27 September 2008

"Thou Hast Beheld... His Glory," 2 Nephi 2:1-4

2 Nephi 2:1-4

I am enthralled with the notion that Jacob in his youth had come to know God by personal manifestation. His father, Lehi, is also aware of this and makes mention of it several times in these first verses. When we consider Jacob's position however, it was extremely appropriate that Jacob would be privileged to have such a personal manifestation.

God reveals himself to his prophets, of whom Jacob eventually becomes one. Thus is the pattern of God. God then requires his prophets, those to whom he has revealed himself to testify of him. That is a weighty responsibility.

Lehi gives him the perspective of that privilege by explaining that the Spirit is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Thus what he had experienced put him on an equal plane as those who would walk with Christ in His mortal ministry. That is an important point.

23 September 2008

"Hearken Unto the Voice of Nephi," 2 Nephi 1:24-32

2 Nephi 1:24-32

In these verses at the end of the chapter, I get a sense of the finality of Lehi's words. He puts into proper perspective the relationship between Nephi and his brothers.

To have been Nephi in this situation was one of those rare and humbling moments of affirmation, that only a true disciples of Christ would be permitted to experience. After Lehi sets straight Nephi's position, he gives (what is much more than an endorsement) instruction that if they listen and obey the councils of Nephi then they would be blessed in their new land of promise.

What Lehi had witnessed in Nephi is the resting of the prophetic mantel upon Nephi. Lehi had the absolute assurance that Nephi was prepared to take on the full leadership responsibilities of his family. The Lord had blessed Nephi, and Lehi promised his other children that they too would be blessed if they followed Nephi.

20 September 2008

"The Anxiety of My Soul", 2 Nephi 1:13-23

2 Nephi 1:13-23

The natural course for one who has experienced the joy of redemption is to extend those blessings to others. In fact, it becomes their "obsession" to see that the opportunities for salvation are extended to all.

This is where Lehi is found: having partaken of the glories of God -- receiving the assurance of salvation for himself -- and now he longs (with that affection that only a parent could feel for a child) that every member of his family be the recipients of the same blessings and promises.

Lehi uses phrases like "Awake"and "arise from the dust" to illustrate to his sons their failure to partake of the glories of God--vivid descriptions of the perilous course that his older sons had chosen to follow.

17 September 2008

"The Land of their Inheritance", 2 Nephi 1:7-12

2 Nephi 1:7-12

The themes of righteousness and iniquity are addressed here again by Lehi as the conditions by which the covenants of the Lord are effective on their behalf. The theme is extremely relevant to our day and age.

In reviewing the story of Sodom and Gomorrah a few days back, it is curious to note that the Lord tells Lot, by means of those holy men and angels, that He cannot destroy that wicked city so long as Lot lived there (see Genesis 19). Behold, the strength and weight of righteousness in the eyes of God!

I do wonder from time to time, how many of our beautiful, modern cities are held in balance simply because of the righteousness of the righteous people that live among the rest-- especially in the Americas, where the Lord taught Lehi that this land was a land set apart for an inheritance of the righteous. "But unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever," (vs. 7).

11 September 2008

"How Merciful The Lord Hath Been," 2 Nephi 1:1-6

2 Nephi 1:1-6

Lehi's perspective on the family's circumstances is vastly different from that of Nephi's brothers. Where Laman and Lemuel possibly still held begrudgingly in memory the years now distant of their lives in Jerusalem, Lehi considers their present situation. Laman and Lemuel's perceived recollections of what they had had and what they had lost at Jerusalem impaired them from seeing their present situation.

Perspective in a person's mind is reality. Laman and Lemuel were miserable because of their skewed perspective. Lehi, on the contrary, has a drastically different perspective of the same situation.

Later, Lehi prophesies that none shall be brought to the land that they had inherited except the Lord should bring them.

02 September 2008

"The Lord Will Surely Prepare A Way", 1 Nephi 22:20-26

1 Nephi 22:20-26

I am familiar with this verse that I've extraction the post title from, verse 20. What I had not done was put the two parts of the verse together. The Lord will surely prepare a way for his people. What is that way? Nephi then references Moses in his prophecy of the advent of the Savior. Moses calls him a prophet that the Lord our God will raise up--A prophet whom we should obey in all things.

Going over to John, where the Savior proclaimed himself "the way, the truth, and the life", I've read from John 14:6 to verse 14. Very strongly impressed in my mind this morning is that promise: "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it," (vs.14).

Back in 1 Nephi, Nephi states "the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded," (vs. 22).

Nephi concludes this section with a personal witness of what he has seen in our day, of the Lord Jesus Christ (herein called the Holy One of Israel) performing his great work in the last days. The time must come when he will reign in dominion, might, power, and great glory. He will gather his children from the four corners of the earth. They shall be kept safely as a shepherd cares for his sheep. Then comes this powerful victory over the devil; Satan shall have "no power of the hearts of the people,for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth," (see vs. 26).

This is true. This is how we are to avoid the serious stains of our day. There is no other way, except by following the Lord Jesus Christ and his servants, the prophets that I will escape unscathed from the sins of this day. I have felt this reality more this morning as I have been weighed down lately by the news of our times. Where there was fear last night, this morning there is joy!