Friday, April 27, 2018

1 Nephi 17:8-9 -- On Prayer and Finding the Next Step

"And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?"
1 Nephi 17:8-9

Nephi is awesome.  If God told me to build a ship, I don't think my first question would be about finding ore.  I would probably be more like Moses, asking if I was really the right person for the job.  Nephi skips past all of the "not me" and "it's impossible" stuff and gets straight to the "how."  He realizes he is going to need some tools, and he doesn't have any, so he needs to make some, and he asks the question that will get him to the next step.

I think that is a good coping strategy, both with amazing things like this that we are asked to do, but also with some of the hard things that we just have to deal with in life sometimes.  Instead of spending valuable time and emotion on being overwhelmed and scared and feeling inadequate or angry, Nephi shows us how to skip up to finding the next step... what do I need?  What can I do about this?

I don't think that Nephi knew anything about shipbuilding, or probably even toolmaking.  His brothers mock him (verses 17-18) because they don't believe that he can do it.  It would have been easy for him to feel the same, but he took the next step, and whenever he needed additional help, he prayed for it (1 Nephi 18:3).  We can do the same.

Today, as we face the impossible tasks of life, let's remember that with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27).  Just because we don't know how and whatever we face is way too big for us doesn't mean that we can't do it, a little at a time, with God's help.  All we have to do is hold on to our faith and figure out the next step.  We can let the things after that come later, praying as we go.

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