I was having a hard time finding something to draw from these verses so I began discussing them with my son. He told me to dig deeper, to think a little harder. First I had to let it go and walk away a bit. Then I had to go back and LOOK. Hidden in the story of Nephi's lesson with the angel I found a greater understanding.
There is always a plan. God gives us a plan. Most of the time we don't see it because we are so distracted with the daily chores of life, but I promise there is always a plan.
I think the angel wanted Nephi (and me) to see more than the story of God's life here on earth; he wanted me to understand that it was planned for from the beginning. We are the ones' who stray from the plan. If we will but look, there is so much we can see.
These verse deal with God's plan for man. Within the chapter there are 18 versions of the word LOOK. Most of them are dealing with how the angel was showing the vision to Nephi. But what exactly was he showing Nephi? A Plan for Man.
No words or phrases today. Just what I discovered.
Vs. 7 ... The angel tells Nephi that after he beholds the tree of life (vs. 22 tells us this is the Love of God), he will see a man descend from heaven. It is Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Vs. 8... Look and see the Love of God. After he has seen and felt the love of God, the angel asks what desireth thou?
Vs. 9. Nephi wants to know what it means? What does the love of God and the Son of God have to do with one another?
Vs. 12 Look! ... and he vanishes only to have a vision of the plan of earth comes into view.
1. Vs. 13. The Virgin Mary
2. Vs. 16 The condescension of God
3. Vs. 19 Look... the birth of Christ upon the earth
4. Vs. 21. Why does the angel ask him (after telling him of the birth of God) if he understands the meaning of the tree? Why does he put these two things together? What is the connection between the Tree of Life (love of God) and the birth of Jesus Christ? Look to vs. 25
5. 24. Look... the Ministry of Jesus upon the earth
6. 25. Look. the rod of Iron.. the word of God upon the earth and which leads to the tree of life (or to Jesus Christ).
7. Vs. 27... John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus with water and the Holy Ghost
8. Vs. 29 The Twelve Apostles
9. Vs 31. The power of the priesthood manifest in the healing of men
10. Vs 32. Jesus Christ is judged of the world
11. Vs. 34. Crucifixion of Christ and the apostasy of the Church
12. Vs. 35. The multitude of the earth is gathered together against the Church.
The angel will continue to lay out in vision the plan of God for man. He shows him that Jesus Christ was born to redeem mankind from their sins. There are many different lessons in these verses. The lessons will only be found if I will LOOK for them.
In looking at Nephi's vision I can see how God made manifest his love unto the children of men. I can see how God brings us love through providing a way for us to escape from our own mistakes and our own sins. I can see that if God wanted Nephi to LOOK and see the plan of salvation unto man, why would he not want me to look and discover my own plan.
In looking through the scriptures (like looking through a looking glass) I can see so much of my life and find the direction I need.
I wonder what keeps us from looking. If an angel came to me and told me to LOOK would I?
the pride of the world (vs. 36)... I think that is what keeps us from looking.
When I go on a trip, I look constantly at my map (my plan), my trip ticket (my plan), my route of travel (my plan). When I begin a project I have a plan and I refer back to it over and over.
The scriptures are our map and guide while we are here on earth. If we will take time to do what the angel instructed... to LOOK... at what? the plan.. the instructions, the story, the example that the Love of God left for us. We can find the strength to discover our own plan and discover within us a "most joyous soul". (Vs. 22).