I love the stories in the Book of Mormon. Today I was reading about a prophet named Nephi and his brother, Jacob. They left Jerusalem in the year 600 B.C. and came to the Americas. Nephi’s father, Lehi, was a prophet in Jerusalem during the time of Jeremiah. Nephi kept the record after his father died, and then passed the sacred records to his brother, Jacob just before his death.
Here’s what I read this morning:
1 For behold, it came to pass that fifty and five years had passed away from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven.
2 And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi.
3 For he said that the history of his people should be engraven upon his other plates, and that I should preserve these plates and hand them down unto my seed, from generation to generation.
4 And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates, and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.
5 For because of faith and great anxiety, it truly had been made manifest unto us concerning our people, what things should happen unto them.
6 And we also had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.
7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness.
8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.
I am always fascinated when I read about records and journals and written accounts of peoples who lived long ago. It seems God always asks his prophets to keep records which will be of great value to people in some latter day. In this case, Jacob is instructed to write preaching that was sacred, revelation which was great, prophecies and heads (or headlines) of what was going on in his world–as much as possible–for Christ’s sake and for the sake of his people.
I feel the same about my own personal records, which contain many of those same kinds of things relevant to my own little life. I feel compelled every day to write and record my story and my experiences. Like Nephi and Jacob, we are also preparing for Christ to come, this time for the 2nd time.
This is why I’ve left my home and family and friends and all I love to be where I am right now, helping to bring others to Christ. I am happy and feel great joy every single day.
Art work: The Prophet Isaiah foretelling Jesus’s birth by Harry Anderson and the Prophet Moroni keeping a record of his people on metal plates by Arnold Friberg.