4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.
As Nephi walked toward his home after a miraculous experience, pondering what had just happened and sorrowing that his people had not responded appropriately, he heard the voice of the Lord making sacred promises to him. Mormon doesn’t tell us whether this was an audible voice or whether it was the quiet whisperings of the Spirit to his soul. But he does tell us what the Lord said to Nephi.
Before bestowing upon Nephi the sealing power–the promise that Nephi’s pronouncements on earth would be honored in heaven–the Lord explained to him why He was willing to trust Nephi with this power:
- Nephi had preached the gospel “with unwearyingness.” In other words, he had a track record of working diligently to contribute to God’s work, and he did not become discouraged and give up when he encountered obstacles.
- Nephi had not feared the people, in spite of the resistance and criticism he had experienced. He had demonstrated that he would be loyal to God even in the face of persecution.
- He had not “sought [his] own life,” but rather had “sought [God’s] will.” He had demonstrated that obedience to God’s commandments was more important to him than his own life.
The common denominator in all three of these qualifications is consistency. Nephi had demonstrated over a period of time that he could be trusted to do God’s work faithfully in spite of adversity. He had specifically demonstrated the ability to labor steadily, overcoming exhaustion, persecution, and selfish desires. Thus God could say with confidence, “Thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.”
In the last General Conference, Elder Richard J. Daines said, “Trust is built on integrity…. With each decision we make, we either merit more of God’s trust or diminish His trust” (“Earning the Trust of the Lord and Your Family,” General Conference, October 2017).
Today, I will follow Nephi’s example of consistency. I will pay particular attention to the three obstacles highlighted in the passage above and ensure that fatigue, criticism, and pride do not deter me from doing what is right.