Nephi Taught Us “It Is The Same”



The third chapter of Nephi contains one of my favorite scriptures, ” And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7).

This scripture seems to be straightforward with Nephi pledging his obedience to the Lord. However, without studying this scripture it is easy to miss the more faithful aspect of this statement by Nephi. Did he receive the commandment to return to Jerusalem and get the brass plates directly from the Lord? This verse is often quoted as Nephi’s example of obeying the Lord. But a closer examination reveals that Nephi’s declaration is more powerful than we think. Let’s examine the prior verses.

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father. And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a dream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem. For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass. Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness. And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord. Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.” (1 Nephi 3:1-6).

And so, upon further review, we find that Nephi was not asked by the Lord to go back and get the plates, but he was asked by his father, the prophet.  So this oft quoted response by Nephi is made more powerful by understanding that the command came from a prophet,  and not directly from the Lord. Why is this important to us? Well, it’s not likely that you or I will ever receive a command directly from the Lord’s mouth. However, we have a living prophet who speaks for the Lord. We can truly manifest the same faith as Nephi in how we obey the commands we receive from the prophets in our days. Understanding that Nephi was responding to the request of a prophet should give us greater faith in knowing that we too can be like him. We need not have some glorious manifestation to send us on our way. This weekend we will be privileged to hear from apostles and prophets. If we follow the example of Nephi, we will be able to say upon hearing their words, “I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded”, because, as Nephi taught us, it is the same.


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