Thursday, June 19, 2014

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Lessons from Lehi June 19, 2014

Like Abraham - the Father of Many Nations
We learn about self-reliance all the time in the scriptures. These examples are amazing! Poor Noah probably gets exhausted - we use him as an example a lot, but for good reasons. What about other awesome prophets who obeyed? Who else was spiritually and physically prepared to leave everything they had behind because the Lord directed it be done - for their protection?
His Spiritual Self-Reliance :

What's not to love about Father Lehi? I always pictured him like a lean Santa Claus with the cool little bead headband that holds his keffiyeh (cloth hat) on. Do not be deceived by appearances, this guy was willing to do everything he was commanded (which is way more brownie points than a midnight flight with magical reindeer once a year). Only he had to escape the "naughty" kids who were threatening his life. Although he had to take a few "naughty" kids with him...sheesh, they're everywhere!
I am guessing he inherited the spiritual gift of dreams and visions from his ancestor Joseph (you know, the dreamer who was sold into Egypt). Before we get halfway through the third chapter in 1st Nephi, he has four visions/ dreams. Some of his family make fun of him, calling him a "visionary man." Well...yeah, they were visions. This is the tool that helped him, his family and the "household" of Ishmael to escape the fall of Jerusalem. That's pretty big. However, having information that something is going to happen and acting on it...are two different things. 

I LOVE what Nephi says (1Nephi 1:20) "...But behold, I, Nephi will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen , because of their faith, to make them mighty, even unto the power of deliverance."

Dang Gina - raise your hand if you would like the power of deliverance from the abominations foretold in our day? OOooOo pick me! You don't have to have dreams to be obedient, but when you SEE the destruction, and you READ in the Book of Life what is going to happen - it tends to be a self-motivator.

His Temporal Self-Reliance:

So, when he is told in a dream to leave, he takes with him:
  • His family
  • provisions
  • tents
That's all folks. We don't really have much information on how much time they had to prepare for their journey outta there, but with threats on Lehi's life my guess is - notta whole hecka. The "colony"  also didn't have much in the way of provisions because we read a little later how they are near starving in the wilderness and upset with Nephi for breaking his bow. But when all is said and done, the Lord makes up for what they weren't able to bring with them - but they had to have a starting point. They also had to know to to prepare the hunted game they found in the fertile parts of the land. Thank goodness for the Liahona though....whew! What a life saver?

If great things come in small packages, 1 Nephi 2:15 definitely fits the bill. "And my father dwelt in a tent." I bet he used his tent often. Maybe even as part of his job. A wealthy man who was willing to leave everything behind to obey. We may never be asked to do that - but I have to ask myself, "What have I been asked to leave behind in our day?"
In 2011 Sister Julie Beck (the General Relief Society) said this in a training to Stake Relief Society Presidencies:

"I have a sense and a feeling as we have watched some of these disasters in the world, that this is a time for us to learn and prepare from these experiences. Sister Thompson gave an testimony of that, and the preparation happens in our own homes. There are not enough tents in the world to furnish every person with a tent unless the members of the church have a tent in their own homes...a simple thing like that. And then the storehouse is pressed down, heaped over and running over in our own homes."

I am so thankful for the tender mercies of the Lord. I love the examples of faith I find in the scriptures. Someday, I hope to meet Father Lehi. I hope to give him a hug, thank him for his example, and maybe squish his cheeks. That's what I do to my dad. :)

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