What are you willing to sacrifice to follow God?
One of the most important lessons I have learned so far is that sacrifice brings blessings. When we make sacrifices to follow God, He not only recognizes it, but rewards us generously.
There is a verse in the second chapter of the Book of Mormon that, until recently, didn’t make any sense to me. I had no idea why it was even recorded. Most every member of the Church knows this verse, and there are many jokes that are made in reference to it. But thanks to Al Fox and her beautiful teachings, my eyes are opened.
“And my father dwelt in a tent.” – 1 Nephi 2:15 (Book of Mormon)
The author did not record this historical fact just because. There is deeper meaning to be understood. In order to understand this seven letter sentence, you must start with background and context.
Though not much information is recorded about Lehi’s life, mainly due to the lost manuscript during the time in which the Book of Mormon was being translated, a great characteristic of Lehi can be deduced within the first chapters of Book of Mormon.
He was a prophet of God.
He lived in Jerusalem for most of his life. See 1 Nephi 1:4 (Book of Mormon)
He owned property. See 1 Nephi 1:7 (Book of Mormon)
He possessed items of wealth/good fortune. See 1 Nephi 2:4 (Book of Mormon)
“And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.
“And it came to pass that he was obedient unto the word of the Lord, wherefore he did as the Lord commanded him.
“And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.” -1 Nephi 2:2-4, (Book of Mormon) emphasis added.
This man left all of his earthly possessions behind him excepting the bare minimum. Nothing else mattered. He had been given a personal commandment from God to take his family and get them out of town, and he obeyed.
He went from living in what was probably a high class home to a tent.
The Book of Mormon record very often describes the murmuring of those who don’t get their way. However, it is noteworthy that there is no record of Lehi complaining about this commandment to leave. In fact, after the first three days of travel, Lehi built an altar and gave thanks to God. (See 1 Nephi 2:7)
The effects of Lehi’s sacrifice are still being felt today. Anyone who reads the Book of Mormon and studies the Church can come to understand the special blessings associated with this man’s sacrifice.
Are you willing to make sacrifices for God? Do you know and love God enough to drop everything, leave everything, all based on a knowledge that only you have?
When we follow God, when we live His commandments, He blesses us more than we could ever possibly imagine. There is no doubt that Lehi’s tent has been upgraded to a Heavenly mansion.
As I have gained more appreciation for what I initially thought was a meaningless verse of scripture, I am committed to finding more ways to sacrifice my life for God’s work, because nothing else is more important.