Thursday, March 5, 2009

Inquire and You'll Understand

We are reading the Book of Mormon as a family. I'm not sure if we'll get through it in three months, but we're going to try. :)

This morning we read 1Nephi 15. I started giggling after reading verse 3. Why? Well, I'll tell you.

I was just remembering every Sunday School or Relief Society lesson I've ever been in where Isaiah is mentioned. As soon as that great prophet's name is mentioned a few audible moans are heard, followed by grumblings and sometimes murmurings. Isaiah has been a stumbling block for many a Latter-day Saint. I've even heard some people admit that, when reading the Book of Mormon, they skip 2 Nephi just to avoid reading Isaiah.

Personally, I have always loved Isaiah. I had a wonderful seminary teacher, Brother K. Herbst, who, with a few small details, opened a greater understanding of Isaiah in my mind. I think I was also blessed with the gift of understanding in regards to the scriptures. Either way, I love Isaiah. But back to my giggling...

I started giggling because there, in 1 Nephi 15: 3, the chapters preceding Isaiah, Nephi tells us how to understand difficult things. He lays the path before us very simply and in a Very straightforward manner. But I hadn't really noticed it before. Not in this context.

The verse: "For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought."

I giggled because the answer to understanding Isaiah is simple. "Inquire of the Lord."

I giggled because the same people who moaned about Isaiah were the same people who, upon reading 1 Nephi chapter 15, condemned Laman and Lemuel for not asking the Lord.

There are many things within the scriptures that can be hard to understand. But I know that if we ask the Lord, He will help us. He did not want us to be lost and wandering. The whole point of the scriptures is to clearly point the way back to our Father in Heaven. And fortunately for us, our God is not a tricky and sneaky God. No. He is a loving and kind God who had set the path before us. The path is strait and narrow, but not impassable. Inquire of the Lord and you will find the way.


Laurie said...

So true!

It's sad that people skip 2 Nephi. That's one of my favorite books! Yes, it takes more time and pondering to read Isaiah. But even besides Isaiah, there is SO much doctrine in 2 Nephi!!

Persimmon said...

Good thoughts. As a seminary teacher, I can definitively say that there are many places like that in the scriptures, ones that bring little giggles.

Paul cracks me up in the same way that your fellow classmates do you. In Acts 13, Paul firmly chastises Elymas. Elymas was a sorcerer, or in Book of Mormon language, one who practiced priestcraft. In other words, evangelist as a career, not unlike our modern day televangelists, among others. And Paul says in verse 13, "O full of all subtility and mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" He then proceeds to curse him to blindness for a season.

The same behavior could have been said of Paul only a few chapters prior. Not so much time has gone by that he could have forgotten his own perversion of the Lord's ways.

So Paul makes me giggle.

I think it's a great indicator of the depth of Paul's repentance and conversion. He certainly still remembers what he was, as indicated by his other accounts of conversion, but he does not feel any guilt that would cause him to qualify his comments, or lessen them because he too was fallible in a similar manner. Instead, he teaches the truth, and does so without apology.

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