Context and General Information
- Nephi is quoting Isaiah – see Isaiah 48.
- Through Isaiah, the Lord is speaking.
- The Lord asks the house of Israel to listen to Him.
- The Lord is HE. He is Jehovah.
- The Lord is the first and the last.
- The Lord created the earth and his hand spans the heavens.
- The earth and the heavens obey Him.
- The Lord pleads with us to hear.
- The Lord will fulfill His word which he hath declared through the prophets.
- The Lord has called prophets, and will bless them.
The Lord’s Declaration of His Divinity
This is the last of three posts concerning this scripture block. First, we learned that the Lord “Is He.” He is God. You can read Part one here.
Additionally, we learned that the Lord is the first and the last. You can read Part Two Here.
Today, we are studying the final part of this declaration.
In 1 Nephi, we read:
“Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens. I call unto them and they stand up together.” – 1 Nephi 20:13
The Lord testifies that he laid the foundation of the earth. In other words, He created the earth.
For me, personally, this is probably the most comforting knowledge I can have—that the Lord created the earth. It might sound strange, but knowing that I believe in the One who created this earth means that I can trust Him to help me through any trial.
I’ll share a personal experience.
When I was dating Homey, I was so full of joy, hope, and excitement. I felt that I had found someone I really loved, and it was amazing to feel that he loved me, too.
If you’re not familiar, a little background: Homey and I met online. At the time, we were living on other sides of the country. An intense and important part of our courtship took place in the evening on the phone. This circumstance was great for us – as we got to really know each other. I can see how the Lord was addressing both Homey’s and my own past and future through this type of courtship. It is what we needed.
Of course, as the relationship escalated, we started flying across the country to spend time together, physically. It’s one thing when you “hang out” with someone who lives ten miles away from you. It’s another thing altogether when someone flies 2,300 miles in a plane to “hang out” with you. That’s not really “hanging out.” That’s not even a casual date. It’s something else, entirely.
Homey and I, thankfully, hit it off in person just as we had online and on the phone. Things progressed. Our love deepened, and we decided to get married.
Now, just so you know, I had been married and divorced before. So, when Homey and I started to get serious, I had to get a cancellation of my first temple marriage to my first husband. It was a stressful process. I don’t want to get into the details much right now, but I want to say that I was worried.
I mean, I was so worried. Every doubt, every fear, every emotion was just welling up inside of me at that time. I worried about the coming marriage to Homey. Would it last? Would he stray? Would I? Was I really ready to move across the country?
I worried about the cancellation. Would the first presidency and others who are involved in making this decision understand my situation even though they didn’t know me?
I had already made major decisions – I had quit my job. I had boxed all of my stuff. I had hired movers. I had introduced my children to Homey. They loved him. They were excited for this next step.
But so much hung in the air as I waited for our marriage date. I was just so worried. Fearful. You name it.
Well, I went to the temple one day, and as I sat there, pondering, worried, thinking about every choice I had made in the past and OVERTHINKING every mistake, every perceived mistake, every lapse of judgment, every misunderstanding, every stroke of “bad luck.” I wondered – would anything I wanted ever come to pass, or had I screwed up too much in my life to qualify for God’s blessings? I wondered – would anything I wanted ever happen, or was there too much left up to the decisions made by others? I wondered in fear – forgetting the power of the Lord’s Atonement. I forgot the overwhelming love that He has for us. I also forgot everything I had done right in my life. I forgot about every good choice, every use of good judgment, every stroke of “fortune”…I forgot that I had always stayed true to my covenants and that I was doing my best.
I wasn’t in a good state of mind!
I wondered if it was silly for me to put my neck out there to meet Homey. Was it silly for me to even think that I could get my first marriage cancelled? Essentially, I wondered if I had been set up. Was I Charlie Brown – winding up to kick? Was God Lucy? Would he snatch the football away? Would I find myself flat on my back?
I sat in the temple, weighed down with these emotions, and thankfully God is kind, patient, and loving. I realized that I would be okay. God created this entire world. The problem I was facing was easy for Him to help solve. As I sat and thought about the creation, my mind eased. I knew that the miracle I needed in my life was kid stuff compared to creating the world!
We don’t believe in idols that we have made out of gold, glass, or stone. We don’t believe in “idols” that are good at acting or playing a sport, but are susceptible to the same mortal problems we are. We don’t believe in our own genius. We don’t believe in a philosophy that may seem “advanced” even though it has a track record of getting nearly everything wrong…No. The God of Israel…The one that we have covenanted with…The one whose name we take on in the waters of Baptism…The One who created the earth…This is the God we believe in.
In this chapter, when the Lord declared Himself to Israel, through Isaiah – He focused on three major concepts:
- “I am He.” This is Him! This is God!
- “I am the first, and I am also and the last.” He is eternal!
- “Mine hand hath also laid the foundation of the earth.” He created this very earth!
We can take comfort in this knowledge. When we know who God is, then we can feel empowered to have the courage to do what is right and required of us in life.
Recently, I have felt that the following scripture is especially important:
“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
The reason why Laman and Lemuel murmured was because they didn’t know the Lord. They didn’t know that it was He that commanded Lehi to flee into the wilderness.
Laman and Lemuel didn’t seem to comprehend the eternal nature of the Lord. They were always focused on their immediate situation. They wouldn’t apply this knowledge—of God’s eternal nature—to change their own perspective. This myopic behavior was a constant source of struggle and hardship for them. They couldn’t see the big picture – that they were making an immediate sacrifice for something much better.
Laman and Lemuel seemed to forget that the Lord created the earth! God is powerful! HE CREATED THE EARTH! He isn’t some silly tradition, but is a true and living God – and He is omnipotent. The Lord could get them, and us, through anything!
One Final Thought
Because God created the world, we can find Him in this creation. We can find evidence of our Heavenly Parents in the natural world around us.
As Alma taught:
“But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.” – Alma 30:44
If you are having trouble with your testimony, with peace, with murmuring, try going outside and observing the natural world around you. All things denote there is a God: yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it,… I know that Heavenly Father wants us to seek Him. I have found that one good place to seek Him is simply in the world around us.
And I know that if we seek Him, we will find Him.
We believe in God! It is Him! He is eternal. And He created this earth!