Liken and Learn

1 Nephi 19
Following the commandment he received from the Lord, Nephi made “plates of ore….And…did engraven….our journeyings in the wilderness, and the prophecies of my father” and many of his own prophecies. These first plates also contained “a greater account of the wars and contentions and destructions of my people.” He later received a commandment to make another set of plates to keep a record of “the ministry and the prophecies…for the instruction of my people” and “for the knowledge of my people” “that perhaps I might persuade them that they would remember the Lord their Redeemer.

Nephi read and remembered the prophecies about the Messiah which were written by the prophets of old and contained on the plates of brass. Nephi knew and recorded that “the very God of Israel…cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem. And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men” (1 Nephi 19:8-9).

Nephi knew that the God of Israel would yield himself “to be lifted up…and to be crucified…and to be buried in a sepulchre” for three days that “all the earth shall see the salvation of the Lord” and he wanted his children and his posterity to have a knowledge of their Redeemer’s love and sacrifice so that they might have “hope.” In order to “more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning” (1 Nephi 19:23).

Like Nephi, heroes liken and learn from the things they read and see. When we liken the scriptures unto ourselves, we read about the choices and actions of men and women in the scriptures and we learn from the results of their actions whether their choices and actions led to positive consequences and blessings or whether they led to negative consequences. Everything we learn in life we learn by choice and consequence. We often learn by making our own choices and learning by our own consequences what is right and what is wrong, what leads to happiness and what leads to misery. However, we can also learn a great deal by studying the lives of men and women in the scriptures and other great books, as well as the men and women around us. We can learn from their choices and consequences and liken, or apply, the lessons they learned so that we can live according to true principles and laws and not make the same mistakes others have made or suffer as others have when they have made wrong choices.

One of my great heroes who likened and learned is my dad. He observed the choices and consequences of his father and learned that certain actions lead more to misery than to happiness. He also observed the choices and consequences of his mother and his scout leader and saw that many of their actions led to greater happiness and greater hope because of their faith in their Redeemer, Jesus Christ. My dad likened the lessons he learned to himself and applied those actions and principles which would lead not only to his happiness but to the happiness of his future family. How grateful I am that he was willing to liken and learnthat it might be for [my] profit and learning” as well as his own.

*How have you or someone you know applied the hero principle to liken and learn?

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