Sorrow, and anxiety are part of our discipleship
In 1 Nephi 17:47 , Nephi explains that his soul is rent anguish because of the hardness of his brother's hearts towards the gospel. Nephi explains that he is filled with fear for them and that his frame has no strength because he is filled with the spirit of God. I am certain that it is the fact that he is so filled with the spirit of God that he is this sorrowful about his brothers attitudes. Because Nephi has the spirit he does not feel angered at his brothers when they ridicule him, persecute him and even show violence towards them. The spirit that Nephi is blessed with by God enables him to only feel sorrow for his brothers, knowing what they will suffer if their actions do not change. As disciples of Christ we should expect that as we become like our Father in Heaven, our feelings for all of his children are heightened, because we love them, just like he does. I experience this in my own life on a daily basis with my husband not being LDS. I feel comforted in the knowledge that I have through the scriptures that my feelings are the same as these wonderful prophets of the Book of Mormon. As I read their words my heart is joined with them and I feel close to them as their words describe my own feelings so well.
2 Nephi 33:3 Nephi prays continually for his people by day and his eyes " water his pillow " by night because he cries to God in faith for them.
Jacob 1:15 Jacob says that because of faith and great anxiety it was made manifest what things should happen to them.
2 Nephi 1:16 Lehi explains that he has anxiety for his people and that his heart is weighed down with sorrow from time to time.
Mormon 5:11 Mormon explains that they will sorrow that this people had not repented
Alma 8:14 Alma was weighed down with sorrow wading through tribulation and anguish of soul.
4 Nephi 1:44 The disciples began to sorrow for the sins of the world.
Helaman 7:9 Nephi says he understand that these are his days that his soul shall be filled with sorrow because of the wickedness of his brethren, and in verse 14 he goes upon a tower and pours his soul out to God in sorrow.
Enos 1:10 Enos begins to struggle in spirit desiring the welfare of his brethren.
Mosiah 28:3 Alma and the sons of Mosiah could not bare that any human soul should perish and the thought of anyone enduring endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
I understand the consequences of my choice to marry a non-member husband are temporary, and I hope that I can be worthy of an eternal marriage someday. I know if I keep my covenants that if my husband never accepts the gospel I will not be held back from that blessing, but I still feel the same way that all these great prophets feel and on a daily basis. I am going to do a better job when I am sad of remembering these great spiritual giants words, because it is frequent, and I do not just feel that way about my husband- scared and sad for them- but I also feel it for all of my brothers and sisters whom are not part of His great kingdom on this earth, that has so many blessings to offer.
The Great and Abominable Church is anything that keeps us from truth and light of the Gospel
In 1 Nephi 22:13 it says, " And the blood of that great and abominable church which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their one heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood."
When I was younger and less religiously informed I thought that is was very ironic and kind of offensive that any church that believed in Jesus Christ could be called " abominable". Now I understand that the great and abominable church comes in many forms and that it is any organization, group, or force that deceives or leads one to believe what they are doing is right, when in actuality it is doing great harm to the person because it prevents them to ever receiving the fullness of the gospel. My analogy of the great and abominable church goes like this- Vitamins are components put together that are meant to help our bodies. Most everyone that I know takes a vitamin to take care of their body. Although vitamins can be a very helpful substance for our bodies, when they are not formulated correctly for an individual person they can become potentially dangerous for the person whom is taking them. Some examples are high amounts of iron being fatal for children. Also certain elements in medications and vitamins that can not be mixed together safely. The very best vitamins are formulated in accordance with ones age, gender and even sizing. The last example presents an even stronger case when comparing this senerio to the great and abominable church- although most are aware that vitamins are highly useful in the health of our body, probably most people do not know that some vitamins can be life threatening to some people. When a person ingests too much vitamin B9 it can mask the disease pernicious anemia, and can be fatal.
Likewise, going to all church's that believe in Christ can be helpful, just like vitamins, and some will be even better than others if they are formulated better, but like the vitamins that some think might be good for them- sometimes a church without the whole truth could be spiritually fatal. Because so many people feel they are getting good things out of their current church, they do not feel the need to look for more and seek more answers. It is like a pseudo therapy for them to attend their churches. It leaves people with just enough of a lift in recognizing they are trying, but keeps them from eternal truths and ordinances under correct authority that are necessary for salvation.
We can go to the temple for direction in our lives
I find it to be so beautiful that we have so many scriptures about the Lord calling His servants to the mountain. In 1 Nephi 17:7 , Nephi says that the voice of the Lord told him to arise and get thee into the mountain. There Nephi began to cry or worship Him. There in the mountain Nephi gained instruction from the Lord about his life and how to help his family. The Lord told Nephi to build a boat, yet Nephi did not know how. At the top of this mountain Nephi gained instruction from the Lord about how to build this boat and where to find the tools that he would need to accomplish this task. Donald W. Parry said in the " sacred space " temples of the ancient world; rituals symbolism ed. , " From Moses experience on Mount Sinai to Peter, James, and John's experience on the mount of transfiguration mountains have always been symbolic of temples or the house of the Lord."
In my own life I am thankful for the opportunity to be a temple recommend holder. It is a privilege to understand at a deeper level how we should live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God. When I go to the temple I am given divine instructions for my own life, and just like Nephi I am given tools to help me accomplish the will of my Father in Heaven.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.