The Most Desirable – 1 Nephi 11:21-23

You can read 1 Nephi 11:21-23 here.

Context and General Information

  • Nephi is seeing the vision of the tree of life.
  • The Angel witnesses of Christ, and then asks if Nephi understands the meaning of the tree that he saw.
  • Nephi understands – it is the love of God. It is the most desirable above all things.
  • The angel teaches – it is also the most joyous.

The Most Desirable

If you have read any of the past blog posts, then you know that the idea of “desire” has been on my mind a lot lately. (You can read the posts here, and here…and even a little bit here.)

It’s interesting – the Spirit asked Nephi what he desired, and Nephi answered, to see what his father saw. When Nephi saw the tree that his father saw, the Spirit again asked Nephi what he desired. This time, Nephi responded that he wanted to know the meaning of the tree.

The Spirit answered Nephi by showing him a vision – of the coming of Christ. Nephi saw the virgin Mary. He saw Mary holding a baby in her arms. Then the Spirit asked Nephi:

“And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” – 1 Nephi 11:21

I know that I have been writing about this a lot, and it might seem redundant, but follow me for a second because it will help me to get pretty clear:
One – Nephi sees the tree of life.
Then, to help Nephi understand what the tree of life means, Nephi sees:

  1. The city of Jerusalem.
  2. The city of Nazareth.
  3. A fair virgin. (When Nephi sees the angel, the Spirit asks Nephi if he knows the condescension of God. Nephi does not. The angel doesn’t really explain the condescension of God yet, but the angel does explain to Nephi that this virgin is the mother of the son of God.)
  4. The virgin is holding a baby in her arms.

After this, the angel asks:

“Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?” – 1 Nephi 11:21

From this little series of things that Nephi sees, somehow he is able to understand. He answers the Spirit:

“And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.1 Nephi 11:22, emphasis added

The tree of life represents the love of God. This love sheds itself abroad in the hearts of all of us. And it is the most desirable above all things.

This is really standing out to me. The love of God is the most desirable above all things.

Things I desire:

  • happiness
  • Home
  • to be in shape
  • to go to the beach
  • pie
  • a romantic getaway with my husband
  • success and happiness for my children
  • to show my gratitude for the people that have been such a major support to me in my life
  • to learn to speak Italian fluently
  • etc.

I hate to admit this, but the love of God wasn’t on my short list. Yet it is the most desirable above all things.

After Nephi stated the meaning of the tree of life, the Spirit adds:

“And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.” – 1 Nephi 11:23

Not only is the love of God the most desirable above all things, it is also the most joyous.

I need to amend my list. When asked, what do you desire? I want my answer to be “the love of God.”

What is the Love of God

Well, I guess I could sit here and try to write something about “the Love of God” and what I think it is, but I’m not going to. Instead, let’s study a short scripture chain.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16

When I think of God’s love for us, I can’t help but think of John 3:16. It’s really a beautiful scripture and a beautiful truth. God sent us His only Son to be a sacrifice for sin and death because He loves us. That is the only motive of our Heavenly Father. His work and His glory is our immortality and eternal life. This work stems out of His love. In order to accomplish His work (which comes from His love), He has given His Son to perform an Atonement for us.

This is our ultimate hope. Do we really understand the plight we would be in without a Savior? Do we understand that without the Savior there is no hope for light or life? Without a Savior, every single day would be a day closer to never-ending death.

All of those things on my list would be meaningless if after this world, I was just miserable and dead anyway. I would gladly give up any of my other desires for a way back to Heavenly Father and eternal life and joy.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:35-39

Another thing about the Love of God – nothing can separate us from this love! It has conquered all. It never fails. The Lord can’t force His love on us. He does give it to us, but we have to receive it.

If we remember Lehi’s dream, that tree – the love of God – was available to all, but they had to choose to partake.

It is a nice reminder – this love will overcome tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principalities, powers, height, depth, or any creature.

I don’t think that this means if we have the love of God in our lives, then life will be hunky dory. It doesn’t mean that with Christ, we will not experience tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principalities, powers, height, depth, or any creature. No – we still may have to experience some of these challenges in life.

But we can have hope because these challenges don’t have the power to separate us from the love of God. Truly it is the most desirable.

I have often heard people say that they want “stability” in their lives. I kind of understand this – we have been on the move a lot lately, and I don’t think that many people would describe our lives as particularly stable. However, this scripture helps to remind me that the only stable thing in this world is the Love of God. As long as we have this, then our lives have “stability” even if we move around often!

“But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.” – 2 Nephi 1:15

This scripture is Lehi’s testimony. I love it because of the phrase, “I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.” It sounds like a hug to me.

When we choose the Lord, we choose to feel his love. This is the first part of obtaining God’s Love.

“…wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing….” – 2 nephi 26:30

Notice, we have been commanded to have charity. Charity is love. It is God’s love. When we choose the Lord, and we choose His love, then we, like Lehi – will feel encircled about eternally in the arms of His love.

After this experience, we need to share that exact same love. We can’t share God’s love, charity, without first experiencing it ourselves. Lehi couldn’t share the fruit of the tree of life until after He partook.

Additionally, we won’t continue to experience God’s love unless we share it!

“Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.” – Alma 13:29

Faith, hope, and charity.

Here, Alma teaches us that we need to have the love of God always in our hearts. How do we do this? Well, we live worthy of His Spirit (we always remember Him, and do our best to keep the commandments that He has given us). Additionally, we express this same love to others.

In other words, we love others as the Lord has loved us!

One final scripture:

“And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.” – 4 Nephi 1:15

This is what happens when we have the love of God in our hearts – both through experiencing it ourselves and through expressing it with others. The love of God will overcome differences. It will lead to peace and joy. The Nephites who dwelt in the Americas and met the Savior lived in a peaceful Zion state – without contention – because they chose the Savior, felt His love for them, and chose to cultivate this love and extend it to others.

It sounds pretty desirable. Pretty joyful.

So – what does this mean for me and my desires?

Well, maybe I can be sure that my overarching desire is the love of God. Charity. That I can be made whole through Christ.

That is my greatest desire. I work for that each day. I have felt God’s love and mercy in my life. I haven’t done anything to deserve His love, yet He loves me. I’m not always the best at being a conduit of this love for others, but I do desire to be that.

