Today I read Helaman 7, where Nephi prays on his tower in his garden and he starts his famous speech to the Nephites. I really feel badly for Nephi in this chapter. He has just spent a large amount of time, I am not sure how much at this point, among the lands of the north and based on what Mormon says he did not have any success there and not only that, but the people of the land he left, who were doing pretty well, are now back to being very unrighteous again and have taken over the government. It is not a fun situation he is in.
However this chapter shows me the true charity of Nephi. Nephi really does love his people. He wants to help them and like Ammon I think he really does fear for the eternal salvation of his people. He is also feeling somewhat discouraged though and feels kinda down in the dumps as is evidenced by the first thing he says, he is upset that he has to deal with it. But can you blame him? I honestly think he is being quite calm about whole situation, I would probably be losing my mind right about now if I were Nephi.
But that is why Nephi is a prophet and I am not. Nephi is more concerned with getting his people back on track than he is bemoaning his fate. Like a true prophet, his prayer is, help me find the strength, not help this to pass. I really feel badly for Nephi because he has to live in such a wicked world, the Gadianton Robbers are out in the open now and have taken control of the government. I can only imagine living in a world that is so openly evil that organized crime has taken over the government and the people do not care. I know some countries are that way according to what I have read, but I could not even fathom living in a country/time like that.
But Nephi does not shirk his responsibilities as a prophet to call his people to repentance. That is another thing that makes a prophet. Nephi is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and of calling the people to repentance. And the rest of us seem to have trouble even sharing the gospel, let alone calling the members of the church to repentance. We have dealt with the concept before of the judgment and in order to live with God, we have to live the kind of life he would lead and enjoy it. Someone once said the true measuring stick of how converted you are to the gospel is your commitment to sharing it.
We will deal with the rest of Nephi's speech over the next few days but this is strong start. We get a good idea of Nephi's character in the beginning of his speech and learn that he really wants to help these people. He is upset that he has to even speak about this, but his reasons for doing so are pure, he wants to help them, he wants them to repent and that comes through on his speech. I am looking forward to discussing the rest of his talk to his people this week. Until tomorrow.