Friday, February 16, 2007

2 Nephi 32 & 33

The Tongue of Angels

What does speaking with the tongue of angels mean? In 2 Nephi 32:3, Nephi explains that angels speak the words of Christ. And angels speak the words of Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost and they know the words of Christ by feasting on his words. Just as Jesus said that we must do the things we have seen him do, so we ought to read his teachings and they too will tell us of the things which we must speak and do.


Besides feasting on the words of Christ, we are commanded to pray. In this manner also we speak with a tongue of angels. Nephi reminds us that we must not do anything save we start with a prayer that our performance will be consecrated unto the Lord. No matter how we feel, we need to pray.

I will never forget the words of Brigham Young when he said, “It matters not whether you or I feel like praying, when the time comes to pray, pray. If we do not feel like it, we should pray till we do.” He goes on, “My doctrine is, it is your duty to pray; and when the time for prayer comes, John should say, ‘This is the place and this is the time to pray; knees bend down upon the floor, and do so at once.’ But John said, ‘I do not want to pray; I do not feel like it.’ Knees get down, I say; and down bend the knees, and he begins to think and reflect. Can you say anything? Can you not say, God have mercy on me a sinner? Yes, he can do this, if he can rise up and curse neighbor for some ill deeds. Now, John, open your mouth and say, Lord, have mercy on me. ‘But I do not feel the spirit of prayer.’ That does not excuse you, for you know what your duty is” (“Chapter 6: The Communication between God and Man,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 41).

Nephi taught us that we need to pray at all times and not faint. I think this means that we must not become weary or tired of praying. Repetition in our prayers begins to creep in when we do not stop and think and ponder the blessings the Lord has given us. If we do not stop and think of our true needs and desires, then we will fall into repetitious petitioning. The only way we will not faint from praying is by taking the time to pray sincerely every day. And just as Brigham Young instructed, if we don't feel like praying, then we should remain on our knees until we feel the need to pray.

Believe in Christ

In chapter 33, Nephi concludes with his simple counsel to “believe in Christ.”

I think that verses 10 and 11 serve as the other book end to Moroni's promise. Nephi tells us to believe his words. But if we don't believe his words, then we should believe in Christ. And then comes Nephi's challenge. "And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye - for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day."

I am thankful for Nephi and his great life and teachings. His life was spent entirely in the service of God. He did so much to help his family cross the seas and to establish a nation of God on this continent. I still remember reading Nephi’s teachings while I was a missionary in the MTC. I learned then, as I still understand now, that Nephi was a man of great character, courage, and charity. I hope that my children will value Nephi’s teachings very much and try their hardest to live his teachings. Nephi truly spoke with a tongue of an angel – his words were the words of Christ. Never forget his example.

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