1 Nephi 15

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi & his family

Important events & details:

  • After Nephi’s vision he returns to his father’s tent and talks to his brothers about what he saw.
  • When Nephi’s brothers complain that they don’t understand the visions of their father Nephi asks if they have “inquired of the Lord” and then interprets the meaning of the tree of life for them.
    • The tree = the tree of life
    • The iron rod = the word of God
    • The river = filthiness, and the representation of hell

Favorite verses:

8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?

11 …If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing the ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.

14 …they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer…that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Nephi tells us throughout the chapter that he “did exhort them {his brothers} with all the energies of my soul” that they would follow God’s commandments and not turn away from His word. Even though they are constantly fighting against him and treating him terribly, he is always trying to help them come to God. I need to be more patient and loving of those around me.
  • I love that Nephi reiterates that the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon is to lead people to the knowledge of the Savior and help us to know how to gain a relationship with him.

Questions:

  • Have I inquired of the Lord? When I have questions or concerns do I immediately turn to the Lord?
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1 Nephi 14

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi

Important events & details:

  • Nephi continues to see the things his father saw in a vision. The angel tells Nephi about Church of the Lamb of God and the church of the devil, and how the saints all over the world are persecuted by the church of the devil.
  • Nephi is also sees the apostle John shall write about the end of the world.

Favorite verses:

14 …I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb…and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Chapter 13 and 14 were more difficult for me to read and understand, I think I wasn’t as focused on my reading/studying, but I knew that I didn’t want to miss a day of scripture study so I read it, and got through it, but I didn’t get as much out of it as I could have.
  • I do like that the last verse of chapter 14 ends with Nephi saying “the things which I have written are true”, ending with his testimony. For now, even when I have a hard time focusing, or difficulty understanding, his testimony gives me faith and encourages me that the things I am reading are true and important. And that’s enough for me today.

Questions:

  • What can I do differently in my approach to studying and reading the scriptures each day so that I can get more out of them?

1 Nephi 13

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi

Important events & details:

  • Nephi sees a vision about the discovery and colonizing of America; the church of the devil, and loss of many “plain and precious” parts of the Bible, and resulting apostasy; the restoration of the gospel and building up of Zion.
  • Nephi sees in his vision that when the people are listening to God they prosper, and He delivers them from their enemies.

Favorite verses:

16-20 …[they] did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them. …[they] were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations. …they did prosper in the land…

28-29 … there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God. {speaking of the bible} …because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.

37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure to the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

40 …These last records {speaking of the Book of Mormon}…shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • I love how this chapter outlines the way the Bible and Book of Mormon go hand in hand. They are both witnesses of Jesus Christ, but the Book of Mormon has the full truth and restores  what was lost from the Bible.
  • I also love the way Nephi sees in a vision that the gospel will be taken all over the earth, in so many languages, and I’ve been able to witness that firsthand in my life.

Questions:

  • Am I humbling myself before the Lord, and making myself familiar with His word, so that I can have His power and protection against Satan?
  • Do I continually seek the influence of the Holy Ghost to lead me closer to my Father in Heaven and His Son?

1 Nephi 12

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi

Important events & details:

  • Nephi sees a vision of the promised land; the people who inhabit it, and their righteousness, wickedness, and downfall; and the Savior coming and choosing twelve disciples, who will judge Nephi’s seed just as the twelve apostles will judge the tribes of Israel.

Favorite verses:

10 … And, behold, they are righteous forever; for because of their faith in the Lamb of God their garments are made white in his blood.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • This is one of the first chapters in the Book of Mormon that talks about Christ’s atonement. It talks about how, through our faith, we are saved by Him. I love Nephi is told that we are made white through Christ’s blood, that’s a powerful image. That through the atonement Christ takes what is dirty and makes it clean – completely clean.
  • Nephi also sees the great and spacious building again and the mists of darkness that tempt “the children of men”. I like the imagery of the mists of darkness as Satan’s temptations because it feels relatable to my life. I often think of temptations as causing confusion and distracting me from my end goal, making the path difficult to see/hazy to make out.

