8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?
Nephi knew that the Lord has all power (1 Nephi 17:50-51), but he didn’t expect the Lord to do for him what he could do for himself. Unlike the brother of Jared, who had to be prompted to take more responsibility (see Ether 2:22-25), Nephi responded to the new commandment by quickly formulating a plan, assessing what part of the plan he needed help with, and then asking for the specific help he needed. He recognized that the Lord expected him to take ownership of the assignment and to be accountable for its completion.
When Nephi later taught that we are saved by grace “after all we can do,” he was teaching a principle which he thoroughly lived by: do everything that you can, trusting that the Lord will strengthen you and provide assistance along the way (1 Nephi 17:3). Don’t assume that you can do everything alone, but don’t let that fact hold you back. Trust the Lord to help you accomplish what He has commanded you to do. Ask for help along the way, but don’t let the scale of the task intimidate or discourage you. Make a plan, take initiative, request assistance as needed, and move forward in faith.