Friday, January 23, 2015

1 Nephi 1:11-12 -- On God's Books

"And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.
And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord."
1 Nephi 1:11-12

I find it interesting that a heavenly messenger would give someone a book. :)  He was in the middle of a vision already... why not the equivalent of a movie instead?  And there are actually quite a few times in the scriptures that books appear in visions or held by angels.  In our advanced technological world, maybe sometimes we would prefer a digital copy, or the audiobook, or we would like God to give us his email address or have an angel deliver a URL where we could find a chart outlining everything that will happen in the last days, arranged by date.  In fact, if we could get some time travel to watch it in person, or a direct download to the brain, that would be even better: faster, less effort, awesome.  Except maybe that is the point sometimes.  We want the fastest and easiest, but sometimes a little bit slower and a little bit more effort are important in learning.  I'm not knocking technology at all.  I love it, and there are an amazing amount of great resources centered on God that are available to us now that would have been difficult for people to access at all not so long ago.  I'm just wondering why God, who can do anything at all, would give someone a book in the middle of a vision.  And I think maybe it is because we need to take time to ponder and incorporate as we ingest information.  We need to be able to look back to a previous paragraph or write questions in the margin.  We need to see that other people have recorded their stories, and learn to record our own for people who will come later... we don't need a machine to share them with others.  Learning isn't a plug-in-and-download sort of a thing... not if we want to do it right. :)  Reading changes us, because we recognize ourselves in the stories and the lessons.  We internalize it, and remember the words when we encounter a similar situation.  I think that other learning methods can do similar things, and maybe Lehi was given a book in his vision just because that is the way he learned best, and it was more familiar to him.  I like though, the idea that God has a library.  That maybe someday we can wander through it and learn what God knows, because he records all of it, and wants to share it with us, as he shared with Lehi.  Today, let's read God's word in the books that we have been given, and maybe look forward to reading more someday. :)

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