Note: This post is part of a series “What IS in the Book of Mormon“. A series dedicated to those who believe in the Book of Mormon and enjoy discussing its profound principles, and those who are simply interested in understanding what kind of teachings are found within it. As such, comments here should be reserved for discussing the principle, and not the source, or else they will be removed. For open discussion of the Book of Mormon itself as the Word of God, click here (link coming soon).
The Book of Mormon opens with a poignant personal declaration by an ancient prophet, Nephi, from Jerusalem, about 600 B.C.
He says, in the very first verse of the Book of Mormon, and by way of introduction…
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.
Aside from the gratitude he obviously feels towards his father and mother, and what they had taught him (illustrating itself a powerful principle of parenthood), and his ability to see his afflictions within a higher perspective, he makes three statements in rapid succession, which results in a call to action.
- I have been taught (and blessed with good parents)
- I have been highly favored of the Lord
- I have a knowledge of the gospel (mysteries of God)
And then he uses the word “therefore”, which means in that what he’s about to do, he does because of these things. Then he tells us what he’s going to do about it: “… therefore I make a record…”
Often we have been encouraged to make a record of our own life, to keep a journal, so (among other reasons) that our posterity for generations to come might have the benefit of Nephi… to be taught by goodly parents.
A journal allows the lessons we learn from life to disseminate throughout the generations, cultivating an ever-expanding contribution to the society of our family and friends.
My you find the specific motivations necessary for you to reach the conclusion of Nephi, that you too, might find yourself saying “…therefore, I make a record.”
Let not the lessons you sacrifice so much to learn today, end today.
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