Skip to main content

Card-Carrying Nephites

I hope that you all had a propserous Pi Day last Friday. We ate pizza from The Pie for the fourth Pi Day in a row (I think that qualifies as a tradition), and had a pi recitation contest. Several nerd jokes were exchanged and we had a moment of awe-struck silence as we sat pondering how hopelessly nerdy we were.

I could probably call myself a "card-carrying" pi geek, as opposed to your run-of-the-mill pi geek, as when random people say in my general direction, "Hey, Pi man!" I turn my head as naturally as if they had called me by name. Over the years, a childhood fetish has gradually turned into a portion of my identity to the point that, over the years, I have acquired a pi tie, a pi plate, and a pi business. Now, see if you can beat that!

Anyway, I'm sure that each of us is passionate about something to the extent that it is part of our identity, or, in other words, that we could say we are "card-carrying" members. I thought about all of this over the weekend as I read 2 Nephi 31-33 where we hear a lot about Nephi's inner feelings and interpretations of the gospel and the formula for a relationship with Christ. Could Nephi be said to be a "card-carrier" of anything? Other than Gold's Gym, of course... ("young, yet large in stature") What about Laman and Lemuel? (Card-carrying members of the Hearing Impaired, members of the Union of Iron Sinew Manufacturers, ...)

Silliness aside, several people would probably comment on his faith, his love for his people, and so on. He was a "card-carrying" prophet by all means.

In 2 Nephi 31-33, Nephi spends nearly the entire time talking about what it means to be a card-carrying Disciple of Christ. Nephi, without drawing negative comparisons, shows what testimony-having disciples can do to take their relationship to the next level, and he does it by introducing us to four brothers in the gospel who are "card-carrying Nephites": Bro. Real, Bro. Steadfast, Bro. Hungry, and Bro. Consecrated.

Bro. Real

You've met Brother Real before. He is the brother who is not afraid to admit that he is imperfect, neither to his contemporaries nor to the Lord. He is the brother who sees no profit in presenting a facade of himself to others, including the Lord, in order to create an illusion of self-worth, discipleship, and righteousness. This is the brother who, when you listen to him speak, you relate to him immediately because he has no inclination to exaggerate the truth in the name of testimony-building, but simply, in pure testimony, talks about what he believes and why he believes it. I'm sure that you could add several of your own run-ins with Brother Real in the scriptures.

Indeed, we see him mentioned by Nephi in 2 Nephi 31:12-14, where Nephi describes him as a man who comes to the Lord with real intent, without hypocrisy, and is committed to the end to what he has testified. Nephi is clear that the Lord is seeking for people like Brother Real to be members of His Church and to establish Zion. He is not asking for these things to please Himself, nor is the Lord interested in disciples who only draw unto Him with their lips. The Lord is interested in the hearts of the people.

Bro. Steadfast

The next brother that we are introduced to is Brother Steadfast. You've met him before. He is the brother that people can rely on when the entire world seems to be in commotion; he is the steady house built upon the rock. He appears several times throughout the scriptures, including D&C 122:9, 1 Corinthians 15:58, and Acts 7:55.

D&C 122:9

This scripture comes at the tail end of the Savior teaching Joseph Smith about trials; how bad they can get, why we have them, and that the Lord bore them all. In verse 9, Joseph Smith is told to "hold on thy way, for the priesthood shall remain with thee", that the bounds of his detractors were set and that they would not be able to pass them.

At this moment, I'm reminded of the scene from LOTR: Fellowship where they are in the Mines of Moria, crossing the cracking bridge as the belroc seeks to overtake them. Once all but Gandalf are across the bridge, Gandalf turns around, shouts some words and finally says "you shall not pass!" He strikes his staff into the ground and the bridge breaks under the weight of the belroc, and the belroc falls into the depths. Indeed, Gandalf held to his word and the bounds of the belroc were set such that the rest of the fellowship was protected. (Imagine spiritual wisdom coming from LOTR...)

This verse teaches us twice about Brother Steadfast. Once by the Lord's actions, setting the bounds of Joseph Smith's detractors and remaining immovable at the gate of persecution. Second by Joseph Smith's actions, which were to "hold on" regardless of what happens, knowing by the Lord's promise that nothing would befall him that he could not withstand if he remained built upon the Lord's rock.

1 Cor 15:58

Brother Steadfast makes a brief appearance here when Paul teaches us that one who is steadfast is immovable. Even the Earth moves, and Archimedes said, "find me a lever big enough, and I can move the Earth", yet we are commanded to be immovable under inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 7:55

We finally see Brother Steadfast here in the midst of the stoning of Stephen, where, though he was being stoned (their bounds are set), continuously looked up to Heaven to see his Lord and Savior. He was also steadfast in his love of the people by petitioning the Lord to forgive them for what they were doing.

Daniel 3:17-18

One more that I just thought of, and that is in the midst of Shadrack, Meeshak, and Abednego. Were they not steadfast in saying "But if not"? Regardless of our own lives and our own prosperity, we know what the Lord has commanded and we will not back down from it.

Bro. Hungry

I am out of time. I'll have to write the rest later on....


Popular posts from this blog

How Many Teeth Does The Tooth Fairy Pick Up Each Night in Utah?

Somebody asked me a question about my Tooth Fairy post the other day that got me thinking. How many baby teeth are lost every day in Utah? I began with Googling. Surely someone else has thought of this and run some numbers, right? Lo, there is a tooth fairy site that claims that the Tooth Fairy collects 300,000 teeth per night . That's a lot; however, when I ran the numbers, it started to seem awfully low. Let's assume that the Tooth Fairy collects all baby teeth regardless of quality and we assume that all children lose all their baby teeth. The world population of children sits at 2.2 billion , with 74.2 million of them in the United States. Of those, approximately 896,961 of them are in Utah . This means that somewhere around .04077% of the world's children are in Utah. If we assume that kids in Utah lose teeth at the same rate as all other children in the world and that each day in the year is just as likely as the rest to lose a tooth, then we have that of

BYU and the Sunday Compromise?

I read an article by Brad Rock this morning where he quoted heavily from Dr. Thomas Forsthoefel who was giving his opinion on religious institutions being involved in sports . BYU , of course, came up. I think Forsthoefel came off sounding a bit misinformed about the culture, drive, mission, etc. of BYU . Below is the email that I sent to Brad Rock this morning after finishing the article: Brad - That was an interesting article. I tend to disagree with Forsthoefel, though, or at least disagree with what I may have read into his comments. A quote in your article says: "There may be a kind of growing pain. BYU is in the real world and the real world works on Sunday. Can we (BYU) live with the adjustment? I'm empathetic with that, whatever decision is made, people are going to be unhappy.… Some will say get with the program, we'll be OK at the next level, others will say we've sold out and we've made a deal with the world." This seems to suggest one o

Baby Names: What my daughter's name has to do with an ancient Persian Fairy Tales

If you read my previous post on my sons' names, you'll know that this post is about my daughters' names. When we found out that we were going to have twins, I vowed that there names were not going to rhyme or alliterate. We weren't going to do Jadyn and Jordan, or Kim and Tim, or Esther and Edgar (all likely candidates for other, less elitist parents, especially Esther and Edgar). I did want the names to have something to do with one another somehow. Felicity Mae Cummings Felicity's first name has little to do with its underlying Hebrew meaning or its tie to Biblical history and everything to do with the fact that this was a name that Kristi had always wanted one of her girls to have because she liked that it meant "happiness". So, to tell you the truth, I didn't do a lot of research on this name because its place in our family had already been decided. But, it was excellent material to work with. The initial spark that 'Felicity' pro