Thursday, August 16, 2007

3 Nephi 1

Nephi Departs

Nephi the son of Helaman departs out of the land (3 Nephi 1:2). What could it have been like for Nephi to work all those years never to see that the people truly repent of their sins? He may have left because the people were so hardened. Nephi, the son of Helaman was one of the most faithful and hard-working prophets in the Book of Mormon.

The Power of the Word

As stated, the prophecies began to be fulfilled – every whit. What the Lord declares is what will be. In 3 Nephi 1:13, the Lord responds to Nephi’s prayer. The Lord says, “I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken.” This is very powerful. Are we not also trying to establish our character to the point that what we say will be? Honesty takes on a whole new meaning in this light. If our words match our actions, then eventually our word will be powerful like unto the Lord’s word.

When we covenant to do something, we need to do it so our words have meaning. We should not make idle threats. We should make promises and keep them. Our words will eventually become our actions and the Lord will be with us. And when the Lord is with us, we like Nephi the son of Helman, will receive power from heaven and what we declare will be the will of the Lord. That is how we gain power from the Lord – keeping our word.

Satan Tears Down

In 3 Nephi 1:22, Satan put lies in the hearts of the people so that they would harden their hearts and not believe in the signs that had been given. As always, Satan tries to tear down rather than build up. There are many people who are this way – they are negative and try to tear down people’s beliefs rather than build up and be positive. Negativism never accomplished much.

The Rising Generation

Finally in 3 Nephi 1:29, the rising generation “became for themselves and were led away by some who were Zoramites, by their lyings and their flattering words to join the Gadianton robbers.” How heart-breaking it must have been for the parents of these children. But the Lord will never force us to be obedient. As the verse says, they “became for themselves” and therefore chose for themselves. Agency is key. We must make decisions for ourselves. We also must accept the consequences of our decisions.

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