Wednesday, November 20, 2013

This Guy Really Helped Me!

One person who helped to get me through a very long and difficult hardship in my life was Nephi. Nephi just seemed to get it! He understood loss, major relocation, abuse by those who should have loved him, betrayal, fear, pain, loneliness, you name it! But he also understood love, trust, faith, forgiveness, endurance, and looking to Father to find peace. I love Nephi! From day one, I felt like he completely understood me. So, having this kind of faith in this great prophet of God, I listened to him. I studied his words; I prayed about them; and I let him teach him.

From Nephi I learned that it isn't any variety of trial that destroys our peace. It is only when we allow the Spirit to leave our lives that peace can be taken from our hearts. In “Nephi's Psalm” (2 Nephi 4:19-30 from the Book of Mormon), Nephi's heart is heavy at the loss of his father and the other great trials in his life. He takes the time here to marvel at the wonders of God that have strengthened and sustained him numberless times. He lets us know in no uncertain terms that, yes, it's been hard, but he has decided to trust in our Savior Jesus Christ.

He then asks himself, and all of us, “Why should I yield to sin...why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?” I realized that the only thing destroying his peace was his willingness to give in to anger! I knew this was true in my own life as well.

Then he gives himself a to-do and a not-to-do. The to-do: “Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, o my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul...Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord...” He beckoned himself to wake up and rejoice.

And the not-to-do he gave himself was simple: “Do not anger again because of mine enemies.”

I love his little pep talk, his day of decision! I love that he had the courage to say, “Hey, this is not right in my life. The Lord has been so very good to me, and I need to step it up for Him. Even if my own brothers are trying to KILL me, they are not the reason for my lack of peace. My own decisions are the only reason my kind Father would allow peace to withdraw from my heart.”

Then, in a great spirit of humility, Nephi pleads with the Lord for strength to do what he needs to do. We can do the same, and we will have the same outcome. The Lord will come to our aid; He will give us everything we need to make it through the days ahead. He will help us so we do more than just “make it.” He will give give us more than survival techniques; He will give us the power to THRIVE, for thriving is truly what living the gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. :)

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