1 Nephi 8
Lehi followed the guide, but didn’t see the tree until after he prayed. Success takes both following the prophet AND receiving personal inspiration. Remember the 4 “C”s – commence, catch hold, cling, continue. It takes doing all of them to make it to the tree of life. Also, there were two great talks in last conference on “heeding them not” that remind us to ignore the temptations of the world. (See Elder Zwick and Elder Neuenschwander’s talks in the April 2008 Sunday afternoon session.)

1 Nephi 9
It’s important to keep multiple records. Journals, scrapbooks, post-it notes, wall hangings, even emails and blogs, have different purposes and “speak” to us in different ways. If you separate your spiritual insights and promptings from your daily schedules and to-do lists, it’s easier to be reminded of what you once felt when you need that reassurance and comfort. (See 2 Timothy 1:6)

Also, remember that God knows everything, so we should have faith and be obedient even when we don’t understand, and just trust in Him.

1 Nephi 10
Seek diligently to know and understand the mysteries of God. We won’t understand spiritual things without personal effort. (See Matthew 13:11-13 which explains why the Savior uses parables.)

1 Nephi 11
Righteous desires coupled with faith and prayer lead to revelation. Christ wants to fulfill our desires, and he does – the experiences of Abraham, Solomon, John the Beloved, Nephi, and the 3 Nephites show a few examples. In addition, righteous desires lead to joy. However, we still need to remember to trust God’s timing.

“Why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?” Alma 29:6
“There is a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Eccl. 3:1
“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him. . . Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37:4-7

Reminded of song by Sally DeFord: “Hear Thou the Song of my Heart”.

The word of God leads to the love of God which brings great joy. Tree of life stands for love of God, which is most desirable, but the fruit of the tree is eternal life (see 1 Nephi 15:36 and D&C 14:7), which is his greatest gift.

“Condescension of God” is first definition of the word condescend: waiving privileges of rank and authority, NOT second definition: patronizing and superior attitude.

1 Nephi 12
The way to avoid pride is to be in the temple. (See Zephaniah 3:8-11, also D&C 90:17).

Side note found in D&C 90:18 “Set in order your houses; keep slothfulness and uncleanness far from you.” – pretty good counsel for helping us become closer to God and further from Satan.

1 Nephi 13
Heavenly Father knows what he’s doing; he set up the plan from the beginning. All scriptures are of great worth. When you’re humble, you have the Spirit and can do all things. Seek to bring forth Zion.

1 Nephi 14
We each have our own individual callings and assignments (Nephi and John the Revelator).

Nephi saw our day. He saw rampant wickedness and he saw only a few saints. However, those saints were armed with righteousness. (See Ephesians 6:11-18 and D&C 27:15-18.) How do we do that? With daily prayer, scripture study, following the prophet, listening to the Spirit, trying to keep all the commandments, etc. I’m reminded of Pres. Kimball’s quote on what constitutes the drops of oil we put in our lamp of preparation. (See Elder Bednar’s comments.)

“In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, … control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.”

1 Nephi 15
Wonderful promise in verse 24: if we “hold fast to the word” (study the scriptures and give heed to their counsel), we will “never perish” or be overcome by the adversary.There was an awful lot in these chapters! And most of it is nothing new. Just keep the commandments – something that while simple in concept, is not always simple in execution. But just keep trying!