Some things are difficult to write, or cannot be written in a manner that adequately portrays what the writer would like to share. My love of Nephi falls into this category; I simply do not have the ability to express my amazement when I read Nephi’s words. For far too long in my life, I did not know the treasure I held in my hands when I opened those marvelous words of the book.
Section 84 of the Doctrine & Covenants contains what is considered to be the “Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood”. I would like to point to a covenant often overlooked in Sunday school from verse 57 of this section:
And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— (Emphasis added.)
They in this case, are the children of Zion, or us; all of us in fact. And the result of this condemnation is that our minds are darkened; indeed the removal of the glory of God, which is intelligence, or in other words light and truth.
And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received— (vrs.54)
Furthermore, we have much more to gain by believing in and treating with seriousness the things we have received:
And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. (3 Nephi 26:9–10)
If we have an offer of greater things, but have not done what we need to do to receive those things, are we not also by default saying this:
…We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! (2 Nephi 28:29)
We have a promise of more, greater things; and how do we access those things?
And therefore, he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word; and he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full.
And they that will harden their hearts, to them is given the lesser portion of the word until they know nothing concerning his mysteries; and then they are taken captive by the devil, and led by his will down to destruction. Now this is what is meant by the chains of hell. (Alma 12:10–11)
We have been given words by a loving father in heaven, to try us and to see if we will be true and faithful to the things already given us. Note how this ties together:
For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. (D&C 84:45)
Verily, verily, I say unto you who now hear my words, which are my voice, blessed are ye inasmuch as you receive these things; (D&C 84:60, Emphasis added.)
And if his words are his voice:
And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me. (D&C 84:52)
Let us become acquainted with the voice of the Lord, by hearing His words. Nephi saw us, he speaks plainly to us. Nephi is a good place to start. Let us begin by heeding those words.