In the promised land, Nephi is commanded to make another record, “that the more sacred things may be kept for the knowledge of my people.” (5) Records are important. Nephi was commanded to keep a historical account (journal) and a spiritual account.
How could I benefit from making my own record of my life?
Nephi admits that not everyone will accept the words he writes:
For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels.”1 Nephi 19:7
Do I ever set Jesus at naught?
If we don’t hearken to God’s words, our hearts harden and we become part of this group that thinks nothing of spiritual matters. Hearken means more than to just listen to God. That’s maybe 25% of it. The rest is putting into action what we know.
How can I hearken better? Am I applying what I’ve learned from God?
Nephi prophesies that Christ will come in 600 years from when they left Jerusalem. “And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught.” (9)
Sin leads to judging others as nothing or not worth our time. We look down on others. We even look down on ourselves (but that’s more hidden). We don’t think God (if we even believe in Him) has any right to tell us what to do.
Yield to Love
Many people in the days that Jesus lived on Earth reached this hardened state. That’s how they were able to judge Christ as naught and call for His death.
…wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, andhe suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.”1 Nephi 19:9
When others scourge us—hurt us in some manner or criticize or punish us for our beliefs—God doesn’t want us to lash back in a like manner. He wants us to suffer the mocking, like He did. He wants us to be loving and kind.
Nephi says the Savior “yieldeth himself…as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up…and to be crucified…and to be buried in a sepulcher…” (10) Jesus Christ had the power to stand tall and smite the wicked. But He did not do so. Instead, He yieldeth to them out of love to save the world.
Since He yieldeth Himself to us (saving us from everlasting death), can we not yield our wills unto Him?
Nephi talks about how the Jews will be scourged for generations because “they turn their hearts aside…and have despised the Holy One of Israel…” (14)
“Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers.” (15)
Turn aside is an interesting phrase. It shows willfulness. A hardening heart could take place without one being aware of it (slowly, gradually). But turning aside is a deliberate choice. If I turned aside on a road, it’d be to detour around something that I don’t want to deal with. Turning aside your heart is a willful defiance of God’s will.
Nephi says he has “written these things unto my people, that perhaps I might persuade them that they would remember the Lord their Redeemer.” (18)
It is so important to remember. One of the covenants we make at baptism (and renew each week during the sacrament) is to remember Christ.
Think of how different our choices might be if we always remembered Him as we are commanded to do. So much heartache and pain would be avoided.
Do I always remember my Savior?
Do I esteem the word of God to be of great worth?
How do I show my love for the scriptures?