BOOK OF MORMON
. another testament of jesus christ
containing answers and examples
containing answers and examples
When the Lord commands a Prophet, it comes to pass, right??
Some things take a long time. And this is what drives many people to cynicism. Especially in the current day of a prophet. When a prophet speaks and results don't happen right away, prophecy doesn't seem to come to pass or circumstances change making it seem that the man isn't a prophet. Or how about when a family or group prays for help and the help doesn't come right away or in the way presupposed, there will often be doubtful ones who will say "God doesn't exist because he didn't answer your prayer," or "the prophets word didn't come to pass exactly like he said, therefore they are a false prophet." Did the family pray for their will, or the Lord's will? Often people pray for their will rather than try and discern what is the Lord's will. Its common.
But it depends on the Lord's time-table, doesn't it? It also depends on the will of the Lord.
The Lord's time-table may actually include a "DOUBT PHASE," a "test of faith," or the time period that gives people experiencing a faith-dependent event enough time while waiting for results to actually experience the temptation of doubt... (not that they have to doubt!). In this manner their faith can actually be TESTED. What kind of a test would it be if the Lord gave immediate results, every time, under every circumstance? That would be so much like a science experiment that we could actually call it science! Hypothesis proved! But the Lord has this thing called the time table. He can stretch that for various circumstances, and so it becomes a matter of faith. Some may doubt during this process. Jesus would say "Oh ye of little faith..." when they fail.
If we read the scriptures we can plainly see that the Lord's time table can be very long, such as Noah getting warned about a flood and commanded to build an ark, but it was a long long long time (decades) until any rain ever came. In the mean time he was mocked by all the wicked as he built it looking like a fool to all those watching him and his family do this.
Some other very righteous people had to suffer for a while before the blessings or relief came, or they had to undergo experiencing some humiliating circumstances in the mean time while the Lord teaches a lesson. What am I talking about? Here's some examples:
NEPHI is commanded to get the Plates of Brass. He is obedient, but fails through no fault of his own.
Attempt #1: Draw straws between brothers and have one of them go ask Laban for the plates. FAIL and Laman nearly dies as Laban threatens to kill him. Laman wants to GO HOME. Nephi says, "let's keep trying, be faithful."
Attempt #2: Nephi suggests to get all the family's gold and wealth and TRADE it to Laban. They all go to present the trade. Laban lusts after the wealth and commands his many guards to kill Nephi and his brothers so he can just take it. They flee and barely get away. Laman is livid. Do you think Nephi's faith was being tried a little bit at this moment, wondering why it wasn't working out? He had prayed and knew it was the will of the Lord. WHY?? They beat Nephi and Sam with a rod, an angel intervenes, and calls Nephi the leader and says to try again. Go to Jerusalem again.
Attempt #3: Nephi is renewed in his faith by the angel, and goes into the City Jerusalem once more, this time alone at night, and has miraculous success on the third try. Read about it here:
1 Nephi 4:17, 38
ANALYSIS. Laman and Lemuel (the older brothers over Nephi and Sam), were cynics who didn't have any faith. They wanted to give up on the first failure. Why does the Lord allow things to fail? Why did he let these brothers struggle? What is the point? How come He let Laman win the straw vote on the first attempt rather than put it into the hands of Nephi first? How come He let the 2nd attempt also fail when Nephi was with his older brothers in the palace of Laban? How come the Lord complete blessed the 3rd scenario where Nephi, ALONE, completely relied on the Spirit of God? So that Laman and Lemuel could know for sure that Nephi was their leader as the Lord told them by His angel? Maybe. But the main lesson I get out of this account is that Nephi let go if his preconceived ideas of what MIGHT work, and instead, relied solely on the Lord's inspiration, being led by the Spirit.
1 Nephi 4:6
IN THE END we can plainly see that the Lord's words were all fulfilled, and the plates of brass were obtained as He commanded them. It all worked out, but NOT as they expected OR planned. This is where faith comes in. When things don't work out as we expect, DO WE QUIT?
What the brothers did NOT know was that they were not going to get the plates of brass in any other way than over Laban's dead body.
Hence, the Lord allows OUR plans to fail when we try, when we could do a lot better if we pattern our efforts after the 3rd attempt, where Nephi was Led by the Spirit, not even knowing beforehand the things which he should do. He had to complete let go in a true leap of faith, enter the dangerous city where he already nearly lost his life due to a murderous Laban... and now he approaches the situation once more, but with TOTAL FAITH in the face of danger!!
In the end, the Lord commanded Lehi's sons to get the plates of brass and it was Nephi who was a true instrument of faith in the Lord's hands, hanging in there despite the setbacks and opposition, the brass plates were secured. Doesn't matter that it took a long time to get it done, or that there were miserable failures and setbacks along the way. Sometimes that's the Lord's way to prove His miracles.
MOSES is commanded to tell the Egyptian Pharaoh to Let the Lord's people go! And he does, but Pharaoh doesn't listen, and so Moses begins a long process of sending plague after plague, to wear Pharaoh down (apparently), but Moses had to feel the failure that each of the plagues served no seeming purpose than to antagonize Pharaoh even more and bring down punishments and more suffering upon the slaves. Moses looked like a FAIL prophet, indeed. Even with the miracles, it wasn't working. Moses looked like an antagonist and the Children of Israel wished he would go away. How's that for only trying to help and be obedient to the Lord. Do you think Moses' faith was tried a little bit?
Moses was obedient to do this, for TEN TIMES, but still no result. Snakes, Blood River, Frogs, Lice, Flies, Dead Cattle, Boils on people, Raining Fire Hail, Locusts ate everything, Thick Darkness for 3 days, still, the Pharaoh did not let the people go.
What Moses did not know was that none of these first 10 plagues were going to work, and the Lord knew that, but only the last one where the Pharaoh lost his 1st born son, only this would temporarily break his hard heart, become despondent enough for a short while, to allow the people go. For a brief "moment" Pharaoh felt DEFEATED and let them go. Then he changed his mind again, and the Lord parted the Red Sea and finished off many of the Egyptians by drowning. In the end, the Lord commanded Moses and we see that because of Moses being an instrument in the Lord's hands the Children of Israel were set free. Doesn't matter that it took a long long time to get it done. Sometimes that's the Lord's way to prove His miracles.
BOOK of MORMON Answers