So – let’s look at the rest of the list. I think that it’s okay to have other “desires” – especially if they fit into the main framework of the desire to have the love of God in my heart.

Things I desire:

  • happiness – a good desire and I understand happiness is only possible through Christ. So, if I want joy, then I’m especially motivated to obtain the love of God, too.
  • Home – I think that this is a righteous desire that really fits in with the Love of God. Home is a great place to feel His love. Home is a place where I can nurture others and also be nurtured. I also feel like this is part of my purpose in life – to be a mother. To raise my children to also desire God’s love; To teach them to come unto Christ and be perfected. Home is the place, actually, that God designated for these things to happen!
  • to be in shape – A good desire as well. I’ve been blessed with this physical body by my creator. I fought for this body, inherited it, and Christ died so that we can be resurrected. I need a body (in the first place) in order to be resurrected. I believe that I need to be a good steward of this blessing. So, it fits into the larger picture.
  • to go to the beach – not important, but it is a good thing. It will bring me peace and joy. And when I’m at the beach, I feel closer and more connected to my Savior. Nature testifies of Christ.
  • pie – haha.
  • a romantic getaway with my husband – I think this is also a righteous deire that builds on the ultimate desire of the Love of God. Marriage is ordained of God. Nurturing my marriage is one of the most important things I can do on this earth.
  • success and happiness for my children – good desire.
  • to show my gratitude for the people that have been such a major support to me in my life – good desire. I owe so much to so many who have helped to bear my burdens and have comforted me when I’ve been in need of comfort. This is actually working with the most desirable thing – God’s love. Because if I want to have God’s love, then I need to be sharing it with others.
  • to learn to speak Italian fluently – just a cool thing, but it is also a righteous desire.
  • etc.

None of these things rate higher than the most desirable of all things (God’s Love), but I can see that many of them will help me to obtain it. Many of these desires are part of my obtaining this great desire. I also know that if I follow the Spirit – even in regards to my desires, then I will ultimately be able to “partake of the tree of life” – that I will obtain God’s love in my heart and experience the joy that God has in store for each of us.


What Desirest Thou? (Deux) – 1 Nephi 11:8-23

You can read 1 Nephi 11:8-23 here.

Context and General Information

  • According to Nephi’s desire and faith, the Spirit begins to show Nephi the things that Lehi saw in a dream.
  • Nephi sees the tree his father saw – it exceeds all beauty.
  • After seeing the tree, the Spirit tells Nephi that it is most precious above all. The Spirit then asks Nephi, “What desirest thou?”
  • Nephi wants to know the interpretation of this tree.
  • Nephi spoke to the Spirit as a man speaks to another man. Th Spirit was in the form of a man, but Nephi knew it wasn’t actually a man.
  • The Spirit answers Nephi by telling him to Look!
  • Nephi saw Jerusalem, Nazareth, and a virgin.
  • The Spirit asks Nephi if he knows the condescension of God, but Nephi doesn’t.
  • The Spirit explains that the virgin that Nephi sees is the mother of the Son of God. She was carried away in the Spirit, then the Spirit told Nephi: Look!
  • Nephi looked and saw the virgin bearing a child in her arms – the Son of God.
  • Through this, Nephi begins to understand the meaning of the tree- the love of God – it is the most desirable above all things and the most joyous to the soul.

What Desirest Thou? (Deux)

FYI, we will be studying this section of scriptures for more than one day. Just letting you know now.

Yesterday we talked about Nephi’s desire. He wanted to know the the things his father had seen. This is how chapter 11 opens. Now, the After a little back and forth, the Spirit rejoices – Nephi has the desire and faith in order for Nephi to learn more about this dream. The Lord will grant according to Nephi’s desires.

So then, what we read next looks like this, right? (Spoiler alert, this is NOT how it goes).

The Spirit pulls down a giant blackboard, dons a pair of glasses and writes at the top of the Blackboard: Lehi’s Dream. “Get your plates and etching tool out Nephi. You’re gonna need to take notes.”

Then he continues, “First all – the tree. It symbolizes the love of God. Okay? Get it? Let me know when you’re done writing…”

If you’ve read the text, then you know that there is no blackboard, no glasses, no list of meanings.

The Spirit doesn’t just show Nephi the dream and tells him what it means. Instead, the Spirit commands: Look!

And Nephi looks.

This is kind of fascinating to me. Look! The command, “Look!” appears at least 12 times throughout the vision that Nephi sees. (There are other similar commands, too – like Behold…but I didn’t count the “beholds.”) Instead of answering Nephi’s question outright, the Spirit bids him to look.

And what does Nephi see? We read:

“And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow.” – 1 Nephi 11:8-22

So – Nephi sees the tree of life. Nephi confirms this:

“And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all.” – 1 Nephi 11:9

After this the Spirit asks Nephi again What desirest thou?

You know, as I write this, I realize that the Spirit probably already knew the answer to this.

Think about it. Nephi had already been praying and pondering – to know what Lehi saw. Then, after Nephi was taken away into a high mountain the Spirit asked him “What desirest thou?” He probably already knew the answer then. Nephi told him – to see what his father had seen.

Then, as we know, the Spirit asked Nephi if he believed. Yes, Nephi believed. Rejoicing! The Spirit shows Nephi this one thing – a tree. Then asks him again, “What desirest thou?”

Why is he asking this again? Why is it so important for Nephi to reiterate what he desires so many times? I firmly believe that the Spirit already knows what Nephi desires. We know that the Spirit can discern our thoughts. So, why is the Spirit asking this again?

I can’t say that I know for sure.

Right now, the only thought I’m having is prayer.

I don’t know if it is the right train of thought, but we’ll see where it goes.

Remember the parable:

“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;

Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” – Luke 18:1-8

This is such an interesting parable. I found the following in the Institute Manual:

“Luke stated the main message of the parable of the importuning widow and unjust judge- “men ought always to pray, and not to faint,” (Luke 18:1). The Greek word translated as “to faint” means to become discouraged or weary or to tire of something. In the parable, praying without giving up is represented by a widow who repeatedly appeals to a judge to remedy her injustice.” – New Testament Student Manual

“to faint” means to become discouraged or weary or to tire of something. Nephi doesn’t get discouraged or tired when repeatedly asked “What desirest thou?”

In fact, I kind of wonder – even though the Lord probably knew his heart and what he desired, maybe Nephi needed to say it. To get better answers, we need better questions. The Lord was willing to answer his questions, but he had to ask them first.

