Thursday, May 14, 2015

Laman and Lemuelism

Today I read 1 Nephi 17 and his chapter is a great example of what I like to call Laman and Lemuelism.  Elder Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once said in one of his talks said that Laman and Lemuel had faith and believed that the Lord could perform all the miracles of ancient Egypt for Moses but could not take care of a modern day Laban.  That is a perfect way to sum up Laman and Lemuelism.  And we see it all the time in today's society.

We see it in the way we think that the Lord will help others in their problems, but not with our challenges.  We think that the Lord is a God of miracles, but not for us.  We see it in that we think God will bless the lives of those around us, but we are too far gone for Him to care about us.  The Atonement applies all people, but our sins are too grievous for Him to forgive.  Not only is this a horrible misconception of the Atonement, it is limiting God.

Laman and Lemuel also suffered from the condition due to being too close to Nephi.  When Apostles are called in this day and age, it is quite common in this day and age for those who know them best to balk at the calling.  There is often shock that such a man would be called to such a sacred calling.  This is due to the fact that the Apostles are men, fallible, prone to make mistakes and those who are closest to us see that in us.  Laman and Lemuel knew Nephi better than anyone, it is quite easy to see how Laman and Lemuel would have no problem believing that Moses would be given such power and authority from God, but Nephi?  Their little brother?  The brother they had wiped tears off his face when he had skinned his knees?  The one they had played pranks on?  Surely not.  Not Nephi.  That is the core of Laman and Lemuelism.  And we are all prone to it at some point or another.  We just have to hope that when it happens to us, we can overcome it and realize that everyone is fallible.  We need to realize that God can choose anyone He desire to and it is not up to us who He chooses.  It is only up to us to support His choice.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Ignorant Taketh the Truth To Be Hard

Today I read 1 Nephi 16 and I have always liked verse 2 were Nephi says that the wicked taketh the truth to be hard, but I have always used it in sort of a snarky way.  But lately I have been thinking that maybe there is another way to think of this phrase.  You could change out the word wicked to say ignorant, or learned, or anything you want it to say.  When someone is set in their way and some new piece of information comes along and up ends their way of thinking, most people do not like that, it is very hard for most people to accept such things and they take it very badly. 

I think this is the reason most people have a problem with the Gospel the first time they hear about it.  It is so different from most other Christian religions that it can offend people when they learn the finer points of the Latter-day Saint doctrine.  Especially how we view God.  Some are more open minded and willing to learn and want to know more without wanting to convert but those people are rare indeed.  Most not only don't want to learn, they don't want anything to do with the Latter-day Saints.  Personally I try and always keep an open mind and try and learn all I can about everything, no matter what source it comes from.  That is the way we learn knowledge, and knowledge is good.  Until tomorrow.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Nephi Doesn't Mention the Human Sacrifice

Today I read 1 Nephi 13 and I was a little surprised that while Nephi makes mention of the fact that the Gentiles come and make war on his brother's people, he does not mention the decadent state of his people.  I mean, these people have fallen into human sacrifice, a practice so vile I consider it as appalling as rape, perhaps more so, and yet Nephi make no mention of it at all.  I find it just a little bit interesting honestly.   I know Nephi makes a statement at the end of chapter 12 and that is all he says about it and perhaps he is just too preoccupied about with all he is seeing in regards to everything else, which I have to admit is pretty awesome and I would be preoccupied with too so I can't really blame him for being distracted by it.  Just an interesting side note that Nephi didn't mention something he surely found so repulsive.  Until tomorrow.

Monday, April 27, 2015

People Made Clean Through Faith - An Incomplete Statement

Today I read 1 Nephi 12 and I was struck by something the angel said.  He tells Nephi that the garments of his people are made white through their faith in Jesus Christ.  It is interesting to me because the purpose of faith is to lead people to action, specifically to repent and be baptized by immersion for the remission of sins and receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  So it is interesting to me that the angel would tell Nephi that his people are made clean through their faith when that is incomplete.  What the angel is implying is that Nephi's people took the other 3 necessary steps in order to be made clean and pure through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I had never noticed before how this verse, verse 11, is written this way.  I wonder how many other implications are in the scriptures that I have just glanced over throughout the years?  Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nephi is Perhaps the Only Person Besides John the Baptist to have Seen the Holy Ghost

Today I read 1 Nephi 11.  As I was reading I had a thought.  As best as I can recall, Nephi is the only person in the history of the world that has seen the physical appearance of the Spirit or the Holy Ghost.  There may have been others, but they are not recorded.  Millions and billions have felt His influence, but aside from John the Baptist seeing the Holy Ghost in the sign of the dove after he baptized the Savior, Nephi is the only person in the recorded scriptures that records he saw the Holy Ghost.  There have been a few people throughout history that have seen God the Father, Stephen when he was stoned, Joseph Smith at the First Vision to name two, and the appearances of the Savior are littered throughout the scriptures, angels appeared until thousands, but never the Holy Ghost.  I had never noticed that before when reading this chapter.  What a singular experience!  Truly something worth noting.  Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Lord Does Not Change

Today I read 1 Nephi 10 where Lehi prophesies to his children about the people in Jerusalem.  What struck me though was the last few verses where Nephi reminds us that the Lord does not change nor does He change His pattern.  He will always use the same pattern to communicate with His people.  It is only us people that change and that are tricked by the evil one into believing that He changes and what He did in the past is no longer what He does now.  I am reminded of Moroni who states that if miracles have ceased it is only because we have ceased believing in them.  The Lord will always try and help us, we just have to let Him.  Until tomorrow.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Trust in the Lord

Today I read 1 Nephi 9 and it is refreshing to see how Nephi has such perfect faith in the Lord.  He freely admits that he doesn't know why the Lord commanded him to make a separate set of plates, but he knows it is for a wise purpose.  Nephi understands that the Lord doesn't just give strange commandments without a plan in place.  Sometimes it can be hard to remember that, especially if we are commanded to do something that makes no sense to us.  But like Nephi, I know that the Lord has a purpose for everything He does and if we will just have the faith to believe in Him, we will be better because of it.  Until tomorrow.