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:
- They were commanded by God to build a boat (or ark, or barge).
- They were not boat-builders.
- They had a desire to please God.
- They trusted in The Master Carpenter, who DID know how to create all things.
- They received divine instructions (a “heavenly user’s manual”).
- Their faith in God led them to obedience.
- Keeping the commandment was difficult.
- They continually prayed for God’s guidance.
- The boats they made – floated.
- They were guided by the hand of God.
- They encountered terrible storms.
- Those awful storms were provided by God – to land them in a better place.
- They were safe in their boats.
- 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:
- Thank you for giving me this commandment. I know it is because Thou loves me.
- I have never done this before and I don’t know how.
- I want to do what Thou asks.
- I know that Thou knows how to do this, and will show me the way.
- Please give me divine instructions.
- I will exercise my faith in The Master Carpenter – and move forward.
- This is very difficult for me.
- Thank you for hearing my continued prayers.
- I know with Thy help, I will succeed.
- Please guide my efforts.
- I will look to Thee when the storms come, knowing I am in Thy care.
- I know I will end up in a better place when the storms are over.
- I know I am safe in The Old Ship Zion.
- 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.
- The Doctrine of Compensatory Power – Part 2
- “Women of Faith” – I am a better person after reading this book!