Maybe, before being asked “What desirest thou?” Nephi hadn’t really verbalized his feeling. I’m not sure if this makes sense. I have found that there are many times when I have “feelings.” Then, if I’m asked to describe what I’m feeling, I have to kind of search to figure it out. If you are reading this blog, then you get to see me trying to sort out the feelings I have into words. I think that this process can lead to epiphanies.

So – maybe Nephi needed to say what he wanted so that he would know precisely what he wanted – so that the Lord could then answer his prayer. He needed to be asked repeatedly because for some reason, we have to pray in the same way – without getting discouraged, always expressing our faith.

The institute manual continues:

“Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught: “When lonely, cold, hard times come, we have to endure, we have to continue, we have to persist. That was the Savior’s message in the parable of the importuning widow. …” – New Testament Student Manual

I’m interrupting this quote for a second because I love what comes next, but I want to address one idea first. We have to persist. Nephi didn’t get frustrated when asked repeatedly, “What desirest thou?” He thought about it, and then he asked. He persisted, and this is why he received.

Okay, continuing on:

“Keep knocking on that door. Keep pleading. In the meantime, know that God hears your cries and knows your distress. He is your Father, and you are His child.” – New Testament Student Manual

I needed to read this today. Yesterday, I wrote about nudges. I kept feeling a nudge when I read the question “What desirest thou?” And then I wrote on this blog all about what I desire.

And then, again, I read “What desirest thou?” Again, I have the nudge. I haven’t written much about this nudge today because, well, because I wrote about it yesterday. Is it worth repeating? If there are people reading this blog post, then maybe they would rather read some kind of amateur commentary on 1 Nephi 11:8-22. But I’m getting nudged.

What desirest thou?

The next nudge I received was the thought about the parable that I shared earlier. Are these two things related? Maybe not. As in, maybe not in a scholarly way. Don’t go to your Sunday School class and say that there is a relationship between the Spirit asking Nephi “What desirest thou?” and the parable of the importuning widow and the unjust judge. You may seem crazy.

Of course, this isn’t a scholarly blog. It is more or less my journal, and I’m sharing more personal information that I would normally want to. Yet I feel inspired to do so, so I will.

And here’s the connection. Yes, I told the interwebs what I desire. But have I been like that widow? Have I knelt down and prayed? Have I poured out my soul to the Lord telling him what I desire? Have I answered that question again and again – like Nephi – so I can discover on a deep level exactly that which I desire, and so I can also receive it?

I mean, the Spirit isn’t setting Nephi up! He asks Nephi what he desires so that Nephi will express his desire, so that then the Lord can deliver! AMAZING!

We’re kind of doing a part two on “What desirest thou?” today. I hope that’s okay. And we’re combining it with the parable told in Luke. What is it you desire? Does the Lord know it?

I have an admission to make – yes, of course the lord knows that I desire home. He is omniscient, and I’m sure that He has heard me talk about my desire with my husband, my friends, and with you. And yes, I’ve lightly mentioned it in a few of my prayers.

But I haven’t cried day and night. I haven’t shared with Him my desires and why they are my desires. I ponder, yes. And I pray, technically, but I know that I’m not praying the way that the Lord wants me to pray. I know that I’m capable of praying in a way that really creates an environment where I can commune with God. I’ve had amazing experiences praying, and then I’ve become lazy

I take for granted that God knows my heart, and I just think that I should be lazy sometimes – let Him read my mind and answer my prayers. I don’t trouble the Lord. I don’t weary Him with my prayers, with my desires, with my gratitude.

And yet the Lord is so merciful and patient with me. Even though I haven’t humbled myself in prayer the way I ought to, He loves me. He sees the efforts I make. And He is speaking to me through the words of Nephi:


What desirest thou?


I know that my desire is righteous. And I know that I need to kneel down, pray, and tell Him directly.

This blog post went a lot differently than I expected, but I hope that it may have helped someone else today. What desirest thou? Have you asked God? Have you pled with Him – without getting tired or discouraged? Have you explained to Him concerning your desires the way that you have explained to your friends? Have you expressed yourself to the Lord and then asked in such a way that He can answer you.

In a way I’m ashamed of myself right now. It’s hard to write a blog post and admit online about my lackluster prayers. Shame isn’t the right word. I feel sorrow, that I haven’t been praying as the Savior taught – that we should pray always and not faint. I feel sheepish that I’ve been so open with so many people, but quiet and coy with the Lord about my desires. And I also feel so full of hope and love for God.

I feel His love, knowing that even though I’m kind of an idiot, He doesn’t ignore me. He has recognized my efforts, and through the Book of Mormon is asking me over and over again, What desirest thou? I’m so grateful that He is patient enough with me to help me to discover why I’m having this nudge. I know that He wants me to pray to Him, tell Him of my desires, so He can bless me.

So, I’m going to stop blogging right now, and I’m gonna get on my knees and pray. Thanks for reading. Thanks for your patience.

What Desirest Thou? – 1 Nephi 11:1-7

You can read 1 Nephi 11:1-7 here.

Context and General Information

  • After both desiring to see the things that his father saw, and then believing that he could Nephi sat pondering.
  • While pondering, Nephi was “caught away” in the Spirit of the Lord – to a high mountain.
  • The Spirit asked him, “What desirest thou?”
  • Nephi told the Spirit that he wanted to see what his father saw.
  • Nephi believed what his father saw.
  • The Spirit was joyous to know that Nephi was faithful, and Nephi would be blessed to see what his father saw.

What Desirest Thou?

I really believe that we can get exactly what we need from the scriptures every single day. No, I don’t believe that. I know it. I have experienced in my life.

I don’t want to be a scriptorian. I don’t care about “knowing” the scriptures. I know that the Pharisees “knew” the scriptures. In fact, they used the scriptures against the Savior. It is an irony that also serves as a warning to me. I don’t want to get caught up in the facts of the scriptures. I don’t want to study the scriptures so that people will say to me, Wow. You really know the scriptures.


I do love the scriptures! I want to know them, not to show others that I know them, but so that they can be a source of strength in my life. I want to be close to the Spirit and to God on a daily basis. I know that a good way to do this is through prayerfully studying the scriptures. I have experienced this in my life. I know that if we open our scriptures, our minds, and our hearts, then we will be instructed in a way that is 100% relevant to our lives every single day.

