Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Scripture Hero Spotlight: Nephi

We've spent the past three months of Come Follow Me study curriculum learning from the words of Nephi. For the first few weeks of the year, my four-year-old would refuse to go to Primary by herself, so I was blessed to revisit some classic Nephi songs, inspiring this new blog post series. So while our Creature Features and Character Spotlights gush about fictional characters and monsters, today I wanted address some of the reasons I love Nephi and what I've learned from his writings over the years.

"I Will Go and Do!"

One of the things I'll always respect most about Nephi is his faith. Not just because there's a cool Primary song about it and a Living Scriptures song too. But during the episode of retrieving the brass plates, Nephi had no clue what was going to happen, like his brothers. However, unlike Laman and Lemuel, he held to the base belief that Heavenly Father would provide a way to accomplish his work. In a recent Sunday School lesson about the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi, President Nelson's interpretation of Israel meaning "Let God prevail" was mentioned. And maybe this was obvious to some, but it struck me that day how I need to get out of God's way and "let [Him] prevail." If I listen to my faith, instead of my fears (and other feelings), it's easier to trust God work "for good to them that love God." (Romans 8:28)

The Iron Rod

Lines from Nephi's vision trigger powerful memories for me from the Hill Cumorah Pageant, which I will always love. But setting aside the vision as a whole and looking just at the rod of iron, which has been interpreted as the word of God, and it's easy to see how important the scriptures and the law were to Nephi. Multiple times it was stated that their descendants would need the law to keep the doctrine pure (that was the whole reason for going back for the brass plates). Add to that how much Nephi obviously loved Isaiah and other prophets, it's plain to see how much he feasted on the words of Christ.

Nephi's Boat

I will forever have a sweet affection for this scripture story, because it was my scene as a ten-year-old in the Hill Cumorah Pageant (I was Laman's son). Nephi's insistence that he could do all things that God asked him to do hearkens back to getting the brass plates. But in addition to that, he didn't let his greatest opposition stop him in building the ship or in leading it to the Promised Land. This story illustrates the love he felt for his brothers and how much he hoped for them to change, a hope unfulfilled when he recorded these stories on the small plates years later. But because of the Plan of Salvation and work for our ancestors, Nephi's hope might not be in vain.

The Psalm of Nephi

He called himself a "wretched man" but I think I'd be in pretty good shape if I were as wretched as him. That being said, Nephi's Psalm (2 Nephi 4) reminds me that even the most valiant disciples have their faults. We don't know what sins so easily beset Nephi, but that's just what makes this poetry so applicable to all of his readers. "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul." These words always bolster my soul and keep me hoping.

Glorying in Isaiah

While notoriously difficulty among modern readers, Nephi loved reading the words of Isaiah and likening his words to his people. I've thought for a few years how people count themselves out when it comes to understanding Isaiah. While I still don't understand most of Isaiah's words, some of my favorite powerful scripture verses come from verses Nephi quoted from Isaiah. And according to the Follow Him podcast, Isaiah was influential in many of Nephi's personal writings as well. So even if it takes the rest of my life to understand him, I'll keep trying.

If you liked this spotlight on the prophet Nephi, let us know your favorite part of Nephi's story on our social media pages. Also let us know if there's a Book of Mormon hero you want spotlighted as this year goes on.

No comments:

Post a Comment