1 Nephi 17:53 — LeGrand Baker — “they did not wither before me”

1 Nephi 17:53

53 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that they may know that I am the Lord their God.

It is often too easy for us to let the picturesque excitement of Nephi’s stories obscure the intent of his telling them. This is an excellent example. It would make a wonderful movie scene, and the movie would probably obscure its message even more. Nephi has been telling us all along that his purpose was to show that God has the power to clear the way so that his servants can accomplish their covenantal responsibilities. That principle is a major premise on which the entire book of First Nephi has been built. While Nephi demonstrates it perfectly, he does not stop to explain why it is so. To learn that, we have to recall Paul’s explanation of our premortal covenants with our Heavenly Father in the first chapter of Ephesians and other scriptures. The promise of invulnerability does not preclude our being subject to suffering in this world, but it does preclude the possibility that any external power will prevent us from fulfilling the covenants we made while we were in the Council in Heaven.


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