Questions:

  • Am I taking full advantage of the atonement in my daily life – having enough faith to make myself clean, and deter the mists of darkness that blind me from what is right?

1 Nephi 11

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi

Important events & details:

  • Nephi desires to see and know the things his father prophesied about in chapter 10 (concerning the coming of Christ to the earth) so he ponders them and is caught up in the Spirit. The Spirit asks Nephi what he wants to know and if he believes the words of his father and Nephi says, “Yea, thou knowest I believe all the words of my father” (1 Nephi 11:5).
  • The Spirit then shows Nephi the same things that were shown to Lehi. Nephi see the virgin Mary and Christ’s birth. He also sees the iron rod again, and sees that it is the word of God; the tree of life, and that it is the love of God. He also sees Christ be baptized, and the Holy Ghost come down in the form of a dove. He sees the twelve apostles and Christ healing the sick and afflicted. Then Nephi sees Christ crucified. After Christ’s death Nephi sees the great and spacious building, that is the pride of the world, and it’s fall.

Favorite verses:

6 … And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

22 … it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. [speaking of the tree]

33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Steps to personal revelation:
    • Desire
    • Belief
    • Study & ponder
    • Be ready for what the Lord has to say, and receive it with an open heart
  • God knows us individually, He knows our hopes & desires, He knows our names. He knows my name.
  • It’s ok that we don’t have all the answers, sometimes it’s enough just to know that God love us and we can trust Him. His plan will always be enough and He will never leave us.
  • God’s love is there whether we follow His word or not, His love is eternal. However, we are only about the fully feel His love and really partake of it when we are following His word. His love is the most desirable thing because it is through His love that we are made clean, and through His love that we can do all things.

Questions:

  • Am I living my life in a way that I can fully partake in God’s love for me? Is knowing Christ and my Heavenly Father my greatest desire?

1 Nephi 10

Location: the wilderness

People: Lehi & Nephi

Important events and details:

  • Lehi tells of a vision he has, that in 600 years from the time his family left Jerusalem a Messiah, or Savior of the world would be born. Lehi also tells of how the Messiah would be baptized with water, slain by the Jews, and then rise from the dead and manifest himself unto the Gentiles.
  • After Lehi finished telling about his visions Nephi was desirous that he see, hear, and know of these things too.

Favorite verses:

6 Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.

18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men form the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Christ’s life and the important things He would accomplish while on earth were prophesied before He was even born. This is why the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand, we see the prophesies or Christ’s life in the Book of Mormon, and then we are able to read of His life and death in the Bible. We then see His resurrection and appearance to the Nephites later in the Book of Mormon. It’s only with both books that we get the full picture of His life and purpose as Savior of the world.

Questions:

  • When prophets and apostles speak (in general conference), or even when the Bishop or people speak and teach (in church on Sundays), do I show a desire to know and have a witness of truth of what they say?
  • Am I living my life in a way that the Holy Ghost is my constant companion and is able to confirm the truths of the gospel to me?

1 Nephi 9

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi

Important events & details:

  • Nephi tells us that the Lord has commanded him to write two sets of plates. He says in this set he writes more of the ministry, and on the other he writes more about the reign of the kings, the wars, and the contentions of his people.

Favorite verses:

3 … I have received a commandment of the Lord that I should make these plates, for the special purpose that there should be an account engraven of the ministry of my people.

5 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.

6 But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning, wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words…

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Nephi again shows faith to follow the Lord, even when he doesn’t fully understand the reason behind His commandments. He reminds us that God fulfills all his words, and that He will always provide a way for us to accomplish His commandments.
  • Reading Nephi’s account – of how he didn’t know why he was making a second set of plates, but that he knew it was for a wise purpose – strengthens my testimony of God’s plan for us, His greater knowledge of the “whole picture”, and His love for us. Heavenly Father knew that hundreds of years later Joseph Smith would lose part of the record, and that there needed to be another copy so that I, me personally, could have these scriptures.

Questions:

  • Do I have enough faith and trust in God to follow all His commandments, even if I don’t fully understand them yet?