As I’ve studied the writings of Nephi over the past 7 weeks, I’ve learned the following principles:
- When we receive an assignment from our Heavenly Father, we need to take full responsibility for fulfilling that assignment.
- However, we need to be aware that He is willing to help us fulfill that assignment. He has already prepared a way for us to be successful, and He will certainly send miracles to help us as we exercise faith in Him.
- We should also remember that our efforts are just a small part of His work, and that He will magnify our efforts, so that we can accomplish the tasks He has given us.
- Because of this, we should visualize successful outcomes, commit to finish what we start, and be persistent in fulfilling the will of God in our lives.
Decisions & Priorities
- We should look for permanent, durable solutions to the challenges we face, not quick fixes.
- Remember that the small decisions we make every day will ultimately determine our destiny. Don’t discount the importance of obedience to apparently small commandments.
- Simplify your life. Eliminate distractions from the most important things, so that you don’t neglect the things that matter most.
- Clarify your priorities and make sure that they are aligned with God’s will.
- Happiness doesn’t always come naturally; we may need to work at overcoming negative emotions.
- Be aware of your own limitations and take time to regain strength when needed.
- Recognize the good in your current circumstances, and avoid second-guessing past decisions.
- Accept corrective feedback with humility. Do the hard work of repentance.
- If you are criticized unfairly, don’t allow it to shake your confidence. Think about what your critics might be feeling, and be compassionate toward them. When other people treat you badly, follow God’s example by letting it go, and continuing to love them.
Scriptures and Revelation
- The word of God will help us overcome temptation, and will ultimately lead us to the love of God.
- The truths of the gospel will help us overcome spiritual blindness.
- We need to find joy in our scripture study, seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost as we study, and apply the principles we learn to all aspects of our lives.
- We should be active learners by inviting the Spirit into our hearts and by acting on the guidance we receive.
- We need to be respectful of the knowledge we have already been given. Sometimes, we need to exercise faith by acting on the knowledge we already have before we will be given further guidance.
- Sensitivity to emotion is an important component of receiving the Spirit. We need to remove distractions which may keep us from recognizing His promptings, but we should also recognize that He can speak to us even in suboptimal circumstances if we are willing to listen.
- We have received many testimonies of the truths of the gospel, including the words of prophets through the ages. In particular, the Book of Mormon confirms and clarifies the truths taught in the Bible.
- Ask questions which encourage your students to be active learners of the gospel.
- As we teach the gospel, we help others to receive the power of God in their lives.
The Love of God
- Our Heavenly Father loves us and is eager to bless us. He loves all of His children, and manifests Himself to everyone who believes in Him.
- He can heal all of our wounds, both physical and spiritual. We should therefore be willing to ask Him for help.
- Rather than asking Him to remove our trials, we should ask for strength to overcome them. We should also remember that some of our afflictions may serve important purposes in the lives of the people around us.
- We need to learn to see all of God’s children as He sees them. In particular, we should take care of people who are less fortunate than ourselves. We need to be careful not to worry too much what others think of us, because this can distract us from seeing the needs of the people around us.
Thank you Paul for this wonderful summary guide for applying the lessons of the scriptures in our lives today.
Thanks for the comment, Brent. I was surprised at how much I’ve learned from Nephi in the past few weeks. Neal A. Maxwell was right when he said, “Feast on the inexhaustible gospel. You will never plumb its depths or measure all its metes and bounds.” (Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, 21 June 2003).