1 Nephi, Chapter 7: Mission Accomplished
Let’s begin with the first five verses.
Notice the word “gained” in verse 4, and the word “softened” in verse 5. What do these words make you think?
Here’s what I got. One, Ishmael must have been righteous, or at the very least a more righteous man for the Lord to hand select him to accompany Lehi’s family. Two, I don’t get the idea that he was jumping up and down about the thing that was being asked of him. Three, he did go. I find all of this strangely comforting. Mostly because when new callings come my way, I am rarely (if ever) jumping up and down about what I’m being asked to do. But I do it. And it’s good to know I’m not alone.
What happens in verses 6 -8?
Now verse 9.
How is it that ye have not harkened to the voice of the Lord?
Let’s take this, just for a second, out of the context of Nephi and his brothers, right into the context of our own life and our day. It reminds me a bit of a recently conference talk given by Jeffery R. Holland.
Do you agree? Are we harkening to the Word of the Lord?
Let’s continue: verses 9-12.
How many times does the phrase “How is it ye have forgotten” show up in those verses?
What are they each followed by?
Here’s the pattern:
How is it ye have forgotten [a miracle/a tender mercy].
We have miraculous experiences in our lives, we experience the tender mercies of the Lord. How do you keep them in remembrance?
Summarize verse 12 in your own words.
Now verse 13.
Faith and obedience precede blessings, just as disobedience and rebellion precede destruction. We reap what we sow.
I have a personal story to share. I have to dig deep into the archives of my life for this one, all the way back to when I was 18. I had a boyfriend. He had been my boyfriend for two full years. We were going to get married. We were going to do this, that, and the other. We had plans.
One day my mom told me, “Heather, you love him, but you aren’t in love with him. He is going to leave on his mission, and you are going to fall in love with someone else and it’s going to break his heart.”
Immediately I was filled with rage. How dare she make such a declaration! I didn’t speak to her for probably three whole days. In the meanwhile, that scripture about the guilty taking the truth to be hard settled around my heart and I realized, horrified, that she was right. I hated that she was right. It was part of why I couldn’t even bring myself to speak to her. I hated the whole truth of all of it. I knew what that truth was going to require of me.
Point is, the truth can hurt, especially when it requires us to change. We’re human beings. Our natural-man instincts are wired to avoid pain and discomfort. When our immediate reaction is anger, let’s do our best to stop and
evaluate ourselves, look for the truth, and be willing to change –even if it hurts a little. Even if it hurts a lot.
What motivates Laman and Lemuel?
What motivates Nephi?