Friday, January 27, 2012

Peppermints and Hungry Elephints (1 Nephi 16, part 2)

Me at Hueston Woods State Park in Ohio, about 100 years ago.
When I lived in Oxford, Ohio I used to like to ride my bike out to Hueston Woods.  Hueston Woods was my go to place whenever I felt down or blue, or troubled by some foolish game, it always seemed to make me change my mind.  I had a lot of spiritual experiences there, and one scary experience with a demonic beaver I'll have to tell you about sometime.

From my apartment in Oxford out to Heuston Woods was 5 miles.  The loop road that went around the park was 10 miles around.  So the whole round trip was..., let's see... yeah, 50 miles or something.  Only when I felt real ambitious did I do the whole thing.  One time I was about 3/4 around the loop road when I had an attack of the starving to deaths.  I have a touch of hypoglycemia, ya see, and sometimes it can really wipe me out.  When it hit on this occasion I was alone and had..., let's see, 3/4's around a 10-mile loop plus 5 miles back to Oxford, yeah, about 50 miles to go, I was in trouble.  My brain gets all foggy (or foggier), I start to sweat and shake and stuff.  I lose the connection between my head and my legs.  I was in need of sustenance, fast.  It was a real Paul Blart moment.  I prayed for help.

Voila!!  I was still trying to ride, facing down instead of looking where I was going, a common pose in that condition, when I saw my tire run over an already smashed peppermint candy. I circled around and stopped to pick it up.  It was just peppermint powder in a plastic wrapper.  I poured it down my throat.  Fog clears, eyes open, legs feeling fit, I biked the 62 miles back to Oxford.  A miracle?  Well, prayer is definitely cool, and can come in quite handy when you're drooling.

Being hungry can produce some awful grouchiness.  In 1 Nephi chapter 16, Lehi and the fam are very hungry, and they are getting quite vocal about it.  Laman and his minions are up to their old murmuring ways of course, no surprise there, but Lehi, the prophet of God, joins in this time.  But, I totally get it.  He's an old man.  He's been walking all day. He's starving. 

1 Nephi 16: 18-20
18.  And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.

19.  And it came to pass that we did return without food to our families, and being much fatigued, because of their journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food.

20.  And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my father began to murmur against The Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against The Lord.
Nephi's broken bow
It must have been very hard on Lehi to see his wife hungry.  The life of leisure they left behind them in Jerusalem probably added to their orneriness.  It is surprising that Lehi joins in with the murmuring.  He has a solid testimony of The Savior, and that he can count on Him no matter what.  How could he not know The Lord would provide for them?

Oh no, do I have to apply this to myself?  Rats!!

This ever happened to you:  You pay your tithing like a good boy or girl, then BAM!! your car needs a new car?  When things like this happen, is "The Lord will provide" the first thing that comes to your mind, or is it more often a word that rhymes with BAM!!?  Well, good for you if you never murmur, but I ain't always so quick to remember my faith in such moments. 

A Sorrowful Juxtaposition

1 Nephi 16: 20
20.  ...and also my father began to murmur against The Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against The Lord.

1 Nephi 16: 23-25
23.  And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

24.  And it came to pass that he did inquire of The Lord, for they had humbled themselves because of my words; for I did say many things unto them in the energy of my soul.

25.  And it came to pass that the voice of The Lord came unto my father; and he was truly chastened because of his murmuring against The Lord, insomuch that he was brought down into the depths of sorrow.
Is there a difference in the 2 uses of the word sorrow?  Yup. #1 is worldly sorrow (I'm sorry that I'm so BAM!! hungry) and #2 is Godly sorrow (I'm sorry I was of little faith, and was so quick to complain).  This sorrow thing deserves more time and space than it will get here.  I'll get back to it, if not in 2nd Nephi 4 or Alma 36, then definitely in Ether 8.

Ishmael Died
His kids were pretty upset.

