Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No Nation Greater, Ether 1:43

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Here is part of the Lord’s promise to the brother of Jared when he prays to the Lord about where he and his family should go.
And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me. (Ether 1:43)
The question that comes to my mind from this is, “Great in what way?”  There are different kinds of ways to be great, some of which are better than others. (I'll come back to this in a little bit.)

The other thing I am inclined to think from this is, “So does that mean the Jaredites reached the apex of civilization and none can compare to them even today?”  I don’t know.  We have so little information about them as it is—at least 30 generations of history compacted into 15 chapters over 31 pages.  I suppose it depends on how closely we can follow the principles that made them great.

As for what made them great, I’m inclined to favor the Lord’s definition in Matt. 23:11:  “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.”  If the Jaredites achieved greatness in the way the Lord meant for them, it was for their service to each other.

Also, in Ether 2:10 is given the decree of God that tells us we’re not far off with this definition: “For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God...” (emphasis added).  So serving God is what contributes to greatness. 

This reminds me of the scriptures from Mosiah 2:17, “…when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.”  It comes right back to serving others.

I’m trying to get this principle more deeply into my heart these days.  I’m trying to look at even the small and repetitive tasks as service to others and as opportunities to show love.

Let’s make today a day of greatness, shall we?