Friday, June 3, 2011
Day 3: 1 Nephi 15-19
Hi, I'm Rachel, and I'm so glad Cortney asked me to post today. It's one thing to scribble notes in my journal but quite another to put those notes to words that might be useful to others. I hope that your experience with this challenge is as valuable to you as it has been to me so far! (Also, do you like my cheesy attempt to artfully illustrate that the scriptures are full of love?)
Anyway, I left today's reading feeling loved. So very loved.
It began with the third account of Lehi's dream; the interpretation of the dream to Laman and Lemuel. As I read, I couldn't help but think about the difference between Nephi's experience with the dream and that of his brothers. When Nephi wanted to know the interpretation, he went straight to the Lord in prayer and was answered with a vision of his own, with depth and layers and even more questions answered than the one he started with. (My biggest insight today came in realizing that in answer to Nephi's question about interpretation, the Spirit doesn't answer him directly, but instead shows him scenes from Christ's life which then lead to Nephi understanding the interpretation.) Laman and Lemuel, in contrast, received simple, straightforward answers to their direct questions. It struck me that while they might not have been ready for prophetic visions of their own, Laman and Lemuel were still blessed to know what it meant. Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to learn and grow, so He gives us what will help us do that best, no matter who we are.
It continued with the account of the family crossing the sea, and how there is no way I could have endured what Nephi's brothers put him through - in gratitude, even! - without a sure knowledge of God's love for me. I can almost feel the tension of a desperate situation almost slip away with the words in verse 21:
"And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm."
Finally, I can never read about our Savior's sufferings and sacrifice without feeling humbled and grateful and loved. I don't think I've ever read chapter 19 verse 9 without tears in my eyes and love in my heart:
"And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."
My feelings today are echoed in the words of Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
"Whether others deny or delimit Jesus, for us He is our Lord and Savior! Comparatively, brothers and sisters, it matters very little what people think of us, but it matters very much what we think of Him. It matters very little, too, who others say we are; what matters is who we say Jesus is."