Saturday, May 22, 2010
Obeying God, Not Fearing Man
As the voice of the Lord conferred the sealing power upon Nephi in Chapter 10 of Helaman, this statement was made:
"And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." (Hel. 10: 5.)
This is not a commandment, but a statement. It is a description of what kind of person Nephi was. The Lord knew that even endowed with that power he "shall not ask that which is contrary to [the Lord's own] will."
How did the Lord know this about Nephi? Because of what Nephi had done with such unwearyingness: "for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments."
Nephi's prior assignments from the Lord had been done consistently, without letting criticism or threats deter him. He said what the Lord asked him to say, without fear of those who opposed, threatened, or belittled him. He had been "proven" and found worthy. (Abr. 3: 25.) Therefore, even though he may have been misunderstood or resented by his peers, he was approved and trusted by the Lord.
How much better is it to be trusted by the Lord than to be popular with mankind! (Proverbs 29: 25.) What a remarkable relationship this man Nephi must have had. It makes one think that such a thing can only happen when a person is willing to follow in those exact steps. (D&C 121: 20-21)
Obeying God and not fearing man is so rare a thing that when we do encounter it, we're likely to either misunderstand such a person or be offended by him.