1 Nephi 16: 34-35, 37
34.  And it came to pass that Ishmael died, and was buried in the place which was called Nahom.

35.  And it came to pass that the daughters of Ishmael did mourn exceedingly, because of the loss of their father, and because of their afflictions in the wilderness; and they did murmur against my father because he had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, saying: Our father is dead; yea, and we have wandered much in the wilderness, and we have suffered much affliction, hunger, thirst, and fatigue; and after all these sufferings we must perish in the wilderness with hunger.

Laman & Lemeul, who were in a humble and thankful state just a few verses back, have once again forgot to remember not to forget.

37.  And Laman said unto Lemuel and also unto the sons of Ishmael: Behold, let us slay our father, and also our brother Nephi, who has taken it upon him to be our ruler and our teacher, who are his elder brethren.

This time The Lord yells at Laman and Lemeul:

1 Nephi 16: 39
39.  And it came to pass that The Lord was with us, yea, even the voice of The Lord came and did speak many words unto them, and did chasten them exceedingly; and after they were chastened by the voice of The Lord they did turn away their anger, and did repent of their sins, insomuch that The Lord did bless us again with food, that we did not perish.

Man, that's good news!  Laman and Lemeul are all humble and repentant now, and will no more bother Nephi... until chapter 17.

Closing Arguments

  • Have Faith in God.  He knows you need food for goodness sakes.
  • Accept chastisement from Him with Humility and Obedience.
  • Don't forget to remember not to forget how He blessed you when you were in that other fix.
  • Pay your Tithing, even if an elephant sits on your car.
  • Sometimes your ability to support your family can break, even when it's made of steel.  If this happens, go to the words of the Prophets, go to The Lord in Prayer, He will show you what to do.
  • Don't tell people you biked 62 miles when you only biked 20, unless it's funny.
  • Road kill peppermint candy can save your life.
  • Add yours here.

Peace be with you...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Five Brides for Four Brothers (1 Nephi 16, part one)

Chapter 16's got some stuff in it.  You got your "wicked take the truth to be hard" thing, a big wedding that gave a friend of mine his testimony of the BOM, the Liahona, Nephi breaking his bow, murmuring by the prophet of God, and Laman's bipolar disorder comes back.  This will probably take 2 posts at least. 
A friend of mine mentioned Cognitive Dissonance in his blog recently.  I learned that term in college and it really resonated with me, which is another word I learned in college: resonated.

The definitions and examples they taught us in class, I could take 'em or leave 'em, but this scripture coming to my mind while the prof was talking about it pretty much stuck with me, and I constantly overuse it to explain to myself why people fight against the truth:

1 Nephi 16: 1-3
1.  And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.

2.  And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.

3.  And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.
Cognitive Dissonance, in other words, is:  What I believe my behavior should be is not matching up to what my behavior actually is, and this is making me feel bad.  To rid myself of this discomfort, I will either change my behavior or change my belief.

Example 1:  
  • I believe I should keep God's commandments
  • I don't keep God's commandments
  • I will repent and keep God's commandments

Example 2:
  • I believe I should keep God's commandments
  • I don't keep God's commandments
  • I don't believe God's commandments are that important
  • I don't like these people who hammer these commandments on my head
  • I don't like The Church
  • I need other people to not like The Church too so that I can be sure I'm right
I know I'm oversimplifying a complex issue, and I'm generalizing (and I hate it when I get generalized), but it is true in many a case.  Step number 3 in Example 1 may cause some to say, "Well, it ain't that easy, man."  Ha, tell me about it.  How many times have I had to wash, rinse, repeat; wash, rinse, repeat?  Have you heard this saying:  If at first you don't succeed, join the club?  The Nephies of us will keep trying as long as it takes, applying Faith and a belief in Christ's saving and enabling atonement.  The Lamans among us will give up on Example 1 because it's too hard, and join Example 2, even though, in reality, it's a much more difficult road.

