You can read 1 Nephi 10:18-22 here.
Context and General Information
- Nephi wants to know the mysteries of God. He is also testifying of the kind of god that God is.
The Nature of our Heavenly Father
I’ve been so fascinated by the scripture in 1 Nephi 2 –
“And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.” – 1 Nephi 2:12
I don’t know if this is the most important scripture, but I think that it is quickly making its way into the top ten of “most important scriptures.” (Interesting idea for a post, huh?!).
Why do I think that it is so important?—because in this scripture, we get the key to trusting God. Laman and Lemuel murmur because they know not the dealings of that God who had created them.
While we might not outright murmur against God, it can be hard to conjure up the kind of faith and trust in God that made Nephi so courageous. As I’ve been writing these last few days – Nephi isn’t mythical or magical. He is normal like you and me. Yes he was courageous. And we can be courageous, too. How?—by knowing the God that created us.
So – here in 1 Nephi, 10, we can learn more about Heavenly Father. Through understanding more about His nature, we can develop the kind of trust in Him that will help to make us courageous.
One – God is a Giver of Gifts
“I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.” – 1 Nephi 10:17
Heavenly Father has given us the gift of the Holy Ghost. It is a gift of God to all who diligently seek Him.
We shouldn’t confuse this with the power of the Holy Ghost. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a gift that is given by they laying on of hands by those in authority. It is a gift that is given by way of covenants and ordinances. We must be baptized, by immersion, and then one who is authorized and worthy to hold and administer in the Melchizedek Priesthood can bestow this gift on us.
We must diligently seek God first – and then covenant with Him by following Christ into the waters of baptism. Additionally, we must be willing to keep His commandments and always remember Him, otherwise we remove ourselves from the companionship and gift of the Holy Ghost.
There will be more study on this later on (in 2 Nephi 32, for sure…maybe before, too.)
The real point is – God hasn’t left us alone on this earth. He has given us a gift that empowers us and makes us capable. It is the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I truly can’t imagine a better gift. When I was younger, I kind of felt like it was a cheesy concept – the Holy Ghost being a gift. But now, I realize that there has been no better gift in my life than the constant companionship of the comforter.
And this is the kind of God we believe in – one who will give us constant access to a member of the godhead as a gift.
Two – Consistent
“For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever;…” – 1 Nephi 10:18
Heavenly Father is consistent and unchanging. Now, we have to understand, that means that Heavenly Father is consistent and unchanging. This doesn’t mean that His commandments are unchanging. We can look at dietary codes – dietary codes have always existed because Heavenly Father is unchanging and He cares not only about only our spiritual health but also our temporal health. Although our Father in Heaven is consistent, the codes themselves have changed – they are based on time periods and place. Though the Word of Wisdom is a little different than the dietary rules of ancient Jews, the concept behind it – the principle with a purpose – has the same purpose. It is God that is unchanging, but He often will change His methods to suit us.
We can trust Him. His intentions are always the same even if his procedures differ. We can trust Him because He loves us – because His work and glory are our immortality and eternal life.
We can also trust that He works the same way. He is a God of miracles. He will reveal to us through His Spirit – the Holy Ghost. We can seek answers faithfully and trust Him – knowing that He Will Answer.
Three – He Has a Plan
“…the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.” – 1 Nephi 10:18
There is a plan for us and for our lives. We aren’t accidental creations of our God. We aren’t mistakes. The Fall, for example, wasn’t a big mess-up. It was a part of a plan. This plan has always had a way to provide us success. This way is the Savior. If we repent and come unto Him, then there is a way for us to return to God.
And this way has existed even before the earth was created.
We can trust God because not only is He God, but He has a plan!.
Four – Eternal
“…the course of the Lord is one eternal round.” – 1 Nephi 10:19
I really hope that I revisit this concept soon because maybe it is worth an in-depth study on its own. But for now, when I think of “one eternal round,” I think of the eternal nature of God. I think of the Hymn “If You Could Hie to Kolob”:
The works of God continue,
And worlds and lives abound;
Improvement and progression
Have one eternal round.
There is no end to matter;
There is no end to space;
There is no end to spirit;
There is no end to race.” – If You Could Hie to Kolob – really go read all of the lyrics to this song. Amazing
Another quote I really like that has helped me to understand more about “one eternal round” was given by Elder Maxwell:
“Repeatedly God has described His course as reiterative, “one eternal round”…. We mortals sometimes experience boredom in the routine repetition of our mortal tasks, including even good works; and thus vulnerable, we are urged not to grow weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9; D&C 64:33; 84:80; Alma 37:34). But given God’s divine love, there is no boredom on His part amid His repetitive work, for his course, though one eternal round, involves continuous redemption for His children; it is full of goodness and mercy as His long-suffering shows His love in action. In fact we cannot even comprehend the infinite blessings which await the faithful—” eye hath not seen, nor ear heard . . .” (1 Corinthians 2:9)” – Neal A. Maxwell
He is eternally working, eternally creating, eternally existing. He is doing this with pure love and without boredom. What a loving God. I can’t even imagine. I get annoyed. I get bored. I get sick of my kids asking the same thing. Why do they need dinner every single night? Didn’t they just eat yesterday?
Yet God’s is one eternal round, and we can take comfort in this. Even though He has had billions of children, He still keeps listening to us, loving us, and answering our prayers.
Five – Clean
“…no unclean thing can dwell with God…” – 1 Nephi 10:21
God is clean. He is free from the filth of wickedness and sin. And He dwells in cleanliness. Not only that, but we learn that no unclean thing can dwell with Him.
We need to remember this because there will be a point when we are judged for our works on this earth. Does this mean that we need to be “perfect” in and of ourselves – and without the Savior? NO! THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE! Remember – God has a plan, and there is a way. It is through Christ.
Christ will perfect us. Christ will make us clean.
And yes, we must be perfect and clean to enter into God’s kingdom.
This is not taught to us to make us feel bad about being imperfect. We are taught this truth so that we will come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.
If we choose not to come unto Christ, if we choose to remain in wickedness, then we will be unclean. And we will not be permitted to dwell with God – whose state is a state of never-ending joy and peace.
So – we must remember this fact, and when we consider it along with the other facts – that God has given us the gift of the Holy Ghost, that He is Consistent, that God has a plan, that He is eternal – we can have hope! We can be clean! There is a way and so many blessings that make life and peace and joy (forever!) with Him possible.
And, when we understand these things about the God who created us, we will reduce our tendency to murmur, and we will instead supplant that tendency with faith and trust in God.