1 Nephi 11:1 — LeGrand Baker — Ponder About Spiritual Things.

1 Nephi 11:1 

1. For it came to pass after I had desired to know he things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, that I never had before seen, and upon that I never had before set my foot.

To ponder, as the word is used here and elsewhere in the scriptures, is to commune with the Spirit. As such, it is the key to knowing the things of God. A striking example of the use of this phrase is “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

After the Savior had spent a day with the Nephites at the temple in Bountiful, he instructed them to go home and ponder aboout what they had been taught (3 Nephi 17:2-3). Similarly, in his journal President McKay introduced a beautiful vision that same way:

May 10, 1921 as Elder David O. McKay and Brother Hugh J. Cannon approached Apia, Samoa.
Pondering still upon this beautiful scene, I lay in my berth at ten o’clock that night, and thought to myself: Charming as it is, it doesn’t stir my soul with emotion as do the innocent lives of children, and the sublime characters of loved ones and friends. Their beauty, unselfishness, and heroism are after all the most glorious!

I then fell asleep, and beheld in vision something infinitely sublime. In the distance I beheld a beautiful white city. Though far away, yet I seemed to realize that trees with luscious fruit, shrubbery with gorgeously-tinted leaves, and flowers in perfect bloom abounded everywhere. The clear sky above seemed to reflect these beautiful shades of color. I then saw a great concourse of people approaching the city. Each one wore a white flowing robe, and a white headdress. Instantly my attention seemed centered upon their Leader, and though I could see only the profile of his features and his body, I recognized him at once as my Savior! The tint and radiance of his countenance were glorious to behold! There was a peace about him which seemed sublime—it was divine! The city, I understood, was his. It was the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness.

But who were they?

As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to a semicircle that then appeared above them, and on which were written in gold the words:

“These Are They Who Have Overcome The World —— Who Have Truly Been Born Again!”

When I awoke, it was breaking day over Apia harbor.{1}

President McKay, who was very sensitive to the Spirit and given to deep concentrated thought, once advised,

You young men who pass through periods of doubt about the reality of the spirit in man, and of the possibility of its being in contact with divine influence, should ponder earnestly on the fact that there is something within you which can become cognizant of happenings or incidents that are entirely beyond the limit of any one or all of your five physical senses.{2}

President Joseph F. Smith introduced his revelation about the redemption of the dead with these words:

1 On the third of October, in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, I sat in my room pondering over the scriptures;
2 And reflecting upon the great atoning sacrifice that was made by the Son of God, for the redemption of the world (D&C 138:1-2).

Just before writing the last words on the gold plates, Moroni called our attention to the story of Adam and Eve and urged us to “ponder it in your hearts (Moroni 10:3-5).



{1} David O. McKay, Cherished Experiences from the Writings of President David O. McKay, rev. and enl., compiled by Clare Middlemiss (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1955), 101-02.

{2} David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals: Selections from the Discourses of David O. McKay (Salt Lake City: Improvement Era, 1953), 516-17.


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