Ship building, Anyone?
Recently I began reading the Book of Mormon again from the beginning. I love the beginning. I love reading Nephi’s words! I love his story and I love his faith! One of my favorite sermons is after his brothers are complaining and murmuring and withholding their labor from him in his efforts to build a ship. As Nephi sorrows over their obnoxiousness, his brothers begin to rejoice and say things like, “Ya….we knew you couldn’t do it!! You are just like Dad, thinking you can do these great things. Right!” Then he pretty much rails on them by bringing up the history of things they agree with, like Moses freeing the children of Israel from Egypt and the many, many miracles that happened as they traveled through the desert for 40 years and then eventually kick the people out of the land they used to live in (you know, before they were slaves in Egypt, so its been a while), and then inhabit that land.
As I was reading that part of the story (1st Nephi 17) , these verses hit me like a ton of bricks:
49 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should abuild a ship.
Now, what does that have to do with our conversation? I’ll give you a hint: for he is full of dgrace and truth.
In my personal scripture study, I often insert the term “enabling power” whenever I encounter the word grace. Consider, for example, this verse with which we are all familiar: “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23). I believe we can learn much about this vital aspect of the Atonement if we will insert “enabling and strengthening power” each time we find the word grace in the scriptures.
If I insert the words ‘enabling power’ into that scripture, it sounds like this, “Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of enabling power and truth.” That means, with the Savior’s help, I can do all things that are asked of me, by the Lord. I have the power to do it, even when I do not think I do, because He will help me through his grace, which he is ‘full of’ according to Lehi. He can instruct me to do things I do not know how to, and things that are completely overwhelming to me, just like he instructed Nephi to build a ship.
What has the Lord asked you to do that seems overwhelming and impossible? Have you asked for the enabling power of the Atonement to help you along?