Friday, September 19, 2014

1 Nephi 18:6 -- On Sailing to the Promised Land

"And it came to pass that on the morrow, after we had prepared all things, much fruits and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance, and provisions according to that which the Lord had commanded us, we did go down into the ship, with all our loading and our seeds, and whatsoever thing we had brought with us, every one according to his age; wherefore, we did all go down into the ship, with our wives and our children."
1 Nephi 18:6

Lehi, his family, and all of the people who had essentially joined his family here are setting out on a journey, and they have absolutely no idea of the destination.  They only know that God will lead them.  They are going to the promised land.  There are similar stories in the scriptures.  Moses led his people to the promised land.  Peter, James, and John abandoned their former lives to follow Christ.  Abraham abandoned everything and was led by God to a promised land.  Amulek, Alma the Younger, the sons of Mosiah, Paul... they gave up their former lives and turned to God, completely.  They didn't all go to a physical promised land, but they all were reborn in a similar way... leaving behind their old lives and becoming new.
I submit that each of our lives involves a similar journey.  Whether physical or spiritual or both, we all find ourselves called out of the familiar... away from our nets, or our father's house, or Egypt, or Jerusalem, or our former sins.  Called to a new life.  And to accept the new life, we have to be willing to forsake all, and follow him (Luke 5:11).  As C. S. Lewis said, " if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell."  Luke 17:32: "Remember Lot's wife."  In Lehi's story, Laman and Lemuel didn't remember.  They kept some souvenirs; they wanted to turn back.  The Israelites as well, traveling with Moses, often wanted to turn back.  And it happens to us as well.  We see the promise and the hope, and we believe for a time, but then we start remembering the stuff we are leaving behind.  And if we get stuck there, we might as well be pillars of salt for all the progress we are going to make, living in the past.  Today, let's throw out the souvenirs.  Let's shake off the ever-hardening salt cocoon.  Let's gather the provisions and set sail, trusting God to know the destination.  Let's stop looking back and look forward, willing to forsake all and follow God.  With him, we will find our promised land... our purpose... everything that we can be, in the Lord.

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