Friday, July 9, 2010

On seeking a testimony

In an ongoing discussion with a young friend, I included a conversation about young Nephi from the Book of Mormon as he sought to understand something his father had taught him. Nephi's father Lehi had a vision of the Tree of Life, an archetypal story which represents God's love and our quest for it, as well as pitfalls along the way. Just after Lehi finishes his account of his vision, Nephi records:

"For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.

"And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?

"And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw.

"And the Spirit said unto me: Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken?

"And I said: Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father" (1 Nephi 11:1-5).

My questions to my young friend:

What do you learn from this scripture? Have you ever heard anyone teach something you want to know more about or something that you want to have a testimony of?

What did Nephi do?

- He DESIRED to know the things his father saw
- He BELIEVED the Lord could make them known to him
- He sat PONDERING in his heart
- He TOLD the Lord what he wanted
- He BELIEVED what his father said before he knew they were true

When we seek spiritual confirmation of truth, I think Nephi's experience is instructive.

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