t have to be the one and only time to buy a house, and praying to know what we needed and balancing what we needed with what we wanted. I had a dream.  I was sitting at a desk, the light was soft, all around me, I look down at a brown desk and some papers and slid across to me and on the paper it says “139,000” and I was signing it.  I woke up Chris and told him that’s how much our house needed to cost.  Then I went back to the internet looking for houses in the 159 range, I found 3 and we looked at each of them.  They happened to all have the same floor plan.  The first one we saw ended up being the home we bought. I told Chris the whole time that the home needed to be 139, that it was going to cost exactly that. I think he waved knowing the asking price was 159, but the Lord told me the exact price. After inspections, negotiating with the buyer back and forth a few days, and putting in our down payment. Closing day arrived and it was much like my dream, we signed and the price was 139. The Lord truly guided us to our home, it was exactly as HE said it would be, my heart was filled—knowing that I live where the Lord wants me to live, He led me this home, He cared enough about me to answer my pleas for help.  I don’t always know how to pray with all my heart, I think it depends on what you are praying for and how much it means to you. But the Lord has given me visions in small ways too—thoughts will come into my head, pictures of how I ought to do things.

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