The very first passage from Isaiah which Nephi quotes opens with an indictment. The prophet addresses himself to the people who claim to be the covenant people of God but who aren’t acting like it:
and hear this,
O house of Jacob,
who are called by the name of Israel,
and are come forth out of the waters of Judah,
or out of the waters of baptism,
who swear by the name of the Lord,
and make mention of the God of Israel,
yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness.
Nevertheless, they call themselves of the holy city,
but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel,
who is the Lord of Hosts;
yea, the Lord of Hosts is his name (1 Nephi 20:1-2).
The prophet goes on to remind these people that they have experienced prophecies firsthand: they were told that things would happen before they actually happened. The subsequent events proved the veracity of the prophecies they had heard:
I have declared the former things from the beginning;
and they went forth out of my mouth,
and I showed them.
I did show them suddenly….
And I have even from the beginning declared to thee;
before it came to pass I showed them thee;
and I showed them for fear
lest thou shouldest say—
Mine idol hath done them,
and my graven image,
and my molten image hath commanded them (1 Nephi 20:3, 5).
You heard the prophecy. You saw the fulfillment. You can’t deny that the prophet was inspired of God. What happens next?
Thou hast seen and heard all this;
and will ye not declare them?
And that I have shown thee new things from this time,
even hidden things,
and thou didst not know them? (1 Nephi 20:6, italics added).
These words must have resonated with Nephi, who had gone often to the mountain to pray, “wherefore, the Lord showed unto me great things” (1 Nephi 18:3). He had received a promise that God would lead his family to “a land of promise…which is choice above all other lands” (1 Nephi 2:20). And he had seen that promise fulfilled (1 Nephi 18:23-25). Surely, he now felt the obligation to speak up, to share the things he had learned by his own experience.
Today, I will remember the evidences I have seen of God’s hand in my life and in His church. In particular, I will remember times when things have been revealed before they happened, such as when I received a priesthood blessing or a prompting which was later fulfilled. I will remember that experiences like these, which strengthen my own faith, can also strengthen the faith of other people, but only if I’m willing to open my mouth and share what I know to be true.