As I studied this chapter, I was thinking to myself that for having 38 verses, there surely must be several principles or ordinances throughout the chapter. I was not wrong, but I did not find as many as I thought I would based upon my studies of the two previous chapters. Here is what I found this morning:
Verse 8: Lehi prayed to the Lord that he would have mercy upon him, and thus it was so. A principle of the gospel…. we can make this portable into any aspect of our lives. Jesus Christ is merciful.
Verse 12: As Lehi partook of the fruit from the tree of life, his soul was filled with “exceedingly great joy.” Not simple joy, but exceedingly great joy. I know that as we, as followers and disciples of Christ, can have our souls be filled with exceedingly great joy as we “partake of the fruit” or in other words, follow in Christ’s footsteps and live as He teaches and commands.
Verse 15: Another principle: if you look at this scripture Lehi is calling to his wife and children. Replace Lehi with Heavenly Father and replace Lehi’s wife and children to Heavenly Father’s children (all human life.) Heavenly Father is calling to all men, women, and children of the earth to come to him and have part in what is described as filling of the soul with exceedingly great joy.
Verse 21: An excerpt from this verse reads “many of whom were pressing forward,” this is a principle of the gospel as we can take this also into many aspects of our lives. We can press forward through trials in parenting, marriage, in the work force, in families, and even in traffic. Pressing forward and trying to reach all that is good is certainly something that I know that I can work on each and every day.
Verse 24: Tells us those that were pressing forward through the darkness were also “clinging to the rod of iron.” I know that I have my own thoughts on what “clinging” means, but here is what I found in dictionary.com: “to stick to,” “to hold tight by grasping or embracing, “to be or remain close.” When I think of clinging, I always think of when my toddlers grasp my leg and just won’t let go. They only want to be close. We learn later in the scriptures as Nephi interprets this vision to his brothers that the rod of iron is the Word of God. Therefore, as we embrace and grasp hold of the Word of God while pressing forward through mortality, we too, can have the blessings of partaking of the fruit from the tree of life.
Jumping all the way down to verse 37… this verse really spoke to me, as I (think) have mentioned in previous posts that I am really working on becoming more charitable. Yesterday, as I was researching charity, I made myself a list of the descriptive words that make up charity. In verse 37 we learn that Lehi urged his children, Laman and Lemuel, with all the feeling of a tender parent. I find that this is a principle in parenthood, and perhaps not just parenthood, but in friendships and really any relationship. Being tender with others is a kind action, being tender with others is love in action. Being tender is giving charity. So I conclude from this that being tender is a principle of the gospel.
16% of the verses in this chapter had principles to share, looking at it strictly verse by verse. However, the chapter as an entirety is a doctrine. The moral of this chapter is that if we choose to hold onto the iron rod and press forward through life we can once again live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the heavens. If we choose to not, we can drown in the depths of the fountain and be one of those souls that is pointing and scoffing at those that do.
I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.