Wednesday, September 19, 2007

1 Nephi, ch 12

This was taken earlier today. He just came up and made himself at home while I finished knitting the replacement blanked for BB.
So anyway, it was TB's turn to read from the Book of Mormon and we were on chapter 12. It's funny how every time one reads from the Book of Mormon, one finds things that they didn't find before. It's almost like it wasn't there! But of course it was.
So this time, we're reading along and we come to verse 7 where Nephi is talking about the Heavens opening up and seeing the Lamb of God come down and show himself, and then the Holy Ghost fell upon 12 others and they were ordained of God and chosen. They were to minister unto his people. I had always taken this to be the 12 disciples that were with Christ in Jerusalem but after I read a little closer (and paid better attention) I caught in verse 9 where the angel tells Nephi that the 12 apostles of Jesus are the judges of the 12 tribes of Israel at the Second Coming, and that these 12 would be judged by the other 12 as they were a part of the house of Israel. I just never caught that before. But is says that the 12 ministers will judge his people. So there's delegation. It's us being judged by the 12 ministers, and the ministers being judged by the 12 apostles.

Then it all seems to go wrong about verse 15. I realize as I read this book closer, that these are real people with real problems just like us. Here's Nephi, getting this huge gift. He's seeing all of his posterity down to the Second Coming of The Lord, and only 4 generations into his descendants, they start messing up. By the 5th generation, his and his brothers' children are now at war with each other. Then in verse 19, his seed are overwhelmed by the seed of his brethren because of the pride of his seed and the temptations of the devil. They have fallen to his temptations and are so proud that they forget what the Lord has done for them and that made them weak and vulnerable. He sees the Lamanites over take the Nephites, and multiply and spread over the whole land. He sees them become a dark and loathsome people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.

It just makes me wonder again, what kind of extremely strong faith these people had. And it served as a wonderful example for me, and probably everyone else out there, who are trying to live the principals of the Gospel and have beloved family members who don't believe, or aren't living as faithfully as they could be.

When I first joined the church, I struggled with how I was supposed to receive a fullness of joy when my Step-father (who raised me from the age of 3), whom I loved very much, didn't believe in God and wouldn't be in the Celestial kingdom with me (as I hope to be)? How does one have a fullness of joy when their spouse isn't a member and the one goes to the temple and fulfills all of their necessary requirements for full exaltation, but they know that their spouse won't be there with them? What about all of those parents who's children have strayed from the teachings of the church? Well, I guess this is a pain that we share with our Heavenly Parents. I imagine that he hurts more than we do when he watches us just wipe our feel all over sacred places and things, or when he sees how we've contorted things like the institutions of marriage and family. How Satan has been able to convince us that the Law of Chastity isn't really a big deal, and in a perfect world we would wait for marriage, but if we're "in love" then it's okay. So I guess I'm not the only one hurting and wondering why. And I have to see this as proof that people way before me had these same feelings, and that I'm not alone. And maybe if I read chapter 13 tomorrow, I'll find the words of comfort that our Father must have had for Nephi, and will be able to be comforted by them as well. And if he loves us as much as we love our own children, then he must have something in mind for issues just such as these. And I'll just have to have faith, and wait, and see.

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