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I Will Go and Do the Things Which the Lord has Commanded


volgadon

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In the course of research for some project of mine, I began to look at 1 Nephi 3:7 in a new light.

Nephi declares that he will go and do, because he knows that the Lord will prepare a way.

The footnotes bring up some good examples of the various, separate elements, David declaring his willingnes to go and carry out some action (against great odds), nothing being too hard for the Lord (in the case of a 90 year old giving birth), as well as a whole slew of references in the TG, but such a piecemeal approach is ineffective in gaining a deeper understanding of the story.

We need to first look at the story as a whole. I admit that I am puzzled by the exact sequence of events between 1N 2:6 and 3:1, when did Lehi give his sons the commandment from the Lord, did Sam murmur, etc., but it is periphereal.

Nephi, after speapking with the Lord, goes to see Lehi, his father. Lehi does not know of Nephi's experience, but relates a divine instruction, recieved in a dream. Dreams seem to be the standard means of communication between the Lord and Lehi. The command is to go back to Jerusalem and retrieve the brass plates from Laban. Nephi elder brethren murmured against Lehi, IE rebelled, so now Nephi is put in charge. Lehi thus unkowingly confirms the promise the Lord just made to Nephi in chapter 2.

Nephi is no longer acting as a son in this instance, but as an agent.

I wouldn't be surprised if 'I will go and and' isn't a stock phrase, a formulaic expression, but it is certainly similar to David's statement when going to slay Goliath.

Tehre are plenty of interesting aspects to Nephi's declaration, but what I want to focus on is the phrase 'he [the Lord] shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.'

How would the Lord prepare a way from the POV of anyone living in the ancient Near East? As Malachi 3:1 clearly informs us, by sending a messenger. A messenger is the same word as angel. The literal meaning of preparing the way is clearing the road, removing any obstacles. Something similar is going on in Isaiah 40:3, with the cry in the wilderness to make the paths straight.

In Genesis 32, Jacob sends messengers with gifts before him, to meet Esau.

With all this in mind, we can turn to Genesis 24. Abraham commands his steward, Eliezer, to go back to their old homeland and bring back a wife of Abraham's kin for Isaac. Eliezer brings up a potential problem: what if shhe won't go, should Isaac return there to live?

Most certainly not, is the reply in Gen 24:6. The next verse continues, The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father

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None of this proves the BoM to be true. What it does do is show us the probable understanding of Nephi and his contemporaries and one of the ways in which he might have reached this knowledge of his, that the Lord does not command a thing without preparing a way.

Whenever I read 1 Nephi 3:7, I imagine LDS of the 19 century reading reading it on October 5, 1890 and feeling really good about it. And then reading it on October 7 and scratching their heads. :P

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Whenever I read 1 Nephi 3:7, I imagine LDS of the 19 century reading reading it on October 5, 1890 and feeling really good about it. And then reading it on October 7 and scratching their heads. :P

D&C 56:4 Wherefore I, the Lord, command and revoke, as it seemeth me good; and all this to be answered upon the heads of the rebellious, saith the Lord.

And there were probably some who were very disappointed/disillusioned by the time 1891 had rolled around to a close.

Glenn

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Cinepro, don't let my thread stop you from starting one of your own for discussing doctrinal implications of this scripture in church history.

If you have any comments or citicisms of the subject matter of my post, feel free to add them, otherwise, don't derail my thread.

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As usual, a very astute observation. Thanks for sharing your insights. I've felt that there exists an intentional emphasis upon the mandate to "go," showing Nephi's complete fulfillment of his Father's and by extension the Lord's commandment:

"Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban...Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord..."

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go."

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As usual, a very astute observation. Thanks for sharing your insights. I've felt that there exists an intentional emphasis upon the mandate to "go," showing Nephi's complete fulfillment of his Father's and by extension the Lord's commandment:

"Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban...Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord..."

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go."

Anybody else thinking of Lech-L'cha (????-????)?

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Anybody else thinking of Lech-L'cha (????-????)?

That was the second scripture I ever memorised. 2nd grade. We had an awesome Bible/textbook, with lots of colour photos.

I can see lech-lecha as possibly being in the minds of Lehi and Nephi when the former was instructed in a dream to flee, but the form is different to Nephi (and David's) using will go + will carry out some sort of action.

It is fun to speculate that Lehi echoed Abraham's unrecorded repsonse and Nephi theirs, but wild speculation it remains.

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