If you are reading this blog, and feeling overwhelmed by the scriptures or if you feel like you’ve read them and they are boring, then I’ll share something that I try to do when I read the scriptures. I try to keep my mind open to those little nudges. Maybe something stands out to you and makes you feel good. Maybe something makes you pause and say, huh. Maybe you get stuck on an idea and then go off on a tangent that seems unrelated to what you are studying.

In my experiences – those little nudges are often the Spirit – speaking to me and helping me to know the answers to my questions, give me comfort, or help to calm my concerns.

Remember – if you want better answers, then ask better questions. …And it doesn’t hurt to be like a four year old – keep asking why (and finding an answer) until you can’t go any further.


Sorry – to put all of that in here, but I hope it helps you in your personal study, and I hope it helps you to see why I’m about to dig into this one concept.


There are a lot of interesting things happening here in 1 Nephi 11 so far. First of all – Nephi is desiring to know what his father had seen. We talked about this a bit in this post and this post.

Nephi is also pondering in his heart. Man we could get into that…I’d love to write more about that, but that’s not the nudge for today.

As Nephi ponders, he is caught away in the Spirit – to a high mountain. This is another idea that I’d love to study further. Maybe one day in the future. For now, though, this isn’t the nudge that I’m feeling I really need to address today. But it is worth noting. Nephi is desiring, pondering, and then the Spirit responds. But the Spirit takes him to a holy place before showing him the vision.

After being brought to a mountain top, the Spirit asks Nephi, What desirest thou?

This is my nudge for today. I don’t really know why. But it has caught my eye and now my curiosity.

Nephi’s Desire

After being asked this question of the Spirit, Nephi answered him:

“And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw.” – 1 Nephi 11:3

What does Nephi want? Vision. He wants to see what his father saw. He wants to understand the vision of the tree of life. He recognizes that there is more than what his father simply related to them, and Nephi wants to know it.

Nephi is feeling a nudge! This isn’t a scripture or something that Nephi could really study. He did ponder it. Why was he so interested in pondering it and knowing it? I’m not sure – other than he had a desire.

I would venture to guess that Nephi was feeling drawn to this vision. He was having a nudge. Feeling an impression. It didn’t really “stand out” to him in a way that he could understand it immediately. Instead, I think that he was probably puzzled by the whole thing, and it wouldn’t leave him alone. This nudge turned into a full-fledged desire – Nephi needed to know what that dream meant!

After expressing his desire to the Spirit, the Spirit then asks Nephi if he believes his father. Nephi responds:

“And I said: Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father.” – 1 Nephi 11:5

Isn’t that interesting. Nephi didn’t want to know Lehi’s dream so that he would believe it. Nephi already believed his father and what his father said about the dream. His belief in what his father said is what is nudging Nephi to find a deeper understanding of what his father had taught.

When Nephi gave this response, the Spirit rejoiced:

“And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.” – 1 Nephi 11:6, emphasis added

Nephi hasn’t yet received what he desires, but he will. And why will he receive? Because of his faith. Because he followed this nudging, had faith that the Lord would answer his prayer, and did the work (praying, pondering, and believing) required to receive.

My Desire (Personal Application Time!)

I just got stuck on that question today:

What desirest thou?

Even though this question was asked to Nephi, as I read it today, it felt so personal to me. What do I desire???

Going to my favorite scripture study tool (the dictionary):

Desire: (verb)

  1. Strongly wish for or want (something) “he never achieved the status he so desired.”synonyms:

    want, wish for, long for, yearn for, crave, be desperate for, be bent on, covet, aspire to, fancy; Informalhave a yen for, have a jones for, yen for, hanker after/for

I think that I know why this is standing out to me right now. I know exactly what I desire.


(When I say home – I mean a place to call home. I don’t mean “a house.” I just mean one consistent place for my family to feel at home.)

Four years ago, my husband and I started our own business. At the time, we were living in the Phoenix area. If you are familiar with Phoenix, then you know that in the summer time it gets pretty warm…

Giant Saguaro

Does this picture look hot to you?

Hiking in North Phoenix

How about this one???

Now, we really loved living in Arizona, but it is easy to talk yourself into moving when July comes around. My husband and I started toying with the idea. Finally, the next year, we decided it was the right thing to do. We sold our house. We sold most of our possessions. We made the move – to Hawai’i.


From sunup

Hanging in Hawaii

all the day long

Hawaii Sunset

to sundown.

We really loved it there. We made the move. Shipped our car, sold a ton of our stuff, and found a little three month rental. We figured we’d find something permanent when we got there and then we’d ship our stuff.

A few months later, when the rental was about to expire, we hadn’t found anything, and my husband had a strong impression move to Utah… So we did.

We moved to Utah, and then we moved again. And then we moved across the country to Massachusetts. Then back to the west. And now we are hanging out at my in-laws house getting things in order to move again. I’m hoping one final time.



Swiss Oaks

Swiss Oaks

Pine Canyon Road

Pine Canyon – Another move in Midway


Wompatuck, Mass.

Nantasket in January

The Frozen Atlantic…a little different than tropical Pacific

Heber Valley

Heber Valley in late spring.

We’ve been here for a few months now – we only anticipated a few weeks. But that’s how life goes sometimes. In the past few months i’ve found myself:

  • wanting…
  • wishing for…
  • longing for…
  • yearning for…
  • craving…
  • desperate for…
  • bent on…
  • coveting… (okay, not coveting, I promise)
  • aspring to…
  • hankering for…
  • jonesing for…


I promise you that it isn’t a complaint. It isn’t me feeling sorry for myself. I’m actually not coveting. I feel satisfied with the decisions I’ve made. I have been grateful to live in every place we’ve lived. You saw the pictures. AMAZING. There is nothing that I will change about the last four years.

Despite my satisfaction with life, I have recently felt a longing, a desire. In church the other week, we sang “Love at Home,” and I just felt how deeply I want home. I have loved our adventures, but I’m ready to settle down for a while.

What desirest thou? for me – it’s home…I’ve gone on about this too long. If this is nudging, it’s not so that I can talk about how much I long for home…

One – The Desire

As I mentioned earlier, I kind of think that Nephi had a nudge – to desire to know more. I believe that his desire wasn’t unrighteous, but that it was a good, spiritual desire.

