1 Nephi 16
Heroes follow the directions. Lehi received instructions from the Lord to leave the valley of Lemuel with his family and “journey into the wilderness.” As he headed outside his tent he found a brass ball on the ground “of curious workmanship” that had two spindles one of which “pointed the way whither [they] should go into the wilderness.” Lehi and his family gathered their provisions and began their journey and they “did follow the directions of the ball.” By following the directions they found that they were led “in the most fertile parts of the wilderness.”
When we follow the directions given to us from the Lord, His prophets, and our righteous leaders and parents we will be led to fertile, productive paths and opportunities that will allow us to discover, develop, and share the fruits of our labors and the fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Along the way we may have challenges, but if we remember the hero principles of asking and acting the Lord will bless us in our efforts to “go forth into the top of the mountain.”
Nephi’s challenge was that his fine steel bow broke after his brothers’ bows lost their springs and then his brothers, their families, and even his parents began complaining and murmuring against the Lord because they were hungry and “much fatigued.” Nephi knew that his problem wouldn’t be solved by doing nothing but standing around complaining. Like a true hero, Nephi acted in faith and made a bow out of wood and an arrow “out of a straight stick.” Then he went to his father, Lehi, and asked: “Whither shall I go to obtain food?”
It is interesting that Nephi didn’t just ask the Lord himself. He certainly could have. Nephi’s decision to ask Lehi probably had several purposes including giving his father the opportunity to return to living the hero patterns. Lehi’s father humbled himself and inquired of the Lord to see where Nephi should go to obtain food. The Lord chastened Lehi for “his murmuring against the Lord” and then told him to look at the ball and follow the new directions, “the new writing,” which was written upon the ball.
“According to the directions which were given upon the ball,” Nephi went up to the top of a mountain and found many wild beasts that he was able to slay and bring back to his family for food. Their joy was great because of the success Nephi had and all of his family members “did humble themselves before the Lord, and did give thanks unto him.” Heroes give thanks to the Lord because they know that “the Lord was with [them]” and helped them overcome their challenges and receive the food, the money, the job, the help, or the healing they asked for according to their needs and their faith to follow His directions.