Sunday, January 8, 2012


Nephi begins his record with the words that we all know by heart:  "I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father..." 

We know from reading Nephi's account that he was educated; had a strong understanding of the scriptures; and that he trusted his father.  Lehi taught his children everything he knew.  Some of what he taught was done by example.

In chapter 1 verse 4 we learn that there were prophets that declared the destruction of Jerusalem prior to Lehi's prophecy.

Lehi went to the Lord to ask for a witness and confirmation.  Lehi was given confirmation through a vision.  He shares the vision with his family and then declared it to the people of Jerusalem.  Lehi's example sets a pattern that was taught to Nephi:  1)  Listening, 2) Prayer, 3) Proclaim, 4) Act.

When Nephi heard his father speak about his vision and the ultimate destruction of Jerusalem he followed that same pattern.   Because Nephi received confirmation himself he was able to support his father's decision to be obedient and depart from Jerusalem.

The early saints were also asked to leave their homes - relocating many times.  Ultimately, the saints settled in the Salt Lake Valley.  Not all who were asked to leave their homes did.  There will come a time when the Lord will ask us to make sacrifices again.  To leave our homes; relocate; and to build Zion.  Do we have the faith to follow the direction of our leaders and to be obedient to the Lord's commandments.

Our responsibility is to follow the pattern set forth in the very first chapter of the Book of Mormon.  Faith and obedience are principles that are essential in developing our testimonies.

We are often asked to do things.  We are extended callings; asked to fulfill assignments and to assist those in need.  Sometimes we may feel that it is difficult or that we don't understand.  It is our responsibility to inquire of the Lord; asking for a witness and a confirmation that what we have been asked to do is right  We then need to be faithful and go about doing.  We may not be able to accomplish the things we have been asked to do.  We need to have faith that the Lord will prepare a way for us.  We should in our heart's say:  "I will go and do..."  President Kimball counseled us to "Do it."  President Uchtdorf counseled us to stand where we are and be the best that we can in the callings and assignments that we have been given.

Lehi taught his children by living a righteous life.  He taught his children obedience, faith, trust in the Lord and most of all gratitude.

After three days in the wilderness, Lehi built an alter and gave thanks to the Lord.  Is it possible to express feelings of gratitude even in difficult circumstances?  I believe we can.

I believe it is very important that we express our gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the many blessings that he pours out upon His children every day.  Our daily prayers should begin with gratitude and thanksgiving.  I believe this gives us a better perspective before we ask for blessings and gifts from our Father in Heaven.  We are able to distinguish between wants and needs.

I am grateful that we have Nephi's account.  I am grateful that we have the scriptures so that we have the information we need to be better parents and faithful servants.  I am also grateful that we have this year to study the Book of Mormon.  The counsel within those pages is a benefit and a blessing to all who read; study; pray and then act.

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