Additionally, I truly believe that my desire for home is a good, spiritual desire. It is righteous. It is a nudge.

Two – Go to the Lord

Ask. Seek. Knock. And we will find. After Nephi realized what his desire was, he went to the Lord. He pondered on the words of his father. He tried to do what he could to obtain his desire.

Prayer is such a crucial part of this process. In the Bible Dictionary we learn:

“The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.” – Bible Dictionary: Prayer

I don’t want to get prescriptive here because I think that the work we need to do largely depends on what we desire. However, I know that prayer is a form of work, and as we pray we will be guided on the work that we need to do in order to receive that which we desire.

Three – Believe

After Nephi told the Spirit his desire, the Spirit asks:

“…Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken?” – 1 Nephi 11:4

This is not really the response I would have expected. I mean, Nephi has the desire, then he is asking God. Doesn’t it seem like he believes? Then, the Spirit asks, “What do you desire?” Nephi tells him what he desires, and then this?

So, why does the Spirit ask him this?

I’m not completely sure, but think about it. What if Nephi said, “I want to see what my father saw,” but then – at his core he didn’t believe it in the first place? It wouldn’t have done Nephi any good to know it. The Lord wasn’t going to answer Nephi of a little curiosity, he was only going to fulfill his desire and that desire had to be backed by real faith.

So – what about my situation?

Well – first of all – without getting too personal (it’s probably already too late for that!!! haha!), I will state that there have been times when I have received priesthood blessings recently when I have been told that soon I will be settled. We will have a place to call home.

So – the thought that comes to me is, “Do I believe?” Do I believe what the Lord has said in the past? Do I believe that the Lord will grant my desire? Do I believe that there really is a home for me and my family?

In a way, it probably seems like I’m cheating because I have Nephi’s example. But YES! Yes I do believe! I believe the promptings of the Spirit. I believe that my desire is righteous and that it isn’t just some little flirtation or curiosity. I believe that the Lord is capable and that He will do as He has already indicated and promised in blessings and other spiritual impressions.

Four – Thou Shalt Behold the Things which Thou Hast Desired

Nephi’s desire was granted after he told the Spirit of his faith. I don’t know how long Nephi was pondering and desiring. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just important to know that Nephi desired, sought, believed, and then received.

And this is the hope that I have. I believe that the Lord will fulfill His promises. Not only do I believe the words of the blessings  and spiritual blessings I have received, but also because of this experience of Nephi’s.


So – the nudge. I don’t know how much I really “learned” about the scriptures, but it doesn’t matter. I don’t want to be a scriptorian. The nudge I felt was about this phrase – What do I desire? And I know that this nudge was a way for the Spirit to comfort me as I continue on in my own little journey.

Following this nudge may not tell me more about this scripture story, but it did help me to better understand how the Lord works sometimes – at least how he worked with Nephi. Following this nudge helped me to see that the Lord’s promises are sure. This nudge helped me to really determine if my desires are righteous. It reminded me that prayer really is work. The nudge made me realize that not only should I desire and pray, but I must believe. Faith comes first here – it is what will power the miracle. And the nudge helped to increase my hope in the Lord’s willingness to grant us according to our righteous desires.

Thanks for reading this. I hope it wasn’t too personal or needy. I hope that it helps you to listen to your little nudges and pauses and “huhs” as you study the scriptures.

Understanding the Mysteries of God – Part Two – What the Lord Will Do – 1 Nephi 10:17-19

Sorry I missed yesterday. I was not feeling super and my brain felt too fuzzy to write anything meaningful. But I’m back today.

You can read 1 Nephi 10:17-19 here.

Context and General Information

  • After listening to the vision/dream and then prophesies and testimony of his father, Lehi, Nephi wants to understand the things of which his father spoke.

Understanding the Mysteries of God

In Part one, we studied how our part in understanding the mysteries of God. The primary things that we must do include:

  • Desire
  • Diligently Seek



Before talking about the role the Lord plays in our understanding of God’s mysteries, I think that we need to understand what it means to understand.

I realize that the scripture we are reading today doesn’t use the word “understand.” Instead, Nephi is desirous to “see, hear, and know” the words of his father. Additionally, Nephi doesn’t use the word “understand” later on, but instead promises us that if we will diligently seek, then we will fine, and the “mysteries of God shall be unfolded.”

I’m using the word understanding of my own accord, but I feel like it is the right word. Several times as I’ve been writing this blog post, I’ve wanted to use the word: know. I’ve wanted to say, for example, To know the mysteries of God… But then I keep feeling like “knowing” isn’t quite the word I want to use. It’s a nice word, but not really precise.

Here’s a reason why I’m thinking about it. In the Book of Mosiah, Abinadi is teaching to the priests of King Noah. If you are familiar with the story, then you know that they are wicked.

However, we have to remember they are priests. They know the commandments. They know what is said in the scriptures. But they refuse to apply these scriptures and commandments in their own lives. Abinadi later says to them:

“Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise.  …” – Mosiah 12:27

The priests of Noah claim to preach the law of Moses. They claim to know what God’s will is, but they live at odds with His word. They do not understand!

The priests of Noah weren’t the only ones with this problem.

The most obvious example of this is the Jews who lived in Jerusalem at the time of Christ’s coming. The Pharisees knew the gospel. They knew the prophecies. They knew the law. Yet, as Isaiah said:

“…Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.’ – Isaiah 6:9

What is the point of knowing if you will not understand!?!?!?!

Thankfully, Heavenly Father has given us a way to understand His mysteries. If we do our part of desiring to know more and diligently seeking, then He will help us understand through the power of the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Ghost

The thing is – when we do our part, when we desire and when we seek, we are qualifying for the Holy Ghost. Nephi teaches:

“And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.” – 1 Nephi 10:17-19

I know that I spent a whole blog post writing about the things that we must do in order to know and understand the mysteries of God. But we have to understand that we can’t understand the mysteries of God without the Holy Ghost.

Yes, we can desire, and yes we can search. But if we don’t have the third ingredient – which is the power of the Holy Ghost, then we may come to know the scriptures and even the mysteries of God, but I don’t think that we will understand them.

The Savior taught the disciples that it is the Holy Ghost that would testify of Him:

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: – John 15:26

Isn’t this interesting – Christ was speaking to the apostles. It was the Savior! Jesus Christ Himself! And yes, He bore testimony of Himself through His words and His deeds, but here – the Savior teaches that it is the Holy Ghost that will testify of Him. This is what will leave an imprint on their hearts.

