Monday, September 1, 2008

1 Nephi 1:1

"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days."
1 Nephi 1:1

I usually kind of rush through this verse trying to get started, but today I read it a little more slowly, and there is a lot of cool stuff here.  The first thing I notice is that there seems to be a cause-effect relationship between having goodly parents and being taught.  Perhaps somewhat less true today, with public education available to most... but still very important.  Having parents who teach you what they know is a blessing.  Another interesting thing I notice is that Nephi says that he has seen many afflictions, and also that he has been highly favored.  I think that is important as we look at our own lives... or at least as I look at mine. :) Sometimes when the afflictions come I take them as signs that I'm not highly favored, or why would these things happen?  I know, crazy, but still... I do think stuff like that sometimes.  But here we're shown quite clearly that afflictions and favor go hand-in-hand.  I truly think that if there were easier ways to teach us that God would do it... but in learning to become like he is, he can't spare us from the hard lessons: knowledge of our own self-deceptions... those Abraham-like choices... the taking up of our individual crosses.  We have to learn these things, confront these things, if we expect to progress.  And the last thing I notice is Nephi coming back to knowledge.  He started with the knowledge of his father, and here he talks about the knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God.  Great stuff, part of being highly favored.  And sincerely, here he is, offering some of that knowledge to us.  Let's take him up on the offer and learn all we can. :)

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