The Dories among us will just keep swimming.

The Wedding

When I went on my mission for The Church, my first companion was a fellow named Peterman.  Elder Peterman had been out for 20 months of his 2 years.  A month prior to my arrival, Elder Peterman had had his first convert baptism.  This was a shock to me, for I had high hopes of the whole state of Kentucky joining The Church.  Anywayz, to the point.  Peterman shared this story with me:  He came out on his mission without a testimony of The Church.  He was obedient and worked hard his whole mission, and prayed consistently to know if the Book of Mormon was true and if, by association, The Church was true.  For 18 months he struggled, then his prayers were answered.  He was reading in the BOM one day, 1 Nephi 16, and came across this verse:

1 Nephi 16: 7
7.  And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife.

Seems pretty simple and lacks extraordinariness, doesn't it?  In Elder Peterman's mind came a thought:  The Lord even remembered to provide a wife for Zoram.  When reading the scriptures, a person can have a thought come to them, and it may be inspiration or not.  There are thoughts, there are impressions, and there are revelations.  This was a revelation for Peterman from Heavenly Father, in answer to many prayers.  After having this thought about Zoram, Elder Peterman felt the Spirit so strongly that tears poured down his face.  He knew absolutely that the Book of Mormon was The Word of God, and that The Church was true.

Me & Peterman in our apt. -Feb 1987.
A month later he baptized his first family, then he trained me for 2 months, then he finished his mission as our Lexington Zone Leader.  He was quite a guy.

South, Southeast Direction

X = Lehi's camp.  Big blue things:  1= Red Sea; 2= Persian Gulf; 3= Indian Ocean, generally speaking.  Big brown thing:  4= Saudi Arabia.  Arrow = Direction of travel. 
So, it's time to go.  When setting out on a journey in this part of the world, it's best to travel with a GPS, a map, some water, and maybe some dehydrated food or MREs (meals ready to eat).  It would be nice to, at least, know where you are going.  

Lehi finds the Liahona. 
1 Nephi 16: 10, 13-14, & 16
10.  And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass.  And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.

13.  And it came to pass that we traveled for the space of four days, nearly a south
-southeast direction, and we did pitch our tents again; and we did call the name of the place Shazer.

14.  ...And we did go forth again in the wilderness, following the same direction, keeping in the most fertile parts of the wilderness, which were in the borders near the Red Sea.

16.  And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.

28.  And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them.
29.  And there was also written upon [it] a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of The Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it.  And thus we see that by small means The Lord can bring about great things.

So, this cool Liahona thing is pretty neato.  It's not only a compass that shows them how to get to their destination, but helps them stay in the more fertile parts of the land (a big plus in Saudi Arabia), and The Lord writes on it from time to time, giving them knowledge and understanding.  Sign me up, man.  I wish I had one of those.

Ah oh, I do have one of those.  It's called the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The gospel shows me where to go, the best way to get there, how to stay healthy on the way, and teaches me the mysteries of heaven, just like Lehi's liahona. 

Oh, man!!!  You mean to tell me I've been making fun of how stupid Laman and Lemuel are because they had this miraculous liahona right in front of them and didn't follow it, and I'm just like them (sometimes)?  Man, I hate being a Laman.  As my wife says, "Shootest Begootest!"

We'll talk more about this when we reach Alma 37: 38-47 (in about 19 months, maybe).

Closing Arguments

You could say that Elder Peterman's mission experience was like a wilderness for him.  He lacked the knowledge he needed to be successful, and needed direction from The Lord.  Teaching people that The Church is true and that they would do well to be baptized must have been difficult when he wasn't sure whether it was true himself.  This became a moment of Cognitive Dissonance for him.  Through faith, obedience and diligence in following the gospel of Jesus Christ, Peterman was able to find his Liahona, the Book of Mormon.  And Heavenly Father wrote something on it for him to find in the morning:  The Lord even provided a wife for Zoram.

