“Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfill all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.”
Finally, after “crying mightily” all day long for the lives of his people, what sweet words of comfort! The Lord didn’t have to answer that prayer. The time was imminent. He answered that prayer as a tender mercy to Nephi who had been so dedicated. It looks like He also answered Nephi’s prayer to give some instruction. Nephi and the other believers, at this point, were probably as humble as you can get. Humility is not a weakness. If we have humility it just means that we accept that we don’t know everything there is to know and that God does. If we are humble, we are teachable.
In verse 14 He tells us why He is coming and why He is called the “Father” and the “Son”. I think it’s pretty revealing. We pray to God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Jesus Christ. They are two separate beings. It doesn’t matter which one answers our prayers because They are one in purpose. It is God’s plan and Jesus Christ is carrying it out. Both, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, are essential to the plan. We can learn several things about Their nature if we study, think about (ponder) and pray about these scriptures. I hesitate to venture any further because when I can’t explain things well it usually means I need to understand it better myself. And I don’t want to present the half-baked ideas as my testimony. I do know that I would be SO relieved and comforted by this answer to my prayer if I had been there. Now my anticipation for the coming of the Christ would not be laced with fear of what my neighbors might do to me.
“And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.”
The prophet Nephi knew the sign would be given as Samuel said. But, obviously, he didn’t know if lives would be lost before it happened. Do we expect a true prophet of God to know everything? I think they must, also, be on a ‘need to know’ basis with God. Prophets aren’t perfect, either, and maybe their faith also needs to be exercised. I don’t know if that would be for their benefit or ours though? Nephi apparently knew the time for the sign was close enough that all that was left to do was pray in behalf of the believers. Heavenly Father expects us to ask for what we need. To “cry mightily” sounds like pleading to me. If I put myself in Nephi’s place I could think of a couple different things I could ask Heavenly Father for in this desperate time. My first thought is to pray for their safety. I could ask Him to soften the hearts of the wicked so they’ll put off the death deadline until Christ comes. I would ask if there is something else I could do to change their minds. I might also pray that the righteous be comforted and strengthened no matter what happens. I could plead for the sign to be given tonight. I know I would pray that all lives would be spared but that His will be done. I think it is interesting that, in the previous verse, he called the wicked “his people”; here it is the righteous. We love who we serve. It doesn’t matter whether they listen to us or not. A couple days ago, I talked about “tradition” as if it were something negative; or at least something less than righteous. Traditions can be good, bad or somewhere in between. The Christmas season is full of cultural and family traditions. As we establish our family traditions we want them to reinforce and promote faith in God and Jesus Christ. Santa Clause, reindeer and elves are not evil. But remember to teach the meaning of Christmas. Otherwise, children might think it’s the receiving (or the sugar), instead of the giving, that makes them so happy. God gave us His Son and Jesus gave His life for us to be happy.
We’re travelling, this week, to see our grandchildren and most of their parents. 🙂
I love our grandchildren and that is why I’ll never post their pictures here. I’ve worked with computers and internet systems enough to know how much trouble it can get children into. There are scary people out there and I’ll do everything I can to protect our little ones! I’ll share their pictures with family only.
So, onto a different “retirement thought”. Maybe it’s because my husband and I spend 24/7 together that my thoughts occasionally turn to “What if I was in an accident or something happened to me while I am away from him?” It usually comes up when I’m walking the beach alone or running an errand alone or eat breakfast in the motel alone because I woke up too early and couldn’t stand to lay there any longer and it’s too early to wake him up with hair dryer noises. It’s not that I dwell on the thought of death or violence or being a victim. I just quickly think, “Do I have ID on me so someone will know who to call? Do I have my wedding band on so he can ID my body if it is othewise unrecognizable? Will he recognize the earrings I have on (that I’ve worn everyday for the last 3 months)? Should I wake him up just to tell him I’m leaving the room so he can sleep; after I’ve been careful not to wake him up with so much as a light to get dressed by? I’ll just take my phone, and if the wrong stars DO align, it will be of use. If he DOES wake up before I return AND I am gone long enough that he begins to worry, he can call me.” The few times that I’ve been gone for a walk on the beach long enough that he’s called me, I haven’t had a cell signal. So the phone is actually a win-win (for me). I get points for taking it but my peaceful walk is not interrupted by his schedule. 🙂 just kidding dear!
Anywho…you may wonder why the picture of the moving sidewalks we used in the airports? Well, they reminded me of life and death. If you have a life of service you’ll be ready for the next life. If you don’t know what “service” is, ask a mother; she is always serving her family. I believe that service is how we learn to love as Christ loves. I don’t believe the love or service will stop when we die. Maybe service will actually be more of a way-of-life? Death of our mortal body is just a transition to the next life. We, rightfully, cling to life so that we can learn as much as we can and as much as God knows we need.
Service is like the moving sidewalk. We get on the sidewalk when we do or say something kind to someone. The more we serve others, starting with our family members, the faster we are moving on the sidewalk. We can either walk or stand on the moving sidewalk. Either way we are getting closer to the goal. If we make service a constant in our life (walking or running on the sidewalk), the scope of our love will grow. I think that, like getting to the end of the moving sidewalk when you are walking propels you, our service and what we’ve learned from it will make what comes next feel natural.
So, if you haven’t gotten on the sidewalk, say something kind to someone today. Or smile at someone or do something kind for someone.
I am grateful for the love our children have for their children and all that they do for them each and every day. I am grateful for our parents who show by example how to serve and love their families and friends. And I am grateful for my sweet (and sassy) husband and cannot imagine spending this much time with anyone else.
We’ll soon be moving away from the beach. Although it will only be a few miles, I will miss walking out my front door to go for a walk and listen to the rhythm of the waves and to “see what I can see” (to quote a childhood song).
As I think about that, it’s only reasonable that I’m reflecting on what I’ve learned over the last several years on the beach.
I love the vastness of the ocean. How many miles am I actually seeing? What is it, 15 miles until the curvature of the earth removes the horizon from our view? But I can see the sun on the horizon! So I must be able to see light-years away. 🙂
I like to stare away into the distance even at the stars in the dark sky over the ocean; seemingly into eternity.
But, honestly, I can’t really do that for long. I don’t know if I’m ADD or just “normal”. But something, closer to me, always catches my attention.
When I see the flat, shell-less, beach for miles ahead of me, it is a beautiful beach. But if I look at what is right around me, I am pleasantly surprised by the beauty in the details.
I like the contrast of the dark fog bank, the blue sky and the diamond-like shimmering sunlight on the water. But I thought the seagull added a personal touch to the beach. This is his home too; longer than it’s been mine. I didn’t really think I’d catch him in his morning yoga ritual. But I’m glad I didn’t disturb him.
There are times when the beach inspires me beyond my capabilities and I cannot resist adding my own touch to God’s creations. What I add is not beauty in everyone’s eyes. But maybe it is at least humor. And if not humor, maybe contrast so the real beauty is emphasized. 🙂
Most of the time, God gives me these special, beautiful, gifts; right in front of my face. (Like the people in my life.) I’m not inspired to change or add to it, just to admire it and let it change me.
Although I can’t imagine where I will spend my morning walks away from the beach, I am sure I will continue to discover (or re-discover) more beauties right in front of my face.