Thursday, October 22, 2015

1 Nephi 18:12-13 -- On Having it God's Way

"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.
Wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest, and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly lest they should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not loose me."
1 Nephi 18:12-13

This reminds me that we can't have it both ways.  We want to.  We would love to be able to do whatever we want, but still get guidance and blessings from the Lord when it seems convenient... but it doesn't work that way, and it really can't.  It isn't about God being mean to us.  It's about natural consequences.  In order to get the blessings, we have to live the laws that they are attached to, and if we don't, then it all stops working.  Sometimes we want so badly to be right, or we ARE right, but still have to let it go.  We can't prove it to people or get our way.  Sometimes people take advantage of us, and we have to deal with it rather than getting what we perceive as "justice."  And really from both sides here, it wasn't working.  Nephi was right, but he couldn't have his way to have the respect and love of his brothers.  Laman and Lemuel were wrong, and they couldn't have God's guidance after treating their brother like that.  And so the lesson here isn't just about releasing Nephi... the older brothers eventually had to let Nephi go in order to save themselves... but I think the lesson is larger than that.  It's more of a lesson in doing things God's way.  Yeah, Laman and Lemuel couldn't have their way, but neither could Nephi.  God isn't choosing sides in family conflicts here, and he doesn't choose sides in our families, companies, schools, friendships, wars, or political contests for us either. Choosing God can't ever be about getting our way, because we aren't.  None of us.  The idea is that we have to choose *his* way, regardless of how we feel about any of the rest of it.  The short term consequences of choosing God aren't always warm and fuzzy, but that is the ONLY way to get things working again.
Eventually, of course, as we grow in the gospel and get to know God, then we start understanding more, and wanting more of the same things that God wants.  As our desires match the desires of God, then we start getting our way a little bit... but really it is still his way. :)  Luckily, he loves us so much and wants us to be eternally happy... so hopefully that matches up with our long term goals too.  Today, let's work on getting God's way, which is the only way to keep things functioning happily. :)

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