Through small means, The Lord can bring about great things.

Peace be with you...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gift of Eternal Life (1 Nephi 15, part 2)

Prophecies abound in the BOM of the descendants of Lehi accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ and coming to the understanding that their ancestors were of the House of Israel.  In the early days of The Church, Joseph Smith felt an urgency to take the gospel to the American Indian tribes that were accessible.  These efforts didn't yield much success.

-William Armitage, 1890

Here's one such prophecy from 1 Nephi 15.  After a little lecturing to his brothers, Nephi tried to explain to his brothers that Lehi's prophecy about the natural branches of the olive tree being grafted in to the true olive tree was about their own kids' children's kids' children.

1 Nephi 15: 13
13.  And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fullness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after The Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fullness of the gospel of The Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed.
14.  And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of The Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of His doctrine, that they may know how to come unto Him and be saved.
Do you think Joseph Smith was disappointed when his missionary efforts among the American Indians didn't yield the fruit he'd hoped?  Maybe.  Did he wonder about the truth of this prophecy?  Oh, I don't think so. Not in the least.

So, how's that prophecy doing now days? Here's part of a talk by Terrence L. Hansen from the Ensign in 1972.

The Church in Central America

This year the countries of Central America are noting the twenty-fifth anniversary of the arrival of the first missionaries there. There are now two missions and a stake, and the way has truly been opened for the Lord’s work. In Guatemala and El Salvador eight chapels are now in use, six are under construction, and several others are being planned.

Membership of the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission in March 1972 was 23,404, with approximately 6,000 in the Guatemala City Stake.

This map is from 2011. All of the dots represent LDS Temples.  In order for a Temple to be built there must be a need for it by way of active members of The Church.  You can check out more info on the Mormon horde at  I copied and pasted a graph here, but it disappeared & won't come back.  Maybe it's false doctrine.

Hey, are you ok?  Wake up, man!  Sorry I'm being boring again.  I'll give you a speech, read 3 scriptures, and I'm gone.

I had some trouble putting this post together.  Google's Blogger has some difficulties sometimes.  When I click on the preview option to see what you would see if I publish it, it shows stuff that I didn't put in or put in, but took out.  It also doesn't show stuff that I did put in.  Anwayz, this is my 4th attempt at this, and so I'm just going to leave it as is.  I think you can survive one lame post, can't ya? 

K.  3 Scriptures...

1 Nephi 15: 20
20.  And I did rehearse unto them the words of Isaiah, who spake concerning the restoration of the Jews, or of the house of Israel; and after they were restored they should no more be confounded, neither should they be scattered again.  And it came to pass that I did speak many words unto my brethren, that they were pacified and did humble themselves before The Lord.
The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in our day and the gathering in of the house of Israel is of great importance. Lehi is of the house of Israel, and so the missionary work going on in Mexico and Central and South America, as well as the Latino and American Indian communities here in the States is very exciting stuff.  The Book of Mormon is a key instrument in fulfilling this prophecy.

1 Nephi 15: 25
25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.
Have you ever had a friend or relative that you didn't bother sharing the gospel with because you just couldn't see that it would do any good?  Nephi saw into the future of Laman and Lemuel and knew what their decisions were going to be, yet he put such effort into trying anywayz.

1 Nephi 15: 36

36.  Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that tree of life, whose fruit is most precious and most desirable above all other fruits; yea, and it is the greatest of all the gifts of God. And thus I spake unto my brethren. Amen.

Peace be with you...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Take from me this heart of stone (1 Nephi 15, part 1)

Nephi is sleepy.

This is a very common experience after a major spiritual experience.  Here's some examples...:

Moses 1: 9-10
9.  And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself.  And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.
10.  And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man...

Joseph Smith History: 20 and 48
20. ...When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven.  When the light had departed, I had no strength...

