Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Enduring Trials with Faith

1 Nephi 1-5

Lehi left his home and all his worldly possessions to follow the Lord’s commandments. Am I willing to give up everything I have to follow when the Lord leads? Lehi had been following the commandments and listening to the prophets. He was probably not participating in the apostasy going on in Jerusalem. I imagine that he was trying hard to lead his family in love and righteousness and that he was heeding the prophets’ counsel of the days. 1 Nephi 1:4 says that there were “many prophets” in Jerusalem at the time of Lehi. Lehi prayed to receive a confirmation of what the prophets were preaching – that is when Lehi became a prophet himself. Nephi followed the same pattern. He prayed to receive a confirmation of what the prophet was teaching, and then received his own revelation.

We can follow the examples of Lehi and Nephi by listening to the prophets and praying to receive a confirmation of the counsel that they give us. In Lehi’s prayer he also “prayed in behalf of his people.” We should remember to pray for the welfare of the souls of those who may be in spiritual trouble.

Laman and Lemuel did not have faith in the words of their father. I wonder if perhaps they did somewhat believe the “many prophets” who preceded their father, and then when their own father started saying the same things as the other prophets, their wavering faith was completely extinguished and instead of asking the Lord for their own personal witness of the truthfulness of their father’s words, they murmured and rebelled.

Nephi, on the other hand, had continuing faith in the Lord and prayed to receive a personal confirmation of his father’s words. He was blessed for his faith and was given a personal testimony of the prophesies and visions of his father. Nephi would continue this pattern throughout his life.

God directs His Church through revelation

1 Nephi 1-5

Revelation is the way God communicates with His children on this earth. Both Lehi in Jerusalem and Joseph Smith in America were faced with religious tumult in the community. In both instances religious people believed that they were still being righteous and following God’s word, but in both instances, neither society was actually living the complete doctrine of the gospel. In order to preserve the righteous, God reveals Himself to righteous men who have a sincere desire to follow Him and learn the true doctrine. Lehi and Joseph Smith did not want to know what the world thought of the truths of the gospel. They wanted to know the actual truths of the gospel, and they wanted to live those teachings, and teach them to others.

After reading the book he received in his vision, Lehi proclaimed “…thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish.” (1 Nephi 1:14) When we come to the Lord to seek wisdom and understanding, He will not leave us to perish.

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