Thursday, October 22, 2009

1 Nephi - Chapter 6


I don't think Nephi was selective in what he included in his record because he was stingy with the space.  His desire to persuade men to come unto God and be saved is the focus of his writing.

It is interesting that here he refers to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  So, far He is not called Christ.  I'm going to watch for the incident when His name is revealed to them.  Apparently, it is not given in the Plates of Brass, or Nephi would know it by now.

My grandmother kept a record for her posterity.  A record, that testifies of Christ.  A record that is persuasive in helping me come unto Him.  Surely, these were not idle days, where the luxury of keeping a record could fill empty time.  Yet, Nephi took the time to write.  And we are the beneficiaries of his effort.  We would do well to do the same for our posterity.  This chapter makes me think that perhaps I should make a set of "small plates" so to speak.  I write an extensive journal.  So large that I doubt if anyone will want to wade through the extent of it's long daily entries.  Perhaps it would be good if I started a less cumbersome record that is specifically refined to only those things most precious and of worth to my children.  I think I will.

After reading The Book of Mormon so many times, I have come to the conclusion that there is nary a wasted or unintentional word in the entire book.  Having made that determination, I often pause and ponder at words, stories or expressions that seem insignificant and ask, "What is God's purpose here?"  I'm convinced that there is meaning and blessing in every word if we will just seek it.  Everyone from Nephi to Mormon took Nephi's edict to heart, every word is carefully, prayerfully selected and of worth.  Some, I don't understand yet, but if I work at it I hope I will.  Others have been made plain and I have found hidden truths in places I would have never expected.

3 comments:

D1Warbler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D1Warbler said...

I love your comments about the fact that every word in The Book of Mormon is important. In my previous Book of Mormon class, there was at least one woman who hated the "War" chapters, and could see no use for them. However, most of us found gold there, too.

Even the small and often repeated phrase "And it came to pass" has a great purpose as an internal witness of the truth of the antiquity of the record since it was a construction typically used by Semitic peoples of that time.

I also "ditto" your comments about keeping a record of your spiritual experiences and thoughts for your posterity -- which -- when you think of it is exactly what Nephi and his followers were doing with their record. (At least we don't have to engrave ours on metal plates!) As I think further on this, we have all been commanded to do this very thing.

I also think that although chapter 6 is a short chapter, it is a very powerful one. As you indicated, in it, Nephi states that he will not engrave all the genealogy of his fathers upon the plates which he is writing (i.e., upon his own plates.) He says that since those details are written in his Father’s records, he, instead will only include the fact that they are descendants of Joseph in his own record.

He then makes a very important statement. He says that : “It mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God.”

From this statement, we can deduce that there is not a great deal of room in these plates upon which to write, but that even more importantly, the small amount of room in the plates is to be devoted to the “things of God,” rather than to things that are "pleasing to the world"

He then says that his purpose in doing this is to “persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, and be saved.”

I found your comment about this phrase (that it shows that perhaps Nephi and Lehi are not aware of Christ's name at this point) to be very interesting -- and something I had never before considered.

Further, this statement is another internal witness of the truth of the Book of Mormon as an ancient record. Modern man would usually say: “persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” However, the written construction which Nephi uses in this verse is true to the particular type of parallel construction practiced during the time and in the civilization in which he and his family lived.



October 22, 2009 11:21 AM

Chris said...

It appears that there are lots of things that Nephi could have written but he wanted to get across a certain message. It's up to each of to understand what that message is.

How many times have we heard someone say "I get something different out of The Book of Mormon each time I read it." That is surely no coincidence.

Nephi did not write a version of the book for each of us. The words in the book are the same no matter which copy you pick up. It what we get out of it that counts.