48.  ...I shortly after [Moroni's visit] arose from my bed, and, as usual, went to the necessary labors of the day; but, in attempting to work as at other times, I found my strength so exhausted as to render me entirely unable.  ... in attempting to cross the fence out of the field where we were, my strength entirely failed me, and I fell helpless on the ground, and for a time was quite unconscious of anything.
Aha!  This explains why I can't make it through my Sunday meet'ns without nodding off.

Anywayz, Nephi was tired when he came back to camp after his multi-chapter vision.  And, considering what the vision had shown him about his brothers and the difficulties these two knuckleheads would pass along to their kids, it must have been disheartening when he returned to find his brothers arguing again.  Don't worry, he took a nap before dealing with them.

1 Nephi 15: 6
6.  And it came to pass that after I had received strength I spake unto my brethren, desiring to know of them the cause of their disputations.

Turns out, they had the very same questions that Nephi had.  The difference was, Nephi prayed for answers while Laman and Lemuel tried to figure it out for themselves.  This brought about Nephi's infamous solution to all such problems:

1 Nephi 15: 8
8.  And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of The Lord?
Their answer really tried Nephi's patience:

1 Nephi 15: 9
9.  And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.
What grieves Nephi about his brothers, and what I want to talk a little bit about, is the state of their hearts.  In scripture language, one who is sensitive to the Spirit or is charitable toward his fellows has a "soft heart", while one who is insensitive, disobedient, and/or mean is said to have a hard heart.  For example:  "Pharaoh did harden his heart, therefore he would not let the children of Israel go." 

Story Time!!!

I remember one time when this heart metaphor really struck me.  I was singing with this stake choir in Cincinnati, preparing for an Easter cantata.  Our music leader had composed and written all of our songs over a period of nearly 10 years.  These songs were steeped in the scriptures, and helped me see things that I'm not sure if I ever would have seen otherwise.  There was a song in there in which the bass line soloed:
"Take from me this heart of stone; make it flesh, even as Thine own."
You may wonder why this simple phrase would stir within me so much.  Well, I don't know if you've ever been involved in a choir that was learning all new and technical (for me) music, but it's a process.  You stumble through your part, trying to learn the words, the pitch, the cues, etc, and it's not for 5 or 6 practices that you finally start to listen to and internalize what you're singing.  Wow, those songs were so inspired.  She (Natalie McKasson) surely received them by revelation.

So ya see, the process of learning 9 songs for our performance brought a spiritual awakening to my own heart, making the above phrase very personal for me.  Singing with that choir remains one of my top 4 spiritual experiences ever.

So, let's get back to some scipturizing.  When reading the scriptures, I try to look for principles.  Remember, a principle is a formula from The Lord, which, if applied, will result in a promised blessing.  It can also be a formula from The Lord describing behavior contrary to His will, which, if not changed, will result in a heap of trouble.

1 Nephi 15: 3
3.  For he [Lehi] truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto The Lord as they ought.
  • One Indication of a hard heart:  Not looking unto The Lord as you ought.

1 Nephi 15: 10
10.  Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of The Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

  • One Result of a not looking unto The Lord as you ought:  Not understanding the gospel.
  • One Result of not understanding the gospel:  Not keeping the commandments of The Lord. 
  • One Consequence of not keeping the commandments of The Lord:  Therefore, ye will perish.

1 Nephi 15: 11
11.  Do ye not remember the things which The Lord hath said? -If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.

  • One Indication of a soft heart:  You will pray to The Lord in faith, believe that you WILL receive an answer, and keep His commandments diligently.
  • One Blessing of praying in faith, believing you WILL receive an answer, and keeping His commandments diligently:  He will reveal awesome things to you.

Personal observation and criticism: 
I have a heart of stone.  I think that way because of my quickness to anger, quickness to judge others, limited resources of patience that run out way too quickly, my lack of faith that I WILL receive an answer, and etc. etc.

