Alrighty... the last chapter of 1 Nephi!
I am so excited because I just got a copy of Sacred Truths of the Book of Mormon by Leaun G. Otten and C. Max Caldwell... who is a former General Authority and just happens to have married my grandma! He is a man who knows his stuff, I'll tell you what. FHEs or any scripture studies with him are so enlightening! I've been wanting a copy since my parents got theirs, but just got our copy today (as a late birthday gift for my husband). Just in time for my little schpiel on chapter 22!
I'll be totally honest, a whole lot of this chapter went right over my head. I understand that the House of Israel will be gathered in a literal and spiritual sense. The Gentiles will play a big part in bringing the House of Israel the gospel of Jesus Christ (v.9).
But the part that caught my interest, are the promises made to the righteous in the last days (yep! That's us!) among the wars and persecutions. Some of those promises are:
- He will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous (v16)
- He will apreserve the brighteous by his power (v17)
- the righteous need not fear... they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire. (v17)
- the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off. (v19)
- the Lord will surely aprepare a way for his people (v20)
- the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded (v22).
I find it interesting that it is repeated that the righteous need not fear. Fear seems like a never-ending thing to overcome. But I also find that Faith replaces fear. The more faith I have, the less I fear. I, personally, feared losing my children or my husband, but more than that, I have faith that if I did, I would absolutely be with them again. I feared not having enough funds to pay rent or buy food, but I have faith that if I pay my tithing and live frugally, everything will work out! I have many examples of how faith has replaced fear in my life, but I think the point is made. But I also think that if we are not doing what the Lord asks and keeping his commandment, we definitely have reason to fear. Which, hopefully, will motivate us to make things right.
I also found it reassuring in versus 25 and 26 that after those who fight against Zion are destroyed, Christ will "gathers his sheep" and "because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he has no power of the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth." (bold and italics added be me). How wonderful that time will be! If I am not there, for whatever reason, I pray that my children or grandchildren will be!!!