Today I reviewed 1 Nephi 16 through 18, searching for principles that will help me receive guidance from God. Here’s what I’ve learned:
- God gives us help along the way, not all at once at the beginning of the journey. As Lehi’s family traveled in the wilderness, the writing on the Liahona “was written and changed from time to time” (1 Nephi 16:29). This was not because eternal truths had changed and not because God’s plan had changed, but because He was guiding the family step by step through their journey .
- We therefore need to consistently seek new guidance. We can’t assume that the guidance we received in the past will be sufficient for us to navigate the challenges of the present. Nephi said he “did go into the mount oft, and…did pray oft unto the Lord” (1 Nephi 18:3).
- We need to exercise faith, work diligently, and give heed (pay attention) in order to receive revelation (1 Nephi 16:28).
- Seemingly insignificant thoughts and feelings may be more important than we realize. “By small means the Lord can bring about great things” (1 Nephi 16:29).
- When we approach the Lord in prayer, we must be prepared to receive correction. Lehi “was truly chastened because of his murmuring against the Lord, insomuch that he was brought down into the depths of sorrow” (1 Nephi 16:25). After accepting the feedback and repenting, he began to receive additional guidance.
- Sometimes, the Lord’s guidance comes in the form of adversity. We may not enjoy experiencing roadblocks and frustrations, but when we do, we might ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this experience?” “What is God trying to teach me?” The broken bow enabled Nephi to learn resourcefulness, which later came in handy as he had to create his own tools to build a ship (1 Nephi 16:23, 1 Nephi 17:8-9). The storm which pushed the ship backward for four days helped the family to recognize that they were being directed by the power of God (1 Nephi 18:11-20).
Today, as I seek guidance from the Lord for my family, my job, and my church calling, I will strive to implement these principles. I will consistently seek guidance, recognizing that it will come incrementally. I will pay attention to even small promptings, will be open to correction, and will strive to learn appropriate lessons from the difficulties I experience along the way.