Pressing forward. Chapter 11 is here. This one and three more for the week. My goal is to get caught up today so that there is only one chapter left for each day to blog about. Hopefully life and children comply, but we all know that things do not go according to our plans, but to the plans of our Heavenly Father. Let’s move forward to the next 36 verses and see what principles and doctrines can be found.
I wrote a little bit about this when I realized what a great state of being Lehi must have been in to have had Heavenly Father appear to him in a vision, but here we read that Nephi made it to this wonderful state as well. This chapter opens with Nephi prayed to know the things that Lehi knew and saw. After his prayer, he sat and pondered the things which he prayed about (we can sure learn a lot from Nephi.) While he was pondering, he explained in his writing that he “was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord.” The Spirit takes Nephi up and asks “What desirest thou?” to which Nephi replies: “to behold the things which my father saw.” I think this is wonderful. Nephi doesn’t ask the Spirit to show him anything more than for confirmation of what Lehi already explained. Nephi wants to have the confirmation for himself and asks Heavenly Father for this. He asks and is given (see my last post regarding 1 Nephi 10:19.) Nephi tells the Spirit that he believes everything that his father said, which I really like. Even though he believed his father, he still asked Heavenly Father to show him the truth. Nephi was wise to know that Heavenly Father knows all things and to turn unto Him to have the mysteries of God revealed. This reminds me a lot of my conversion.
I recall praying, as Joseph Smith did back in 1820. I wanted to know for myself if the Book of Mormon was true and was a work of God. I had not had a sincere prayer in years and years. It took a lot of courage to talk to Heavenly Father after ignoring Him for so long, but I did it. I prayed, and I prayed again, and I prayed again on the third night, a wonderful feeling of warmth came into my heart, and I knew at that moment, that the Book of Mormon was true and that I was to follow this path. If you haven’t done so, I urge you to. Close your eyes and quietly ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true, you may not get your answer right away, but I do know, that if you ask with a sincere heart and a sincere desire to know the truth, that He will make it known unto you. Don’t stop asking until you have your answer. You can go read other people’s stories of conversion here: http://mormonconverts.com/ .
Back on topic now: When Nephi tells the Spirit that he believes what his father has told him, the Spirit cries out joyously saying “And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God”.” Try replacement here… Blessed art thou, Samantha.
Blessed art thou, Aaron.
Blessed art thou, Jack.
Blessed are thou, Sarah.
Each and every human that believes in the Son of the most high God is blessed. This chapter continues with Nephi being shown the same things that Lehi was shown. Nephi is testifying of the tree of life and then tells the Spirit that he wants to understand what the tree of life means. The next principle that I came across in this chapter is found in verse 11 and it reads: “and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.” I like this because we can know that when the Spirit speaks to us, he will speak to us so that we understand. I speak and write English, therefore I know that the Spirit isn’t going to speak to me in Greek or Spanish or Hebrew and the things that He does speak to me, I will be able to understand.
Nephi’s trip with the Spirit continues and he is shown the birth of Jesus Christ and is told that the virgin Mary is the mother of the Son of God. The Spirit then plainly tells Nephi that the tree of life is the “love of God” and “it is the most desirable above all things” and in verse 23 “the most joyous to the soul.” Do you view the love of God as the most desirable thing of all that is most joyous to your soul? Do you wake everyday praising God for the gift of life and for his love? I know that I struggle with this concept at times and do not wake every day praising and being grateful for the gift of this life and for my Heavenly Father’s love. I wish that I did, and I know that this is certainly something that I can work on.
The next thing that Nephi asks of the Spirit if for understanding of the iron rod. The Spirit then tells Nephi that the rod of iron represents the word of God. This lets us know that if we hold on to the word of God, we can press forward to the tree of life and partake of the love of God.
Nephi then has the blessing of seeing John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus Christ, seeing Christ be baptized and ministering unto the people with his twelve apostles. He saw Jesus Christ healing the sick and teaching of the love of God. He then sees the Messiah crucified and die for the sins of the world. Nephi sees the world fighting against the twelve apostles, do we see this today? Do we see people rebuking Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Do we see horrible teachings and practices occur globally? Nephi sees all of this and then explains in verse 36 that the people in that spacious building that Lehi saw was the pride of the world and this pride will be the destruction of all those that shall fight against the apostles of Jesus Christ.
Chapter concluded. A great and powerful chapter in the Book of Mormon. I testify that this is true, and I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.