1 Nephi 4-6 is an illustration of the importance of the scriptures in our lives. Their value is demonstrated as several lives are “on the line” for the Plates of Brass. The Lord sent Lehi’s sons through the wilderness, back to Jerusalem, to obtain the Brass Plates (1 Nephi 3:3,19-20; 4:14-17; 5:10-17). These Records were so important that a man had to lose his life so that a nation could be saved (1 Nephi 4:13).
When the Brass Plates were retrieved, the first thing that Lehi did after giving thanks to the Lord (1 Nephi 5:9) was to “search them from the beginning” (1 Nephi 5:10). After which “he was filled with the Spirit, and began to prophesy” (1 Nephi 5:17). I know that we too will be “filled with the Spirit” as we “search” the scriptures with the same desire.
I experience this “Scripture Power” each time that I put forth the effort to read God’s Holy Word. As Lehi, I have also “found that they [are] desirable; yea, even of great worth” in my life (1 Nephi 5:21). And as Nephi testifies, I also bear witness that “it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us” as we journey towards our Eternal Promised Land (1 Nephi 5:22).
It is obvious that the Lord is trying to help us understand the great worth of the Word of God. As you and I study the Book of Mormon for the next 83 days we will surely receive an added witness of the power that the Lord intends to bless us with through His scriptures.
NOTE: Recall that after Lehi’s sons had returned with the Brass Plates, the very first thing that the family did was “offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord; and they gave thanks unto the God of Israel.” (1 Nephi 5:9) And it was only “after they had given thanks unto the God of Israel” that “Lehi, took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning.” (1 Nephi 5:10-11, emphasis added) Now I am pretty positive that a large part of the thanks that was being offered to God was gratitude for the safe return of their sons. But it seems to me that they were probably pretty grateful that they had the scriptures as well. I would like to extend a similar invitation to all those studying the Book of Mormon. Meaningful scripture study will require some type of sacrifice on our part. You have probably already realized that in just two days. But it would be well for us to begin our daily scripture study with a prayer of thanks and plea for help. Perhaps you already do, but if not, please consider the following counsel from Elder Dallin H. Oaks:
“There’s one thing that I’ve learned about scripture study… and that is that it is a great mistake to try to read the scriptures like you read a magazine or a newspaper. What I refer to is the fact that I pick up a newspaper and I just read it, or I pick up a magazine or a textbook and I just read it. But when I pick up the scriptures, I’m picking up the word of God, written by prophets under the influence of the Spirit of the Lord. Those should never be read without praying over them first.
“When I go to the table to eat, I don’t take physical nourishment without asking the Lord to bless that food to nourish and strengthen my body. Similarly, I think when we study the scriptures, we should bow our head and pray—often it would be silently because of the surroundings—but we would pray that the Lord would bless us that we’d be able to understand what we’re reading and that the act of reading the scriptures would summon the Spirit of the Lord to guide us on things other than simply the meaning of what we’re reading. In this way the scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim to help us receive revelation. But it begins with prayer; it doesn’t begin with reading, like a newspaper or a magazine.” (“A Panel Discussion with Elder Dallin H. Oaks,” Seminaries and Institutes of Religion Broadcast, August 7, 2012)
We PRAY before EATING. Why not PRAY before READING?
A couple articles that may interest you that go well with these chapters are:
- THE PLATES OF BRASS: A WITNESS OF CHRIST
- THE INFLUENCE OF THE BRASS PLATES ON THE TEACHINGS OF NEPHI
Here is a brief video clip about the importance of preserving the scriptures in modern day:
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