Sunday, January 14, 2018

When Nephi reproaches his brothers for forgetfulness

10 How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord?
11 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record?
12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him. (1 Nephi 7:10-12)

As Nephi and his brothers bring Ishmael’s family out of Jerusalem and the ones who want to go back make their feelings known, Nephi asks his brothers how they could have forgotten the great things the Lord has already done for them—sending an angel to instruct them, saving them from Laban, helping them get the brass plates.

It struck me that the events Nephi tells about are things he best remembers because they were 1) in his favor, and 2) vindicated his faith, and 3) he was the main participant, whereas his brothers might be 1) anxious to forget the angel because they were chastised, 2) anxious to forget the incidents of getting the brass plates because their efforts were ineffectual and they weren’t personally involved in the final successful effort. 

So, from a certain point of view, Nephi is the one who is mostly likely to be convinced by his own arguments here.  Still, if Laman and Lemuel had had the faith to persevere, they could have been more involved and thereafter more convinced.

It seems to me we are most likely to want to remember the times the Lord has helped us be successful versus the times we were chastised or not personally involved. It seems that as faith decreases, we are less likely to be convinced by arguments of how faith has been vindicated in the past, but as our faith increases, we are more convinced and moved by arguments about remembering when faith was vindicated.

So the overall lesson to draw from this seems to be that we must act in faith now if faith is to continue to have weight with us in the future.