Hebrew to English: 1 Nephi 15 #lds #ldsconf

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1 Nephi, chapter 15, from modern Hebrew, through ASL, into modern English:

 

And so it happened
that after I, Nephi,
had been carried away by the Spirit
in vision and revelations at the temple space,
I returned to my father’s tent.

I left the lightness of that holy place
and came down, weighted down by re-entering
the world in which my brothers live
and bicker and complain.

And I did see my brothers arguing amongst themselves again,
this time fighting about the things my father had told them.
They fought with each other about what our father meant,
instead of praying to our Father and asking Him.

Our father had told them really amazing things,
and some of it was very difficult to understand
without asking the Lord for revelation.
These were things too big to understand with the mind,
and could only be seen and felt by the Spirit.

But my brothers’ hearts were hard and cold,
because they were not humble enough to ask the Lord.
They were out of the habit of asking for revelation
because they were out of the habit of studying
and pondering and practicing
what was received.
This left them to their own devices,
struggling mentally to understand something
that could only be received in the spirit.
They should have looked to the Lord for help,
and then their hearts would not have been hardened.

This really made me angry!
I was angry because they had chosen this,
shutting off their own access to the Spirit by the choices they made.
Seeing them struggling to receive what had already been offered them
hurt my heart and made me sad for them,
even more so now that I had seen the visions
of what had been prophesied
and understood now
what will happen to so many people
because of their wickedness.

The wickedness of the people wasn’t even that they were bad people,
because even they are His people –
but they were people who had forgotten God –
the God who is their Father –
and so worked too hard living by their own capacity without help
or who continued to choose poorly while the consequences mounted against them
until they had defeated themselves.

The understanding of this washed over me
and troubled me greatly
because I felt His love for each individual
but saw so many who could no longer feel it.
This was the greatest grief people carried around with them,
these people who knew of God
but did not know how to access the love waiting for them,
and so they were defeated like in a war
instead of covenanted like in a marriage.

(Compare “his deafeat” (פלתו) to
את כלתו = His bride
את לתו = His character
so that a play on words comes
where a person’s character
seen before one’s own face
like in a mirror
when too tired and overwhelmed
and cannot do it on your own,
how that is a sad acknowledgement of defeat,
as opposed to
one’s own character
being found in another
like a match, a helpmeet, a companion
and happiness being found
in the agreement of it
such as a covenant.)

So when I went to my brothers
and asked to know what they were arguing about,
they said they were arguing over words
and the things our father had said –
but that they could not understand
because they had not asked our Father.

Specifically, they said they could not understand
what our father had said about the natural branches of the olive tree
representing the Gentiles.
They could not even understand why the olive tree
would be a symbol of what the Lord had taught
or what any of it had to do with the Gentiles.

I told them they needed to ponder it themselves
because they couldn’t just borrow understanding from someone else,
and it had been that way since Eden.
They disagreed, saying the Lord hadn’t taught them about it yet
and blamed God for neglecting them
rather than understanding how to approach God.

So I asked them,
how do you not remember what the Lord has said?
Do you not remember what the Lord has promised for you?
Do you not guard these things as sacred?
That is like believing in the death of the Savior,
but not His resurrection.
That is like preaching the atonement of the Savior,
but whispering you are not worthy of it.
You aren’t worthy of it. That’s the point.
He raised us up, lifts us up, and keeps us up!
He rears us up like little children,
and promises to nurture you as you grow
until you receive all that He has –
part of that is His goodness, or holiness.
Because really, you are worthy of it
if only because you are His child.

But you only receive that when you preserve it.
You only keep that when you protect it.
You only grow in it when you are observant to it.
He will not give you what you do not want.
But if you lay aside all that is not of Him,
He will give you all that is of Him.

Do you not remember the things the Lord has said to us?
Do you not remember all the information He has given us
that we and our families may be preserved?
Do you not remember that He said to us
that if we do not harden our hearts
and if we will turn to Him
and keep His commandments
and so fulfill our covenant with Him,
that He will bless us with all that He has?

Have these things not already been brought to your attention?
Have you not been reminded over and over again?
You are children of Heavenly Parents!
He asks for your goodness not because He wants your opinion
because it is is evidence of the authenticity of who you are.
He has given you all that you need to know
to be able to be aware and access even more knowledge
so that you may return to Him and demonstrate all you have learned.

They did not answer me.
So I kept going, and answered their next question
about the House of Israel.

I taught them:
The House of Israel is compared to an olive tree
because it was known to our ancestors
and those trees can be very ancient.

The knowledge of God is even more ancient than the olive tree.
This knowledge is within you,
carried in your Spirit from before you were born.
You do not have to understand it,
and cannot as long as you try to!
What you must do is remember it!
Remember it, and then you will understand,
because you already know in your spirit.
The Spirit of God will reveal it to you,
which means simply open what is already there.
It is already there, in you,
and revelation only helps you to know it.

Nothing can fix a broken branch
that lets go and falls off and dies.
Do not let go!
A tree like an olive tree
will not let another kind of tree grow on it.
If you forget who we come from,
you will forget where you are going.

