Nephi keeps making references to his father dwelling in a tent. To me, this shows that we don’t have to be rich or powerful or influential to receive revelation from God. Lehi had come from wealth, but God asked him to leave it all behind to go into the wilderness with his family.
Are there things I can “leave behind” to be closer to God?
Lehi’s family lived like refugees when he received these great visions. Maybe their desperate circumstances humbled Lehi enough to seek God’s wisdom with more might, mind, and strength than if he’d been well-off, like he had been in Jerusalem.
Nephi says God has commanded him to keep a record—two records, actually. One for the history of his people and another that deals with the ministry (their spiritual history). He doesn’t understand why God wants him to do this, because his father has already done it.
Trust God with what you don’t know
Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.” (5)1 Nephi 9:5
God often guides us but doesn’t let us see the whole picture. If we could see the whole picture, faith wouldn’t be needed. The not knowing is where faith comes in.
We obey God and act on His counsel not because we understand the WHY, but because we believe and trust that He will work all things to our good in the end.
The last verse is good advice to anyone confused or depressed about how things are working out (or not working out) in their lives, even after living as God has commanded:
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
- Do I trust God, even when I don’t understand?
- Do I trust God, even when I’m doing what’s right, but everything is going wrong?