Personal goal:
Join forces with The Lord in chiseling away the rocky ridges of my heart.  This must be a combined effort.  The choice of obedience is mine, but the ability to triumph over my own weaknesses comes from Him.  The effort to pray is mine.  The resulting increase in my faith comes from Him.  I can work on having more charity.  Only He can enable this process.  Ya see?  It's like this guy named Robert Millet said:  "Jesus is perfect.  I am imperfect.  Together, we are perfect."

Ezekiel 11: 19-20
19.  And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
20.  That they may walk in my statues, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Like I've said before, I hate it when I see how stupid Laman and Lemuel are and then realize I'm so much like them in many ways.

"Take from me this heart of stone; make it flesh, even as Thine own."

To be continued...
Peace be with you

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The things which I have written are true (1 Nephi 14)

So, Happy New Year to all y'all.  Christmas was a perty busy time, as it is for most, and then my wife and I went to Vegas on New Year's Day and stayed for a few days; it was our anniversary on January 2nd.

Em & me at the Vegas Temple
Anywayz, it's been 10 days since last I wrote, so I hope I can sync my thoughts with my intentions and deliver unto you a most profound and poignant post on 1st Nephi chapter 14.  I highly doubt it, but here's a couple of thinks.

In this, the final chapter inclusive of his vision, Nephi is shown the eventual inhabitants of the promised land (the Americas) to which Lehi's family are on their way, and the future state of the abominable church as opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the days leading up to the 2nd coming of The Savior.  Despite a great effort by Satan and the idiots who support his goals to overcome the Church of The Lamb, followers of Christ, though few in number (relatively speaking) will be found all across the earth.  Key to this victory will be the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

In these pictures: The left is Moroni burying the golden plates, an abridged combination of all the records of the Nephites and the Jaredites (the book of Ether), near Palmyra, New York about 421 A.D.  The one on the right is Joseph Smith in 1830 holding the 1st edition of the newly translated plates, called The Book of Mormon.  

1 Nephi 14: 1-2
1.  And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks.
2.  And harden not their hearts against The Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.

And 1 Nephi 14: 7
7.  For the time cometh, saith The Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other -either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.

The "great and marvelous work" the angel spoke of is the miracle the restoration of the gospel in our day, the coming forth of the BOM, and the spreading of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to every nation on earth, beginning with 6 original members in 1830 in New York state to over 14 million world wide today. 

1 Nephi 14: 12-14
12.  And it came to pass that I beheld the church of The Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of The Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the great whore whom I saw.
13.  And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.
14.  And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of The Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of The Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.
In this world where it seems like there are so many bad ducks that the good ducks don't have a chance, it's nice to understand that the Armor of God can both protect us and enable us.  Being armed with righteousness and the very power of God in great glory is no small thing.  In order to have this blessing applied to us, we must follow the principles contained in the scriptures.

Here's one:

1 Nephi 14: 5-6
5.  And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying:  Thou has beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be well with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of The Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also has heard that whoso repenteth not must perish.
6.  Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against The Lamb of God.

So we come to the end of the chapters covering Nephi's big vision, but not the end of the vision itself.  The angel told Nephi that he must write the vision he has seen up to this point, but that he must NOT write what he will be shown after that point, which included the end of the world as we know it.  That responsibility, the angel said, was given to the Apostle John from the New Testament.  The book of Revelation can be a beast (beast, get it?) to understand, and I guess that was intended to be the case.  The angel told Nephi that John's original writings were plain, pure and precious, and easy to the understanding of all men.  Something must have happened between then and now, 'cause I don't understand so much of it.  It's interesting to me that, although the corruption of the record of the Jews (The Bible) was done by the abominable church, it seems to me it was also part of the overall plan of our Heavenly Father.

And Nephi closes with this groovy verse:
1 Nephi 14: 30
30.  And now I make an end of speaking concerning the things which I saw while I was carried away in the spirit; and if all the things which I saw are not written, the things which I have written are true.  And thus it is.  Amen.
Peace be with you.