Elder Robert D. Hales also taught about the Holy Ghost:

Personal revelation is essential, but it is only one part of the work of the Holy Ghost. As the scriptures attest, the Holy Ghost also testifies of the Savior and God the Father.6 He teaches us “the peaceable things of the kingdom”7 and causes us to “abound in hope.”8 He “leadeth [us] to do good … [and] to judge righteously.”9 He gives “to every man [and woman] … a [spiritual] gift … that all may be profited thereby.”10 He “giveth [us] knowledge”11 and “bring[s] all things to [our] remembrance.”12 Through the Holy Ghost, we “may be sanctified”13 and receive “a remission of [our] sins.”14 He is the “Comforter,” the same who was “promised unto [the Savior’s] disciples.”15Robert D. Hales

It is the Holy Ghost that will testify to us, and when He does, we will gain understanding. We will feel comfort and hope. Even if we are being corrected, we will be consumed with the Love of God and more understanding. The Holy Ghost will witness of the truth, and this truth lights our minds with understanding.

In the Book of Moroni, we read:

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” – Moroni 10:5

I love this scripture. I know that if you are a Mormon, then you associate this scripture with knowing the Book of Mormon is true. And yes, the Holy Ghost will bear witness of the truth of the Book of Mormon if you ask in faith.

However, I love to look at this scripture alone because it succinctly teaches us about one of the roles of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost teaches us the truth of ALL things. He will help us to know the mysteries of God. He will help us to know how to apply them in our lives. He will give us truth on any and every subject – if we will go to the Lord in desire and diligently seeking.

We can know God’s mysteries – from something as broad as understanding the scattering and gathering of Israel – down to something very specific and personal like where to live. The Holy Ghost will shed light on the truth. He is not a fortune teller. It isn’t a crystal ball we gaze into. We must do the work, but we will be guided on our paths if we will seek to know His mysteries and qualify for the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

I’m grateful for Nephi and his example. He didn’t know the mysteries of God. He wasn’t born with this innate knowledge. But he knew that he could find it. And He did – through his desire, his diligent seeking, and through the power of the Holy Ghost.

The Lord Will Raise Up a Messiah Part Two – 1 Nephi 10:1-6

You can read 1 Nephi 10:1-6 here.

Read The Lord Will Raise Up a Messiah Part One here.

Context and General Information

(Same as last time…)

  • Lehi and his family are still dwelling in the valley of Lemuel – in the wilderness.
  • After Lehi told his family about his dream he told them about the Jews.
  • Jerusalem would be destroyed. Many of the Jews dwelling there would be carried away captive into Babylon.
  • After some time (according to the will of God), the Jews would be able to return to Jerusalem again.
  • Lehi prophesies that 600 years from the time that they left Jerusalem, the Lord would raise up a Messiah – or, in other words, a Savior of the World.
  • All of us are in a lost and fallen state, and we will remain so unless we rely on this Messiah.

Jesus Christ Christus

The Lord Will Raise Up a Messiah

On Saturday, we studied verses 2-3 in depth – about the destruction of Jerusalem, and then about the time when they would return from Babylon and how this related to the Messiah.

So – let’s continue on!

“Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.”

And he also spake concerning the prophets, how great a number had testified of these things, concerning this Messiah, of whom he had spoken, or this Redeemer of the world.

Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.” – 1 Nephi 10:4-6

You know…I think that it was important for Lehi to know that the people would go back to Jerusalem. He knew it would be destroyed, and at first – before studying the words of Isaiah and receiving more wisdom from the Lord, it might be easy to think that Jerusalem would have remained destroyed.

But Lehi is taught that the Jews would return to Jerusalem – and they would remain there for centuries. In fact, Lehi learned and then prophesied to his family (and also us!) that six hundred years after leaving Jerusalem, the Savior would come. In this verse, and in the following verses, there are 4 titles given for Jesus Christ, of whom Lehi is prophesying.

Prophet, Messiah, Savior, Redeemer


The title of “Prophet” is somewhat interesting when it comes to the Savior. Mostly because I usually tend to think of a prophet as someone who testifies of Christ. Well, in the Bible Dictionary, we learn:

“The work of a Hebrew prophet was to act as God’s messenger and make known God’s will.” –  Bible Dictionary: Prophet

The Savior certainly performed this function of a prophet. While He ministered on the earth, The Savior Himself stated:

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” – John 6:38-40

Christ was the Messenger of God – as a member of the Godhead, Himself. He was a messenger of His Father. He taught the people the higher law, He testified of His divine mission and God’s will – that we can all receive salvation through Christ.

The Bible Dictionary continues:

“It was also the prophet’s duty to denounce sin and foretell its punishment and to redress, so far as he could, both public and private wrongs. He was to be, above all, a preacher of righteousness. When the people had fallen away from a true faith in Jehovah, the prophets had to try to restore that faith and remove false views about the character of God and the nature of the divine requirement. In certain cases prophets predicted future events, such as the very important prophecies announcing the coming of Messiah’s kingdom; but as a rule a prophet was a forthteller rather than a foreteller. In a general sense a prophet is anyone who has a testimony of Jesus Christ by the Holy Ghost.” – Bible Dictionary: Prophet

Christ fulfilled all of the duties of a prophet. He denounced sin. he taught the disciples a higher law, he cleaned the temple, he constantly corrected the pharisees.

Christ was a preacher of righteousness – giving the beatitudes, and telling parables.

Christ worked to restore faith and remove false views about God – he gave a higher law, he taught about service on the Sabbath day. He healed people and performed miracle after miracle – according to the faith of many, and to help the faith of many more.

The Savior had a testimony of His role and duty. He didn’t let anything get in the way of what He knew He had come here to do. He was the Prophet prophesied of by Lehi.


Again, the Bible Dictionary can help us to understand the title of Messiah and how it applies to Christ:

“An Aramaic word meaning “the anointed.” It occurs only in Dan. 9:25–26 and John 1:41; 4:25 (Messias). Used as the title of an office, it denotes the King and Deliverer whose coming the Jews were eagerly expecting. In the New Testament the deliverer is called the Christ, which is the Greek equivalent of Messiah, and Jesus the Messiah is called Jesus the Christ, Jesus Christ, or Christ Jesus.” – Bible Dictionary: Messiah

Christ was anointed – from the pre-mortal realm, to come to earth, make an sacrifice for sin so that we could be atoned. He was anointed – from the pre-mortal realm – to take on death and then overcome it – so that we could then live forever. Christ was anointed to atone for us – overcoming both death and hell. He is the promised Messiah.

