Tonight I am entering the part that I usually skip. The part where Nephi documents the teachings of Isaiah. For all the times I have read the Book of Mormon, I have never read these chapters. It was always my cue to skip any chapters that start with compare to Isaiah. These have been too hard for me to understand. You would think if you had to engrave things on plates, you would not be so wordy. Everything is symbolic and for me that is so hard to understand. Who knew if you referred to a cedar and oak tree, you meant proud and lofty.
I am reading in 2 Nephi 10 and 11 and 12
I loved 10:23-25 where Jacob tells his people to “not hang down our heads” and “be of good cheer” We as members of His church should have such great joy in the knowledge we have and should be cheerleaders in spreading that word and promoting optimism and happiness. President Monson said “Fear not , be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith” It shows that the message of the church leaders is much the same as it was in Nephi’s day. As I read these chapters where they are speaking to a large gathering of their people, I think this is much like our general conference now.
As I was pondering these verses, I thought about all the things that I worry about from day to day. Some of these worries can be so consuming and crippling. Will my children find the right spouses, will they be blessed with children, will they be healthy, will we have enough to retire …….on and on and on. There have been times when I lay awake with these thoughts so consuming that I almost dread the future that I cannot control. As I read these things, I felt some peace in the realization that if I focus on coming unto Christ and following His lead and example, I will have peace and joy, regardless of the things that happen. This life is not the prize, but how I live it will determine the much bigger “prize”. That will be the joy that I will feel if I can say I did my best and have no regrets.
In chapter 11:8 it talks about the words of Isaiah being written to lift us up and bring joy and if we read and study these words with the spirit in which they were written, we will find them delightful. We’ll see about that. The fact that I am reading them is no minor accomplishment I hold out judgment as to whether they are delightful!