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2 Nephi 5
Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the anger of my brethren.
But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life.
And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.
2 Nephi 5:1-2, 5 Precept #1
Pray about every circumstance in your life and be ready to accept and follow any and all answers the Lord gives to your prayers.
Has the Lord ever given you an answer which wasn’t what you desired to hear? Did you follow it? Was it easy or difficult to do it? Would you do it again?
And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.
2 Nephi 5:6 Precept #2
Believe in the warnings and the revelations of God.
Do you believe all that God is now revealing through His holy prophets?
And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things . . .
2 Nephi 5:10 Precept #3
Keep the judgments, statutes, and commandments of the Lord in all things.
Do you know what the judgments of the Lord are so you can keep them? How about His statutes and commandments?
And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and to labor with their hands.
2 Nephi 5:15, 17 Precept #4
Be a hard and dedicated worker. Be industrious in all that you do.
How strong is your work ethic? Do you take ownership for the work that you do?
And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon . . . and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.
2 Nephi 5:16 Precept #5
Give God your best work!
When you serve God is it with your left over time, effort, and energy or do you give it the best that you have to give?
And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.
2 Nephi 5:27 Bonus Precept
Live after the manner of happiness.
Do you know what Nephi means by the manner of happiness? Are you living it?
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I remember my first truly sacred experience when I was 12 years old. The next was somewhere around 14. My teenage years after that - after beginning a life-long study of the LDS canon of scripture - was chalked full of sacred experience after sacred experience which have developed in me a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a devotion to His teachings as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of those experiences as a young man I can say for sure that Jesus Christ lives today and is the Son of the Living God. He atoned for me and has "redeemed my soul from hell."
It was in those years that I learned for myself that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. That came to be a huge social battle for one young as I was growing up in the Bible belt. I spent those years trying to live my life in such a way that people would know that I was a follower of Christ only to find out after years of hanging out with my friends that none of them believed I was Christian. This was devestating to me, a young man simply trying to show a good example as a follower of Christ. I felt like I had failed. It was only after serving my two year mission for the LDS Church that I realized the reason for their opinion was simply because our definition of what it meant to be Christian was drastically different. For me it had been about following Christ and living His teachings. For them it was whether or not my beliefs fell within their narrowly defined window of what they believed about God and Jesus Christ. I realize now that I was doomed to fail from the beginning!
It was in those years while I was trying to show people that I was a follower of Christ - facing opposition from friend, minister, and teacher alike - that I began studying the scriptures not just to understand His Gospel, but to come to understand answers to the challenges I was being presented with. In short I became as much of a Mormon apologist as a teenage boy with little education could ever become. But I at least had the scriptures and and the guidance of truly devoted and inspired friends and teachers -
and that was all I needed.
It is this pattern of questioning and searching for answers which has informed all of my scripture study and learning over the years of my life since then. My research and understanding of the Gospel, the Church, The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith have all grown and expanded because of that constant and consistent devotion to studying. And they will all continue to do so - for the knowledge of God is infinite and there is no way in the life to learn it all.
This blog is an outlet for all I have learned and considered over the years of my Gospel study. I have found - as many people who have come to know the teachings of Christ the way I have - that when the Word is a part of one's soul he or she cannot escape the desire to share It. So share it I do. There are imperfections and missing pieces in what I write, but all in all I truly feel the Lord has blessed me with the one thing I have desired more than almost anything else: a well rounded understanding of His doctrine and truth as He has given to us at this point. Please forgive my imperfections for this blog is as much about improving myself and my own knowledge and faith in God and Christ as it is for helping anyone else do the same.
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