Faithful action stood out to me in this chapter. The Lord speaks to Lehi in a dream and says: “Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done…” (1)
Lehi was blessed not just because of his good desires but because he acted on them. Action shows faith. We don’t just think good things, we do them.
Lehi had preached to the people, even though they mocked him and sought to take away his life. He didn’t shirk his duty because of fear or embarrassment.
God tells Lehi to “take his family and depart into the wilderness.” (2) And, I’ve been there. That area around Jerusalem truly is a desolate wilderness. How hard this council would have been to obey?
Lehi seems to have been affluent and well-established in the community. Yet, God asked him to leave all his riches and home behind, only taking his family and what they needed to survive, and go into a harsh wilderness.
Would I accept this council with the faith of Lehi? It’s a good question to ask ourselves. Are there material possessions, worldly pleasures, or social status we cringe to think of parting with? What if those are the exact things keeping us from having a closer relationship with God?
Lehi “was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.” (3) He left all behind to follow God.
Am I willing to put aside all my desires for God’s?
In the Near East, to live in a tent represented living close to & trusting in the Lord. The father’s tent was considered the center of the whole community. (Hugh Nibley)
The first thing Lehi does when they make camp is build an altar and give thanks to the Lord (7).
Gratitude makes the journey easier to bear. It is the key to humility and calls down blessings from heaven.
Lehi names the river and valley after his two oldest sons, Laman and Lemuel.
“…O that thou mightiest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!…/…O that thou mightiest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!”1 Nephi 2:9-10
Did you know?
The “fountain of all righteousness” is another title for the Savior, as seen in these scriptures.
“Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.”Ether 12:28 (Book of Mormon)
“In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”Jeremiah 23:6 (King James Bible)
Lessons all around us
Some people look out on a valley and see nothing unusual. Lehi looked and saw a lesson that brought him closer to God. Use your spiritual vision to see symbols that link our hearts and minds to God.
Practice doing this.
The other day I drove up the canyon with my husband to hike in the snow. I wondered what the snow could teach me. Sometimes, these analogies might seem like a stretch, so use them just to exercise your spiritual eyes, and take the lesson where it goes right, and don’t focus on the parts that might break down.
The white, pristine snow reminded me of revelation from God. It is pure and bright and pretty much perfect when it first falls. But over time, if more snow doesn’t come, old snow becomes sullied by the cars driving by…and icky weather. The pure white becomes grimy and coated in dirt and debris. That’s why we have the companionship of the Holy Ghost to have new revelation consistently in our lives. If we get one revelation and live only with that for years, it loses it’s power over time. Only in the daily seeking and receiving of God’s revelation in our lives can we keep the pure, white revelation that is meant to guide us.
That might seem silly to you, but if you practice it yourself, you can come up with cool visuals to help your testimony of God grow.
Spiritual Health Check
Lehi gave these spiritual/physical lessons to his oldest sons “because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.” (12) They kept complaining and murmuring about how hard life was and what hard things they had to do.
Murmuring is a good indicator of our spiritual health. Murmuring and complaining are physical symptoms that reveals spiritual weakness.
The cure: prayer, gratitude, and humility.
Faith in Action
In this chapter, Nephi gives a simple secret to not being deceived by Satan.
“I, Nephi…having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.” (16)1 Nephi 2:16
But wanting to know and receiving answers from God comes with a price.
We must share it.
Nephi shared his spiritual experience with his brothers. Sam believed him. Laman and Lemuel did not.
When God tells us something that is different than our plans or shocking—do we have great desires to know the truth or do we murmur?
It’s easy to murmur. When I knew from God that I had to leave Boise and move to a new place, I murmured at first. Prayer really does lead us to have softer hearts and wisdom from God, to know that even if it wasn’t the path we would have chosen, it’s right because God chose it for us. Did Lehi maybe feel sad to leave all that he knew and loved. Prayer leads us to wisdom and softened hearts.