Friday, May 26, 2017

Nephi Peeks at His Posterity -- 1 Nephi Chapter 12

What Happens

"Nephi sees in vision the land of promise; the righteousness, iniquity, and downfall of its inhabitants; the coming of the Lamb of God among them; how the Twelve Disciples and the Twelve Apostles will judge Israel; and the loathsome and filthy state of those who dwindle in unbelief."
1 Nephi 12 Chapter Heading


This chapter starts up again still in the middle of Nephi's vision.  The first thing that the angel shows him in this part of the vision is the land of promise and his descendants and the descendants of his brothers.  Nephi mentions that it seems like they are "in number as many as the sand of the sea" (verse 1).  So, right off this chapter is incredible.  I mean, Nephi doesn't even get married until chapter 16, and here we are in 12 and he is seeing his posterity covering the promised land.  Given the limited choices, he probably already knows who his wife is going to be, but still... that seems like a lot of pressure.  Plus, amazingly cool to actually get to kind of skip ahead in time and see that you made a difference.  That things are different because you lived.  Wow, right?

He already saw Christ's mortal ministry earlier in this vision (long vision), and now he gets to see Christ come again, this time to his own descendants.  He sees the period of time where they live in peace following his coming for over three generations, and I am sure this part of the vision brought him a lot of joy... it is an amazing vision anyway, but even more so because it is personal to him. This is his family.

Then the angel starts explaining what he had asked at the beginning of the vision, which was to know the interpretation of his father's dream.  And as the angel is interpreting it, he is seeing it, in another way, actually happening to his descendants.  Still incredible, but also becoming incredibly sad, as he watches his descendants fall into temptation and pride, and then be overcome, and his brothers' descendants "dwindle in unbelief" (verse 22).

I can't imagine what it would be like to so much of the history of the earth laid out before you like that (which continues into the next chapter).  I think it would be great, but also very emotional, especially if you were connected to it in so many ways as Nephi is.

Luckily for Nephi, even though this chapter ends on kind of a down note, the vision itself eventually gets better again.  You have to wonder how much time this vision took in real life, since he sees *so* much.

Tune in next time as Nephi's vision continues.

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