During February, I studied journeys in the Book of Mormon. In particular, I’ve been interested in learning how I can more effectively work toward achieving long term goals, including maintaining my focus and commitment over time, and inspiring others to participate. During the month, I studied the following stories of journeys:
- Lehi and his family leave Jerusalem and travel to the promised land (1 Nephi 2-5, 7, 16-18).
- Zeniff leads a group of people from Zarahemla back to the land of Nephi (Omni, Mosiah 9-10).
- Ammon travels to find the people of Zeniff (Mosiah 7-8).
- Limhi leads his people back to Zarahemla (Mosiah 19-22).
- Alma leads his people back to Zarahemla (Mosiah 23-24).
- The people of Ammon move to Jershon (Alma 27).
- Various explorers travel to the north countries (Alma 63, Helaman 3).
- Jared and his family travel to the promised land (Ether 1-6).
Here are some of the principles I learned through my study:
Faith and Humility
- We have to be willing to follow promptings from God without seeing the end from the beginning. God will send help along the way, which will help us recognize that we’re on the right path.
- We need to believe not only that God can do anything, but also that we can do anything with God’s help.
- A gospel perspective makes all the difference as we strive to make good decisions.
- We can ask God to soften our hearts and help us believe.
- Patience is closely aligned with faith, because it represents faith sustained over a period of time.
- When we reach a significant milestone, we must not stop moving forward until we achieve the final goal.
- A decision to do nothing is itself a decision. Take advantage of the opportunities you have, without worrying too much about what you might have done instead.
- We should prepare for adversity, knowing that the difficulties we face will ultimately move us toward our destination. In fact, as we experience challenges of increasing size, we can see that as evidence that we are progressing and becoming stronger.
- Our failures can serve important purposes. We need to look for the lessons we can learn from them.
- We can identify creative solutions if we resist the temptation to harden our hearts.
- We need to be humble and teachable along the way. When we encounter warnings that we need to repent, we should heed them.
- We need to speak up and stand up for what is right.
- A leader can calm the fears of the people around them. They can also help people visualize a future worth working toward.
- A true leader is focused on doing what needs to be done, without regard for status or recognition.
- We make better decisions when all voices are heard.
- We can invite others, but only God can soften their hearts.
- We can’t pray away another person’s agency. We can, however, pray to know what we can do to help them.
- God will answer our prayers, but He may wait for us to figure out what we need to ask for before giving it to us.
- An important aspect of prayer is listening and allowing God to teach us.
- We need to be constant in prayer.
- We will love our ancestors more and be motivated to learn about them when we remember the debt we owe to them.
- We should strive to forgive quickly and completely. By forgiving others, we free ourselves of a burden we would otherwise carry.
- Gratitude becomes meaningful when we express it verbally.
- Sometimes, what motivates a journey is compassion for other people. We should pay attention to the needs of the people around us.