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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

234: NURTURE VS AFFLICTION

"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 the first verse, in the first chapter of the Book of Mormon, Nephi's opening line describes his life’s as: “having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days.” 

"Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos,
knowing my father that he was a just man—
for he taught me in his language,
 and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord
—and blessed be the name of my God for it–"
 
In contrast, Enos in his first verse of his book, he describes his life as having been raised in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”  A quote from the book, Beloved Enos points out that "Nephi draws attention to “afflictions” first, then to having been “highly favored.” In contrast, Enos draws attention first to “nurture,” and second to “admonition.” Nephi could see the overriding hand of Providence in the afflictions he endured. He acknowledges God’s hand in all that he suffered. He was the better for having passed through his life’s ordeals. God’s hand in Enos’ life was more gentle. He needed admonition, as we all do. However, he was perhaps a more willing student, or a more optimistic personality than Nephi. Whatever accounts for this difference, Nephi’s formula includes “afflictions” first, and God’s “favor” second, while Enos follows the formula but adopts “nurture” first, and only secondly “admonition.” So, in the very beginning verse we find a contrast between Enos and the first writer in the Book of Mormon."
 
We all learn differently. The Lord is our Master Teacher and knows  us personally. He will teach us differently and knows whether we learn better through afflictions or less "painful" tutorials.
 
Both Nephi and Enos spent a considerable amount of time in solitude whether in the mountains and/or  in the forests to pray, connect with heaven and commune with the Lord. (I often wonder if Uncle Nephi took his nephew Enos on a few hikes.) We can read in the scriptures that Nephi would hike very early in the morning. The Lord was his alarm clock. The voice of the Lord would come and say.. Get up Nephi.. Arise... and go hiking up into the mountain. We know that Nephi was obedient and would "go and do" as commanded and he arose and cried (pouring out his soul in prayer) unto the Lord. we read: 

"And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been in the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: Arise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord."

and a few chapters later:
 
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given... "
 
Yesterday I took a few photos of the Mt. Olympus mountains just east of my home. It has been rare this winter to be able to see the mountains from the valley due to the pollution and the inversion that settles in Salt Lake. In my opinion, the snow covered mountains peaks are majestic. The signs of our Creator are visible everywhere in Nature.
 


  


I could help notice the natural "cross" that was formed  high on the rocky face.
 

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I've been pondering this for many months now: whether the Lord always needs to use severe affliction to tutor his children who desire to ascend. Certainly there must be some qualifying "trial of faith" in order for there to even be a need for a Second Comforter, but perhaps not always a lifetime of them? (as seemingly in the case of Enos, whose righteous father had received the Second Comforter) Perhaps, as with our own children, sometimes nurturing and admonishment are sufficient tools for the Lord to help a seeking soul find her or his way.

    If only we all had such mountains in our backyards! (and didn't have our Babylonian concept of land "ownership" to deal with when exploring them)

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  2. beautiful; thank you--

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  3. I really liked this post, I was wondering the same thing, but I guess like children, some are quicker to learn the lessons and don't need to experience all the pain, while others learn by experiencing--great food for thought

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