Sunday, November 20, 2011
First Nephi 1 - It sounds as though Lehi was a good man. He had lived at Jerusalem all his days. I imagine he was probably very religious, but when he heard specific prophecies of the destruction of his city, he became more than one of its ordinary citizens. First he heard the words of the prophets. Verse 5 indicates he believed their words, because he was motivated to pray on behalf of his people. Then, he prayed with "all his heart" (a phrase always followed by a great spiritual manifestation). I imagine he was alone, outside the city, in his own arid version of a sacred grove. In answer to his earnest prayer, a pillar of fire came upon a rock in front of him and he saw and heard much, which caused him to tremble and quake. No doubt this pillar of fire reminded him, and those wicked people he would later testify to, of Moses and the Exodus. A testimony that bold must either be accepted or rejected, not ignored. He returned home, cast himself on his bed, and was again carried away in a vision. He saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. The premortal Jesus Christ came down and personally taught him. He read sacred things. Verse 18 says After the Lord had shown so many marvelous things to him, he went forth among the people and began to prophesy. Believing the prophets led to becoming a prophet. They mocked him, they tried to kill him, and the Lord delivered him.