“Great and Marvelous” – 1 Nephi 1:14

The Book of Mormon opens with a vision experienced by Lehi. We don’t know much about what he saw, but we do know that he saw a personage who shone brighter than the sun, with twelve others following Him, a clear reference to the Savior. We also know that he read from a book that his city, Jerusalem, would be destroyed and its inhabitants carried captive to Babylon.

In response to this vision, Lehi made the following declaration:

Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty!
Thy throne is high in the heavens,
And thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth;
And, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish! (1 Nephi 1:14)

I love the dual nature of Lehi’s description of God. He is powerful, and He is merciful. His works are beyond our comprehension (“marvelous”), yet His focus is on us–His children. His throne is in the heavens–beyond our reach–but His power, goodness, and mercy are directed toward us. And if we come to Him, He will save us.

Lehi’s description of God’s works as “great and marvelous” echoes a song sung by Moses, according to the apostle John (Revelation 15:3). It also echoes the words of many of Lehi’s descendants, including a group who interacted with the resurrected Savior centuries later (3 Nephi 17:16-17).

We marvel at God’s works not only because they demonstrate His power but also because they demonstrate His love for us. We are not only amazed by what He can do; we are amazed by what He is willing to do on our behalf.

As I face the challenges of the day, I will remember Lehi’s description of God. I will remember that Heavenly Father has power beyond my comprehension and that He is willing to use that power to help me.

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