Looking back over Nephi’s life, through his record, we discover that he deliberately “hits the mountain tops”. This means he outlines wonderfully a pattern, or path, that must be followed to gain “power in the priesthood”.
Here is an “abridgment” of that path as I have observed so far.
His father taught him and testified of God. (1 Nephi 1:1)
He had a desire to know the “mysteries of Godliness” for himself. (1 Nephi 2: 16)
He “cried” unto the Lord which resulted in the Lord visiting him and he believed. (1 Nephi 2:16)
He entered into the same covenant as Abraham did. (1 Nephi 2, 1 Nephi 3:15)
He learned the blessings that are given by obedience to the covenant he entered into, namely: Land inheritance (1 Nephi 2:20), prosperity in the form of posterity (1 Nephi 2:20), and priesthood power (1 Nephi 2:22)
He was promised the blessing of being a “ruler and teacher”, or a king, predicated upon his faithfulness. (1 Nephi 2:19-22)
He was given a test to prove if he would be faithful in all things. (1 Nephi 4)
He obtained “power in his word”, or the sealing power. (1 Nephi 7, 1 Nephi 17)
Generally we find all of this information in the first few chapters of the Book of Mormon. This is even before Nephi talks about the vision of the “Tree of Life”. I believe Nephi is trying to show us a pattern. When we truly see this pattern in Nephi’s life, it becomes easier to recognize it in the lives of others in the Book of Mormon, and the in other Standard Works of The Church, and even to pattern our own lives after it.
I am grateful that the Book of Mormon is a beautiful record of how to gain power in the priesthood, and seek for it individually, as Nephi and so many others did.
I know this may seem like a redundant review of my last several posts, but I believe a firm understanding of this process is needed before we can go on to “tackle” the Tree of Life vision and the meaning it has for each of us.
Please ponder and pray about these things and ask for further light and knowledge. Remember the only real difference between Laman and Lemuel, and Nephi, is this outlined process, starting most importantly with the desire to know, and the willingness to ask.
1 Nephi 15:3 For he truly spake many great things unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought.
8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?