“Wanting to understand the mysteries of God is a righteous desire. I have long admired the faith unto believing of Nephi. He heard the prophecies of the Lord received by his father, but he did not know all at once with a perfect knowledge that the word of God was in them. He knew the character of Lehi sufficiently that he trusted in his father’s words, lived obediently, and sought to know for himself the will of the Lord. Nephi went to Father in Heaven and asked to know, and God rewarded his faith and asking. Nephi showed by his faith and belief, his obedience to what God spoke to him, that he could be trusted with additional light to act with it well. God rewarded that trust with greater light and understanding, as He will do for each one of us who demonstrate faith, belief, and obedience. By His own declaration the Lord blesses those who act in faith and ask. ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened’ (Matthew 7:7-8). The mysteries of God are not withheld from us by the Lord, but by our own unwillingness to ask and follow. Let us, like Nephi, seek truth and act well and faithfully with it, that we might know all things, know our Lord, and witness of Him.”Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 6 February 2024
Through the ages God has inspired men and women to the performance of great deeds that have lead to advancements both temporal and spiritual with the ultimate goal of filling the whole earth with His kingdom. These women and men of divine destiny became so because they were sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, recognized from whence their inspiration came, and were willing to act upon that which they received. Several such individuals were witnessed in vision by the Prophet Nephi when he inquired of the Lord.
Upon hearing the visions received by his father, and being a believing man of faith always disposed to following the words of a prophet, Nephi prayed to the Lord that he might also receive a witness of these things, and was rewarded with knowing.
Most importantly from his vision he became a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He saw His coming to earth, His ministry, His miracles and His atoning sacrifice and glorious resurrection. If ever there was a man of destiny, it was our Lord, and Nephi bore witness of Him. Just like any child of God born into this earth, Jesus acted in faith, not always knowing before hand what He should do, but always responding to the still small voice of the Spirit and following His promptings. By keeping God’s commandments the Lord gained understanding, even unto the power of saving us all.
Nephi also saw in vision others whose acts of faith were rewarded with knowing. Surely Mary did not know fully the impact of giving birth to the Son of God, yet she responded with faith knowing that Heavenly Father would do well by His handmaiden. Rather than doubting the unbelievable, she simply replied, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38). From there, to a stable, and to the foot of a cross she acted in faith.
Nephi witnessed the apostles of the Lamb, their works, their deeds, their sufferings and even sore trials. Through the trials of their faith they were guided by the hand of God to fulfill His works. As they kept the commandments their faith and power increased and they were rewarded with understanding that they might continue more fully the work of the Lord. The Apostle John was shown magnificent things of which he bore witness. Only by his faith, his willingness to inquire of the Lord, was he given such gifts of revelation to bless us all to this day.
Nephi told us of another who would bless our lives even unto this day, because he was a man willing to inquire and to seek that which he did not understand. The Lord knew that if he touched the mind and heart of Christopher Columbus, that this good man would act. Columbus himself said, “…our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed. Those who heard of my enterprise called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed. But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” (Jacob Wasserman, Columbus, Don Quixote of the Seas, p. 18).
Following Nephi’s glorious vision of faithful men and women ushering in the kingdom of God, an exchange between Laman and Lemuel and their brother Nephi is recorded.
Laman and Lemuel declared, “Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken….” Nephi replied, “Have ye inquired of the Lord?” To which Laman and Lemuel answered, “We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.” Nephi lamented, “How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?” (1 Nephi 15:7-10).
Thus saith the Lord God, “Call upon me while I am near—Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:62-64).
My friends, let us be men and women of faith and action, not of doubt and inaction. As He did for Nephi, the Lord desires to make all things known unto us. He only requires that we act in obedience, and when we lack understanding that we inquire of Him, and He will bless our faith with understanding and with miracles. If we keep God’s commandments and faithfully rely upon him when our understanding fails us, the Lord will grant us all that we need to overcome the trials of our faith even unto knowing. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.