“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, August 19, 2010

Another Sign Helaman 9:25-41

Helaman 9:25-41

I was driving my GuitarGuy to school the other morning
when I saw the back side of a stop sign. It appeared that the street I was crossing had a stop sign that an oncoming car was ignoring. Out of precaution I yielded to her as she never hesitated. After I crossed through the intersection I saw my mistake. The sign was not facing her direction of traffic but yet a third angle of traffic. It was good that I had yielded.

This made me think of signs and their purposes. Signs give directions by instructing us what to do. A stop sign is a good example. Signs also inform us of important information ,such as a railroad sign that lets us know the train crosses here. Signs give warning of
what is to come.
So the sign of a whistle blowing or a car honking is to warn us of impending danger. Signs also act as locators along our pathways. On the highway mile-marker signs line the interstate to let you know where you are in relation to the beginning or the end of the road. Lastly signs testify of truths. Mostly. There can be errant signs designed to deceive, but most signs give you the truth. If you see an exit sign while driving, you know that you will be able to leave the interstate.

It is important that we read and comprehend the signs we see correctly. Our lives could depend upon it. In my case, if I had not questioned who the stop sign was meant for, if I had assumed that the other car was responsible for stopping, then I could have been seriously injured or killed.
Signs are meant to protect us and to give direction to the destination of our choice.

Nephi wanted to help the people believe that all he said was true. He wanted them to believe on faith alone. But faith was not enough. They needed to connect their faith to something tangible. They needed a sign. So he says to them. "I will show you another sign". I will give you another truth.

When we receive the signs as we drive down the highway, it is up to us to use the signs (of truth) to help us get to our destination. Sometimes when I am driving long distances I might see a sign that says "Atlanta 126 miles". I drive a little longer and forget just how far I have to drive and I forget where I am in relation to Atlanta. So I search for another sign that will tell me again where I am on my journey to Atlanta. These signs give distances of truths. The highway department measures with accuracy and I can feel assured that the distances they post are true. I have to have faith that they know what they are doing. I have to believe them.
So it is with God and the signs he gives us. He gives us "road" signs in our lives that testify of his love for us. He helps us to know that he is watching over us and we are traveling on the correct road, a road that will lead us home to him. Like when we travel, we have to combine our faith and belief in the truth of the signs to help us make good decisions, to help us know who and what to believe.

This passage of scripture is not so much about Nephi showing these non-believers who knows more, as it is about giving the believers yet "another sign" to help strengthen their testimony. Many of these people embarked on their journey of belief when they saw Nephi praying in his garden outside of the city. Their curiosity peeked, they asked questions, they measured his words against their actions, and they mocked him. But when the signs came, when the truth came, they began to listen.
I too can pay attention to the "road" signs of my life. God has given me many different signs that help me understand who I am, where I am destined, how I should arrive there, and what I am to do. Signs of spiritual truths are not too much unlike the physical road signs. They too instruct, warn, locate, and inform. We simply have to learn how to read the signs that God's spirit sends our way.

Words and Phrases

vs 25 another sign - we have many different kinds of signs and many different signs to help us find our way through our life journey. If we miss a sign, or misread a sign, it may prove eternally costly. God gives us many signs to help build our confidence in our ability to choose correctly. Think of how many signs you need to read to help you feel secure that you are traveling in the correct direction.

vs 31 ye shall examine- It is important to examine the signs that are given. Just as I misread the back side of the stop sign, so can we misread or misinterpret the signs that we receive or notice. Closer examination will reveal the truth and assure a positive outcome.

vs 33 which has come upon your face - many signs of our lives are found in the faces of those we hold dear. Signs of joy.. signs of happiness, or sadness. signs of contentment and acceptance. guilt, etc.

vs 36 by the power of God - signs from heaven come to us by the power of God. He alone can orchestrate our lives and help us make good decisions. He can help us choose by giving us good signs of truth to guide us. By his power are we saved because we learn to listen to and hearken to the signs of warning, information, instruction, and location while we live our lives.

vs 36 an honest man - Honest men give honest signs. The DOT gives honest distances, and true signs. Honest men do not give signs that are deceptive or corrupt. Honest men are sent from God.

vs 38 brought to prove - I watched the Count of Monte Cristo the other night. In this great movie a man is wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years. While in prison he carves into the walls of his dungeon cell. "God will grant me justice." In the end all truth will be "brought to prove" and men shall have a righteous judgement of God.

vs 39 they had been converted - Why were these 5 converted. Maybe it's because they lived on both sides of the truth. The side where they were casting the blame and the side where they were being blamed. Their perspective changed and they saw how valuable the truth is. They saw the reasoning behind Nephi's words and felt the strength of truth and it's power to change lives.

vs 39 and there were some - a few believed that Nephi was a prophet. They based this on their experience with them.

vs 41 know of all things - When we use the truth of the signs that God gives us we eventually are able to build upon the truth of these signs and receive a larger perspective of life. When you travel and you rely on the road signs to tell you where you are going, and how to get there, eventually in your mind you are able to step outside of your car and see a larger overall picture of your journey. When I travel by plane I enjoy the window seat that gives me the perspective of large cities and the highways that feed into them from other cities. I have a perspective different from when I drive the car.

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