Friday, October 3, 2008

Nephi’s Psalm

When I'm feeling discouraged or depressed there is one place I can go that always lifts me. That place is 2 Nephi 4. Thirty years after leaving Jerusalem, Nephi is writing a history of his experiences. He writes about the persecution from his brothers and the death of his beloved father. Recalling these many trials is painful and Nephi begins to feel discouraged and sorrowful over some of things that have occurred. In this state of mind he pours out his heart beginning with, "O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities." (4:17). He goes on lamenting but suddenly stops himself short saying, "Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted" ( 4:19).

You just know that the adversary is jabbing at Nephi from every angle with such thoughts as, "Nephi, you preach all these things about love and patience and faith, but look at the times you blew it!" Nephi seems to sense that this line of thinking is going to cause him more problems and so after acknowledging that he has trusted in God, he begins to list all the blessing God has given him. God has heard his prayers and sent angels to minister to him. He has been shown mighty visions and great things. As you read the list, you can feel Nephi's soul soar! Gratitude does that. It lifts us out of the dark and into the light. But the adversary doesn't want that to happen. Just as Nephi seems to have stepped into the light, the adversary comes in with a left hook to the gut, "But Nephi, if the Lord has given you so much, why do you yield to sin like you do? Why do you give in to temptations? Why do you get angry with your brothers? Let's face it Nephi, you are a pretty bad guy."

And how does Nephi dispel this punch? He commands himself to think differently. "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul!"

Reading this psalm and listening to Nephi conquer the darkness always lifts my own soul. But in addition, the BYU Singers have recorded a version of Nephi's Psalm that is absolutely magnificent. The album is called Songs of the Soul and this incredible piece of music is the first track on the album: entitled "I Love the Lord." There is absolutely no way you can listen to this and remain downhearted. It infuses with love, joy, and peace. Listen and tell me what you think.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

This is just what I needed today. I posted part of this with a link on my Book of Mormon blog.

I listened to the clip and the words fit perfectly to the tune of "Be Still, My Soul".

Thanks again for your uplifting blog. :)