Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I will go and do, not question You.
I have gained great strength from Nephi and his journey from Jerusalem to the promised land. His willingness to obey no matter what is inspiring. In 1 Nephi 9, Nephi explains a particular commandment. “I have received a commandment of the Lord that I should make these plates,” meaning the smaller plates. The large plates already contained a record of what had happened.
We know that Nephi is faithful in keeping God’s commandments. When he was commanded to obtain the Brass Plates, he knew why. He knew that his posterity would not have been able to obey the commandments unless they had the scriptures which contained God’s law. He knew they were commanded to leave Jerusalem in order to preserve their lives. He even knew that if he failed to obey the prompting to slay Laban, however repulsed he felt by such a command, would result in an entire nation dwindling in unbelief. So he had faith, not only that God would help him accomplish the commandments, but that each commandment had a divine purpose.
Verses 5&6 in 1 Nephi 9 provide interesting insights: “This Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not. BUT THE LORD KNOWETH ALL THINGS from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of his words.” The powerful message behind these words is that sometimes we may not know the reason for a specific commandment. Often times we don’t fully understand why we are asked to do something. But we can exercise a particle of faith and ACT, knowing that God’s purposes will be revealed eventually.
This principle seems to fall directly in line with what Elder Richard G Scot of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in the most recent General Conference: “Thus, every time you try your faith—that is, act in worthiness on an impression—you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow.”
I do have to clarify that I think it is perfectly acceptable to ask Heavenly Father to help us understand why we are to obey the commandments. Especially if it troubles us. But failing to obey the commandment until we understand every detail and the eternal perspective of it can result in missed blessings, decreased faith, and ultimately apostasy.