Tuesday, June 6, 2017

More in the Tent of Father Lehi -- 1 Nephi Chapter 15

What Happens

"Lehi’s seed are to receive the gospel from the Gentiles in the latter days—The gathering of Israel is likened unto an olive tree whose natural branches will be grafted in again—Nephi interprets the vision of the tree of life and speaks of the justice of God in dividing the wicked from the righteous."
1 Nephi 15 Chapter Heading


After seeing the vision, Nephi returns to Lehi's tent to find his brothers embroiled in disputations one with another about Lehi's dream. Nephi agrees that Lehi's vision would be hard to grasp without seeking the Lord's help for understanding. He also teaches us a principle that if we are not "looking to the Lord" as we ought and feeling frustrated or argumentative, we should check the condition of our hearts for softness or hardness. 

When something is confusing to us, we should remember to turn to the Lord and not just lean on our own understanding. We can't simply argue our way to a better understanding.  In this type of power struggle, man's might does not make for right thinking. The Holy Ghost leads, guides, enlightens, teaches, and bears witness to the truth, but contention will most certainly drive away the spirit.

Nephi is grieved in his heart for his family and for the future wickedness of his people. His ability to love deeply matches his ability to feel sorrow--so much so that feelings of deep affliction had overcome Nephi. He does not immediately choose to enter the fray nor seek to contend with his brethren. He is wise to wait until after he receives strength (probably in response to fervent prayer) to listen/ask of his brothers what they think the cause of their disputation is (as they still need to own up to it). They are most concerned about the natural branches of the olive tree and the gentiles.

The words of verse 8 should really be in really big bold capitalized letters on the cover of our scriptures : "Have ye inquired of the Lord?" This is the best answer to obviate confusion. When we have a question that has to do with things of the Lord, it just makes sense to seek the answers from the purest source. 

The problem for some in receiving answers is in "if" requirements leading up to the "surely" promise in verse 11: "... If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you." I know that God's promises are sure when we ask in faith, believe, and keep the commandments. This verse holds a great key to personal revelation. It makes me think of young Joseph Smith and how confusion was dispelled and his prayer to know what to do was answered.

Nephi further explains what his brothers want to know. He connects the dots to the word of Isaiah. The house of Israel will be grafted back into the Olive tree in the latter-days. The people would come to know their Redeemer, and know how to come unto him and be saved. I hope that all the brothers actually felt great peace after the symbolism was explained to them. It does say that they were pacified and humbled. I can only hope that they were able to hear, feel, and see in a way that would also give them understanding and reverence and a testimony for the knowledge unfolded to them though Nephi. We still need a soft heart to have eyes that see, ears that hear, and a heart open to understanding. I know that I am grateful that Nephi asked, shared his answers, and told us too how we can know for ourselves how to acquire spiritual knowledge by approaching the Lord.

Lehi's family, just like our families today, need the peace that only knowing the Lord and living in His way provides. Let us seek to lead lives worthy to receive inspiration, listen to latter-day prophets, and be comforted to know that the Lord truly rules in heavenly glory. He has always had a plan to redeem Israel and all his children. As surely as it has been said, even to Abraham, it will truly come to pass. He has assigned separate places to divide the wicked from the righteous. We will be judged by our works in mortality. 

Let's hold tight to the iron rod and never be ashamed to live the gospel. Let us come and partake at the tree of life and dwell in the kingdom of our God forever.  It was never meant to be too hard for us, and the Lord will help us find our way to the promised land, as we will learn in the very next chapter.

1 comment:

  1. It sound as our God uses the word("if")as a -key test; to try yo "Obedience"before he reveals a mystery. Because of yo obedience u get His trust.makes sense to me!.I say Amen to all yo posts,I'm happy.