Sunday, January 29, 2017

Nephi's Lamentation

Of all the purposes in the Book of Mormon, the first and foremost is to be able to come unto Christ and be made perfect in him that we might be able to live in the presence of God again some day.  This means that of the teachings and doctrines in the Book of Mormon grace and the atoning power of Christ is taught foremost by its principle authors.  One of the greatest testimonies of Christ and his atoning power comes from 2nd Nephi chapter 4.  Nephi, in verse 18, laments his own mortal frailties by exclaiming:

I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

Nephi understands mortal temptations and hardships.  The stories of 1st and 2nd Nephi are clear testimonies of that fact.  But after his exclamation of weakness and temptation, he turns the coin over in verse 20 and looks at all of his experiences through the lenses of Christ and his atonement by stating:
 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
Weakness and temptation has the power to tear us down if we turn from God, but it provides an opportunity to rise and strengthen our faith if we turn towards Christ.  This process of being supported by God is a slow and steady process of building us and molding us into the people that God has in mind for us.  Nephi, through his reliance on God, became a spiritual rock for his family in the face of adversity; while Laman and Lemuel became spiritually frail and broken.  I know that through Christ, we can be strong and stable even when we are encompassed about by the woes of the world.

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