While I am very blessed to even be alive, or here at a Brigham Young University, life can still be hard. Although most of the time the worst struggles I face are simply a few bad grades here and there, life for me can still be over encumbering at times. For the past few weeks I’ve found it difficult to balance out my life, not knowing exactly what to do, or where to start. As I have learned from my Book of Mormon (a religious text for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, inadvertently called the “Mormon Church”) class, however, I know that I should simply be thankful for the opportunities given to me. To solve my problems I should complain less, work more, and rely on the power of the Lord, who will never abandon us as long as we are there to accept Him.
This week in class we continued reading the accounts of a prophet named Nephi and his family. In chapter 4 of the second book of Nephi we find a particularly moving psalm. Nephi writes about the last words and death of his father. As he writes, however, Nephi is moved to cursing himself. While previously Nephi is thought of in the highest regard, having obeyed every commandment of the Lord prior to this chapter, here Nephi begins to open up. We observe Nephi exclaiming in 2 Nephi 4:17 “O wretched man that I am!” condemning himself and his “iniquities”. The part that I find most interesting, however, is that throughout all that I’ve read, the worst sin Nephi has ever committed is loathing himself. Out of all the many sins that he could have committed, his only one so far has been to speak badly about himself. While we shouldn’t speak badly about ourselves, I think the fact that Nephi called himself a “wretched man” is actually very humbling. Nephi was a prophet whose life revolved entirely around serving God, and yet he still cannot think of himself as the divine student we see him as. This poses a striking contrast to the world we see today. There are people everywhere committing sin left and right, the most common of which is pride. This same verse about Nephi, is also very endearing to me because it reveals Nephi to be more than who we’ve seen before. Nephi reveals another dimension of his character, showing himself as a true human being who has just as many emotions as any of us. Nephi illustrates himself here as shattered man, heartbroken over the loss of his father as he states “Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of my iniquities.” Nephi faced a real struggle, something that people face every day even now. Loss is not something that is easy to cope with. What’s even better about this same chapter, however, is that within a few verses Nephi has already recovered. Although Nephi laments, he later notes that “[his] God hath been [his] support” (2 Nephi 4:20) turning to the Lord Jesus Christ in the face of adversity. What started out in this chapter as a bearing of grief soon transforms to a wonderful testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel.
In our lives, we should follow the same path as Nephi–choosing faith in God.. When we face struggles and find obstacles, which we invariably will, we should be quick to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ. While we may not be able to completely solve all our temporal problems by turning to the Lord, we can calm ourselves and strengthen ourselves spiritually. If we are in the same boat with the Lord, He can soothe the storms that threaten us daily.
Article by Mark M.