Once upon a time, there was a great missionary named Nephi. He taught with power and authority. He prayed mightily for his people. He acutely followed the direction of the spirit.
He also got discouraged.
And boy, did he.
But there is a lesson to be learned from this great man.
But let’s rewind.
Enter Nephi and his brother Lehi.
After teaching among the people of Bountiful, Gid, Mulek and many others, they went to their brothers the Lamanites.
“And it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi did preach unto the Lamanites with such great power and authority, for they had power and authority given unto them that they might speak, and they also had what they should speak given unto them.”
Great success and many baptisms. They must have felt like the new Ammon.
And then they went to the land of Nephi to teach more Lamanites, where they were captured and thrown into prision. Things were not looking so great.
Until suddenly, they were.
A miracle- a pillar of fire encircled them inside the prison, the walls of the prison shook, a cloud of darkness overshadowed them, and a great voice commanded them to repent.
Needless to say, people were freaking out. And thanks to the efforts of a less active member named Aminadab, the Lamanites began to pray.
As they exercised their small faith, the cloud was dispersed, the Spirit ministered unto them and they heard that great voice say this: “Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved.”
And then to top it all off, angels ministered to the people.
And cue the conversion of the Lamanites.
Now don’t forget our friend Nephi.
He continued his mission. And his converts went too, trying to soften the hearts of the wicked Nephites.
But it wasn’t going so great. They rejected him. (For all your scholars out there, keep in mind this is the condensed version. And I am no scholar. Thanks for reading.)
Nephi returns home to the land of Zarahemla. And guess what? They weren’t doing so hot at home either.
You’ll remember Nephi gets up on his garden wall and pours his heart out for the people. He tells them to repent, which they don’t take too kindly to. #pride.
Nephi is constrained to speak to the people, and does so boldly. The then announces that the chief judge has been murdered. Many are skeptical, but after giving them very precise details and instructions, the crowd discovers the chief judge is dead, and Nephi was correct. #nailedit
And this is the crux of my story, friends.
After this eventful evening is over, Nephi is walking home.
“…as he was thus pondering — being much cast down because of the wickedness of the Nephites…”
Now I wasn’t there. But thanks to my own run-ins with the adversary, I can imagine what he may have been feeling.
You’re not good enough.
If only you had tried harder, then maybe the people would have listened.
You’re a failure.
You must not be worthy or things would have turned out differently.
YOU’RE NOT WORTHY.
But just when what I imagine to be the climax of Nephi’s despair was in full swing, something beautiful happened.
“Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word…and now because of thy unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever;”
If you haven’t read Helaman 10 recently, do. It will change your life.
Because sisters, you are worthy.
Let’s look at Nephi. He had incredible spiritual experiences. Miracles, assisting him to preach the gospel. As he began his mission, he was given power and authority. That only comes to those who are worthy.
And yet he still doubted himself. He still struggled. But because he persevered, he was blessed to hear the voice of the Lord.
Before my mission, I had never doubted my own personal worthiness more.
I’ve made mistakes. My past is colored with them.
But what I always seemed to overlook were the hours I spent on my knees, the changes I made and the Atonement that cleansed my life, making me whole again.
If you learn nothing else from this post or this blog, let it be this: SATAN IS A LIAR. And he does. not. love. you.
But God does. And so does He who laid down everything, even his very life for you.
Greater love hath no man than that. You are dear to Him. You are His friend.
I have not audibly heard the voice of the Lord.
One day, I hope to. And my greatest wish is to hear these words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Confession: I have miles to go.
But for now, I can focus on what I have heard.
I have heard God’s voice through His prophet.
I have heard his voice as I study my scriptures and as I pour my heart out in prayer.
I’ve heard his voice in quiet moments in the temple and through the power of the priesthood.
And each time, it uplifts and encourages me.
I am worthy. I am clean.
If for whatever reason there is something amiss in your life, fix it. I say this only because I have been there too. And the greatest peace I have every known has come through the fixing.
God lives. His son, Jesus Christ lives.
Don’t ever give into those feelings of doubt or unworthiness. They are not real.
Listen to the voice of He who loves you dearly.
Trust in the times you have felt the spirit. Those quiet, reassuring moments propelling you forward.
God does not dwell in unholy temples. Trust that the next time you feel his redeeming love.
And go forward.
You are enough.