As I begin the post for this chapter, I would like to share with all of you how grateful I am that this chapter is short. Containing only 24 verses we learn so much that is important to the Church of Jesus Christ as it exists today. What happens in this chapter has relevance in each of our lives and if it weren’t for the actions that occur here, I would be blogging about a different subject matter. Please take the time to read 1 Nephi 19 in its entirety and stop to ponder about the importance of Nephi’s proceedings.
Verse 1 “And it came to pass that the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people.” Verse 2 explains that there are two separate sets of plates. One set of plates for prophecy and one set of plates for the record of genealogy and things of the people. Nephi tells us that he only writes things on his plates which he believes are of worth to the souls of men and also reminds us that if he makes a mistake, that is his and not God’s. I know that I am studying visualization this week, and I can see Nephi working over fire and with very hot embers to melt and mold these plates, but I can not help but to stop and thing about this verse. Nephi reminds each of us that we are human and make mistakes, God does not.
Nephi commences his engravings by sharing knowledge with us that Jesus Christ will be born 600 years after his family left Jerusalem. This is the first thing he writes. Absorb that into your mind and heart. When you sit down to write, do you turn to the Father and ask Him what He shall have you write? Do you do as Nephi did? Do you testify of Jesus Christ, first thing? With General Conference being this past weekend, I ask, is your life centered on Jesus Christ as Nephi was??
Nephi shares a little bit about Christ’s crucifixion. The saddest part, the part that always brings me to tears: “And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it and they smith him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.” Nephi tells us of His resurrection and share with us what will be seen in this promised land where his family now is, that they may know of Jesus Christ and that He is. (We will talk more about this in future posts when we get there chronologically.) Nephi continues to write and share on his plates what other prophets have already written and he says that he wrote these prophesies that he might convince his family and people to remember Jesus Christ. And then Nephi taught his family all that he had written and all that he had read in the plates that had been previously obtained from Laban. Nephi then says in the concluding verse: “Hear ye the words of the prophet, ye who are a remnant of the house of Israel, a branch who have been broken off; hear ye the words of the prophet, which were written unto all the house of Israel and liken them unto yourselves, that ye may have hope as well as your brethren from whom ye have been broken off.” Nephi is not only talking to his brothers, and so you know I haven’t lost sight of the visualization tool here. I close my eyes and see Nephi using all of his energies to share this most valuable information with his family. I can see him on his knees showing them how to pray and see him standing upon a rock shouting the words of God so that all men might know that these words are for each and every man that has ever or will ever walk the earth. Have you heard the words of the prophet? Are you taking his advise? Have I? Am I? Points to ponder. Turn to Him, and He will guide you.
I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.