We are part of the House of Israel!
This is what our father tries to teach you.
He gave it to you like a recipe, or a prescription,
telling you how to heal yourself before you are destroyed.
He does not want to lose you.

The Gentiles are non-Jews,
people of their natural selves –
even some who think they know who God is –
and yet they have not accepted the covenants He offers.
Your father warns you of the latter days,
when people will be planted
without faith
and who will try to grow without nurturing their faith.

[play on double-meaning words:
That’s like a slow-witted octopus
who has so many legs but can’t get anywhere.]

For many generations, people remembered the Lord.
The Messiah saw Himself as the flesh and blood of man’s heart,
for the love He has and the sacrifice He has made as evidence of that love.
He wants that same gospel message brought to the Gentiles,
even the remnant of our group we have begun
as we barely escaped the judgment of Jerusalem.
This gospel will come through the same records we have brought with us
and through the same records which we now ourselves write.

Even our own children’s children,
and the ones after them,
they will know that we are of the House of Israel.
Even if they do not all believe us now,
even if you do not all believe me now,
they will know that we were a people who covenanted with the Lord.
And one day, you will know it, too.
It would be better for you to understand now.

The story of our exile
will be the story of their exile,
and the story handed down to us by our forefathers
will be the story handed down to them by their forefathers
who are us.
In time, they will understand what the Torah said
and how the words of God were exploited
and how the words were restored again
so that they themselves could return to God again,
even to be saved.

Then, on that day,
they will be happy to praise their eternal God,
rather than their eternal youth as you do yourselves,
even God as their rock and salvation,
rather than the way you stand here
trying to figure out things of God all by yourself
without any spiritual practice or revelatory insight.
They will know it is by His work that Zion comes,
even Israel and even the country in which they
(our descendants) shall live.
They will understand that their ancestors had the gospel
and were delivered by it.

If they will understand all this from books,
how can you not recognize it when these very angels have appeared before you?
Come to Him and be saved!
Be happy, and praise the Eternal Elohim, your Heavenly Parents,
for this plan of a Savior who has redeemed you already
by the promises made in covenant in your very presence!
Remember! Remember!
You already know it, and just need ask God
to help you remember it
and then you will understand.

Only those who have forgotten
cannot draw strength
or nourishment
from the true vine,
the source of Truth.
They can, but they will not.
They could come to God,
but do not.
Once in the audience of Him,
now they forget they are of Him.

I’m telling you again
that it is the same with the House of Israel:
they must remember again
who they are
and whose they are.
They are the originals,
the first called to remember,
the ones who knew the way up
(like ladders to Heaven,
with angels ascending and descending)
and the way home
(like a caravan that knows its way,
with enough provision it doesn’t have to stop).
These are the kinds of things our father said.

So you, my brothers, go.
Go and talk to our father
and tell him you understand
and ask our Father
to understand more, better.

He will tell you more
and even say that the end of these days on Earth
won’t come until His message is spread to all people
in all languages,
even by the gentiles.
By keeping that first covenant,
they will be grafted in as part of the House of Israel,
transplanted and transformed,
grown into a maturity of faith
evidenced by their message
and their willingness to keep their covenants.

You are doubting,
because you don’t know why God would use the gentiles.
But the Lord shows His strength,
even the power of His priesthood,
by reaching out to those who have forgotten
and who don’t know
and who seem impossible.

Even those whose ancestors were rejected
by the House of Israel
now become a part of it.
That’s how you know our father
isn’t only talking about our descendants.
It’s bigger than that.
Now you understand
that our father is giving the promise of our Father
that His love and even covenant blessings
will be extended to the entire House of Israel
and all His children who learn to remember
before the End of Days.

His message of hope must go out among the gentiles
and even through the gentiles
so that they can unite together
in love,
even be sealed together,
by priesthood power,
even ancestors to descendants.
This is the promise to all who become
part of the House of Israel!
There are more people than only the Jews.
The Lord made a covenant with our father Abraham,
saying, “Bless all the families of the earth.”
And Abraham himself had many children in many different families.
The Lord’s covenant with Abraham contained blessings
for all his children,
and by covenant keeping all families will be blessed.

So now, even I, with my own brothers,
spoke of these family blessings with those difficult ones of my own family.
I talked to them a great deal about these issues,
and even spoke to them about the rise of the Natives
(even our descendants)
and the restoration of the Jews
in the latter days.

I repeated to them the words of Isaiah,
even those understood only in the temple.
I came back to the scriptures again and again,
even talking about the resurrection
and the restoration –
even the restoration of the House of Israel.
I, Nephi, spoke to them
a great deal about all of this and the latter days
and how the fullness of the gospel
will never again be lost
and the House of Israel
never again destroyed.

This got the attention of my brothers,
who calmed down enough
to focus and humble themselves before the Lord.
They asked me authentically
about what our father saw in his dream,
about the path and the tree and the water and the building.

They wanted to know what the actual tree looked like,
and I encouraged them to ask more real questions
if they wanted to learn anything.

So they asked me it was a tree that he saw:
why did he dream about a tree?

I told them as my father had told us already
that it was a parable of the Tree of Life.

They asked me then about the iron rod
that our father saw leading to the tree.

