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.