Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Concerning the prophecies 2 Nephi 4:1-4
In these verses Lehi is about to pass through the veil that mortals call "death." I wonder what those who are not yet born call it? birth? I ask because the other reason I'm up with the owls has to do with my grandson, who is as I type, is working his way through the veil we call birth. By this time tomorrow morning he should have taken his first breath, his first look at the world. What will his life bring us? What can we give him to bless his sojourn on earth with God's love?
Lehi must have had similar thoughts concerning his grandchildren.
Birth and death seem to be the times of our lives when we think most about the past and the future. It's when we search for prophecies and when we consider our history. How grateful I am for the scriptures - for they provide perspective on our past and future. How grateful I am for prophets that put aside the things of this world to write the scriptures and listen to the spirit of revelation as it moves upon their hearts. And for the prophets that have the strength and courage to do God's will. It is what protects us.
And I had to think about these men we call prophets. When they wrote what God shared with them was there someone to read what they wrote? Did they know they were not writing for their time? Did they know that their words would shape nations? How many of the people they wrote for could read? Surely it takes great faith to write for people who do not understand much of what you write. No matter how great the prophecies are.
Nephi tells us that the prophecies of which Lehi spoke. He says, "there are not many greater." What were they? They were from the plates of brass and contained the first 5 books of Moses (1N5:11). (i.e. Old Testament .. ie Bible), a record of the Jews(1N5:12), a genealogy (1N5:14) and the prophecies "of the holy prophets", especially "of Jeremiah.
These prophecies were more important to Lehi than all of his gold and silver. These prophecies gave Lehi a hope for the future of his people. I have to consider that he has only recently left Jerusalem, the land of his birth. He has left all of his wealth, social ties, and put all of his hope for the future of his family into the power of the brass plates.
What is amazing is that he was not young when he did this. So he knew that he would not be around to control the situations of his children's lives. They would be ...without the brass plates... alone in the wilderness. Lost.
But with the brass plates they had stories to tell about their family and their history. These stories would be used to bring hope to the daily lives and inspire them and spur their imaginations. And with these plates they had prophecies that helped them see beyond their daily circumstances and exercise faith.
My daughter was asked to speak extemporaneously at church the other Sunday. She chose to speak about her love of prophets and of their guidance in our lives. She chose to bear witness to the power of hope and truth they bring to our lives. I join my daughter in gratitude for the role prophets play in safeguarding the prophecies of the past and helping us to understand our eternal nature by giving us prophetic counsel for our day.
And I join Lehi in studying the prophecies so that my children will know "give ear to" and find prosperity through the love of the Lord's prophecies. His greatest being that obedience brings prosperity .. not wealth but prosperity. For Lehi had left his wealth behind so that his children might have the commandments and find true prosperity through the "consideration of the prophecies."