Monday, April 17, 2017

Preservation of Sons and Plates -- 1 Nephi Chapter 5

What Happens

"Sariah complains against Lehi—Both rejoice over the return of their sons—They offer sacrifices—The plates of brass contain writings of Moses and the prophets—The plates identify Lehi as a descendant of Joseph—Lehi prophesies concerning his seed and the preservation of the plates."
1 Nephi 5 Chapter Heading


This is the third chapter that begins "And it came to pass" that the parents are joyful and exceedingly glad that the sons have returned. It's kind of fun that we know that this starts with a happy ending. The success of mission to go and get the plates is because of the Lord's guiding hand over them.

Problem: Sariah mourns for the loss of their sons. In her worry she supposes the worst and then decides to mourn over them. It is eating at her and she opens up her mouth to share her concerns, or in other words to complain to her husband who by the way is a prophet. How often have we discovered that our hasty conclusions are incorrect?

What she did right: she loves and cares about her family. She shares her concerns with her spouse, not gossiping with others. What a good husband to listen as she shares her "It ticketh me off..." list. He listens and does not condemn her for a lack of faith or her feelings. He addresses her first four concerns. He willingly acknowledges that he is a visionary man.

Lehi comforts and reassures Sariah with his testimony. The brothers joyfully return their home even though they are still sleeping in a tent. And then we read Sariah's beautiful sure language of testimony. This experience strengthens her trust in the Lord and in the prophetic call of her husband Lehi.

 As a family they rejoiced and remembered to thank the Lord through sacrifice and burnt offerings.

They gave thanks even before Lehi started searching them.Verses 15-18 tell us why the knowledge in the plates are of such great worth.

  1. The records contained the five books of Moses. It is necessary to know what the law is in order to keep the commandments. (1 Nephi 4:15)
  2. They contain history through the reign of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 52)
  3. Prophecies of the prophets including Jeremiah who lived in Jerusalem in the time that Lehi was there.
  4. Lehi's family are descendants of the same Joseph who was sold into Egypt. Little did Lehi's family know how much they would have in common with the children of Israel as they begin their journey in the wilderness to a land of promise. God prepares and preserves his people.

Verse 17: And now when my father saw all these things, he was filled with the Spirit, and  began to prophesy concerning his seed... this is an important principle for us.  Revelation comes from searching the scriptures.

Verse 18: The future of the plates of brass is foretold. They should go to all nations and never perish.

These plates were found to be desirable (like delicious fruit) and of great worth because with them the Lord's commandments could be preserved for their children. I have gratitude for those who have preserved the scriptures so that I can enjoy them. I also must ask myself, what am I  doing to preserve the scriptures, promises, and testimonies for my children?

The last verse says it all: "we should carry them with us in our journey through the wilderness towards the land of promise."  As we carry them our burden is made lighter and the Lord carries us. The Lord delivers us out of the hands of our enemies, brings us forth through the wilderness, preserves us through obedience to the commandments, and final home to the land of promise.

Moroni 10:5 The promise works if we are clean, virtuous, and uncluttered with sin. The Lord keeps his promises.

Tune in next time for the continuing adventures of this real family of God that has real concerns.

1 comment:

  1. I love that you mentioned what Sariah did right. :) It's so easy to focus on the negative things and overlook the fact that so much of what she was, and what we all are, is good.