Monday, December 7, 2009

2 Nephi - Chapter 30

That the children of Lehi would one day become a pure and delightsome people is interesting to me.  I wonder what Nephi meant by that.  I have spent my life associated with native North Americans and find them all delightsome.  Their purity is not for me to judge.  Most I know would qualify I should think.

Clearly poverty, alcoholism and more recently, drugs have taken their toll on these populations.  Clearly, the cultural shift our society seems to expect of them has caused them problems and left many in despair.  Nevertheless, many many are living lives of promise and magnificent representations of Nephi's prophecy.

Larry EchoHawk, pictured here is a fine example.  I won't go into details here but would invite you to read about him here.

As a boy, my family served a mission among the local Indian Tribe.  A few were still dwelling in Tee Pees at the time.  If I had the space I'd love to describe the marvelous progress these people have made in the past 50 years alone.  I am loathe to criticize their culture or history.  I question the merits of our efforts to Westernize them.  I grieve for the injustices they've suffered.  And I admire their, resilience, tenacity, courage and good humor as, time after time, I watch them rise above enormous affliction and make magnificent contributions to society.  I have loved watching Nephi's prophecy being fulfilled right before my eyes.  I suspect we are just observing the beginning of something even more impressive.

I don't want of over emphasise this part of the chapter,  because Nephi makes it plain that ancestry is not what makes a true disciple of Christ.  Rather, the choices we make as to whom to follow and in whom to put our trust make that determination for Israelite or Gentile alike.

1 comment:

D1Warbler said...

Our family had a Navajo foster daughter for 6 years -- from the time she was 9 until the time she was 15. Thus, we know well the joys as well as the sorrows of the Native American culture.

This foster daughter drowned in a reservoir while back on her reservation near Tohatchi, New Mexico, at the age of 21, and I have since served as proxy for her Temple ordinances. (I was told by the Lord on the day I did her endowment that the Lord had allowed her to come home because she had had all she could take of life in this difficult world -- something I could readily understand knowing her history.)

She had (and still has) a beautiful spirit, and the many blessings my husband gave her over the years she lived with us spoke of her amazing potential -- which I am sure she is using today on the other side of the veil.

Sin -- principally as a result of alcohol -- and the terrible consequences of its misuse -- had greatly marred her short life and the life of her extended family as well.

Also, although none in our family had partaken of the substance, this difficult disease also touched our children and my husband and I through our relationship with this foster daughter.

I know the Lord loves his Native American children, and I look forward to the day when they can come forward and receive all the blessings He has in store for them. I know that at that day, (as she is now) our foster daughter will be in the front of that group, leading her people to Christ.