It started with a private prayer that turned public. It ended with a large crowd arguing about whether or not he was really a prophet. Soon the people dispersed leaving him alone on the steps of the capitol.
That was not the worse of it. In between the private start and public end to his day was an unexpected arrest for conspiracy. He was charged with killing the Chief Judge.
Definitely not a normal day….
God wasn’t too pleased either.
What frustrated God was the vast majority of these Nephites knew Nephi was a prophet. They knew it!
But they were unmoved or even upset when Nephi, using his prophetic powers, uncovered the true nature of the conspiracy of which he was accused. Shouldn’t such a divinely inspired event helped solidify Nephi’s prophetic calling in their hearts and minds?
No, the Nephites were past feeling. They had not only rejected Nephi, but they had walked away from the open and loving arms of their God.
Unfortunately for the Nephites, neglecting a prophet was never a wise thing to do. As a result of their willful rebellion, a civil war soon broke out that was ended by a serious and very deadly drought.
Indeed, neglecting a prophet never yields a positive result
In my opinion, when our church leaders repeatedly teach the same concepts, that is a sign that we are likely neglecting their message. I am convinced when church leaders select a theme for their talks, they are looking at problem, issues, and concerns they feel are widespread.
In an attempt to see if I was right, I put my theory through a very unscientific test.
I looked a seven years of conference talks and assigned each one a generic topic based on its content. Once I established the categories, I tallied up how many time church leaders revisited these themes. Here are the top five topics our leaders have emphasized:
- Personal worship habits
- Repentance and forgiveness
- Individual worth
- Marriage and family
If my assumption is correct, I must ask myself, what am I doing to follow the prophet in regards to these top five themes?
Do I willingly avail myself to the enabling power of the atonement?
Do I seek small and simple ways to serve my family and neighbors?
Do I truly understand that I am a child of God and that He loves me as I am?
Do I devote enough time to my wife and children to make sure they are happy?
In my mind’s eye, I picture poor Nephi standing alone on the steps of the capitol abandoned by his people.
I wonder, does President Monson ever feel that way?