Saturday, June 23, 2012

1 Nephi 1:11 - a Book

Continuing from 1 Nephi 1:10, 1 Nephi 1:11:

And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and astood before my father, and gave unto him a bbook, and bade him that he should read.
It says "they" came down.  I trust that this means "the One" and the twelve, and I will assume that is the case.  (In the previous verses, the One descended and the twelve followed him.  This verse follows, so I trust they is all inclusive.)  So they came down.  Not up, but once again, they are descending from their sphere onto this earthly one.

They went forth upon the face of the earth.  Is this a loaded statement, or was this just a simple description that they came in contact with the earthly elements on this earth?  Did they do more than just walk around?  Did Lehi witness ministering, and then veil it in such a broad statement?

The first came and stood before Nephi's father.  Is this first the Savior?  I assume it is, but I'm not sure why it's not a capital F for first.  But assuming it is him, this is quite a remarkable experience.  At this point, Lehi is having a one-on-one encounter with Jehovah, the firstborn of the Father.  And He - Jehovah - came to Lehi.  This is noteworthy, as this is not just Lehi feeling overwhelmed with the Spirit any longer.  He's not only witnessing the heavens open, but now the One is approaching him, and giving him a gift.  This is a very significant experience, and is changing Lehi's live, milli-moment by milli-moment.

Lehi receives a book.  Of all things!  Not a flower, a hug, or a chocolate ice cream cone.  A book.  Books are one of my favorite things, because in such a small space can be such powerful information be contained.  That is the case with this book, as we will soon find out.

Lehi was then bidden to read the book.  Can you imagine if he received the book, but never took the time to read it?  I've given out lots of books to friends as gifts, and I'm always curious to know if they've read it.  Can you imagine if Jehovah would present you with a book, bid you to read it, and then you just don't have the time?  The horror!  I can't imagine Lehi giving that excuse.

Yet often we do it all the time.

When I come home to my parents', I always love looking at their bookshelves.  I scour them for anything new, and even better–anything old.  Today I found some really great old books.  But I have to think that to be given such a book as Lehi got to read... wow.  That'd be quite the gift! 

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