Thursday, October 8, 2015

1 Nephi 3:1-8

1 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father.

 2 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a dream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem.

 3 For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.

 4 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness.

 5 And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.

 6 Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.

 7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

 8 And it came to pass that when my father had heard these words he was exceedingly glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord.
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The scripture made famous by seminary-- Nephi 3:7. I think if we remember back to chapter 2, Nephi was praying and gaining his own testimony. His father had taken the family on a new adventure and the children were confused. Laman and Lemuel complain, Nephi sees his fathers actions and it seems to me that he saw his father's example and really thought about his father's actions. How did Nephi gain a testimony that when the Lord gives you a commandment He'll help you accomplish it? I think Nephi learned that by watching his father. Lehi had heard the prophets, felt the Spirit stir his humble heart and he prayed. Then the Lord gave him a commandment, a job to do. He told Lehi to teach the people and when the people rejected him the Lord didn't leave him hanging. He never leaves his followers hanging. Yes some of the prophets die teaching and exhorting people to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but I am convinced just as Nephi that the Lord never leaves us. In Lehi's case the Lord led away from personal harm to a land of promise. Those people he did not lead away in this life still earned their own land of promise with God in heaven.

Anyway, I can see Nephi watching his father and scrutinizing his actions. I could see Nephi asking sincere questions and really wanting to know more about the change his saw in his father. Then he went to the Lord. 1 Nephi 2:16-- Nephi prayed to know the 'mysteries of God', perhaps the mysteries he refers to has something to do with his father's behavior. Nephi then says the Lord visited him and softened his heart. Could it be he came to know why his father had led them to the wilderness? Could it be he understood why his father better? Nephi says "that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father". I think Nephi's testimony starts out watching his father and recognizing the pattern that the Lord gives commandments and then helps you accomplish those commandments. Its a valuable lesson he has learned from praying and observing his father. And now all the is about to be tested as he himself is given a commandment. Nephi prayed and the Lord prepared him. Nephi reached out in faith just like his father had done and the Lord gave him a commandment. Nephi is really to serve just like his father. We pray with faith and the Lord strengths and tests our faith at the same time as we are given commandments. Don't just sit there believing-- put your money where your mouth is. Let's go! Faith is verb!

How proud Lehi must have been as Nephi bore to him his fresh testimony! He must have had that new glow of someone who has just found the gospel. I imagine Lehi and Nephi similar to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ... "Behold this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased."  Lehi was well pleased with Nephi, he knew he had prayed and sought out his own answers and had been 'blessed of the Lord'.

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