I read this this morning, and as I delved into it more deeply, I was amazed at the message I ended up taking away from it....
"And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks--" (1 Nephi 14:1).
So, anyone who's not of the house of Judah is a Gentile, right? I am not of the house of Judah, so this applies to me and many of the rest of us, right?
"Hearken" is defined as "to listen" or "to hear," but here's the Julie definition: "to listen and obediently do something about what you've heard." In the case of this scripture, we're hearkening to the words of Christ.
"That day" means now. So, if we listen and follow the words of Christ in these days....
WAIT!....I forgot THE most important word in this scripture, but I find I keep using it over and over again...."IF!"
I figure "if" emphasizes our God-given right to choose. I LOVE that He desires our growth and development by giving us the ability to make decisions for ourselves. He trusts that we will eventually figure it out after a series of mistakes and that we have the ability within us to learn and redirect our own course. He also grants us fresh starts and hope.
I'm learning that those times when our choices are limited were not brought about by God, but we can be assured that satan had a hand in them at some point along the way.
God is all about freedom and joy. satan's all about bondage and misery.
Okay, back to the topic at hand....
Also, with an "if," there is always a "then," right? Case in point (couldn't resist the pun, sorry):
Often in the scriptures it's a blessing or curse that follows. In this case, it's asking us to do something that's good, so a consequent blessing follows.....
IF we will listen to and obey the teachings taught by Jesus Christ, He will manifest--Wait! There's a word you don't see everyday....
Manifest: readily perceived by the eye or the understanding; evident; obvious; apparent; plain.
So this is telling me that Christ will make Himself obvious to me "in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of" the things that cause me to stumble--my doubts? My fears? My past mistakes? The things others have done to me? Anything negative that's in my way?
Yes! ALL of my barriers--erased. He desires my success!
I don't know how you feel about that, but to me, that is a hugely awesome scripture with an amazing promise!
I try to follow but fall often. I try to get back in place and know that when I do, I receive help that I can't see with my eyes but only feel with my heart.
I also know that there have been experiences in my life where this has come to pass--a mission, a trip to Japan, shipping school supplies to the Philippines; heck, raising seven kids, for that matter--all seem/seemed impossible to me, but there is no question whose power was/is made apparent through these kinds of challenges if I hearken.
Yes, I love this scripture! I often write "GOAL" in the margin of my scriptures when I find verses such as this.
This is definitely something to strive for. I feel that without this as a guide, life would be wasted. Why do what I can do alone when I can do what He will do with me?
Can I just reiterate....I ADORE the Book of Mormon! How does anyone live without it? It brings me such huge joy daily. When I go without, I can tell the difference and so can others around me. It brings me closer to God, and for that, I LOVE it!