How I love reading the Book of Mormon. I've lost track of the number of times I've completed it and started over. I do so because, like you, I am in need of constant nourishment for my soul.
This morning I've been reading in 1 Nephi chapter 4. I've always been inspired by Nephi's tremendous faith and courage. Here he is, the youngest brother, yet, as he was told by God, and as repeated by the Angel who had just visited he and his brothers, he is the leader and takes charge of fulfilling the commandments. I love Nephi's response in verse 1 to his whining, faithless oldest brothers when they question what they've just been told by an angel--"let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord." This simple statement describes the whole of Nephi's life. He was able to do great things because he was faithful in keeping God's commandments which is the key to unlocking the door to Christ's grace and wielding eternal power.
Each of us has made sacred covenants, the first of which was to take upon us, gladly, the name of Jesus Christ through the ordinance of baptism - consisting of being baptized both by water and the Holy Ghost. Then brethren make covenants and receive promises through the oath and covenant of the priesthood. Then all of us made or can make covenants in the Temple and receive the promised blessing that flow therefrom.
In receiving these blessings, we promise to take upon us Christ's name, to always remember Him, and always keep His commandments. We promise to be true and faithful to the oath and covenant of the priesthood. We promise to be true and faithful to our temple covenants. In return, God and Christ promise us that we can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and wield the eternal power that can come through that companionship as we are faithful. Through the power of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truth; we can receive direct revelation, both for ourselves and for our families; we can teach and write with power that will carry our message to the hearts of the children of men; priesthood holders can exercise God's power with authority; we can receive Christ's enabling grace which leads to the courage borne of faith that allows us to go forward and do great things even in the face of overwhelming odds; in short, we can receive and wield the eternal power that always has and always will conquer worldly power.
The Lord has great expectations for all of His children, but more so for us as members of His church. Where much has been given, much is required in return. The prophet and apostles have been reminding us constantly in the past few years of the great responsibility that is ours in hastening the work. Everyone of us who has made covenants, left neutral ground the moment we did so. The question we must each ask ourselves, is what are we doing about it? Are we striving with all our hearts to be covenant keepers and not just covenant makers so that we can wield eternal power? Are we praying for opportunities to share the gospel? Are we praying for spiritual awareness and sensitivity to recognize when those opportunities come and for the courage to open our mouths when they do? Are we feasting upon the scriptures (see 2 Nephi 31:20) which will tell us "all things that [we] should do," (see 2 Nephi 32:3). Are we heeding the call to be informed of the issues relating to religious and national freedom and preparing ourselves so that if/when the time comes, we can stand up and courageously promote and defend those sacred blessings which are vital to the being able to share the gospel?
May we all be like Nephi, going forth with faith, guided by the spirit even when we may not know beforehand exactly what to do. May we be faithful and true to the covenant we have made and determined with all our hearts to stand up for what is right, even in the face of overwhelming odds.
God bless you this day and always my friends.
Randy McNeely is a father of five, an aspiring author as well as a singer/songwriter. He has written several patriotic songs, children’s songs and multiple religious hymns, including Oh Jesus, Savior of Mankind, which won a Special Recognition award in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 2008 Music Submission contest.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.