God Needs Boat Builders

I’ve been pondering the similarities between 3 boat builders in the scriptures….Noah, Nephi and the Jaredites. In doing this, I’ve been learning more and more about the great love that God has for His children.

I placed these 3 accounts side-by-side and began writing down the details in each one, to see if they matched up with the others. What I discovered was not only interesting, but inspiring.

Here are only 14 similarities I found between the accounts:

  1. They were commanded by God to build a boat (or ark, or barge).
  2. They were not boat-builders.
  3. They had a desire to please God.
  4. They trusted in The Master Carpenter, who DID know how to create all things.
  5. They received divine instructions (a “heavenly user’s manual”).
  6. Their faith in God led them to obedience.
  7. Keeping the commandment was difficult.
  8. They continually prayed for God’s guidance.
  9. The boats they made – floated.
  10. They were guided by the hand of God.
  11. They encountered terrible storms.
  12. Those awful storms were provided by God – to land them in a better place.
  13. They were safe in their boats.
  14. They – and their families – were blessed.

As I studied these accounts, I noticed what I felt was the most important common thread, and that was the REASON the commandment to build the boats was given. I feel it is the same reason all commandments are given….Commandments are given so families may be blessed.

I found myself wondering, since we are supposed to liken the scriptures to ourselves, if I could be added to the list of boat-builders – or commandment keepers. I began to think of commandments I have received that seem difficult – like building a boat may have seemed to Noah or Nephi. I thought of several that were difficult for me, only now I approach them in prayer differently. After studying these accounts, I now have new insight and my prayers which may begin with “Please help me build this boat!” now include something like the following:

  1. Thank you for giving me this commandment. I know it is because Thou loves me.
  2. I have never done this before and I don’t know how.
  3. I want to do what Thou asks.
  4. I know that Thou knows how to do this, and will show me the way.
  5. Please give me divine instructions.
  6. I will exercise my faith in The Master Carpenter – and move forward.
  7. This is very difficult for me.
  8. Thank you for hearing my continued prayers.
  9. I know with Thy help, I will succeed.
  10. Please guide my efforts.
  11. I will look to Thee when the storms come, knowing I am in Thy care.
  12. I know I will end up in a better place when the storms are over.
  13. I know I am safe in The Old Ship Zion.
  14. I know this commandment was given so me and my family can be blessed. 

God needs boat builders – commandment keepers – and I want to be one of them. The scriptures have taught me that I can trust in God’s commandments because I know the loving REASON they are given – so we and our families may be blessed! I also know that I can trust that divine instructions will come and that a way will be provided as we each gather our tools – and build.


6 thoughts on “God Needs Boat Builders

  1. Megan Hambly


    I love your posts! You share such great insights and I’m always uplifted by reading what you write. I was wondering if you would mind sharing how you organize your scripture study. How did you come to study boat builders? Do you read chronologically or study topically? I’m trying to make my scripture study more meaningful and was inspired by conference to really study the Book of amormon in depth and am trying to figure out what will Be most effective/enlightening for me.

    Have a great day!

    Megan (Lexie’s daughter 🙂

    1. April McMurtrey Post author

      Thank you for your comment Megan! I study the Book of Mormon using the seminary manual every morning, then I listen to what I studied that morning (on my phone) as I prepare for the day. I also listen to The Living Christ and a talk by a general authority before my work day begins, to learn and start my day off with the Spirit. So, I guess I study the Book of Mormon chronologically. (I study the the Bible and D&C in alternate years, as seminary kids do.) I happened to study boat builders as I was preparing for a talk. But, don’t you love studying the similarities and symbols in the scriptures? For instance, one of these days I want to compare all the accounts of “mountains” and “clouds” in the scriptures, as well as fish, bread, fire, and all the times people were “led by the Lord”. There is so much to learn and so little time!! Enjoy these wonderful books, Megan, and please share how YOU study! 🙂

      1. Megan Hambly

        Thanks so much for your response! I love the idea of listening to what you study after you’ve studied it. I can imagine that brings even more insights! I love listening and reading to conference talks because it feels like a totally different experience each way, but I haven’t tried it with the scriptures!

        I’ve been studying the D&C this year (chronologically) using the BYU student manual. I’m working on adding in Book of Mormon study each day, too, but am struggling to find the time! I also feel like I’ve gotten into kind of a rut with scripture reading where I’m going through all the right motions but not getting much out of it. Something I’m doing to try to pull myself out of it is making a bigger effort to write what I learn each day—I find that writing things down (beyond just helping me remember) helps me to get more out of my study, too. And it helps me make sure I do learn something each day 🙂

        Thanks again for your blog. You always brighten my day!

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