Monday, January 31, 2011


As you read I Nephi Chapter Three you probably noticed the most recognizable scripture in this chapter.  Verse 7 reads:

 “ … I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

But I want to focus today on a verse that comes just a bit later in the chapter.  It’s verse 15, which reads:

“ … we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.”

I believe it’s easy to say “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded,” but it’s much more difficult to have the faith to say, “I will not quit until it’s finished.”  It takes courage to be a finisher.  Just imagine how easy it would have been for Nephi to say at that time, “You know, we really tried to get the plates from Laban, but he tried to kill us and surely if the Lord wants us to do this thing he would have made it easier for us.”  But Nephi had GREAT faith.  He said, in essence, “We’re not leaving until we do what we’ve been asked to do.”  He had faith the Lord would prepare a way that neither he nor his brothers had yet thought of.  The interesting thing is, that they went back one more time and Laban threatened to kill them again … yet Nephi still refused to give up, knowing the Lord would help him accomplish his mission.
I believe that is a great lesson for each of us to learn … don’t finish until the job is done.  The greatest example of this important principle is of course, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Jesus knew how painful the atonement would be.  He asked Heavenly Father, if possible, for “this cup to be lifted” from him.  But the atonement was required.  It was his mission.  And he didn’t quit until EVERY sin, pain, and wrong was paid for.  He didn’t quit.  He finished his mission and paid the price for all of mankind … including you and me.

So next time you think about giving up on something very important, I’d ask that you remember the courage, commitment,  and example of Nephi who refused to “go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.”
I have faith that each of you will remember this.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for Nephi to follow his parent’s and leave Jerusalem? Just think for a moment how you would feel if your father came home tonight and said, “We’re moving. I don’t know exactly where we’re going, but the Lord has told us to go.” I’ve often wondered if I would have acted more like Laman and Lemuel than like Nephi. How difficult would it be to give up everything you know; your home, your comforts and all your friends to go somewhere not even your parents know anything about? I believe that would test even the most obedient young person.

But Nephi sets an example for all of us by what he did … He prayed and asked the Lord for help in understanding his Father. In I Nephi 2:16 Nephi records,

“… 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.”

Nephi says the Lord softened his heart, but I believe Nephi already had a humble heart - a heart that would allow the Lord to touch it and communicate with him.

Do you have a soft heart? Think about it for a moment. When you are asked to do something around the house for your parents, do you ever “dig in your heels” and complain? I have certainly had plenty of moments like that in my life. But I believe a “soft heart” hears and desires to understand. Then the soft-hearted person follows the spirit. This is what Nephi did. As difficult as it was for him to leave everything he knew, he softened his heart and was able to receive understanding from the Lord. I hope each of us will take the opportunity to soften our hearts and listen to our parents, Church leaders, and especially the Spirit. If we do, I promise, we too, can reach the Promised Land the Lord wants us to find.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tender Mercies


My first blog entry dealt with the first verse in the first chapter of I Nephi. This one deals with the last verse of chapter one of I Nephi. (I Nephi 1:20) I’d like to focus on the part of that verse which reads:

“… I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith …”

I’m sure most of you have felt the “tender mercies” of the Lord in your life. I’d like to share with you a “tender mercy” that was given to me recently.
I have a neighbor family that I had been thinking and praying about. As the Stake President, there was something I felt I needed to talk with them about. Well, one cold morning last month we had a very heavy snowfall. I got up a few minutes before 6am, put on my snow-blowing clothes and went out to clear the walks. Once you’re out in that weather, it’s not a big deal to go up and down the street to do the sidewalks. So I started around the corner and to my surprise this dear Sister, who I needed to speak with, was out shoveling her walks at that very moment. Now what are the chances that I would just “run into” this Sister, whose family I had been praying about, at 6am in the morning shoveling snow from the sidewalk? I know it was a tender mercy that the Lord let me experience. He knew I needed to talk with her for just a few moments and he knew it needed to happen quickly. I was able to convey to her the impressions I had been feeling. I was even able to help her finish clearing her driveway.
I believe that there are no “coincidences” with the Lord. “Coincidence” is His way of remaining anonymous. I am grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord in my life and I pray you will have them “…because of your faith” as you continue to read the Book of Mormon. On your next Family Home Evening I challenge you to share with your family a tender mercy you have. It will be a spiritual experience for all of you ... I promise.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Okay, here it goes. My first blog entry.
I want each of you to know that I love sharing my thoughts about the Book of Mormon. It has changed my life … for the good. For the past four years I’ve read and studied the Book of Mormon more than at any other time in my life. I can honestly tell you it has been the time I have felt closest to my Heavenly Father and I have felt his guidance and revelation in my life on a daily basis. I hope you feel the same way as you make it part of your life.
As I’ll try to do throughout this blog, I want to give you some thoughts and insights I have on specific scriptures. I hope they will be enlightening to you, too. For the my first entry I want to take just the first eight words of the Book of Mormon and give some thoughts about them.
“I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents.”
You’ll notice that Nephi didn’t say “Perfect Parents,” he said “goodly.” I believe you all have good parents. None of them are perfect, but they love you and want the best for you, just as Nephi’s parents wanted for him. They are good because they provide for you and want you to be taught in ways that will allow you to be successful in your life. There may be times when you roll your eyes and wonder why they do certain things, but remember, they love you and often times know a little more about life than you do. They are doing their best to help you along the way. I hope that tonight, before you go to bed you will tell your Mom and Dad, “I love you,” and thank them for being goodly parents like Nephi had. If you do this, I promise you’ll feel the spirit touch your life.
Good luck.