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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” ().
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”.
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:
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!