Sunday, January 14, 2024

Sunday, Sunday

We had a busy Sunday (again) this week. After sacrament meeting Miriam was sustained as the first counselor in the YW class presidency. Then we rushed off to primary to listen to Zoë give a talk. From there we headed to YM where Benjamin was ordained a deacon. Busy.

Zoë started writing her talk on Thursday night (I didn't find out about her talk until Thursday morning) and she wrote a very lovely paragraph retelling the story of Nephi and his brothers heading back to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates. I told her it was lovely, but that it could use some...further thought...because of course people think of 1 Nephi 3:7 when given the prompt of "I will go and do as the Lord commands." 

We spent some time talking about it over the dinner table, sharing stories about when we've "gone and done" and other scriptures that connect back to 1 Nephi 3:7. And then Zoë and I revisited her draft. Sometimes she dictated and I typed. Other times she asked to sit in the pilot seat and type for herself. 

This was the final product:

The topic I was given comes from 1 Nephi 3:7— “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

When I think about Nephi’s vow to “go and do,” I think about faith, loyalty and attitude.

Nephi and his brothers were sent back to Jerusalem by their father, Lehi, to get the brass plates. In the wilderness, Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi decided who would try first. Laman ended up going first, but he didn’t stay for long. Laban threatened to kill Laman, so Laman ran out of Jerusalem as fast as he could. Next, it was Nephi’s turn. Instead of finding Laban in his home, Nephi found him passed out drunk in the street. Nephi killed Laban with his own sword, but instead of just stabbing Laban, he sliced off Laban’s head. This was a thing that Nephi didn’t expect to do—and which was difficult for him to do because murder is really a pretty big sin—but he did it because he knew God was telling him to do it.

Importantly, Nephi said that he was “led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which [he] should do.”

This story shows faith because Nephi believed in God and knew God would help him. It also shows loyalty because while Laman and Lemuel were spending their time murmuring and complaining against their father and his visions, Nephi spent time praying and trying to understand why he had to go. He was loyal to both God and his father by going to get the brass plates. This story also shows how attitude affects your experiences.

I learned that the hard way. I was on the way home from Canada, in a plane with my mom, Miriam, and Phoebe. I got mad at Mom for asking me to put one more thing in my backpack while we were packing up because we were getting ready to land. A few minutes later, I got hot because I was wearing a new sweater that I just got in Canada. I took it off and when we were getting off the plane, I forgot it because I was thinking about how mad I was instead of what I needed to be responsible for. Unfortunately, we never got my sweater back.

My mom understands about bad attitudes because sometimes she has bad attitudes as well. She told me that when she was young, her mom would ask her to help put away piles of folded laundry. My mom never wanted to so she would moan and groan and say, “Uggggh! Fine! I’ll do it!” And she would, but she didn’t have a good time doing it and all her complaining didn’t make my grandma happy, either.

But then one day when my grandma asked my mom to help, my mom thought she’d try an experiment and instead of moaning and groaning she would just say, “Sure! I’ll do it!” So she happily picked up some piles of laundry and put them away and guess what! She found out she was much happier when she had a good attitude than when she had a bad attitude. Now one of my mom’s favourite scriptures is Doctrine and Covenants 123:17 — “let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power.” (She even has a magnet of that scripture up on our fridge). 

I hope that we can all do many good things cheerfully (even if we don’t want to do them, or perhaps especially when we don’t want to do them). Because if you don’t, you'll forget your sweater on the next plane you ride! Just kidding. Because when we cheerfully do things that the Lord or our parents have asked us to do, it will fill our hearts and our homes with peace.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

She was pretty proud of (1) her little joke at the end where she refers to losing her sweater a second time and (2) the fact that she got tell everyone how her mom understands about bad attitudes because she has bad attitudes as well.

"Like, even as an adult you do!" she told me. "Even as a mom! And sometimes that's understandable because you're tired because Phoebe keeps you up and sometimes...sometimes you just have a bad attitude!"

Guilty as charged.

Sometimes I have a stinky attitude. But because I sometimes have a stinky attitude I can also confidently testify that having a good attitude about things is much better.

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