“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

Writing is where we truly learn. Join the Journey.

I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Have ye inquired of the Lord? Ask.

1 Nephi 15

Ask God.

A Saturday Poem about Asking…

“I bargained with Life (God) for a penny,
And Life (God) would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store.

“For Life (God) is just an employer,
He gives you what you
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the t

“I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had
asked of Life(God),
Life (God) would have willingly paid.”

What do I want from life? What do I want from God? If I take this poem and substitute God for the word life, how does it change my perspective about God?

As I read 1 Nephi 15, I was struck with how Nephi’s brethren were left with a “scanty store” with regards to their knowledge and love of God. Why was that? Nephi was astounded with their questions and their disbelief. They didn’t understand so much of what Lehi spoke to them. He asked them, “Have ye inquired of the Lord?”

God truly is the source of all knowledge and the use of his knowledge brings us wisdom. God truly wants to bless us with “any wage asked” for. His love has already “willingly paid” for our sins. We need only to ask.

Words and Phrases

(Vs 2) disputing one with another – Without God in my life or in my family, there will always be disputations. Nephi helps us to understand that God gives man inspiration and understanding so that they might then learn to help themselves.

(Vs. 3) hard to be understood – I have often read and seen many things in my life that are hard to understand. I learned a long time ago to take it to God. The world’s perspective is one of selfish consumerism. (If it’s not good for the economy it’s held in little esteem.) God’s perspective is about taking care of the one (me) and then letting the one go forth and take care of others. (Financial rewards are a by-product; they are not the means to the ends). In my life, I have trusted in the “arm of the flesh”. It led me a dark place where there was little or no faith. As I began to exercise my faith, I learned that as much as the world thinks it knows, without God to inspire and to direct the growth of our intelligence, there will always be things that are “hard to understand.”

When I was little, my father told me of how the Holy Ghost removes a cloud of confusion from our mind and opens up our thought process to help us clearly see God’s words and actions. It is by the power of the Holy Ghost that we find understanding. I believe the Holy Ghost helps us to bridge the gap of understanding and help our spirit find growth.

(Vs 4) hardness of hearts – What does it mean to have a hard heart? I think it means to close your mind and your ears and your eyes to new ideas. I think it means to not allow the Holy Ghost to warm your heart to others and to let true principles into your life.

(Vs. 7) we cannot understand the words – Words are important to understand. Words carry our language, our culture, and our hidden meanings. Word spoken with the power of the Holy Ghost brings us truth and carries us toward God. It is important to understand words, for they bridge the gap of intelligence between me and whoever I am communicate. When someone speaks to me and I do not understand their words (bad connection, meaning, etc) I ask.

We had a funny exchange last night at the table… not irreverent but funny. (I have to tell).

We were eating dinner and my GolfGuy (dad) and my Guitar Guy (son) were talking about various things, friends, food etc. So my Golfguy says to Guitarguy.. “The amount of peas and fruit you eat in one day could really affect your digestion.” GuitarGuy laughed as if to say. Okay sure. But then Golfguy said, “And your digestion is also affected by how much you masticate your food.” Guitarguy’s eyes rolled into the back of his head as he began to laugh and laugh. We could tell, however (by his laugh) that he didn’t understand the meaning of his father’s intentions. Without saying a word, I got up and found a dictionary. When he read the meaning of the word mastication, his laughter changed from an incredulous roar to one of an embarrassed snicker. We all had fun…

It is important to understand the words. If you don’t understand, we should do as Nephi suggested and “inquire of the Lord”. (Vs. 8)

(Vs. 9) the Lord maketh no such thing known - When I have felt this way (that the heavens are closed) I know it is time for me to reevaluate my attitude, my actions, and my prayers. Why is the heaven closed to me? Have I been disrespectful? Have I not headed the H.Ghost’s promptings? Have I hardened my heart? It is easy to read this verse and dismiss it. It is easy to get caught in a bout of self-righteous pride and say that of course Lamen and Lemuel didn’t get it. They didn’t try. I believe there are times in my life and all of our lives when we don’t’ get it. There are times when we all play the role of Lamen and Lemuel. We can never say that we are always a Nephi.

(Vs. 11). Remember – What? The things the Lord has said.

1. I need to soften my heart (not harden it) 2. Ask in Faith 3. Believe that I will receive (the key to the poem is believing) 4. Keep the commandments with diligence 5. Patiently wait for them to be made known to me.

Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and the Door shall be opened. There is a famous painting of Jesus standing in front of a door. There is no handle on his side of the door. If the door is going to be opened it must be from my side. If I am to receive the blessings, he has set it up so that I must ask for these blessings.

What do I ask for?

In order to know what to ask for, I have to allow the Holy Ghost in my life. In the four standard works of the scriptures the word “ask “ can be found over 202 times. When you also include the word inquire, it is there over 230 times. I think God wants us to learn to ask… for help, for understanding, for enlightenment, for blessings, for help, for patience, for guidance, for friendship, for whatever we stand in need of. He wants us to ask and when we have received we can give back to others that need.

I don’t want to find myself at the end of my life “only to learn, dismayed”, that I did not “look unto the Lord as I ought”(Vs 3). I will always learn to ask.

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