Wednesday, October 1, 2008

1 Nephi 18:12

"And it came to pass that after they had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work."
1 Nephi 18:12

You know, this is really interesting.  On the surface, of course, it is part of the story of Nephi. He had, with the Lord's help, constructed a boat, and they were headed towards the promised land when he got into a disagreement with his brothers about serving God, and they tied him up and treated him "with much harshness."  A very interesting story.  If you haven't read it, I recommend it. :) When I was reading it today I thought about this scripture from the brothers' perspective.  Everything in the world is tied together.  I mean, I know that the separation of church and state is a good rule, so that no-one tries to force a certain religion on anyone who doesn't want to believe... but in actual daily life, I don't think that there is any such thing.  God is part of everything, all the time... he can't be confined to a church building or relegated to a single aspect of our lives.  And maybe that is one of the lessons that the brothers ran into here on the boat.  They found out that they couldn't pick and choose which part of God they accepted.  The same God who gave them a compass and a boat chose their brother as a prophet and a leader.  They couldn't accept the first gift and throw the unwanted one away.  It was all or nothing... and it is for us as well.  Just as we can't pick and choose which personality traits we want in our friends and throw away the rest... we can't change God to our specifications.  But, just like we can learn to love the idiosyncracies of our friends, we can learn to love God and everything about him.  It takes effort and time... but it is a worthwhile endeavor.  God is perfect, and that is hard for us to understand... several things that he does seem imperfect to us, and we can't understand why he would make the choices that he does.  Laman and Lemuel (Nephi's brothers) couldn't understand why God would put their little brother in a position of authority over them... as an oldest child, I think I can understand the feeling a little bit. :) When we can't understand something, instead of doubting God (who, after all, is perfect), maybe we should try trusting him instead.  Accepting it, and then studying our brains out to try to figure out why.  When we find ourselves with a broken compass, as we do every now and then, maybe we should look around and see if there is anyone we should untie. :)

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