Do Hard Things

1 Nephi 3
In the previous chapter, Nephi began the hero pattern by asking and learning of God. In this chapter, Nephi teaches us some important principles of what heroes do and how they do it.

What do heroes do?
Heroes do hard things. Nephi’s brothers complained that their father was asking them to do “a hard thing” to go back to Jerusalem to get the record of the Jews. Nephi was willing to do this hard thing because he had asked of God and learned that God spoke to his father and was guiding his father’s actions.

Heroes “go and do” what God commands. Nephi had witnessed his father’s willingness to obey the Lord’s commands and knew that “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

How do heroes do it?
Heroes do “not go down.” Heroes do not give up. Nephi showed that we need to “be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord.” Heroes try, try, try again. They “go up…again” until they have accomplished what they set out to do.

Heroes do the next good thing. When their first request for the record was denied, Nephi remembered “the gold and silver, and all manner of riches” his father had left behind. He suggested to his brothers that they try to trade their riches for the record. Most often heroes know the end goal and how they are going to begin, but the steps along the way are not mapped out in number or detail. Heroes reach the end goal by doing the next good thing and the next good thing and so on until they achieve what they set out to do.

Heroes remember the whys. Nephi remembered that his family would need the record of the Jews so that they could preserve their language for their children and preserve a record of the words “of all the holy prophets.”

Heroes are warriors and warriors make peace. Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel, were angry with him after Laban stole their riches and sent his servants after them. They spoke “many hard words…and they did smite” Nephi and his younger brother, Sam, with a rod. Nephi chose to make peace, to not escalate the situation, by refusing to respond with harsh words or force.

Heroes accept support and guidance. Heroes do not do things alone. An angel intervened to stop Laman and Lemuel in their rage against Nephi and Sam. The angel then advised the brothers to “go up to Jerusalem again” and assured them that “the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.” Heroes do all they can on their own but when help comes they accept it, graciously and gratefully. Heroes learn all they can in order to do what is required, but if additional knowledge and guidance are given along the way they adapt and improve upon their original plans.

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