Coming to Know the Goodness of God
1 Nephi 1:1 — “ . . . having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God . . .”
As I sat still and allowed Nephi’s words to find their way to the depths of my heart, I began to realize that in spite of all my outward professions of belief in God, I still wasn’t convinced of His goodness. I began to ask to know His goodness and to see it in all things, even in my afflictions.
I asked, and again He answered me through further study of the Book of Mormon. He showed me the astounding depths of His mercy as I read of Alma the younger’s moment of coming to himself and crying out directly to Christ (Alma 36:18). As I have recovered a closer consciousness of God, I have found that all my negative assumptions about the Lord, taught to me by lies about Him I had inherited from others, were the farthest thing from the truth about Him.
In place of my old image of a scowling, impatient Father and Savior, I have opened my heart and mind to the truth that both of Them are actually benevolent and caring beyond all human comprehension and that this is true of us all without exception, if we will just turn to Christ and offer our whole souls as an offering to Him. (See Omni 1:26.)
26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.
In the process of recovery, I have come to know that all the afflictions and trials, even all the mistakes made against me as well as the mistakes I have made, have actually been allowed by God’s goodness so that I might learn (if I will humble myself) by my own experience what works to bring genuine peace and happiness and what doesn’t.
I know, now, that for me, coming into this fallen world was a leap of faith in my Father and in my Elder Brother. As one, They covenanted to send me out into this great wilderness adventure and bring me home in due time according to my will being in harmony with Theirs. My life, even with its hardest moments is all part of the Father’s plan and the Savior’s purpose. It’s all good, as hard (mysterious) as that may be to believe. This awakening to my life–imperfect as it has been–as a good thing, has amounted to a mighty change in my heart towards God. I no longer resent or resist the life God has given me. I have learned to accept my life on His terms and to trust in Him in all things.
Prayerful Thought: Lord, help me see that God is good and that my life has been, is and will continue to be good–if I will just allow Thee to show me the mystery and wonder of it all.
P.S. This concludes our close reading of 1 Nephi 1:1.
I hope these bits of sharing will encourage you to read the scriptures slowly–taking time to let the Spirit of the Lord open insights and applications to your own life that you can record so that your journal may become even as the Book of Mormon, another testament of the Lord Jesus Christ.