“They Knew Not…Neither Did They Believe” – 1 Nephi 2:12-13

When we complain, we are usually focused on what we know. We see that something is wrong, and other people either aren’t aware of the problem or aren’t motivated to fix it. But Nephi said that his older brothers complained because of what they didn’t know and because of what they didn’t believe:

And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father.
And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.
Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets (1 Nephi 2:12-13).

What they didn’t know was learnable with some effort. What they didn’t believe–a future event–could not be known. But if they learned more about the dealings of God, they would have more of a basis for belief.

Nephi also lacked knowledge, and he also found it hard to believe his father’s words. But he had something his brothers lacked–a desire for knowledge:

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers (1 Nephi 1:16).

Nephi’s desire to understand God motivated him to pray. As a result, his capacity to believe was enhanced.

Today, when I am tempted to complain, I will ask myself what I don’t know and what I don’t believe. I will take action to gain the knowledge I lack, knowing that increased knowledge can lead to increased belief.

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