I was at a friend’s birthday lunch on December 31st. A wise older women there told me about a youtube channel for Come Follow Me, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ home centered, church supported curriculum. Two seminary teachers in Orem, Utah have been posting their lessons online and it is like having two funny, knowledgeable friends show up every morning to help me read my Come Follow Me assignment. It’s called “Don’t Miss This”.
They have a workbook you can buy, which I haven’t purchased, and if you sign up at https://www.emilybellefreeman.com, she will send you her free newsletter, with some of the quotes they use. It took about a week to see that. They also recommend a study guide by Thomas Vallerta, which I promptly picked up. I like this book because in the margins the authors have good questions and quotes from prophets with the source. It is available through deseretbook.com.
I have watched “Don’t Miss This” everyday for the past two weeks for 5-7 minutes as I piecemeal their lesson for the whole week’s assignment. Their whole lesson lasts about 40-45 min. I nibble a little each day– I really love their insights. This week, January 6-12, 2020, between minutes 20-30, the story of Nephi obtaining the plates of Laban, in the Book of Mormon, was so relevant and meaningful for me.
Lehi’s family has only been out of Jerusalem for a few days when they are directed by the Lord to return for the plates. The first time the four brothers cast lots and “the lot fell on Laman” and therefore he has to go to ask Laban for the plates. That results in Laban’s anger and he declares, “Thou are a robber and I will slay thee.” On their second attempt to get the plates, Nephi and his brothers bring “our gold and our silver, and our precious things.” Laban promptly takes their treasure and sends his servants to slay them. Here is the insight I appreciated. On Nephi’s third attempt to get the plates from Laban, he alone “crept into Jerusalem”. After two botched attempts, Nephi alone, fearful but determined obeys the Lord. He said, “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” Emily Belle Freeman says, “Sometimes we have to creep into the city for the “never-the-less” moment. Never-the-less, I will obey. Because you are not going to learn the lesson until you go.” She goes on to say that all three brothers, Nephi, Laman and Lemuel were there with Lehi–they all left Jerusalem, but Nephi is the only one who was changed, who progressed spiritually and became stronger because of the hard things they went through. The other two went through the motions, they showed up, but they weren’t changed.
Sister Freeman continues, “One of those three people had a life changing experience, in his heart. The difference between Laman and Lemuel is desire. Nephi wanted to know if the God of Lehi was real.”
David Butler, also above, said that Elder Rasband mentioned in a recent fireside, “protection scriptures” which are scriptures we lean on during hard times to give us strength. He mentioned 1 Nephi chapter 4:1, Nephi is speaking:
“And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?”
David Butler said “Nephi references the parting of the Red Sea, and says that Nephi is saying,”No one has opened up an ocean before, if God did that for Moses, then He will do that for me.” David Butler called it “Bravetrust”. We can be brave if we trust in the Lord. And as we trust in the Lord we become more brave. David Butler said that Nephi changed after getting the plates. “He is a different person in chapter 3 compared to chapter 5.” I thought about this insight for the rest of the day, how I can have more “bravetrust”?
These two know their stuff and are bringing the Book of Mormon alive for me, through the Come Follow Me curriculum. “Don’t Miss This”!