God Makes All things Possible Through Him
God promises that if we obey his commandments, that he will “nourish [us], and strengthen [us], and provide means whereby [we] can accomplish the thing which he has commanded [us]” (1 Nephi 17:3). Nephi believed this so much that he proclaimed: “If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them” (1 Nephi 17:50).
Nephi is also famous for saying something similar: “I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). Nephi puts his faith into action so that he and his family could make their way across the ocean to the “land of promise” (see 1 Nephi 2:20).
Nephi Builds a Ship
God commanded Nephi to build a ship, so they could cross the waters (1 Nephi 17:8). Instead of questioning how to do this, Nephi responds by asking the Lord where to find the materials he needed (1 Nephi 17:9). Nephi had such great confidence because he trusted in God (1 Nephi 17:14–15).
Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel didn’t want to help Nephi build a ship, because they didn’t have faith that it could be done. They did not want to work to gain the promises of the Lord (1 Nephi 17:17–19, 45–46). Despite this – and an act of God to get his brothers to help – Nephi showed his faith in Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 17:50–51) by building a ship according to God’s instructions (1 Nephi 18:1-4).
God Makes Us Work For It
Why do you think God didn’t just give them a ship? Why doesn’t he just give us what we need? Jesus Christ even gave a parable where the “slothful servant” had his talents taken away (see Matthew 25:26-28).
It is important for us to do all we can for ourselves so that we can learn and grow from our experiences. We tend to become spoiled when everything is simply handed to us. We don’t work for something, we don’t learn the true value of it. We gain the self-esteem from doing things for ourselves, and we feel joy when we helping others. If God simply took care of everything, we would be deprived of many growth experiences.
God gives us many promises when we are obedient and do our part. List the things the God promises when we are obedient as found in 1 Nephi 17:3 and 1 Nephi 3:7. God will bless you if they keep the commandments and ask him for guidance.
List things you could do to help your families learn the gospel and keep the commandments. Some examples are: encourage daily scripture study, take part willingly in family prayer, help organize and take part in Family Home Evening, pray for family members, show love and kindness to each other, share what you have learned here, and so on. Choose one thing you would like to work on improving during the coming week.
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