As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also referred to as the Mormon church), and as a student here at BYU, I have had the amazing opportunity to be a part of a religion class this semester, one focused on the Book of Mormon. Even though the semester has just started, it has already become my favorite class. This week, we discussed a few chapters in 1 Nephi, a section in the Book of Mormon. These chapters contain part of the story of Nephi (who the section is named after) and his family, who having been warned in a vision have fled Jerusalem to avoid the coming destruction and captivity of Jerusalem, mentioned in the Old Testament by prophets such as Jeremiah. In the specific chapters that we covered, Nephi and his family have fled into the wilderness, only to receive further revelation that they must return to the city in order to obtain a set of brass plates (a medium on which records where kept) on which was engraven “the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of [Nephi’s] forefathers” (1 Nephi 3:3.) AdversityLiftingupQuoteBy bringing this with them, they would be able to not only keep a record of their ancestry, but they could also learn from the teachings of Christ included in it, and they could preserve a copy of their language, written down, to be taught and handed down, generation to generation, wherever the Lord commanded them to settle.

As they set about to do as the Lord had commanded, some difficulties arose, from which a number of things can be learned. One of these things was that the Lord knows what needs to be done. He is omniscient and all-powerful, and He loves us and will push us to become the best that we can be. He gives us commandments that will stretch our limits and help us expand in ways that, otherwise, we could not or would not. However, I also know that he will never give us an impossible task, something that we cannot do. Nephi himself expresses this in what is one of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon; “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and I will 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.) I really love this scripture, not only because of the principle it teaches, but because of Nephi’s sincere faith in the Lord.

Personal revelation often comes from prayer

Prayer is communication with God

We also discussed prayer, and the importance of communicating with our Heavenly Father. Our teacher said something here that really struck me (and I’m paraphrasing here), “Communication [prayer] with Heaven is not about changing God’s will, it is about realizing His will and bringing ourselves to it.” Wow. That really struck me, and helped to remind me of how grateful I am for the power of prayer in my life. Time and time again I have had my prayers answered miraculously, in situations large and small, petty or not, and it’s taught me that He truly does care. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that our Heavenly Father lives. He loves and listens to us, and answers our prayers. He knows what we need, what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what will push us to grow and expand and become more like Him. I am so grateful for a chance to attend school here at BYU, where I can have Christ’s teachings woven so fully into my education, and I am grateful beyond words that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Article written by Shelise R

Additional Resources:

Basic Mormon Beliefs and Real Mormons

The Lord Jesus Christ in Mormonism

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