Saturday, October 17, 2009

1 Nephi - Chapter 1

Wow!  Already, this is such fulfilling fun!  Yesterday Wendy suggested looking for patterns.  Today, it seems, that was all I could see.  Lehi is shaken by a vision of the world's troubles; we too, see trouble all around.  He is given a book by the Lord, invited to read it and was thus filled with the Spirit; we too have a book given by the gift and power of God, are invited to read and be filled with the Spirit.  He learns of the Atonement and pleads for the mercy only Christ can offer; we too are utterly dependent upon the Savior for deliverance.  Lehi keeps a record of all he sees and hears; Nephi follows his example and by extension, we are encouraged to do the same.

The parallels are powerful.  Is not the world in a similar plight to that of Jerusalem?  Is it not being, or on the verge of being, destroyed and/or carried captive into Babylon?  From the personal perspective of a recovering addict, I know first hand about the captivity of Babylon.  If you listen to the voices of our current prophets, the insidious plague of addiction, especially pornography, is clearly an urgent and constant concern, even among the Latter-day Saints.  Babylon is all about captivity.  Be it the captivity of debt, or ignorance, or sin, or oppression, or death, or pride, it is all captivity and like the book Lehi got, ours, The Book of Mormon, can identify the pitfalls, fortify the willing and magnify their power to flee to Zion and safety.

In the next few months we too, will read and see and write "many great and marvelous things" and perhaps, like Lehi, we will be lead to exclaim, "Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty!  Thy throne is high in the heavens and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!"


Love Life and Learning said...

Thank you Myke for all the patterns you shared. Important messages.

I saw the Lord's pattern of the calling of a prophet and recognized so many similarities to Abinadi, Alma, and the Prophet Joseph Smith.

I also thought the key words in the footnote for the word afflictions was an interesting choice... Blessing; God, Gifts of.

D1Warbler said...

While reading from the first chapter of First Nephi today, I was particularly intrigued by Lehi's mention of a "pillar" of fire.

The four cross references for the word "pillar" read as follows:

Ex. 14: 24.
24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,

Hel. 5: 24 (24, 43)
24 And when they saw that they were encircled about with a a pillar of fire, and that it burned them not, their hearts did take courage.

D&C 29: 12.
12 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, and it hath gone forth in a firm decree, by the will of the Father, that mine apostles, the Twelve which were with me in my ministry at Jerusalem, shall stand at my right hand at the day of my coming in a pillar of fire, being clothed with robes of righteousness, with crowns upon their heads, in glory even as I am, to judge the whole house of Israel, even as many as have loved me and kept my commandments, and none else.

JS-H 1: 16, 30.
16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

Those footnotes gave me the sense that Lehi had just had (perhaps) his first Theopany. (This came before the vision in which Christ had him read from a prophetic book.)

Anyway, I had not contemplated this mention of a "pillar of fire" in quite this way before.

It was truly an amazing moment for Lehi -- which not only changed him forever, but which also changed the rest of the world forever,as it began Lehi and his family's journey into the wilderness as well as the eventual bringing forth of the scripture which we are now reading together.

ledenzer said...

I was wondering about the prophets who spurred Lehi to the desire to pray. I went to and searched out the prophets and events of approximately 600 B.C. I found some articles that really were helpful in my understanding of the times. I also searched out information about the "language" of his father in writing which is addressed in informative ways. I wonder what happened to those prophets who brought such a new direction in the life of Lehi and his family. Did they perish or were they too led to promised lands? Of course we know of one group that ended up in the America's. We each have the story of our own family and I have been neglectful of the recording of events but miracles have come and marvels have happened. Challenges of pain and sometimes moments that brought the feeling of close to despair.....but always testimony in the end. Yes, I think we can liken our own lifes to that of Lehi and his family