“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.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Thou hast not murmured" 1 Nephi 3: 1-15

1 Nephi 3:1-15

I have to admit. I am a murmurer. I often complain. Is this because I was the youngest? Nephi was the youngest and he didn't murmur. Is it because I am the only girl and therefore spoiled? Not sure? But I know that I have been the queen of murmuring. I try not to, but if you are not careful it becomes a habit. And you learn that if you murmur long enough and loud enough, you eventually get what you want.
"So be careful what you pray for (murmur for) because you just might get it." I remember being young and hearing this adage. It really made me think. I started considering what I was asking for.
Nephi is teaching us more than just considering. He wants us to have enough faith in the Lord that we don't question what he asks us to do.
I love to question. And I wonder if questioning is considered murmuring. I guess it depends on where you are and what the circumstances are. A good question should always be well placed. I suppose faith has its time and place also. When you are dealing with God, and you know that you are dealing with God and those that serve him, you should have more faith and fewer questions.

Phrases and Words
(comments on phrases of words)

speaking with the Lord (vs1) Nephi returns here from speaking with the Lord. Prayer? I have to suppose it was prayer. There is no other indication that it was anything but prayer. It makes me wonder. Do I consider my prayers as a time when I "speak with the Lord?" I hope so. I hope that I have learned to respect God enough to kneel long enough in prayer to hear what he would have me hear. To ask what I need to ask. To take time to learn what he would teach me.

Behold I have dreamed a dream (vs 2) I looked this one up. If you go to the Index there are over 30 references to dreams. If you take a broader interpretation of the word dream to mean "vision", then there are over 80 references. Like I said before, I am a dreamer. You can label me a dreamer and find fault. Or you can label me a dreamer and realize that dreams build the word and the world. Where do we receive our inspirations, our realization of our inmost desires, if not in a dream? Lehi was a dreamer? I wonder what he had to do to receive instructions to this great detail. I have received answers to my prayers in my dreams, but I have not always understand the language of dreams. I would like to know more about the language of dreams. I wonder where the language of dreams would lead me?

genealogy of my forefathers,(vs3) It appears they forgot something. They left their possessions, their gold and their precious things, and remembered to take all that needed to physically survive. But they forgot their history. This one scripture holds a lesson valuable for all of civilization. When we forget our forefathers, we forget who we are. Lehi knew that without the past, they had no future. I think this is one of the biggest reasons we are told by our prophets to journal, to be keepers of our history, to read our scriptures(history), and to learn from the past. It was important enough to go back for it. Just think about it. If Lehi had not gone back, Moroni, Nephi, Mormon, all of the Book of Mormon prophets would not have known who they were or where they came from. Would we have ever heard their story?

thou hast not murmured (vs 5) Lamen and Lemuel murmured because they thought their father required it of them. They didn't understand God's ways. Nephi loved his father. But more importantly he understood the difference between a request made by his father to "chop wood" or by the Lord, "to retrieve the records". He understood the weight of spiritual matters. And if he didn't fully, he had enough faith not to murmur.

So.. which came first the chicken or the egg? Did Nephi have faith enough to ask about "the mysteries" and then receive faith enough not to murmur, or did he have faith enough not to murmur and then receive more faith by receiving the vision? Does it matter? I think what Nephi had that his brothers did not have is humility. This must have come from his young age. I think it is important to teach our children humility and faith while they are young.

I had been blessed of the Lord(vs8) I want to be blessed of the Lord. Do I do what Nephi did and react with faith enough to say, "I know the Lord will prepare a way?" I hope so. I want to be blessed of the Lord. What greater desire could any of us have than to be blessed of the Lord? And what would that blessing entail? Faith, Obedience, humility, understanding, questions of learning, desires to serve, determination to succeed at the Lord's commandments, forthrightness to overcome obstacles that will suppress us, and the strength to know who we are, to feel the Lord's joy surge through us as we do all that we were created to do. I believe in Maslow's hierarchcy of needs. I believe the Lord intended each of us to reach a level of self-actualization and that in reaching that self... we find joy...

until we havebaccomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us (vs 15) This verse really hit me. I have never seen it before. Nephi's faith was really great. Although it was not he who drew the lottery to go to Laban's house, and he was not there when Lamen and Lemuel presented their request, he knew they had tried. He knew they had done what was ask of them. Laban had other plans and they were not in keeping with Lehi's or the Lord's plan of getting the history of their fathers. But Nephi knew that God had asked. How? He had faith in his father. He shared the "mysteries and knowledge that his father shared."
He knew it was right. He knew (spiriitutally) he knew their survival depended upon these plates. Maybe God had shared with him a larger vision, (I don't know), but I do know that I have felt this drive. I have felt the need to do something that if it didn't get done, my life or the lives of my close family depended upon it.
These plates were that important. How important is our history? our Journalling? How important is it for us to remember? What does Satan do to get us to forget? What does he do to keep us from reading things or doing things that help us remember. What role does our memory play in how we treat others? in how we act on our faith? How do word stir us up to remembrance?

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