Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Press Forward and Endure to the End

A young girl wearing a plaid dress sits on a patch of grass next to a bed of pink flowers and reads from the Book of Mormon.
I am always touched when I read the words of Nephi in "The Book of Mormon". He has a clearness in his writings that helps me feel the Spirit so easily.  Nephi said, "for behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn." (2 Nephi 25:4)  In the last three chapters of 2 Nephi, Nephi is giving his last message to all people on how we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.

In Chapter 31 Nephi is telling us about baptism and why Christ was baptized.  Even though Christ was perfect and without sin, He understood that he not only had to be our example, but that he needed baptism to enter the gates of Heaven well.  In verse seven it states that "he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments".  We too need to take these steps as well, and since we are not perfect, we also need to add in repentance.  Nephi says in verse 13 that if we follow the Savior in all that he did and repent of our sins, then we can be blessed with the power of the Holy Ghost.

One we receive all this, we need to "press forward".  As I pondered what this means, because there is a lot more to it than just continuing through each day, I found a beautiful talk by Sister Elaine S. Dalton from the May 2003 Ensign message entitled, "Press Forward and be Steadfast".  In this article she talks about what it means to be steadfast.  She shares a description of a statue of a girl facing the sea in Denmark, the wind is fiercely blowing against her but she is unmoved.  She says that '"pressing forward" implies resistance'.  In life there is a lot of resistance we have to face, whether it be to our values, how we use our time, the way we speak, etc.  Pressing forward also implies that we have a vision or a goal in mind, or a set course in which we want to follow.   So we need to press forward with our vision of the end in mind because, as Sister Dalton said in her message, generations depend on us to keep going.

A conceptual photograph of a runner standing still near the finish line, paired with the word “Finish.”

How do we press forward and endure to the end? In 2 Nephi 31:20 Nephi says we need to have a "perfect brightness of hope", a "love of God and of all men", we need to feast "upon the word of Christ".  In the next Chapter Nephi shares the importance of the Holy Ghost and of prayer.   Lastly, Nephi challenges us to "believe in Christ".  Believing in Christ will lead us to do good. (2 Nephi 33:10)

 A photograph of the Salt Lake Temple coupled with a quote by Elder Richard G. Scott: “Decide to do something that will have eternal consequences.”

 Sister Dalton said, "Your daily decisions will influence generations." So we must do as Elder Scott said and decided today to do those things that will bring about positive eternal consequences.  If we are to press forward and endure to the end, we need to do those little things that have big results: read scriptures, attend the temple, study the words of the prophet, attend meetings, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, etc.  Do our best to choose the best.

We must press forward.  Nephi didn't use the word "should" or "it would be nice if you did", but he said we "must" because this is the only way to truly endure to the end.  I know that Nephi's words are true.  I know we have words of living prophets today to help us in our journey to press forward and endure to the end.  I am thankful for the Spirit I feel in my heart and it fills me with joy and hope.

The words of 2 Nephi 31:20 printed on a white background with a gold and black border.

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