I have been a MAJOR slacker at blogging lately. However I just finished the Book of Mormon and have decided to blog as I read it this next time through. I love the Book of Mormon so much. I have probably read it a dozen times now, but each time I read it I am influenced in a different way.
Blogging as I read is completelya selfish pursuit . It helps me to look for specific themes and ways to relate what I’m reading to my life. I hope and pray that I can feel the spirit often as I read. So here we go!
1 Nephi 1!
As I read about Lehi’s visions, I was struck by his reaction to what he saw. The following verses explain his response as he reads a “book” that explains the destruction of Jerusalem, the city where he lives!
11 And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.
12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.
13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem–that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon.
14 And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!
So Lehi just read about how his home town and the people in it would be destroyed for their wickedness… And his response was to praise God for his mercy?! I wish there were more details to this vision, but Lehi’s reaction helps me understand that God isn’t this angry, all-powerful, jealous God who destroys everyone who gets in his way. Christ (who I think is being referred to here as God) is reaching out to all of us, He forgives all who want to come to Him. He knows each of our circumstances and difficulties. He pleads our case and works with us to help us change and grow. Of course, not everyone is willing to take His help, but as Isaiah says repeatedly, “His hand is outstretched still.”
I definitely need Christ’s mercy in my life. I have needed it continuously in the past and I need it now, especially as I work to overcome imperfections, but fail OVER and OVER again. I am so incredibly grateful that Christ is merciful. He wants us to come to Him no matter how far off the path we’ve gotten and no matter how many times we’ve messed up. He gives us credit for trying and when we do all that we can, His grace makes it possible for us to grow.
Knowledge of the Atonement is the greatest blessing of my life. I think as Lehi saw this vision, he felt the same way.