Summary: Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost—Men must pray and gain knowledge for themselves from the Holy Ghost. Between 559 and 545 B.C.
Wow, it seems that my "assigned" chapter for the week is always perfect for me, for that time. I LOVED this chapter because of its sweet simplicity. It's a short one, but its poignant. The main topic/doctrine is: PRAYER. In my patriarchal blessing it states: "Prayer is one of the most repeated commandments our Father has given us to keep us safe and to ward off the fiery darts of the adversary. Forget not to pray." Nephi is reminding us in this chapter, the power and purpose of prayer and the pattern of the Holy Ghost's enlightenment.
I love how the chapter begins speaking of pondering. I think this is how all prayer and revelation and communications with the Lord should and do begin. We think and review ideas and thoughts in our mind before we verbally express them to others or before we begin searching for answers/clarification. The pattern continues with speaking (as with the tongue of an angel), feasting upon the words of Christ (which tell you all things what ye should do), then asking (knocking).... then the Holy Ghost will show (or confirm) unto you all things what ye should do. The simple pattern of personal revelation is thus:
2- pray (speak)
3- feast (read/study)
5- pray again (ask)
6- listen (for confirmation from Holy Ghost)
The doctrine of personal revelation, as explained in verse 6:
6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall amanifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
What a simply beautiful passage and reminder of how to pray and seek answers. In verse 7 Nephi expresses remorse over the actions of men (their unbelief, wickedness, ignorance, stiffneckedness, etc.). Sound familiar? Yet, he concludes with a powerful summation of the doctrine of prayer:
...For if ye would hearken unto the aSpirit which teacheth a man to bpray ye would know that ye must cpray; for the devil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must apray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall bpray unto the Father in the cname of Christ, that he will dconsecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the ewelfare of thy soul.