Monday, October 12, 2015

1 Nephi 17:13-14 -- On Moving Closer to the Promised Land

"And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.
Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall know that I, the Lord, am God; and that I, the Lord, did deliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem."
1 Nephi 17:13-14

There are some interesting things here.  I think the coolest one, to me, is that as we keep the commandments, we will be led towards the promised land... because the promised land wasn't just for the Israelites or the Nephites.  It is for us all.  And yeah, it's a different promised land physically... but spiritually, God is leading all of us to the same place:  to heaven: to him.  And so, when we are living the commandments, we know we're going in the right direction.  Just like the Liahona only worked when they were obedient.  Just like priesthood only works that way... just like *life* only works when we're trying to do what's right.
Another part I like is the knowledge part.  If we are obedient, we'll come to know that God is leading us.  It won't be faith anymore, because we'll learn it that well.  And when we get to the promised land, that won't be faith anymore, because we will be there, and know that God brought us out of our own darkness and wilderness to that place.  To get to that point though, as with all other things, we have to learn a little at a time.  Let's be wise today, and start learning some obedience... however much we can handle.  And then God will direct us towards the promised land however far towards it we have the strength to go... and as we grow in our ability to be obedient, the closer and closer we will be able to get.
The promised land isn't the glorious land of eternal happiness where we arrive after a lifetime of pain and suffering.  It's the beginning of a new life, and we learn how to live in that new world during our journey.  Whether our current promised destination is physical or spiritual, we start learning the happiness and glory now, and we start letting go of the pain and affliction that we cause for ourselves.  Doesn't mean life will be perfect... but life is always better with God than without him.  Let's remember that lesson today, as we practice our obedience, and learn to move closer and closer to all the promises that God has in store for us, individually and collectively.

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