I recently returned from serving a full-time mission in the Maryland Baltimore Mission. I now attend Brigham Young University, where I am currently taking a religion class on the Book of Mormon. This blog served as a way to record my thoughts about my mission and it will now serve as a way to record my thoughts as I am home from my mission and involved in studying the Book of Mormon.
This week, I realized once more why the Book of Mormon is so powerful. Every single verse, without fail, seems to teach us something of eternal purpose. This rang true to me as we dissected the very first verse of the very first chapter of the Book of Mormon. 1 Nephi 1:1, an introduction in the words of Nephi himself, states:
"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days."
In class, we talked about the difference between the word "therefore" and "nevertheless." The word therefore is a word that is used to show a direct relationship between two different things, sometimes almost a cause-and-effect relationship. Nephi says that because he was born of goodly parents, he was taught in the learning of his father. The word nevertheless seems to do the opposite, combining two things that don't usually seem to go together. In this verse, he talks about seeing afflictions for his entire life, however he feels that him and the entire family of Lehi have been "highly favored of the Lord."
To me, this verse teaches us a lot about perspective and attitude. We are taught the principle of faith that is centered in Jesus Christ: when we trust in the Savior and Redeemer, we begin to have an eternal perspective on things. We realize that because of the Fall, we will experience afflictions throughout our lives. At the same time, however, we realize that because of the Atonement, we will be able to know and understand that we are all highly favored of the Lord. The ultimate decision of whether or not to have an eternal perspective is up to us. I challenge all this week to look inward to be able to find where to improve to be able to have the kind of perspective and faith that Nephi had! I know that as we all strive to show that faith, we will be able to say that we have been "highly favored of the Lord in all (our) days."