And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

1 Nephi 8: Following A Man or Angel

The following compares the differences between the 1830 edition of the BOM and the current edition. I point these aditions out to help add clarity to the story of Lehi in 1 Nephi 8. I highlight the differences in red with underlines.

Current Edition:

5 And it came to pass that I[Lehi] saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
6 And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruitthereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen. (1 Nephi 8 5-11)

1830 Edition
I only include the important verses. Verse number not in original.

[5]And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
[6]And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him.
[7]And it came to pass that as I followed him, and after I had followed him, I beheld myself that I was in the dark and dreary waste.
[8]And after that I travelled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord, that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.

Lehi sees a certain man dressed in a white robe. The man bids Lehi to follow him and AFTER Lehi follows the man he finds himself in a "dark and dreary waste". In the LDS endowment Adam and Eve are cast out "into the lone and dreary world"

So here are the terms Lehi uses...

"I saw in my dream, a dark and dreary wilderness." (vs 4)
"I was in a dark and dreary waste" (vs 7)

Adam and Eve are cast out of the garden to where they now reside, a lone and dreary world. Or as we are also told the world which You now reside. Wilderness is often a symbol for still being in the world, or being left to "wander in the wilderness" until they learn to overcome the world.

It wasn't until Lehi learned to not "follow" this man (angel or man in a white robe) but call upon God and He alone that he was delivered from this world or "dark and dreary waste". Following man will always lead one to the same place, a "dark and dreary waste".

Telestial Kingdom
98 And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;
99 For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas.
100 These are they who say they are some of one and some of another—some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch;
101 But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.
They are "some of" <insert prophet here> but receives not the prophets neither the testimony of Jesus neither the everlasting covenant.

First and foremost is that we are not to follow any man or men. No man is worthy of discipleship. Not me, not another. There is only one who is worth following. He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14: 16). Beside Him there is no other person who can save you (Mosiah 3: 17).

Faith comes from hearing the word of God from one who is sent by God. This can be a servant or an angel of the Lord. We are not to follow or walk in their steps but we should heed their messages. It is not the depth of our study that matters but our connection with heaven. This servant can come from anywhere, or anyplace. In the Road to Emmaus the savior appeared as a man to two disciples. Others are sent to prove (See Abraham 3-4) such as a beggar on the street, sometimes they are sent as a ordinary person. Wherever the message comes from in the world if its sent by God, or whatever the test may be, there is always those who come "disguised" not disclosing their identities to see if one is true and faithful to the "tokens" given to them. When we follow a man, or look to one man believing that man is always right, it will hinder the way, it will prevent us from recognizing those God sends in our path to either test us, to prove us, or to teach us.

There is never one right way because His ways are not our ways. When we believe we are certain He will make us uncertain, when we are comfortable He will make us uncomfortable. When we think there is only one way to do something, he will send a contradiction and if we are not willing to heed those messages we will fail. Than we have a choice, to learn from that experience and move forward or have a hardened heart and halt our progression (definition of being damned). Christ suffered greater contradictions than any man can.
[Jesus Christ] is called the Son because of the flesh--and descended in suffering below that which man can suffer, or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be. (Lecture 5)
Weakness / Mistakes
The Lord gives us what we desire. If we want to follow something or go after something for a time He will let us. Sometimes he will correct us immediately (if we will let him by softening our hearts) or sometimes He will wait for a time so we can "experiment" upon the word and learn from the experience. Other times our hearts are so hard the only thing he can do is wait, with long-suffering, until we are willing to soften our hearts and return unto Him. At some point however, our hearts will be broken. It just may be that it will be the day we stand before our maker in the day of judgment.

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