Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1 Nephi 2:19-24

 19 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.

 20 And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.

 21 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.

 22 And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren.

 23 For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also.

 24 And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.
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If we pray with faith and do so diligently and with lowliness of heart then the Lord will answer our prayers and help us understand His ways.

How?
We need to pray with the faith that he will answer our prayers. I think doing so diligently implies some work. The dictionary says, "in a manner involving great or constant activity". So Nephi might have been praying nearly constantly for a period of time. We know he prayed for his own testimony and we know he prayed for his unbelieving brothers. The last ingredient was 'lowliness of heart'. Nephi prayed in humility not forcing his will upon the Lord, not begging for what he wanted to have happen. He prayed to know the truth, he prayed as his father had done on behalf of his people, in this case his brothers. With faith, diligence and humility he received a powerful message from the Lord, a prophecy of the future.


If we keep the commandments then we will be lead to a land of promise and we will prosper.

How?
I remember years and years ago when I first joined the church as Lehi gained a testimony so did I. Then Chris and I got married and we humbly tried to follow the Lord. We prayed and were led by the Lord to a small town and for Chris to go to school while I stay home with the kids, always striving to follow the Lord. Just as Lehi was led to the wilderness and learn to further follow the Lord. We were led to live poorly but to work hard and finish school, just as Lehi dwelt in a tent and wandered around without the comforts of life. Lehi was promised a land of promise just as we hoped the Lord would provide a good life for us after our efforts to start a family and juggle school, kids and church. We both had faith and hope in the Lord. Lehi didn't know what the promise land would look like save it would be a wonderful place that would meet his and his family's needs. Similarly we didn't know what the future held, were we'd live save we wanted to live in a place where we could raise our family. Nephi built a boat and they set sail and set out for the promise land, the way wasn't easy they had many trials but eventually they made it to the promised land.. We packed a U-Haul and set out for a 4 hour journey, we got a flat tire on the way and although the way wasn't easy we made it. Then further down the road we made a longer journey and eventually made it to Texas, our promised land. I hope its not sacrilegious to compare my life with that of a prophet. I find comfort in doing so. I can be like Lehi and Nephi and great people of old holding fast to the faith and hope the gospel brings. The good news that Jesus Christ is the Savior who makes it possible for us to hope and have faith in better things. There is a promised land for all of us. A land flowing with milk and honey. A land where we can thrive. Life isn't easy for anyone but God has a plan for our lives, it often doesn't make sense but He knows how to best help us grow and how to best use our talents and abilities to help others grow. Then when this life is over there is another promised land we'll go to. The promised land of heaven prepared for each of us personally where we will feel happy, whole and complete.

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