Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I open at the close (1 Nephi 12)

When the movie "Titanic" came out a few years ago, my niece Annie was just a young girl of 9 years.  My sister Susie wanted desperately to see Titanic (who didn't?), but her daughter Annie beat her to it.  Annie came home from Titanic having seen the most wonderfulest movie of all time, and wanted so much to share it with her Mom.  Susie insisted that she didn't want to know anything about it, that she wanted to see it for herself.  Annie argued that she just wanted to tell her this one little part.  Susie continued to try and convince her that she didn't want to know, but Annie persisted.  Susie gave her permission to hear just one little insignificant part of the movie.  Annie says, "Leonardo dies!" and then burst into tears.  To this day, whenever someone from my family goes to a movie and someone else wants to know if it was good, the reply is always the same:  "Leonardo dies!"

Spoiler Alert!!!  If this is your 1st time reading the BOM and you don't want to know the ending yet, don't read 1st Nephi chapter 12 or this post.  Nephi is about to be shown 3rd Nephi, 4th Nephi, Mormon and Moroni in his continuing vision, and, like Titanic, it doesn't end well.  Leonardo does, indeed, die.

There are some good things, however.  Nephi witnesses what happens in the Americas when Christ is crucified in Jerusalem.  He witnesses The Savior's resurrection and appearance to his and many of his brothers' descendants.  And, he sees that for the majority of the next 1000 years, many of his people will choose righteousness.  It's just that one little part about all of them being slaughtered in battle that must have been hard to for Nephi to see.


[dwin-dl] Show IPA verb, -dled, -dling.
verb (used without object)
1. to become smaller and smaller; shrink; waste away: His vast fortune has dwindled away.
2. to fall away, as in quality; degenerate.
verb (used with object)
3. to make smaller and smaller; cause to shrink: Failing health dwindles ambition.

It's gotta be pretty depressing to see all of your posterity dead on a battlefield, but to Nephi, a spiritual giant with eternal perspective, it must have been devastating to see them dwindle and perish in unbelief.  After all, that was why he killed Laban, wasn't it?  The angel told him to kill Laban because it's better that he perish than a whole nation dwindles and perishes in unbelief (1st Nephi 4: 13).  Maybe the angel wasn't talking about just the Nephites.  Maybe he was talking about the whole House of Israel.  That's us, man.

Photo by Victor Lucas
Chapter 12 continues Lehi's dream with the interpretation of the mists of darkness and the large and spacious building.  The photo above makes my hairs stand up just looking at it.  I would never try it, especially in foggy weather. 

1 Nephi 12: 16-18

16.  And the angel spake unto me, saying:  Behold the fountain of filthy water which thy father saw; yea, even the river of which he spake; and the depths thereof are the depths of hell.
17.  And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost.
18.  And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men.  And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yeah, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever.

The Holy Ghost conveys the Word of God to us, encouraging, teaching, guiding us along the narrow path to Christ and the fruit of His tree of love.  The call of the world can be loud and attractive, and its roads can be wide and seemingly easy to travel upon. They ain't easy, though, and continued traveling on them may end in disaster.  Eventually, there is ALWAYS an iceberg.  It's too late for Leonardo, but fortunately for us, there are plenty of lifeboats for all.

Forgiven -by Greg Olsen

Peace be with you...


  1. That is a funny story about Leonardo. And a good post about 1 Nephi 12.

  2. Loved the plot spoiler ancedote....and you are an amazing story re-teller!! (Add that to the list of talents you possess!)

  3. Thanks Mormon guy. Thanks Dawn. Good Sabbath.

  4. So great! I LOVE reading your perspectives and your humor is so original and priceless!