Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Day 3: 1 Nephi 7-10

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Hello My Dear Friends!

After a rainy two days (which was much needed) the sun shines again!  What a beautiful day to remind me of all the blessings in my life.  I am so excited for today's chapters.  We will discuss Lehi's vision of the tree of life.  We could probably take an entire month or so just on this topic!  I hope that as you read you will share your insights and comments on this post.  I would love to hear from all of you.

1 Nephi 7

In chapter 7 of we read how Lehi was commanded again to send his sons back to Jerusalem.  This time it was to bring back Ishmael and his family.  On their way back to the wilderness Laman and Lemuel start to murmer again and want to go back to Jerusalem.  Here is what Nephi says to them...

1 Nephi 7:12
"Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him?  Wherefore, let us be faithful to him."
1 Nephi 7:15
"Now behold, I say unto you that if ye will return unto Jerusalem ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go ye will also perish; for thus the Spirit of the Lord constraineth me that I should speak."

In the Book of Mormon Study Guide from LDS.org I found this great quote.
"Laman and those influenced by him were not captives on the journey toward the land of promise. Nephi answered their desire to return to Jerusalem by declaring a fundamental doctrine, “Ye have choice” (1 Nephi 7:15). As President Thomas S. Monson stated, “Each of us has the responsibility to choose. You may ask, ‘Are decisions really that important?’ I say to you, decisions determine destiny. You can’t make eternal decisions without eternal consequences” (“Pathways to Perfection,” Ensign, May 2002, 100).


Nephi warned his brothers and those who wanted to go with them that they would perish if they returned to Jerusalem. Blinded by hardheartedness and disobedience, those rebelling against Lehi and Nephi failed to perceive the truth of Lehi’s prophecies concerning the destruction that awaited Jerusalem. According to the Bible, soon after Lehi’s colony left, the city was surrounded by the Babylonians, “there was no bread for the people of the land,” the “city was broken up,” and Zedekiah’s army was scattered (see 2 Kings 25:1–7). If Laman and Lemuel had returned to Jerusalem, they would have suffered captivity or death. Because they chose to follow Lehi and Nephi, they enjoyed the fruit and honey of the land of Bountiful while preparing for an inheritance in the land of promise (see 1 Nephi 17:3–6).


A scripture that pops out to me every time I read it is verse 21.
"And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done..."

What a great example Nephi is to forgive others after they have done harm.  I found this great video on someone who also is a great example of forgiveness.  It is 8 minutes long but so worth it.  If you have time take a look.

Last scripture in chapter 7 that I want to share is at the end of verse 22 where it reads...
"...they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings to him."

I notice that they did the same thing when they arrived in the wilderness AND after Nephi & his brothers returned with the brass plates.  Do you see a pattern here?  I do!  To be thankful in all things.

1 Nephi 8

Chapter 8 begins one of my favorite parts of the Book of Mormon.  I will just share some of the highlights and my favorite scriptures.  This chapter talks about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life.  Here is a quote I found from the Book of Mormon study guide.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that the tree of life represents the Savior and His Atonement: “The Spirit made explicit that the Tree of Life and its precious fruit are symbols of Christ’s redemption”.



Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles further emphasized that partaking of the love of God means partaking of the blessings of the Atonement. The tree of life is a symbol of God’s love and Christ’s Atonement: “The tree of life … is the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:25). The love of God for His children is most profoundly expressed in His gift of Jesus as our Redeemer: ‘God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son’ (John 3:16). To partake of the love of God is to partake of Jesus’ Atonement and the emancipations and joys which it can bring” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1999, 6; or Ensign, Nov. 1999, 8).


After Lehi partakes of the fruit from the tree of life in his vision, the first thing he wants to do is share it with his family.  The tree or "love of God" is so wonderful that we should want to share it with our family and all around us.  I know that my life has been forever changed by having the Gospel of Jesus Christ in it.  I was baptized into the LDS church 18 years ago this Friday and it has been one of the best things in my life.  I am grateful to know of the Plan of Salvation and that I have a Heavenly Father who knows and loves me individually.  That is a great peace to my soul.
In Leh's vision he talks a lot about the "rod of iron".  We will find out in upcoming chapters that it symbolizes the word of God.  I want to be with my family forever and I know that if I "hold fast to the iron rod" I will have that promise.  My favorite verse in chapter 8 is in verse 30 where it reads...

"But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree."
(I want to be an eternal family and be with my family for all eternity!)

1 Nephi 9

Nephi talks about the two sets of plates he is commanded to make to keep the records of his people on. My favorite scripture from this chapter is...

1 Nephi 9:5-6
"Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.
"But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words.  And thus it is.  Amen."

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915–94) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 
observed that we can obey as Nephi did, even when we do not understand the reason: “Sometimes when we are asked to be obedient, we do not know why, except the Lord has commanded. Nephi followed instructions even though he didn’t fully understand the wise purpose. His obedience resulted in blessings to mankind all over the world. By not obeying our present-day leaders, we plant our seeds in stony places and may forfeit the harvest”.

