“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.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nephi's Blessing.. In God's Garden Helaman 10:4-11

I spent the good part of my morning weeding my garden. I pulled weeds, hacked weeds, pruned bushes, and cleaned the beds. It was hot and I tasted the salty sweat as it rolled past my eyes into the corner of my mouth. This was a task that had to be done. The grass had crept its way from the edges deep into my beds. The roses had lost their bloom and wilted like baked apples. Crabgrass was not as pervasive as this one weed that carried many leaves upon each of its stems. It looks like a money plant and is everywhere. It must be its season to bloom?

I did not feel badly for pulling these weeds from my garden. I felt no remorse or concern that they would die. There were in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing and invading my beautiful garden. They had to go! I was amazed at how quickly they invaded and multiplied as we had weeded all of the beds only 6 weeks prior.
I hate weeds. They overrun, overcome, and destroy the beauty and organization of my garden plan. They kill the good plants, rob the nutrition and sunlight, and create havoc with the visual layout of my plants. Who invited them? Why do they insist on showing up? There is no place for them in my garden.
A few of them were seedling pine trees. I remember last summer when we moved here and I transplanted a few with GuitarGuy. He could not bear to kill a tree so we moved the seedlings to the side of the yard where I would not mind another pine. There is nothing wrong with pine, maple or oak saplings that come up, but they have to find their place in my garden. In the middle of a my rose bush just will not do.

As I pulled, pruned and sweated in my garden this morning, I thought of Nephi. I thought how God had entrusted him with so much power over the people. I thought how he would have had knowledge, foresight, and the ability to help God keep everything under control. Why? Because he was like a Master Gardner. He knew which plants were weeds and which were good. He knew that certain good plants could be saved and moved to a better location. He knew that some plants simply had to go, there was no redemption for them. He respected God's decision concerning his garden and eventually God turns control of it over to him.
If there is need to weed, to prune, to transplant, or to hoe God's garden, Nephi will be the one to do it.

God gave Nephi a blessing. God gave him power to be his servant so that the work would go forth. It's not about feeling sorry for the "plants" that have to go, its about the "plants" (people) learning their responsibilities concerning where they are to be planted and what they are to do with their blooms.

Words and Phrases (from a Gardner's perspective)

vs 4. unwariness unwariness declared the word - As a gardener I sow seed, fertilizer and water the plants so that they may received "the word".
vs 4 thou hast not feared them - In the garden there are many things to fear. Upon our first moving home to the south, I had memories of snakes, fire ants, mosquitoes, bugs, and spiders. Today I brushed several spider webs away as I cleared through the garden of weeds. Nephi had words to fear.
vs 4 hast sought my will and to keep my commandments - Nephi was a good apprentice gardener. He learned to follow instructions and have faith in the Master Gardeners plan and precepts concerning the welfare of the garden.

vs 5 I will bless thee forever - God is giving Nephi all of the blessings that come from being in the Garden.. (on earth). He is being blessed forever with the blessings of God's garden. Bloom, Beauty, organization, etc. and the ability to take care for the garden.

vs 5 mighty in word and in deed - Nephi's ability to "garden" is very advanced. God has decided to make Nephi a Master Gardener and turn the Garden and all the plants in it over to him. He trusts him. He feels that Nephi has such mutual respect and love for him (God) that he would never do anything contrary to his will. He knows that Nephi loves the plants of the garden as much as God does and will take great care to love and nurture them.

vs 5 will not ask what is contrary to my will - So great is the trust between God and Nephi concerning the plantings, the soil, the care of the garden that God understands that he and Nephi have the same respect, concern, love, admiration, desires for the garden. So great is the trust (for they have gardened side by side) in an attempt to help the garden bloom, that God has entrusted all of his power to Nephi.
vs 6 ye shall smite the earth with famine - If the garden needs a bit of drought, so be it. God understands that Nephi would not do anything in spite, to hurt the garden, to be mean. Pestilence - bugs, weeds,
destruction - the weeding of the garden, etc.. the death of plants b/c of weeds, or the death of one good plant when a weed becomes entwined within it's roots.
vs 7 the sealing power of heaven - the ability to take the blooms from the garden and see to it that they do not fade, they do not wilt, but have a forever bloom of joy and beauty.
vs 8 rent in twain - If a rose bush needs to be taken out, or pruned heavily to keep from losing it to disease, I will understand. It will be done.
vs 9 cast down ad become smooth - add the valleys and the hills of your garden at will.
vs 10 God shall smite - winds, heavy rains, disease, mold, a over population of insects, God will smite the people if Nephi says that it must be so, because God knows that Nephi is filled with compassion, caring, and his word, but the people have lost their reason.
vs 11 - except ye repent - The flowers of my garden should stop inviting weeds within the garden. When a weed is found within the heart of a rose bush it is but impossible to remove. You have to a. prune heavily or b. take the bush out. destroy it before the weed is able to take over the garden.

Today I was able to see the power that God granted Nephi. I was able to understand the reason for the trust. If we liken the world to a great garden where weeds and such are prone to be found, we can understand Nephi's attempt to teach them, have them reject him, and eventually Nephi having to follow God's commandments and begin the self made destruction of those who did not repent.

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