“Why Do Ye Ponder?” – 2 Nephi 32:1, 8

I would describe Nephi’s tone in 2 Nephi 32 as exasperation. He is writing to people who have entered the strait gate—repenting of their sins and being baptized—and who are now on the narrow path, and yet are wondering what they should do next.

Nephi is dumbfounded. “Why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?” he asks (2 Nephi 32:1). Don’t you know that, when you were baptized, you received the gift of the Holy Ghost? That is your answer—you listen for the quiet promptings of the Spirit of the Lord. The Holy Ghost “will show unto you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:5).

What if you don’t hear or feel any promptings? Then you need to take some action: ask, knock, search, try to understand the revelations you have already received. Discipleship is not a passive experience; we don’t simply wait for instructions to appear. We have to proactively seek for knowledge and understanding.

At the end of the chapter, Nephi’s frustration comes to the surface again: “I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing” (2 Nephi 32:8). What thing? The importance of prayer: consistent and persistent prayer. “Ye must pray always and not faint,” he says. “Ye must not perform anything unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray” (2 Nephi 32:9).

Two years ago, President Russell M. Nelson pleaded with us to “increase our spiritual capacity to receive revelation” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” General Conference, April 2018).

Last fall, he responded to the question, “How do I draw the Savior’s power into my life?” with the following answer: “You won’t find this process spelled out in any manual. The Holy Ghost will be your personal tutor as you seek to understand what the Lord would have you know and do. This process is neither quick nor easy, but it is spiritually invigorating” (“Spiritual Treasures,” General Conference, October 2019).

And last week, President Nelson invited us to “think deeply and often” about the question  “How do you hear Him?” He also invited us to “take steps to hear Him better and more often” (“‘How Do You #HearHim?’ A Special Invitation,” 26 February 2020).

This morning, during my personal morning prayer, I had a good feeling about one of the meetings I was scheduled to attend. I went into that meeting with confidence because of that feeling, and it was a successful meeting. I’m grateful that I took the time to pray and to listen for answers as I prepared for the day.

Today, I will remember that a disciple of Christ need not wonder what he or she ought to do. We will be taught by the Holy Ghost as we pray and as we listen. We will be guided along the strait and narrow path by personal revelation.

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