Tuesday, April 10, 2012

1 Nephi 1:1

A couple weeks ago I started playing with the idea of starting over in the Book of Mormon and writing my feelings of each chapter in a special book.  Since I started it again in January I've had a lot of insights and feelings that I'm already starting to forget.  I've been praying about whether or not I should could do this because although it's something I'd really LIKE to do and it's certainly a worthy thing to do, I have a lot on my plate and already struggle to get it all done.  Adding one more thing is a little daunting.  If I could just replace my normal scripture study it wouldn't be an issue but being the Gospel Doctrine teacher I can't just start over and quit reading and studying where I am now.  I guess it's not the time.  So sometime I'll finish what this only seems I'm starting.

In the very first verse something new jumped out at me.  Each thought is linked together and plays off the previous line.  It reads:

"I, Nephi, having been aborn of bgoodly cparents, therefore I wasdtaught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many eafflictions 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 frecord of my proceedings in my days."

I really want to read this!
"I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father;"
"Because Nephi had good(ly) parents he was taught by them.  His father was a prophet so no doubt there were a lot of experiences and gospel truths that were gleaned.  I'm lucky to have been raised by goodly parents on earth too.  I've thought often of those that didn't receive this blessing.  Certainly, this makes me realize that I have even more of a responsibility to live as I've been taught.  What a travesty if I throw that blessing in my Father in Heaven's face by not living up to those things my goodly earthly parents taught me.  We ALL have the blessing of goodly parents in our Heavenly Father and Mother.  No one lacks there.

"and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days,"
 It's very possible that Nephi (and his brothers) suffered afflictions because he was Lehi's son.  It's likely that the afflictions Nephi speaks of didn't begin when they started their journey in the wilderness.  They likely began in Jeruselem right along with his father.  Nephi could easily have suffered at the hands (and mouths) of children who were learning from the examples of their parents who were persecuting his father.

"nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days;"  
We earn favor with the Lord.  Surely, the Lord was pleased with Nephi because of how he stayed true to his beliefs and had much faith and courage in the face of his afflictions.  Surely if the tables were turned and Nephi was the brother that was prideful and selfish and Laman was faithful and righteous it would have been Laman that was favored.  Each of us can be favored.  It's all about our choices.  I love that I have control of this!  Nephi was favored because of how he handled adversity and because he made Christ the center of his heart.

"yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God,"  
Nephi was aware of his blessings, tender mercies and the mysteries of God.  Again, this is because of Nephi.  Surely, he looked for these things and then recognized them.  I know in myself I notice blessings when I look for them.  If I become self-absorbed and pessimistic I don't notice the goodness of God as much but I notice the works of the adversary.  I'd venture to say that Laman and Lemuel started out with much of the same blessings and surroundings as Nephi.  As they complained and quarreled those things became less obvious.  As Nephi learned to be grateful and more obedient he noticed these things and earned even more blessings.  Also, with faith, prayer, study and desire Nephi became aware of the mysteries of God.  When we become aware of the goodness of God we start to see it in droves.

Something else on this.  I have no doubt we have more blessings than we are aware of.  I think when the veil is removed from our eyes we will see countless more blessings.  I was thinking of people in remote areas of the world who never receive knowledge of Jesus Christ.  They aren't aware of the blessings of the atonement.  That doesn't mean they don't have those blessings.  Just that they aren't aware of them.  I wonder how many numerous blessings I have that I'm not educated or faithful enough to see yet?

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  1. I loved reading your thoughts... good points to make as well :) It is neat to think that Nephi didn't want us to focus on the trials he had suffered, or to be stuck on them, just to know that he had suffered and was like everyone else in that manner. What a great example he was to us all, to continue forward ever so faithful. I know that Heavenly Father does have many blessings in store for each of usm sine we have to earn and so many are freely given. Enjoyed your post! :) Karine

  2. I like your thinking about blessings we don't see but will when the veil is lifted. I think we even get glimpses as we recognize each day the hand of the Lord in our life. I was gospel doctrine when I had young kids, and I prayed that I would be left in for 4 years so I could study the whole works. And I got that-- I kind of miss it now. Primary is my fall back calling that seems to be always calling! I think I have 15 years in there.

  3. You are so good! I just got called as a youth Sunday School teacher, so I definitely need to get on it!!


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