The following titles seem similar, but it might be helpful to study each of them individually to see the nuanced differences. In this case, the title of Messiah tells us that He was anointed. This was His duty, his role, his responsibility. It was also His gift. He’d be given the capacity to do what He had been set apart to do.

So – Jesus wasn’t just some random good guy. He wasn’t just some wise rabbi. He was anointed. He was called of God and set apart to do the work that He came to earth to do.


In the Guide to the Scriptures, we read:

“One who saves. Jesus Christ, through His Atonement, offered redemption and salvation to all mankind. “Savior” is a name and title of Jesus Christ.” – Guide to the Scriptures: Savior

Christ was anointed to save us. So, He is our Savior.

I know that this is a common name for Jesus Christ. I often call Him, The Savior. But take a second to think about it. Jesus is called the Savior…because we need one.

We will learn more about this concept later, for sure. But it is critical for us to remember: WE NEED A SAVIOR. Without Him, we are consigned to an endless state of misery and woe. Without Jesus Christ, this world is the best it gets. Without Jesus Christ we wouldn’t be saved from death. So the grave would have been the victor. Without Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t be saved from spiritual death – which is an eternal separation from God (who is life).

We would be forever miserable. Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are the source of everything and anything good in this world. Without the Savior, we wouldn’t experience so many blessings.

We need a Savior, and Jesus Christ is it.


Thus far, we have learned that Jesus Christ is a Prophet – as He testifies of God’s will; the Messiah – he is anointed to do His work; The Savior – as He saves us from the fall – both death and sin. Now, we are learning that He is also the Redeemer.

It kind of sounds the same as Savior, but we learn from D. Todd Christofferson:

“Among the most significant of Jesus Christ’s descriptive titles is Redeemer. As indicated in my brief account of immigrant “redemptioners,” the word redeem means to pay off an obligation or a debt. Redeem can also mean to rescue or set free as by paying a ransom. If someone commits a mistake and then corrects it or makes amends, we say he has redeemed himself. Each of these meanings suggests different facets of the great Redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ through His Atonement, which includes, in the words of the dictionary, “to deliver from sin and its penalties, as by a sacrifice made for the sinner.” – D. Todd Christofferson

This explanation by Elder Christofferson suggests another nuance to Christ’s roles – he pays off an obligation, or a debt. We are in debt to God – who grants us daily breath, blessings, and so much more. Christ also sets us free by paying ransom.

Christ didn’t just “save” us – the way a firefighter might rush in and save a baby in a burning building. Yes, that firefighter is heroic and is even taking a big risk. He might be a Savior.

But Jesus Christ – as the redeemer set us free by paying a ransom. The Salvation He offers came at a cost – His blood, His body. He didn’t merely risk his life He gave it.


This is a beautiful prophecy from Lehi, and the prophecies of Christ will only get better as we continue to read the Book of Mormon. We need the Savior. We Need Him. We need to be saved. We need our debts to be paid. And we can’t just have any old joe-schmoe save us. In order to find salvation, we need one who is anointed and empowered to perform this work. It is Jesus Christ – the prophet who tells us the will of the Father:

“Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.” – 3 Nephi 27:13-16

These titles: Prophet, Messiah, Savior, and Redeemer – are inspiration to us to do as He instructs: come unto Him, repent, be baptized in His name, and endure to the end. Because of Him we have hope. Truly, the Gospel is Good News.



A Wise Purpose – 1 Nephi 9:5-6

You can read 1 Nephi 9:5-6 here.

Context and General Information

  • The Lord commanded Nephi to make a second set of plates for a wise purpose, but Nephi doesn’t know what that is.

A Pretty Picture Just Because

A Wise Purpose

I love what we learn in these scriptures.

In chapter 9, Nephi is narrating the abridgment of his own records (and his father’s). We learn that all along he had been keeping a record of what was happening with his family, and then, the Lord wants him to abridge what he has written and what his father has written – including only the most important things of the ministry.

I think that if I were Nephi, it would feel a bit redundant. But here is Nephi’s response:

“Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.” – 1 Nephi 9:5

Nephi received the commandment, and he doesn’t know why the Lord wants it. And the amazing thing is: Nephi doesn’t need to know the specifics. He trusts the Lord enough to know that the Lord always has a purpose. Nephi continues:

“But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.” – 1 Nephi 9:6

Why does Nephi obey? Because he knows that God is a trustworthy God. He knows that God doesn’t give arbitrary and pointless commandments. He knows that our Heavenly Father is purposeful and wise – that He is omniscient and that He is capable of aiding men and women in keeping the commandments that He has given to them.

As always, I think that it is helpful to remember the opposite examples:

“And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.” – 1 Nephi 2:12

Nephi obeys God – even without knowing the real purpose of this commandment because He knows God.

Personal Application

Am I doing my best to simply trust God?

Now, I don’t want to be mistaken. I don’t believe in blind faith. Trusting in God doesn’t mean that we are just stupidly and blindly proceeding along in our lives.

Nephi’s faith isn’t “blind.” His faith is powered by what He knows. Or, more accurately – who he knows.

Even though Nephi doesn’t know the purpose of the Lord’s command, he does know the Lord. He knows that the Lord can be trusted. Nephi knows that even though he doesn’t know the purpose, there IS still a purpose!

When I face times where I don’t know the purpose of what God is commanding me, or when I face times when I don’t understand the reason that God is allowing me to endure affliction, then I think that I can follow Nephi’s example – trust in God based on the nature of God that I know.

Now, I actually think that the thing I struggle with the most is starting to doubt myself.

For example, recently, I’ve felt prompted to do something that is way outside of my comfort zone, and it requires more faith than I think I can muster. But I’m doing my best with it.

I’ve been following the promptings that the Lord has been giving me, even though they may not always feel very intuitive to me.

I’ve also had confirmation on more than one occasion – there are others who are receiving promptings that relate to what I’m doing. We are on the same track. Truly it’s a “two or more witnesses scenario.”

