Saturday, May 29, 2010
"the dealings of that God"
1 Nephi 2: 12-16
I wonder how many of us ask the question, "Why would God allow this?", "Or, I don't believe in a God that would be the cause of so much pain." Well, when I hear this question, I have to wonder if the people speaking has ever taken time to "know the dealings.. of that God who created them?" Rarely if ever have I heard questions like these come from the mouth of a true believer and worshiper of God. I think it is important for all of us to daily consider, the dealings of that God who created us. When we do, (take time to consider God's dealings with man) we learn to respond to life through glasses of faith, hope and charity. We learn to wipe the angry smudges from these glasses and focus on the good that comes from God. When we understand the good that comes from God, we are less likely to misunderstand "the dealings of that God."
Phrases and Words
(these are my comments on phrases of words that jump out at me)
being the eldest (vs 12) Do you suppose that God understands how birth order affects our behavioral attitudes? Actually I've always understood this to read that Nephi was telling the story. I always felt he was a bit judgmental here. AS if to say, because they were the eldest sons, they were more spoiled, more insubordinate, Lehi didn't get it right until I was born? I guess this comes from me being the baby and always hearing that the baby was the difficult child of the family. The one to "murmur" or whine. Eldest children are used to having their parents all to themselves, or at most to having a good deal of power. My guess is that when Lehi decides to leave Jerusalem, Lamen and Lemuel are stripped of that power and left at the mercy of their parents discretion. I'm just saying that in a town where they had family, friends, and great connections, it is probable that Lamen and Lemuel had great sway over their parents discipline and decisions. Once they left and went into the wilderness, it is most likely that they lost most if not all of this power.
they knew not the dealings of that God which created them" vs 12. ... How many of us know God? How many of us ask on a daily basis to understand the hows and whys of God's works? When was the last time that I murmured when things didn't go the way I wanted? I wonder if rather than murmuring, I might learn to ask God the right question, maybe instead of being frustrated, I might learn something. Ha.. I think I just learned something.
they were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem (vs13) - At first glance this is not to special of a phrase, but when you realize that they were like the Jews? How were they like the Jews? Angry... yes we realize they were angry because they tried to kill Lehi. I had to wonder how else they might have been alike? Worldly? Greedy? Discontent? unable to hear the prophets? unable to feel God's spirit? I have been angry. It is not fun. I have been so hurt that I built a wall around my heart and would not allow any one in, not even God. I never want to be in a place where I can not feel of God's love again. I want to be like Lehi, leaning the prophets path.
he did confound them (vs 14) Lamen and Lemuel were surprised and confused by the "power of the Spirit". They were stricken with surprise when their father stood against them. Was it because Lehi's elder sons had grown accustomed to the ways of Jerusalem? Was it because Lehi had lost touch with his family? Why did Lehi speaking boldly confound them? They were not used to hearing the words of the prophets or the words of their father's counsel?
mysteries of God (vs 16) Nephi tells us that he had great desires to know these mysteries. Why is that we all don't have great desires? Obviously Nephi contemplated rebelling. He was the youngest. His elder brothers had great sway upon him. I know this is true. Sometimes my older children have greater sway over my younger children than me? They are after all closer in age. But what strikes me here is that Nephi makes a conscious choice to learn the dealings of that God which created him. He makes a conscious choice to seek out God and all of his mysteries. What is a mystery? It is something that is unclear or misunderstood or not known. What is a mystery to me may not be a mystery to someone else. Electricians understand great things about electricity. To me they might be a mystery. Nephi sought to know God. Again.... he saw his elder brothers murmur. He saw his father put them in their place. He might have said to himself... shaking bodies... (not good) or glowing aura (Lehi) better. Children that are exceedingly young have insights that we too often pass over. We say they are naive, but they are not. They are aware of many spiritual truths. When they are allowed to seek out the mysteries of these truths, they often lead us and help us reset ourselves. Children are naturally aware of spiritual truths. The joy of these truths is what causes us to return again and again to their smiles.