I told them this was the Word of God,
even the scriptures,
and those who study the Scriptures
and hear the words of the Prophet
are those who hold fast to the iron rod.
Those who follow the Prophet
and who study the Scriptures
will be strengthened
and will never be lost –
not even when they are persecuted,
and not even when there is war.
Even more so, we are already at war
with the adversary,
but even the adversary cannot prevail over them.
This is true only if they will not be blinded by darkness,
and the scriptures are the words of Light.
This is true only if they will not be lulled to sleep by lies,
and the scriptures are the words of Truth.
This is true because the adversary drives them to ruin,
while the Lord restores them as children of God.

So I, Nephi, preached to them
to help soften them
and help them receive the word of the Lord
into their hearts –
which means to do the things of God.
It is not enough only to hear.
We are changed by our response to what we hear from Him.

I spoke to them with all my energy
and to the best of my ability.
I obeyed God’s word
so that I had access to the power of God
and His holy Spirit,
so that when I spoke
I spoke with the power of God,
a greater capacity than on my own.

Then they asked me more questions
about the water and the stream our father saw.

I explained that our father’s mind was so busy
pondering so many other things
that he did not elaborate about the water
when he was teaching us,
but that he knew it was polluted.

I replied to them that the water was contaminated,
worse than pollution
because it was stained by a kind of
permissive exposure.
This is abomination:
to allow what you know is not holy
into your world which should be holy
until you no longer see what is holy.

But this is a dreaded terror,
when there is no longer separation
between you and what is wicked,
between what surrounds you in your everyday life
and your life which God has sanctified –
as if you could no longer tell the difference
between superstitions to false gods
and a temple for our Father who is our God.
What a terrible thing,
to be missing the very presence of holiness
and not even know it.

That is hell,
to be separated from the holy,
even our Heavenly Parents,
when holiness is the same stuff of which you are made.

That is the sentence that comes with final judgment,
to understand how we have separated ourselves not only from God
but also from who we truly are
and whom we were meant to be.

That is the natural consequence
of no longer being distinct, or set apart, or made holy.
It is to be nothing,
even mundane.

If that were to happen to us,
our hearts would yearn for Him
in unending prayer,
as bright as fire
from an eternal flame.

My brothers asked me then,
if that meant our physical lives don’t matter at all
or if it just means we are here in the physical world to be tortured by it?
Or if physical body is part of who we are
just to torture our spiritual selves,
or if our spirits will be punished
for anything we do physically?

I clarified with them again
that all things are both physical and spiritual,
including the beings that we are.

I taught them we will be held accountable
for our own choices that we ourselves make,
whether that is in the context of our physical existence in this world
or the tempering of our own individual spirits
who should be continuing to progress
even while in this world waiting to integrate
with a body made whole again.

All these experiences teach us,
both our physical bodies and our spiritual selves,
as we continue to knit ourselves together
into the one we are becoming
[as we were once knitted together
in our mother’s womb – referencing Jeremiah].

That said,
if someone chooses wickedness
they will receive wickedness –
but as a consequence of their own choice,
not a punishment given by God.
This is part of justice:
that we will be given what we have asked for,
and so ought to ask (and behave) more carefully –
not to earn our way,
but to show our love
and give evidence of that love offered us.

We will all be brought before God again,
even our Heavenly Parents,
and see their faces
and remember who we were with them
and know who we have been on Earth.

We will see then, in that moment,
how our choices now have offended who we once were,
like the water being contaminated,
as if we polluted ourselves.
It will be clear to all that our place
is not to return home with Them
because that kingdom will not be polluted.

I told them to please understand,
that this is why it is so important to know
and even remember who our Heavenly Parents are
and who we are
so that we can live accordingly
and not be contaminated
or bring such pollution with us
into who we are becoming.

He has brought about a way –
by the Lord keeping His promises –
that we may be pure again
and even remain pure
even as He is pure,
and so return home again.
It is as if the Lord is ready and able
to clear the pollutant,
to absorb the contamination,
to draw out the infection
like a poultice that heals
as good as new.
That is the plan of our Father.

Satan twists this truth
to make you think you cannot be healed
or cleansed or cleared or made worthy.
But this is a terrible gibberish!
That would be hell, yes!
But it is not true!

The atonement is big enough
even for you,
and for you,
there is a place ready
at home with our Heavenly Parents
just as They promised.

This is the plan for human souls,
for Adam – the adam, all people –
to be sent into the kingdom of God
if they have prepared and received their invitations
through Priesthood Authority.
Or, to be pulled out of line
because they have been out of Order
as I just told you
because everything that is not yet purified
cannot yet be brought into the kingdom of God.

No one will be rejected,
except by their own choice
because they have done the rejecting.

This is what makes the fruit
in the dream
at the tree of life
so rare and precious,
even more desirable and delicious
than any other fruit:
it is everything promised offered to you,
and you only need eat –
which refers to covenant keeping.

Do you see? All of God’s gifts
are greater even than gold.
Because there is more to this life
than only this moment.

These are the things I tried to teach to my brothers.
Amen.

For the previous chapters translated, CLICK HERE.

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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