After the trial concluded for the murder of the chief judge (see Helaman 7–9), Nephi began to return to his own house. He pondered what the Lord had shown him and also worried about the wickedness of the people. In Nephi’s moment of discouragement, the Lord spoke to him and blessed him forever with the sealing power. The Lord commanded Nephi to continue preaching repentance to the people, a command that Nephi immediately obeyed.
Nephi receives the sealing power
Think of a time when you tried your best to do what was right but the reaction you received from others or the results you achieved were different than you expected. In Helaman 10 you will read about how the Lord blessed Nephi as he continued to be faithful in difficult circumstances.
After being cleared of the murder of the chief judge, Nephi found that the people did not respond in faith and repent after they witnessed the dramatic events covered in Helaman 9. Nephi started to return home feeling discouraged. Read Helaman 10:1–3, and look for what Nephi pondered as he walked home. You may want to mark each time the word pondering is mentioned in these verses. Pondering means to meditate and think deeply, often upon the scriptures or other things of God. When combined with prayer, pondering the things of God may bring revelation and increased understanding.
Think about the following questions:
What was Nephi pondering about?
Why was he feeling “cast down,” or sad?
What happened as he was pondering?
A principle shown in Helaman 10:1–3 is: Pondering the things of the Lord prepares us to receive revelation. Other examples in the scriptures also illustrate this principle: Nephi pondered on things his father, Lehi, had taught and learned of their truthfulness (see 1 Nephi 10:17; 11:1); young Joseph Smith “reflected … again and again” on James 1:5 and had truth revealed to him (see Joseph Smith—History 1:11–19); and President Joseph F. Smith pondered and reflected on scriptures dealing with the redemption of the dead and had truth revealed to him (see D&C 138:1–6, 11).
Most revelation people receive when pondering the things of the Lord, however, does not come through hearing voices, seeing visions, or other such dramatic ways. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained:
“Revelations are conveyed in a variety of ways, including, for example, dreams, visions, conversations with heavenly messengers, and inspiration. Some revelations are received immediately and intensely; some are recognized gradually and subtly. …
“… Most frequently, revelation comes in small increments over time and is granted according to our desire, worthiness, and preparation. Such communications from Heavenly Father gradually and gently ‘distil upon [our souls] as the dews from heaven’ (D&C 121:45). This pattern of revelation tends to be more common than rare and is evident in the experiences of Nephi as he tried several different approaches before successfully obtaining the plates of brass from Laban (see 1 Nephi 3–4). …
“… The fundamental truths of the restored gospel were not delivered to the Prophet Joseph Smith all at once in the Sacred Grove. These priceless treasures were revealed as circumstances warranted and as the timing was right.
“President Joseph F. Smith explained how this pattern of revelation occurred in his life: ‘As a boy … I would frequently … ask the Lord to show me some marvelous thing, in order that I might receive a testimony. But the Lord withheld marvels from me, and showed me the truth, line upon line … , until He made me to know the truth from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet, and until doubt and fear had been absolutely purged from me. …’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1900, 40–41).
“We as members of the Church tend to emphasize marvelous and dramatic spiritual manifestations so much that we may fail to appreciate and may even overlook the customary pattern by which the Holy Ghost accomplishes His work” (“The Spirit of Revelation,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2011, 88).
Write in your scripture study journal about a time you feel you received personal revelation. What were the circumstances that brought about the revelation? How did pondering help you receive revelation? (Remember that revelation can come in many ways. It may involve sudden or gradual moments of enlightenment and understanding or feelings of peace and assurance.)
Set aside time to ponder regularly in your life, such as during church meetings, before and after personal prayers and scripture study, after watching or listening to general conference, while fasting, or while honoring the Sabbath.
Imagine you had something that was of great worth to you and you needed to leave it in someone else’s care. Who would you trust to take care of it? Why would you choose that individual? What has that person done to earn your trust?
Read Helaman 10:4–5, and look for why the Lord trusted Nephi. Unwearyingness means “never tiring.” Ponder the examples of people you know who seem to serve the Lord with unwearyingness no matter what the circumstances may be.
The Lord’s response to Nephi in Helaman 10:4 teaches the principle: The Lord entrusts us with blessings and responsibilities when we put His will before our own.
Respond to one or more of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
In what ways do you come to know what the Lord’s will is concerning your life?
What have you done in your life recently to show the Lord that His will is more important than your own will and that it is what you want to follow at all times?
What is one area of your life in which you could better seek and follow the Lord’s will instead of your own?
Read Helaman 10:5–7, and identify the blessings and promises the Lord gave to Nephi for being trustworthy. Write the blessings and promises next to the corresponding verse:
Verse 5: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Verse 6: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Verse 7: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
The blessing identified in Helaman 10:7 is a central doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ: The sealing power binds and looses on earth and in heaven. Do you know of other people in the scriptures who were given this sealing power? You may want to cross-reference Helaman 10:7 with the following scriptures: 1 Kings 17 (Elijah); Matthew 16:15–19 (Peter); Doctrine and Covenants 132:46 (Joseph Smith).
Read Doctrine and Covenants 128:9, and identify what the Prophet Joseph Smith taught about the sealing power.
The same keys of the sealing power are held today by the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Just as the Lord was able to trust Nephi, the Lord also knows the President of the Church will not use this power in any way contrary to His will. This sealing authority is delegated to other worthy priesthood holders around the world, enabling priesthood ordinances to be binding on earth and in heaven.
Think about the following statement by Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles regarding the importance of this sealing power:
“All things that are not sealed by this power have an end when men are dead. Unless a baptism has this enduring seal, it will not admit a person to the celestial kingdom; unless an eternal marriage covenant is sealed by this authority, it will not take the participating parties to an exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world.
“All things gain an enduring force and validity because of the sealing power” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 683).
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
According to Elder McConkie, what happens if an ordinance is not sealed by the proper authority?
How has the sealing power impacted your life, and how would you like it to bless your life in the future?
Read the following affirmation by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles that God’s sealing power has been restored: “Temples, ordinances, covenants, endowments, and sealings have been restored, precisely as prophesied. Ordinances of the temple provide for reconciliation with the Lord and seal families together forever. Obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal life—the greatest gift of God to man” (“Prepare for the Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, Oct. 2010, 42).
According to Elder Nelson, what qualifies us to receive the promised blessings of the sealing power?
Nephi obeys the Lord’s command to preach repentance unto the people
Have you ever been asked to do something by a parent, employer, or leader and delayed doing it or failed to do what was asked? Consider what message you send when you delay acting on what is asked of you.
Read Helaman 10:11–12, and look for how Nephi responded to the Lord’s command for him to preach repentance to the people. What do we show the Lord when we respond immediately and quickly to His counsel and commandments?
Read Helaman 10:13–18. Then, in your scripture study journal, write a few sentences about what you learn from Nephi’s example of responding to the Lord’s commandment. Write one way you can apply this in your life.
Nephi’s faithfulness showed that the Lord could trust him, and he was blessed with great power and protection.
Scripture Mastery Review
Seek for ways to put the Lord’s will before your own and to quickly obey. As you faithfully serve the Lord as Nephi did, He will trust and bless you.
Write the following note at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Helaman 10 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: