I’ve been reading this passage of scripture for 3 days now. What have I been missing in my readings? The Lord and the proactive nature of the work of prophets.
It is not normal for the Lord to intervene in the external affairs of man, but here is a prophet of God is proactively soliciting a more humane or compassionate response to the situation of the people. Instead of perishing by the sword, Nephi pleads that there will be a famine in the land. The Lord grants Nephi’s request.
After three years of pestilence, then the people began to remember the Lord and the words of the prophet Nephi. Personal application is this: I forget the Lord when I forget the words that have been revealed to me personally through revelation. I am seeing the need to review, to remember what I already have learned.
Must I be chastened of the Lord, before I will remember Him? How can I better remember the Lord?
By verse 18, a proper order of things had been restored to the land. Nephi is rightly acknowledged as a prophet of God among the people. Nephi has, in fact, petitioned God for an end to the famine which he called upon the land.
It is interesting to note that Nephi called down a famine upon the land in just one verse of scripture. To end the famine that he had called down from God, Nephi plead with the Lord for seven verses, hashing out with the Lord the details of their circumstances. It is almost as if Nephi is petitioning the Lord for forgiveness on behalf of his people.
What follows next is most instructive. Two years of peace and prosperity follow. The church is established throughout all the land. But then, the people’s point of departure from safety was when there began to be “a few contentions concerning the points of doctrine which had been laid down by the prophets.” (vs. 22)
Nephi and Lehi “having many revelations daily” were able to put to an end the strife within the Church in that same season. Revelation was required to be able to do so.
But what follows is the real and sad account of the general state of man, waxing strong in inquity, pride, and wickedness. “And thus they were ripening again for destruction.”
Helamán 11 (en español)
Uno sea tentado a preguntar la sinceridad del arrepentimiento del pueblo que sea compelido a arrepentirse. Y como el resto del capítulo demuestra, entre unos dos o tres años más, se les olvidó de nuevo el Señor su Dios.
(Really, I have been grappling with this set (chapter) of scriptures for a week or so now. I am observing how in regards to long term conversion, it was not really helpful it was to give Nephi power to work great wonders and miracles. That didn’t produce the same staying power as did the missionary efforts of Ammon and his brethren among the Lamanites many years earlier. I actually think that is the point of these chapters. The Lord is trying to illustrate that though He can work shortcuts and give His prophets power to do great wonders and miracles, but they do not produce the needed long term growth that must sustain the children of God in order to become like Him.
Am I missing something else here? What about Nephi’s conversion? It is also fairly notable that admidst such gross wickedness, God was willing to give unto Nephi sealing power. Nephi’s personal life becomes a testament that 1) even among great darkness, one can live a consecrated life and progress spiritually, and 2) God will deliver the righteous even if by miraculous means when needed. )