Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nephi Desires to Know of the Redeemer of the World

After a period of no more than eight years after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem, Nephi had developed sufficient faith by his many experiences that he was now ready to receive the second comforter. Understanding the process by which Nephi came to faith is perhaps most important for those of us that are yet seeking the fullness of the gospel, which is the personal visit with the Lord. We will develop our own faith by the very same processes that Nephi developed his. We will not have the identical experiences of Nephi, but we will experience identical procedural aspects of faith building. In fact, there is no other way by which faith can be acquired. The important thing for us is that we learn to act and react to the voice of God affirmatively as Nephi always did. By doing so, Nephi developed faith and was prepared in something less than a decade to stand face to face with the Lord.

Nephi's father Lehi had received and recounted his great vision that we now call the vision of the tree of life. That vision of Lehi's, however, was only part of the things Lehi was shown. Nephi records in  1Nephi 10, other magnificent things the Lord had revealed to Lehi. These prophecies and teachings of Lehi seemed to have had particular effect on Nephi. He records the following: (1Nephi 10: 2, 4-6)

"it came to pass after my father had made an end of speaking the words of his dream, and also of exhorting them to all diligence, he spake unto them concerning the Jews—...six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world. And he also spake concerning the prophets, how great a number had testified of these things, concerning this Messiah, of whom he had spoken, or this Redeemer of the world. Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer."

Lehi's recounting included the ministry of John the Baptist and the baptism of the Lord Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the scattering of Israel, the fullness of the gospel among the Gentiles, and the gathering of Israel back to the Lord their Redeemer. (1Nephi 10: 7-14)

After listening to all of these marvelous teachings of his father, Nephi says: (1Nephi 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."

Notice the foundation of "desire" in Nephi that once again provides the beginning point for development of faith. Only this time, Nephi's "desire" will lead to his last step in faith.

What if we were to deeply consider all that is written in the Second Comforter Conversing with the Lord through the Veil, and as a result, were to say to ourselves; I am "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"? (1Nephi 10: 17) After all, "he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him. For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come..." (1Nephi 10: 18-19)

"To receive the second comforter we must allow others who have been so blessed to serve as our guides. Their instructions and testimony need to be accepted and followed." (The Second Comforter Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil pg. 15)

Nephi is among the foremost and clearest of those who have been "so blessed." If we are wise, we will allow Nephi to be our guide back to the presence of the Lord. We should consciously, with real intent, try to duplicate what Nephi did in or own lives. If we look closely, we will see that Nephi really just did the same thing over and over again as each opportunity for faith came his way. We should master this pattern and do the same. Desire, believe, ask, listen to the voice of the Lord, act in accordance with the communication from God, and look for the results that provide evidence that will increase our faith, move on to the next opportunity, repeat. Never quit trying. Persist until completed. 

"Interestingly, wherever you are in the path, the next step is always the first step all over again. Whenever you encounter the doubts and skepticism, the route through them is the same route taken to find faith in the first place." (The Second Comforter Conversing With the Lord Through the Veil Pg 66)

Finally with this last expressed "desire to know," Nephi is prepared to cross the threshold of the veil to converse there with the Lord.

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