Sometimes, I get a little jealous of scriptural figures.
Sure, they had great and epic battles to face, but they also had great and epic experiences with God.
I know their stories are more nuanced than we’ll ever understand. In many ways, the accounts found in the scriptures are meant to teach overarching themes that are enhanced by the specificity of personal revelation. Still, as I study the story of Nephi, I can’t help but long for the type of clarity he received about what he needed to “go and do.”
We are all different in how we receive instruction by the Spirit. Then there is the path of discipleship combined with the will of the Lord that can influence our connection to the heaven. For me, receiving revelation has been a struggle, especially in the face of mental illness.
Nephi had a clear errand from the Lord. As I’ve tried to learn from his story and understand how I can be inspired by his initiative, I’ve found that there are ways to discover our own errands, even if what exactly we’re supposed to do is unclear.
Let the Lord Soften Your Heart
When Lehi told his family about the visions of warning he had about the destructions of Jerusalem, Nephi took the matter to the Lord. He had a desire to know the truth. 1 Nephi 2:16 says that Nephi cried to God in prayer “and behold he didme, and did my heart that I did all the words which had been spoken by my ; wherefore, I did not against him like unto my brothers.”
When I feel confused or left alone, my heart often gets hard. But like Nephi, when we don’t understand what we should do, we can turn to God. More importantly, we can keep trying even if the inspiration doesn’t come quickly. Bit by bit, the Lord can soften our hearts and help lead us to greater information about our personal spiritual errands.
Think on the Commandments
The beloved scripture in 1 Nephi 3:7 reminds us that “the Lord giveth nounto the children of men, save he shall a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”
Nephi’s commandment to go and get the plates is very specific; living the commandments today may feel very general. I know as I go throughout my daily life, I keep my covenants, but I don’t always think about them.
The more I meditate on my covenants and discover intentional ways to keep them, the more connection I feel to God. I trust that a way will be prepared to navigate the stumbling blocks in my life.
How Am I Doing with the First Step?
Nephi was led by the spirit, even though he didn’t know how things were going to work out. He was faithful in doing what he could.
We should take inventory of our gospel habits and how we’re doing with the small steps of the gospel. When we take a step in faith, we’re more likely to receive more instruction. First steps of faith my look like giving more time to God in study and prayer, ministering, fulfilling callings, or increasing in temple worship. Your first step may be unique and look different from anyone else.
Discovering Our Own Errand
As we incorporate some of these principles and move forward in faith like Nephi, we can continue to discover what errands the Lord has for us. He will always prepare a way! What lessons have you learned from studying the story of Nephi?