16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
I like the way Nephi answered this question from the angel. Sometimes when we are asked a question like this, it can be intimidating, especially in a one-on-one teaching situation like this. “Do you know what the condescension of God means?” Surely an angel knows more about that topic than a mortal. Surely he wouldn’t have asked the question unless he had something to teach Nephi on the subject. It would have been easy for Nephi to say, “No. What does it mean?” But as an active learner, Nephi didn’t do that. He led with what he knew, then signaled his willingness to learn more by acknowledging his limitations.
Reaffirming what he already knew was an important step to receiving further knowledge. By testifying that God loves His children, he established a foundation on which the angel could build. In our quest for spiritual knowledge, we need to start with the truths we already know, and build from there.
Today, I will stand on solid ground by affirming the truths I know, even as I acknowledge that I still have much to learn.