But the thing is – sometimes life gets hard. I’ve had to make some major decisions and sacrifices, and I’m tempted to wonder:

Am I just crazy? I don’t understand why I’m doing this. It makes no logical sense to me. In fact, it goes against every sensibility I have. Yet, I feel like I should do this…I feel like this is a prompting of the Spirit, but maybe I underestimate my ability to receive his daily direction…Maybe I’m an idiot.

I want to see the purpose because often, in the past, I can find a purpose in the personal commandments I’ve been given – or in the afflictions I’ve endured. Often the Lord helps me to understand the purpose so that I can do a better job.

But this time, I can’t see His purpose. I don’t know it.

I just have to trust Him.

I wish I could say that I was great at it, but I’m not. And I’m so thankful for the scriptures. I was talking with a friend the other day, just updating her on my own life, and I found myself quoting the scripture: “The Lord commanded me [to do this] for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.” I told her, while I also realized once again, that I don’t need to know the purpose. I simply need to obey. I can trust Him.

Why don’t I need to know? Well, let’s just look at Nephi’s example.

Do you think that it would have made all that much a difference if Nephi understood what was going to happen some 2,000 years later? If the Lord said to Nephi: “Okay Nephi. You and your dad have been keeping records, and that’s good. In about 1,000 years, your people – the Nephites – will willfully rebel against me, and they will lose the gospel that they had and their civilization will end.

Before this happens, one of my servants will bury the records in the ground. And then, 1,800 years after that, I will bring forth those records through a young man named Joseph Smith.

One of Joseph’s friends will have a lot of influence on him, and beg and plead to take the first manuscript home to show his wife.

This was not a manuscript of the entire Book of Mormon. It is simply the first part – the historical records kept by you and Lehi. Joseph would have written about 118 pages when he lent out the manuscript.

So, after much begging – and even though when Joseph Smith asked, I said no twice – finally Joseph Smith decided to let his friend borrow that manuscript. And then…it was lost.

Of course, it could have been found, but there are problems with that. So, instead, Nephi, you’ll write an abridgment of yours and your father’s records right now. Include only the most important things – related to the gospel and your ministry. Then later, I’ll be sure that these are included when the young Joseph Smith translates the plates.”

If something like that happened, then Nephi would have known why he needed to make another record. But I wonder, would he have done it? Would he have done it the right way? Would he have shortcut the process? Would he really understand how many people would be blessed by obeying this simple commandment, or was it too foreign of an idea?

I don’t know, but I think that there was a wise purpose in the Lord by not telling his wise purpose to Nephi.

And He also has a wise purpose when He prompts us without telling us His purpose. There are things that we need to learn, and maybe we’d shortcut the process if we knew His wise purpose.

In all – I can trust God. I can do what He has commanded me – no matter how far it pushes me out of my comfort zone…no matter how scary or final keeping these personal commandments may seem. Instead of being like the rich young ruler – who receives a commandment from God to give up all he has and follow Christ – and then he goes away mourning instead of obeying. Instead of being like him, I can be like Nephi – willing to give up or do whatever it takes to complete every personal commandment of the Lord because I know God and I trust that He has a wise purpose.

Two Sets of Records – 1 Nephi 9:1-4

You can read 1 Nephi 9:1-4 here.

Context and General Information

  • Lehi saw, heard, and spoke many things while in the valley of Lemuel.
  • Nephi has two sets of plates – one that has the full account of the history of his people. He has given those the name: The Plates of Nephi. These plates include the reign of the kings, the wars, and the contentions of his people.
  • The Lord commanded Nephi that he should make another set of plates – for a special purpose – that Nephi would keep an account of the ministry of his people.
  • The account that we are reading here in 1 Nephi is from the small plates that Nephi kept – the ministry.


Two Sets of Records

Chapter nine in 1 Nephi is an interjection given by Nephi. I think that he is writing chapter 9 in the present tense – while the other chapters are flashbacks. The chapters that follow are flashbacks, too.

I’m not 100% sure, but I feel that Nephi received the commandment to abridge his records in 2 Nephi 5:30-32. As I said, I can’t be completely sure of precisely when, but it would make sense to me. By 2 Nephi 5, Nephi is living in a more stable condition – he is no longer in the wilderness, he is in the promised land, and he is safe from the threat of his brothers.

So – there are two sets of records:
One – The History
The first set is the original set of records Nephi kept. Before him, his father had kept records, too. It had the historical information of his family and their experiences. It included their wars and the reign of their king. (Note – they didn’t have a king until after settling in the promised land, yet this chapter mentions the reign of kings which is another reason that I think Nephi didn’t get his command to make the second set of plates until then).

This set of plates is informative and it probably would have been interesting, especially if you like history. However, it may have been distracting. I have often wondered what if we knew more about the cultural practices of the Nephites? I think that it might be a challenge to our faith if we really knew more about their practices and customs. Instead, because we don’t have this set of records, we get their testimonies without some of the cultural disparities.

Two – The Ministry
The second set of plates is a record that Nephi kept after being commanded by the Lord. Nephi was commanded to abridge some of his father’s record and include it in this set of plates.

When the Lord instructed Nephi to write these plates, he told him to specifically focus on the ministry and things of faith. We will come to see that these records – which include 1 Nephi, 2 Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, and Omni are a doctrinal powerhouse.

Tomorrow, we will study about the wisdom of the Lord in giving Nephi the commandment to make the second set of plates, but here is something to contemplate in the meantime…

Do you keep a journal? Have you ever looked over them years after you wrote them? Have you thought about writing your own record of the tender mercies that you have experienced in your life?

I know that a lot of people write personal histories. I think that’s great, and I keep on thinking that I’ll getting around to doing that. Another thing I’ve thought of doing is writing a spiritual personal history, where I contemplate the lessons and miracles that I have experienced in my own life – that have shaped my belief and testimony.

I have been keeping a blog for about 9 years now. I’ve also been writing in a scripture journal for about 17 or 18 years. Every once in a while, I try to peruse those things that I have written. It often amazes me, and it is a good way for me to really reinforce what I have learned.

I imagine that for Nephi, going through his own experiences was not only a commandment from God, but that it blessed his life. I think that he was probably reminded of lessons learned from past experiences. I like to think that this assignment, though time consuming and difficult, blessed not only our lives (as we will discuss tomorrow), but his life, too.