1 Nephi 11:16-17 I Know That He Loveth His Children

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.

2 thoughts on “1 Nephi 11:16-17 I Know That He Loveth His Children

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  1. Thank you. I needed this today. Nephi ‘s words came to my mind this morning validating what I was trying to say to a family member when a discussion started to get heated last night. We don’t know the meaning of all things. Only God does. I rely generally on the personal testimony that I received from the Holy Ghost of the gospel plan which gives me peace about the challenges we don’t understand.


    1. I’m glad this post was useful to you. It’s hard to simply be aware of the limitations of our knowledge, and harder still to admit what we don’t know to others. But we can benefit from following Nephi’s example of sharing what we know and acknowledging what we don’t. Hang on to your testimony, and things will become clearer over time. “All now mysterious shall be bright at last!”


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