Sunday, September 27, 2009

I See... the Scriptural Answer to Almost All of Life's Most Difficult Questions

Why do good things happen to bad people, and vice-versa? Why could blacks not hold the priesthood until recently? What is the third estate status of children denied a lifetime on earth because of miscarriage or abortion? Why can't I date until I'm 16? W hy do we tend to treat most poorly those closest to us? Where exactly are the lost Ten Tribes of Israel?

This is just a tiny tip of a large iceberg of seemingly difficult questions about life and the gospel that every member of the Church will have to grapple with sometime during their earthly sojourn. While the obedient response “because God said so” is technically correct, often the natural man in us needs more details.

The prophet Nephi set the example for us in his classic response to an angel's query 'Knowest thou the condescension of God?” (Nephi 11:16) Although he would learn it later, at that moment he did not know. He responded directly with faith: “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.” (Nephi 11:17).

There are very few verses in the scriptures that can claim to contain more actionable doctrine than Nephi's simple profession of faith. In today's terms he was saying that “ I do not know, but that's OK right now. All I really need to know is that God loves us.” It is the Love of God that makes our burdens lighter, even the burden of not being able to completely understand how what is happening to us now fits into his divine plan for us.

On a more practical level, in our family the phrase “Nephi: 11:17” is rapidly becoming a creative euphemism for the more mundane “I don't know:”

“Dad, why do so many people fail to see that socialism is taking over the country?”

“Nephi: 11:17.”

“Honey, have you seen my keys?”

“Nephi: 11:17.”

Have you read anything lately as clever as this blogpost?

“Nephi: 11:17.”


  1. Hey, nice post my favorite Uncle Richard. It's so true, I feel like I know NOTHING!

  2. Wow... favorite uncle... I like that... its a lot better than "crazy uncle!"