1 Nephi 10

At the end of chapter 10, Nephi desires to know for himself what Lehi's vision meant.

1 Nephi 10:17
"And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God--and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come--I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men."

I know that this promise is true to us as well as Nephi.  If we have a desire to know if the things we are reading are true, we can also seek out and through the power of the Holy Ghost know for ourselves.

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles emphasized our need to learn gospel truths by the power of the Holy Ghost: “Living the Lord’s standards requires that we cultivate the gift of the Holy Ghost. That gift helps us understand doctrine and apply it personally. Because truth that is given by revelation can be understood only by revelation, our studies need to be prayerful”.

Today I will leave you with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing If the Savior Stood Beside Me.  I encourage you to listen to the words.  I hope you will feel of the Savior's love as you ponder what the words mean to you.  We are all on the path to learn how to become like Him.  This song is a great reminder of the things we can do.


Here are the lyrics:

1. If the Savior stood beside me,
would I do the things I do?
Would I think of His commandments,
and try harder to be true?
Would I follow His example?
Would I live more righteously
if I could see the Savior standing nigh,
watching over me?
2. If the Savior stood beside me,
would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind
if He was never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel?
Would I speak more rev’rently
if I could see the Savior standing nigh,
watching over me?
3. He is always near me,
though I do not see Him there,
And because He loves me dearly,
I am in His watchful care.
So I’ll be the kind of person
that I know I’d like to be
if I could see the Savior standing nigh,
watching over me.

I hope you all have a great day!  Don't forget to leave a comment on this post even if you are just stopping by to say hello!

Hugs,
Robyn

14 comments:

  1. I am forever greatful that you started this reading challenge. Since my husband joined the church 6 years ago he has not read the entire B.O.M. so I asked if he would read with me as part of this and he said yes. What a great at home date we have together after our son has gone to bed! Thanks Robyn

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    1. That is wonderful!! Thanks for sharing that with us!

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  2. This lesson brought tears to my eyes and gave me goosebumps. The words combined with the pictures made me realize how awesome it would be to spend eternity with Him. Thank you Robyn! Question: what is the definition of atonement? I have read it in our lessons several times and I am not sure what it means.
    Thanks,
    Sheree

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    1. Hi this is Robyn's Hubby. I think that is a great question. My understanding is that the Atonement is what Jesus did for us to help us overcome sin and death. It includes His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemene and His dying on the cross, both of which help pay the price of our sins. It also includes His resurrection which broke the bands of death. Hope that helps a little.

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    2. Thank you, Bryan! I am going to write this definition in my journal. I am already learning so much!

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    3. I just found this great way to explain the Atonement on www.mormon.org...

      "JESUS CHRIST, OUR SAVIOR

      Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God. He is our Redeemer. The Holy Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ's mother was Mary, His father on earth was Joseph, that He was born in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth, and labored with Joseph as a carpenter. When he turned 30, He began a three-year ministry of teaching, blessing, and healing the people of the Holy Land. He also organized His Church and gave His apostles "power and authority" (Luke 9:1) to assist in His work.

      But what do we mean when we say He is the Savior of the world? The Redeemer? Each of these titles point to the truth that Jesus Christ is the only way by which we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. Jesus suffered and was crucified for the sins of the world, giving each of God’s children the gift of repentance and forgiveness. Only by His mercy and grace can anyone be saved. His subsequent resurrection prepared the way for every person to overcome physical death as well. These events are called the Atonement. In short, Jesus Christ saves us from sin and death. For that, he is very literally our Savior and Redeemer. In the future Jesus Christ will return to reign on earth in peace for a thousand years. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He will be our Lord forever.

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  3. I am reading the Book of Mormon along with you. I have tried several times and I would read and then think to myself .... What did I just read... None of it made sense to me. I have prayed and prayed about it... As I have been reading it it has made sense to me this time. I am so thankful that I am finally grasping it

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    1. I am so happy you are reading it with us. What a blessing that you are receiving your answer to prayer. What a testimony builder that is!

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  4. I wish I had seen the forgiveness video several years ago when a co-worker lost his wife to a drunk driver. He couldn't let go and no one had the words for this man.

    If families are promised to be together where will grown children be. With their parents or with their spouses and their kids?

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    1. Pat, we can be together with ALL our family including our children, spouse, grandchildren, etc. Literally one big happy family!

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  5. What I learner from this lesson is that Heavenly Father always prepares a way for His people. He gives guides to help us along our path. He's the same in Nephi 's time, as in John the Baptist time, as when Jesus walked the earth, as when the Apostle Paul was here, as our ancestors, our grandparents and parents, us and our children, and the next generations to come. He is the same forever! I like that we can build a sure foundation upon a God and it will never break!

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  6. Thankyou Robyn for taking the time and effort into this BOM Book Club! You are such a blessing to all those you touch. Whether it is scrapbooking or sharing the Gospel ..YOU ROCK!

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    1. You are very sweet. Thank you so much!

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  7. Thank you so much Robyn. Ive tried to read the book if mormon before but didnt quite understand all of it; this really helps! Thanks!

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