1 Nephi 17

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi & his family

Important events & details:

  • Nephi and his family are blessed and nourished with an abundance of food in the wilderness, because of their faith and obedience to the Lord. Nephi tells us that they have been in the wilderness for eight years.
  • The Lord commands Nephi to build a ship, and his brothers mock him, but he is diligent in following the commandments of the Lord to build a ship. Nephi likens the scriptures to his situation, and reminds his brothers about Moses and his exodus into the wilderness with his people. He reminds his brothers how God led the people of Moses, and how, when they hardened their hearts the Lord sent serpents to bite the people; but “after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed” and continued to lead them through the wilderness.

Favorite verses:

3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they an accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.

13 And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.

35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God…

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • I love that Nephi’s first reaction to the Lord telling him to build a ship isn’t “how am I supposed to build a ship? I don’t know how to build ships”, but rather is “where do I go to get materials to make the tools?” I want to have faith as great as Nephi, faith great enough to help me say “show me how” when the Lord leads me to do things that test me or scare me.
  • I also love that Nephi uses scripture to liken their experiences with those of Moses’ people, and teach his brothers the importance of having faith in the Lord throughout their journey

Questions:

  • What can I be doing in my daily life to strengthen my faith, in order to help me more quickly follow the guidance of the spirit?

 

1 Nephi 16

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi, his family, and Ishmael’s family

Important events & details:

  • Nephi and his brothers marry the daughters of Ishmael; Ishmael passes away, and his family begins to murmur because of their hardships in the wilderness.
  • Lehi finds the Liahona (“a ball of curious workmanship”) outside his tent one morning. The Liahona directs them through the wilderness, leading them toward “more fertile parts” and towards the promised land. The Liahona also displays messages from the Lord from time to time. Nephi tells us that the Liahona only works according to their faith.
  • Nephi breaks his bow and is unable to obtain food for his family, and his brothers complain; he makes a new bow and arrow from wood and sticks, and he prays to the Lord to help him find food.

Favorite verses:

28 … I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them.

29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • The guidance of the pointers in the Liahona and the messages that are written for Nephi and his family remind me of the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, and my patriarchal blessing. These are all things that I have free access to, at any point in my life, but that can only guide me when I have faith and humble myself. Even though the scriptures and my patriarchal blessing never change – sometimes, at different times in my life – new things become important to me, or I gain new and different understanding from the things I have previously read.
  • I love that when Nephi broke his bow, the first thing he did was go out and make himself a new one, rather than complaining or moping. Once he did all he could on his own he turned to Heavenly Father, to gain inspiration and guidance in solving the rest of the problem.
  • “Your patriarchal blessing is yours and yours alone. It may be brief or lengthy, simple or profound. Length and language do not a patriarchal blessing make. It is the Spirit that conveys the true meaning. Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers.” – Thomas S. Monson

Questions:

  • Do I give as much heed and importance to scripture study and my patriarchal blessing as I should? Do I allow them to guide me in all things?
  • When faced with a problem, do I do everything I possibly can, before turning to the Lord?