Lehi talks about the Jews, prophesying that “they should be destroyed, even that great city Jerusalem, and many be carried away captive into Babylon…” (3)
He also prophesies that a remnant of Jews will return again to their land and 600 years from then, “a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.” (4) All the ancient prophets have testified of the same thing—the Redeemer of the World (5)
Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost & a fallen state, & ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.”1 Nephi 10:6
The Fall of Adam
It’s important to understand the Fall of Adam to understand and truly appreciate the Atonement of Jesus Christ
Lehi knew 600 years before Christ was born that Jesus was and is the only One who could help us find our way back to God. All the ancient prophets knew and taught this. From the days of Adam, God has always been very gracious with the knowledge of His redeeming plan by revealing it to His prophets to share with the world.
Without Jesus Christ, all would have been lost.
The fall of Adam made mankind subject to sin and depravity, sickness, pain, immorality, impurities. Ruin. Our chances of going back to God were totally ruined.
Some in the world castigate Adam and Eve for the Fall, but man could NOT have come to earth without it. The Fall of Adam was a NECESSARY part of God’s Plan of Salvation—The Creation, The Fall, The Atonement, The Resurrection.
In battle, a fallen soldier dies or perishes from wounds inflicted in battle. The Fall slaughtered our hopes of getting back to God—on our own. Spiritually, we were cut down, as with a sword, and would have perished forever if someone hadn’t helped us.
That person would be Jesus Christ.
John the Baptist
Lehi tells how a prophet would prepare the way for the Savior. He would call the people to repentance and baptize with water. He would even baptize the Son of God.
Why did Lehi teach about John to his children?
Maybe to show that even the Savior was baptized, so we must be baptized, too, by one with proper authority. That is the gateway into God’s kingdom–the first step we must take to make covenants with Him. We promise to follow Him, and He promises to save us from the effects of the Fall.
After Lehi tells them about Christ being baptized by John, he outlines the Savior’s life:
- gospel taught to the Jews
- they dwindle in unbelief
- they slay the Messiah
- Christ rises from the dead
- Christ makes Himself manifest to the Gentiles by the Holy Ghost
- the Gentiles will take the gospel to the Jews and scattered tribes of Israel so they may “come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer.” (14)
When I think about all the things Lehi told them, it is quite marvelous. He lived 600 years BEFORE Christ was born. How could he have known all these things except through God?
Desire to Know
After hearing all that his dad reveals, Nephi desired to know the truth for himself.
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.”1 Nephi 10:17
We must live worthy of this precious revelatory gift and the companionship of a member of the Godhead.
Nephi gives us the key to this gift in the next verse: Repentance.
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.”1 Nephi 10:18
As baptized members of Christ’s Church, it is our ‘right’ to receive the Holy Ghost as our constant companion. But we must be worthy.
Like Nephi, we can desire to see, hear, and know the truth of whatever we hear or read. Revelation from God is soul-changing. It is knowledge that can’t be taken away (except if we turn away from it and look to the world, denying the power of God).
- Do I seek revelation when I listen to the prophet or read His words (like in the Book of Mormon)?
- Am I desirous to see, to hear, to know truth by the power of the Holy Ghost?
- If so, what am I doing to see for this gift? To be worthy of it?
God will force no man to heaven, and he will certainly not force us to find something we are not ready for. We must seek for revelation and answers from God.
Seeking involves questioning. Where do I fall short? How can I overcome my weaknesses? What is the atonement…really?
A college professor once taught me that the hardest thing for us to believe is that which we think we already believe. If we already think we ‘believe’ something, we feel no desire to dissect it and search out more answers. We think we already have them.
Many in the world don’t see, don’t hear, don’t know…because they think they already know everything that matters.
And so they miss out on the treasures they could’ve found or been given by God if they had only SOUGHT for them.
Nephi ends this chapter with a call to remember.
Therefore, remember, O man, for all thy doings thou shalt be brought into judgment.”1 Nephi 10:20
We will stand in God’s presence again.
The Fall of Adam took us out of His presence, but the Atonement of Jesus Christ will bring us back. Everyone, even the wicked. It might be for a moment, but every soul will get their chance (either to their joy or condemnation) to stand before Heavenly Father in all His glory and answer for what we have done on earth and be judged of Him.
Nephi leaves a no-nonsense footnote of authority at the end of this chapter.
And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.”1 Nephi 10:22
It’s like those presidential commercials where at the end, they say, for example, “I’m George W. Bush and I approve this message.”
Nephi tells us that the Holy Ghost approves his message, and I don’t know about you, but that is pretty powerful. We should listen.