Another of the earliest direct messages in the Book of Mormon comes from the writings of Nephi. This Nephi was raised in Jerusalem at the heart of the Jewish nation. His father, Lehi, was one who earnestly sought the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (who the people of the Jewish nation professed to worship).
In the act of solemn prayer, seeking for the welfare of his people, he received revelation from God, which included a warning of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. In hopes that they would repent and be spared, Lehi began communicating what he had seen to the inhabitants of his city and soon received further revelation to leave Jerusalem because some in the city, unhappy with Lehi’s warnings, were plotting to take his life. Lehi and his family did as they were directed and (in 600 B.C.) were led by God away from the darkening prospects of Jerusalem across long stretches of land and sea to the Americas.
After witnessing and participating in this extraordinary deliverance, Nephi declares the following truths for those who would later read his account:
“…the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.” (1 Nephi 1:20)
-Who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? (see quote from Ezra Taft Benson below)
-What is revelation? How and when does God reveal himself to those living on the earth?
-How important is it to have the power of deliverance in your life and your family members’ lives?
-Is physical deliverance or spiritual deliverance more important? How, if at all, are both types of deliverance related?
-Are the tender mercies of the Lord extended to everyone on the earth? Or, just to those whom He has chosen because of their faith?
-What is faith? And, what kind and intensity of faith do you need to be made mighty through God’s direct participation in your life?
Latter-day Prophets, Seers, and Revelators…
“The Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. …
“… The Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness and obedience enable us to receive these important gifts and, frequently, the Lord’s timing helps us to recognize them.
“We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies” (David A. Bednar, “The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 99–100).
“We must keep in mind who Jesus was before He was born. He was the Creator of all things, the great Jehovah, the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was and is the Holy One of Israel” (President Ezra Taft Benson, “Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Dec. 2001, 10).
“I wish to bear witness of God’s power of deliverance. At some point in our lives we will all need that power. Every person living is in the midst of a test. … Two things will be the same for all of us. They are part of the design for mortal life.
“First, the tests at times will stretch us enough for us to feel the need for help beyond our own. And, second, God in His kindness and wisdom has made the power of deliverance available to us” (“The Power of Deliverance” [Brigham Young University devotional, Jan. 15, 2008], 1; speeches.byu.edu).
“The Lord always wants to lead us to deliverance through our becoming more righteous. That requires repentance. And that takes humility. So the way to deliverance always requires humility in order for the Lord to be able to lead us by the hand where He wants to take us through our troubles and on to sanctification” (“The Power of Deliverance” [Brigham Young University devotional, Jan. 15, 2008], 4; speeches.byu.edu).