Thursday, February 18, 2016

David vs Goliath, Nephi vs Laban and 50 guards? "No problem, we got this!" How remembering makes the difference.

How was David so brave when all the other Israelites were terrified of Goliath and the Philistines? 

Did you know that Goliath was over nine and a half feet tall?  And that his upper body armor weighed around a whopping 150 pounds? The iron tip of his spear weighed up to 26 pounds! (See Seminary Teacher Manual.) All David had was five stones in a little bag and a sling. No match for such an impossible foe, right?

Would you feel intimidated? I would.

How was Nephi so brave when Laman and Lemuel were terrified of Laban and his fifty men?  

Nephi and his brothers had tried twice to get the brass plates from Laban, and had twice failed, including losing their riches and almost their lives. It looked utterly impossible to get those brass plates with blatant failures and death threats. Then how was Nephi able to respond with this: 
"Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?" (1 Nephi 4:1). 
Where can you and I get that kind of David-like or Nephi-like faith? One way is through remembering

When you remember that God is infinitely more powerful than your obstacle, your enemy, your new and overwhelming calling, a commandment that's hard to obey, or a prompting that scares you, you feel empowered! 

My favorite technique to boost my faith through remembering that is to simply write down a list of ways God has helped you in the past, helped your family members, your ancestors, people in the scriptures, even historical figures. 

Scripture people wrote these lists too. It's exactly what David and Nephi did. 

David remembered how God had given him power to kill a bear and a lion, which boosted his faith that God would give him power to kill Goliath (see 1 Samuel 17:37). 

Nephi reminded his murmuring brothers that God worked miracles for Moses and others, so certainly God would help them now:
"Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea" (1 Nephi 4:2). 
Nephi rehearsed "remember lists" multiple times to Laman and Lemuel to boost their faith. I marked these with a blue colored pencil (see picture below). You can check some of these out here: 
  • 1 Nephi 315-21
  • 1 Nephi 4:1-2
  • 1 Nephi 5:4-5
  • 1 Nephi 7:8-15
  • 1 Nephi 17:23-37 
In fact, during one of Nephi's "remember spiritual pep talks" he asked those brothers three times how could they have forgotten the great things God has done for them? (See 1 Nephi 7:8-15.) 

I marked Nephi's "remember spiritual pep talks" to his murmuring brothers in blue. 
Do you think remembering is one of the main reasons God asks us to study the scriptures every day? I think it is. 

So what is on your "remember list"? I invite you to start your own "remember list" right now. It's easy! A few minutes of writing for a HUGE BOOST of faith and courage? That's a good investment!

  • Write down a couple times God has helped you before
  • A couple times God has helped someone you know like a family member or friend
  • A couple times God has helped scripture people or people in history
  • Then keep your list handy for the next week or so, and add to it as other experiences come to mind
Remember that when God commands, He empowers. 

Just like Nephi, David, and others, when you feel God calling you to do something, you can count on God giving you His power to do it (see 1 Nephi 3:7). That is empowering.  

This makes a great FHE. We've done it a few times over the years. 

An easy FHE would be to look up and discuss some of the scriptures mentioned in this post, discuss the importance of remembering, and then start your own family's "remember list." I have had many experiences where this list gave me just the boost of faith and courage to do hard things, even impossible things. 

Because when it's me and God against an impossible foe, no problem! WE GOT THIS.  

Here is our family's most recent "remember" list that we created during a family home evening about the power of remembering. 

Click hereherehere and here to see other posts about this powerful principle of remembering and how it has changed my life. 

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