“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

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

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I was led by the Spirit

I was led by the Spirit ...

Remember Wednesdays post Plan A, Plan B... This is Plan C. God's way. Nephi does not know where he is going or what he is doing. He is going on the cuff? Or is he? He believes God will deliver them. Did God tell Moses all that would transpire when he freed the Hebrews? No. Did God tell Aaron what to say before he opened his mouth? No. Did God tell Noah how complete the flood would be? Who taught Noah how to build the ark? God. These prophets were all led by the spirit.

It takes faith to be led by the Spirit. To know that with every moment God is with me. With every prayer there is an action that answers. We may not see. We may not realize immediately how the Lord has taken care of us, but he does take care of us. We must have faith, an open heart, and an ear to listen. We must be obedient to the basic laws that help shape our desire to know God.

This is really a beautiful story. Nephi tried mans way.( Plan A Plan B) How did Plan C unfold? He hid his brethren in the wall, he crept toward Laban's house, and he found Laban unconscious in a drunken stupor. The spirit says slay him. "it is better than one man should die than an entire nation should dwindle in unblief".

But this went against every thing that Nephi had ever known. The laws of civilization say "thou shalt not kill", (and yet Jerusalem had sought to slay the prophets?) He knew that this was wrong. But then why was it right for men of God to be put to death for stating the truth and giving warnings to Jerusalem's wickedness?

Laws are only good as long as the majority of the people are agreed of their value. Case in point.. Blue laws still exist in the deep south. Liquor can not be purchased on Sunday and many stores of all kind remain closed. South Carolina is one of the last strong holds of this law? Why? Because the people value its worth. A movement to repeal these laws failed not once but twice. Laws rely on the people to determine their value. Another law to consider in this regard is prohibition. After the law was passed, people found ways around it. The people could not live without their alcohol.

My point is this. Jerusalem valued not the truth the prophets gave and blatantly disregarded the laws when they sought to slay the prophets. Nephi, as a man of God chose to obey the greater law. He had to choose between man's law and the Lord's law. God had given him perspective and he saw the wisdom in having the law (the brass plate) to teach with. The spirit led him to help him retrieve the law of Moses so that Lehi's family could know and then teach the law of Moses and hence know God.

I wonder if Nephi would have acted so boldly if he had known beforehand what the Lord's plan was? I wonder if it is necessary for us to always know all that we are to do? Being led by the spirit is just that, it is not always knowing what is just around the corner, but believing it is the Lord's will anyway.

I beheld his sword (vs 9) hilt was of pure gold ...workmanship exceedlingly fine ..most precious steel..... -
Who was Laban? He was a man of great power. I know this because of Nephi's description of his sword. I think that a sword might have been like a car in our days. I noticed that everything about Laban's sword was the best of the best. This tells me that it was not going to be easy to get these plates without a fight.
Why didn't Nephi just go and steal the plates? Who was Laban? A man of great power and influence. What might have happened had he not obeyed the spirit? Lehi's family (only 3 days journey) might have been slain. This was a serious matter to consider.
I was constrained (vs 10) - compel or force (someone) toward a particular course of action - Who constrained Nephi? I am reminded that he is being led by the spirit, so I believe it is the spirit within him. And the spirit reasons with Nephi.. shows him the wisdom in this action.
dwindle in unbelief (vs 13) - Without God's law I dwindle in unbelief. When I take time each day to read his law, his words, and understand his ways, I discover "his righteous purposes." I don't want to dwindle in unbelief. I want God's love and law in my life.
I remembered the words of the Lord (vs 14) - When I read the words of God and I have to make daily choices I am glad to remember the words of the Lord. They serve as a guide post to help me through my day. Here Nephi remembers the words and they help him make a decisive choice. He remembers that it is better to serve God. God will keep His promises. God will help you prosper. When we have to make choices we need to remember the importance of keeping our covenants with God. We have his promise.

This section of 1 Nephi contains many deep subjects that could be discussed in great depth. I enjoyed contemplating these verses because they helped me see how God's love helps us preserve that which is vital for our survival. Lehi's family had everything physical that they needed for their trek into the wilderness. They needed God's law. His promises. His love written down in story. They needed to know so they could continue the traditions and "always have his spirit to be with them ." (Moroni 4:3)

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