Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lesson 2: All Things According to His Will

I am not teaching this week, so will not be posting a lesson, but thought I'd at least post some links.

Mandatory reading:
Optional, official church site reading:
Class Member Study Guide.
Teacher's Manual.

Optional, "Philosophies of Men" reading on lesson 2:

These are the few sites I've discovered with lesson content, I'd love to know if you have other online sources for gospel learning!

After a great lesson by my team teacher, I just wanted to post a few of the things that stood out to me in this lesson.
  1. We discussed Lehi's revelations. I find it very interesting that in his second vision, "the first (Christ) came and stood before my father, and gave him a book, and bade him that he should read. And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord." (1 Ne. 1:11-12, emphasis added). Do we discount the amazing revelations we've received in the form of books given to us by the Lord, simply because we've received them in a more conventional manner?
  2. In Lehi's third vision (as least as recorded by Nephi), he is commanded to leave Jerusalem. We had a bit of discussion as to how long it took Lehi to do this. Some people were of the opinion that Lehi had the dream and left the next morning. I find it hard to believe that it's even possible to prepare for a journey of this kind so quickly. I have four kids and can't get us ready for a weekend away without a couple of days to do laundry, pack, and make other arrangements. But I think the timing of Lehi's departure is pretty insignificant. What seems relevant to me is that he was prepared to obey, and did. I doubt that we will ever be asked to obey in this exact way, but it prompted some dinner table discussion on preparedness at our house, and we will be focusing on preparedness in our next few family home evenings. It will be a great opportunity to update our emergency backpacks, and work on the emergency preparedness merit badge with our two scouts. As I tried to remember talks on preparedness from General Conference, I thought of one given by President Hinckley at the Priesthood session back in 1998, To the Boys and to the Men. It's title is deceptive. It is not just for the boys and men, but a great reminder of the peace available to all those who are prepared, both spiritually and temporally. I highly recommend reading (or re-reading) this.
  3. Of course we discussed Nephi killing Laban. I've never really been satisfied with the "better that one man perish" justification. The Lord obviously could have provided a way for them to have these scriptures without the breaking of another (pretty major) commandment. Is it an Abrahamic test? And is it included in the narrative as a sifting process for readers? My favorite theorizing on this dilemma is that of Elder Holland, in a BYU devotional talk, The Will of the Father in All Things. The whole talk is good, but the part about this story is found under the subsection "Obedience, the First Law of Heaven."
  4. Finally, we discussed the power of oaths in Nephi's day, as evidenced by the way Zoram "takes courage" and Lehi's sons' "fears did cease" once an oath had been sworn. Brother Gustin mentioned a talk by Elder Callister, Becoming Men and Women of Integrity. You can download the MP3 or PDF version of his talk for free here, or watch the talk here. It's excellent.

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