The events surrounding this post revolve upon the words Nephi (son of Helaman) speaks while praying upon his garden tower.
There are a few main points that I've observed from my reading this week, which has been in the book of Helaman, in the Book of Mormon. Each one could deserve its own post, but I highlight them here to present ideas, and if you feel so inclined, you can delve into them, or share your own thoughts. (I always welcome guest posts.:)
1st observation. This is where "secret combinations" officially enter into Nephite society. They may have entered sooner, but this is the first place where names of participants are addressed. Previous to this, we learn from Alma that he is aware of them, but he is not to record details, lest the information get into hands it shouldn't, and the information be implemented. Lo and behold, here in Helaman, we find that it comes to fruition. A few thoughts about secret combinations:
- Oaths between man and God are sacred.
- Oaths between man and man are to be made with great caution, if made at all. Add a condition of "secrecy", and there is serious potential for danger, no matter how well intentioned the participants may be.
- Those involved in oaths between two or more mortals will lie to defend their secrets, or try to deflect the question onto those revealing their secret. There is a clear position of defensiveness. In the case of Nephi, praying on the tower, the crowds came, and he boldly and openly shared details of the people's secret works of darkness. (Helaman 8:4) (Consider what made them "dark"?) Rather than internalizing the words of this bold prophet, those involved tried to rally the people, accusing Nephi of reviling their laws and judges. They went so far as to bind, imprison, and try him before the judges, because he revealed their secret oaths.
[The same applies for your own sacred experiences. If you need to swear someone to secrecy, you shouldn't be sharing, because you're involving them in a secret oath, and I would boldly consider that unrighteous dominion. (D&C 121:37-39) Those involved in such things must repent, and do it quickly.]
2nd observation. Nephi is given serious, serious power. It is not common to see such power bestowed upon a man in the scriptures. Power is given, but rarely do we see such details. Why?
- Nephi declared the word of God with unwearyingness. What does that mean? And it wasn't just whatever he felt like preaching. He declared the words the Lord gave to him to give to the people. (Helaman 10: 4)
- Nephi didn't fear the people, and he didn't seek to save his own life. He was willing to do whatever it took to do what God needed done.
- He sought the Lord's will. (Do you think it came clearly to him? Was it ever unclear? Did it take patience in seeking?)
- He kept the commandments of God. It's likely that he kept them with as much exactness as possible.
- A point not added in these verses, but that I feel is important: Nephi didn't do all this to exalt himself, to gain power, or praise of men. He didn't seek to be popular. He was simply doing his best to lead his fellow man to Christ, and I believe he was full of charity.
- He was blessed forever.
- He was made mighty in word.
- He was made mighty in deed.
- He was made mighty in faith.
- He was made mighty in works.
- He was made mighty, so that all things he declared would come to pass.