An LDS (“Mormon”) Reflection by Stacy N. on The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

Mormon WomanThe other day I read the story in the Book of Mormon about the Lord commanding Nephi to build a boat. I sang the song in my head as I read the chapter then smiled and closed the book.

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The next day when I opened my scriptures to continue reading, I heard a conversation in my head.

“Nephi, I want you to build a boat.”

I wasn’t there, but I assume Nephi’s answer was something like, “You want me to what? Build a boat. A boat? Lord, I don’t know how to build a boat.”

“I know that, Nephi. Go and build a boat.”

“I don’t know how.”

“I will teach you. Now, go and build a boat.”

“I will.”

There could have been a little less back and forth in the real conversation, but the important part is Nephi saying, “I don’t know how… but I will.”

I’ve heard and read the story a million times. I just don’t know why I never made the connection until now. Lacking the technical skills and the know how, Nephi pushed away his worries, concerns and fears, and committed to building a boat.

I immediately thought of all the things I’m asked to do in my life that I feel so completely inadequate.

Bringing up good, righteous children, my calling, dealing with daily challenges or life-long trials. Heavenly Father has asked me to do it all, and sometimes…most of the time, I don’t know how. I finally figured out that I need to finish the sentence: “I don’t know how, but I will.”

We all know it’s not that simple.

Nephi himself said he “did go into the mount oft, and (he) did pray oft unto the Lord” (1 Ne. 18:3). To me, that means that God didn’t just hand him blueprints and say, “Go for it.” It was a long, step-by-step process where I’m sure Nephi thought once or twice, “I’m not quite sure where he’s going with this, but OK.”

Especially since he did not “build the ship after the manner of men; but (he) did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto (him)” (1 Ne. 18:2).

How many times have I thought this about raising a family in this day and age not after the manner of men? Or trials I don’t know how to get through on my own? My point here is that God asks all of us to build a boat. Even multiple boats at times. And when he asks us, we need to be ready with the reply, “I don’t know how, but I will.”

That is the first step. After that, he will teach us.

Stacy N.

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