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Spiritual Power and a Personal Witness, 1 Nephi 2: 14-16

1 Nephi 2: 14-16

Yesterday I had mentioned characteristics that Lehi prized in his own life. There is nowhere in the record that gives us any insight into Lehi before this time. Yet I am assuming that Lehi prized these characteristics because they where a part of his own personal character. Thus demonstrating his own integrity and virtue.

Verse 14, however, is the best evidence so far of his personal discipline. Now his faith was being taxed by his own sons. That he was able to harness spiritual power to chastise them is proof of his worthiness, proof of his integrity, proof that God trusted him enough to know that Lehi would not break out in a fit of rage and abuse his position as a father and spiritual leader to his sons.

The juxtaposition (or contrast) of this verse where Lehi exerts such spiritual power to the next verse is beautifully simple. This is a reminder that in all things, Lehi was willing to submit himself to the will of the Lord, even to the point of living in a tent.

Nephi next explains why he had believed in the things that his father had taught and done. He credits his not rebelling against his father to both his willingness to believe and also to the personal knowledge he had obtained from the Lord. Because Nephi wanted to know the mysteries of God, and because he believed that God could talk to him just as he had talked to his father, Nephi prayed earnestly for knowledge. In return, the Lord did visit him.

That changed everything for Nephi. Now he didn't just believe his father's words, Nephi possessed for himself a personal witness from the Lord.