I was struck by the thought "I sat pondering..."
How often do we take time to ponder? How often do we take the opportunity to reflect on gospel subjects in a quiet place? How oft em do we pick apart a scripture and ask, "Why this word?" or "Why this story?" or "What is the Lord trying to teach me?"
I have discovered that Nephi is teaching us a true principle here... pondering leads to BELIEVING and knowing.
The next word that got my attention was "Look!"
Here I learn another true principle... if we LOOK we will FIND! It's amazing! God has no secrets. He is inviting us all to look and He WILL show us the TRUTH! How cool is that?
Now I've read these chapters many times and I've never focused on the Lamb until now. After I read Br. Simon's comments on how the Tree of Life vision is focused on the Lamb, I had to go back and check it for myself.
(see... I pondered... I looked... and I learned!)
A quick list of references will illustrate:1 Ne. 11:21,27,31,32,34,35,36; 12:6,8,9,10,11,18; 13:24,26,28,29,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41. WOW! And it doesn't stop there… keep looking on pages 25-30 in the next reading assignment and you will find it another 17 times! He is the “Lamb” that was slain for us (Isaiah 53), and Nephi wants us to KNOW IT!
Holy Cow! or should I say Holy Lamb!
The symbolism of a Lamb is great. A lamb is gentle and can naturally symbolizes innocence, meekness, purity and submissiveness The lamb without blemish was sacrificed in ancient Israel for the sins of the people. No wonder Christ is called the Lamb of God as he offered Himself as a sacrifice for all. The sacrificial lamb needed to be male. Christ needed to be the Son of God.
Seeing this vision must have been wonderful and overwhelming all in one. I don't think I've ever experienced anything like it. Yet, I find this news, that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world, to be "most joyous to the soul" and "most desirable above all things."
I want my family to know this too! I want my friends and other family member to know for themselves.
Sadly, I do see the "mists of darkness" blinding the eyes of many and the hearts of many hardening to the trues of the gospel and the love that God offers to all. Sadly, I see many of those I love, who are good people, yet unable to shake the temptations of the world around us, destroy themselves and become enslaved to sin and captivity to the chains of hell.
It is a battle I fight every day. Some days I feel like I can keep my head above water and some days I feel like I am drowning. Then I remember... I'd rather tie myself to a parachute or something that will help me soar than to a cannonball as I experience this "free fall" we call life.
Christ is what makes us soar... and that is the point of this life and of the testimony of Nephi.