[I know it's been a while since anything was posted here, but it's time to start again. This week Rosa is sharing something from one of her classes.]
This week we are studying 1 Nephi Chapter 15-22.
Each of these chapters are full of information and stories about Lehi and his family.
My instructor said this in our class on Thursday about chapter 15, “The focus is the Justice of God. In Lehi’s vision, there was a tree and a building. Church is just another way of saying a group of people. The two groups are those that are with the Savior and those that are with the world.” My instructor asked us to look for truths that can help us understand God’s justice.
1 Nephi 16 is about the Liahona. The Liahona has “two spindles” (1 Nephi 16:10) One of the spindle pointed Lehi’s family in the direction they need to go but the other spindle we don’t know what it is for. The Liahona is teaching us how to receive revelation. The Lord speaks to us in two ways, in our mind and in our heart. We must always prepare our heart and mind through prayer and fasting when we have a problem and need to go to the Lord for answers.
I Nephi 17 is the one I want to focus on and share why this chapter is important to me. In this chapter, Nephi is commanded to build a ship. At this time, his family was to take their journey into the wilderness; they traveled eastward and were, "wading through much affliction" during which their wives also bore children. Nephi did not murmur or complain about any of the trials and he continually felt gratitude for the Lord in blessing them. For example, they didn’t need fire to cook their meals. They lived upon raw meat and their woman and children were as well nourished as the men.
Nephi and his family spent eight years in the wilderness. Eventually they came to the land “Bountiful”, named that because of its much fruits and wild honey. "All these things were prepared of the Lord that [they] might not parish". (1 Nephi 17:5) The Lord prepared everything they needed to survive. While he was in the land Bountiful the voice of the Lord came to him saying, “Arise, and get thee into the mountain.” (1 Nephi 17:7) He obeyed the Lord’s voice and went up and cried unto the Lord. The Lord then spoke to him, telling him that he should construct a ship after the manner which he would show Nephi to carrying his people across the waters. Nephi didn’t say, "no way" or, "I can’t do it because I have never build a ship before". Instead he said, “Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?” (1 Nephi 17:9) The Lord tells him where to go to get it.
To make fire, Nephi smote two stones together and was able to keep it hot using bellows made out of the skins of beasts. They didn’t need fire during their travels because the Lord made their food sweet so they didn’t have to cook anything. And the Lord was their light. However, Nephi strove to keep the commandments of the Lord and told his brothers to be faithful and diligent, but instead they murmured against Nephi. Even after all the miracles of their travels, they did not believe Nephi could build it. He was full of sorrow for his brethren's hard hearts. Nephi was filled with God’s power and was not harmed even when his brothers try to kill him. Nephi’s faith in Lord allowed him to finish the ship and his family was able to get in and continue their journey.
This story is about faith in Jesus Christ and believing in him, and knowing that anything is possible - especially when we have the gospel principles to live by in our lives and use as a daily guide to help us stay on the right path that will lead us back to our heavenly home. No task or commandment can be too difficult. We are not alone and the Lord will provide a way for us as he did for Nephi and his family. There are wonderful truths we can learn in the Book of Mormon. In these chapters are golden nuggets by which, if we study prayerfully, we can make our lives rich by applying the words of the prophets in our day-to-day life.