"And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness."
In this part of the Book of Mormon it appears that no sooner do Nephi and his brothers return from Jerusalem, that the Lord is asking them again to return, this time for Ishmael's family. It makes you wonder why when they were up in Jerusalem before, that the Lord didn't just tell them to go get them then?
As I reflected on this I thought of a couple of things. First, I don't really know how much time has passed between these events. It could have been months or years for all I know. The hearts of Ishmael and his family may have not been ready when they were earlier in Jerusalem. Maybe Nephi himself was still so young and needed a little more time before he could even think of having a wife. For some reason I have to believe it wasn't the right time, that's why there was a need for two trips.
The other thing I thought of is how I receive personal revelation or inspiration. The pattern for me is having a single word spoken to my mind. After I recognize where the word came from then I understand more. I've never had a whole plan given to me all at once. Now I'm no prophet but I would think its not typical to get the whole picture given you at once. It's line upon line, each building on the other. The thing is with humans we want the whole picture before we are willing to take action. I have long learned if I wait before acting on what I know so far, then I never do get more. It's just doesn't seem like the Lord works that way. We need to walk in faith.
Thinking about this helped me realize that if I was making up the Book of Mormon story I wouldn't have made the sons take two trips. It would almost seem silly to say the Lord didn't tell them to do both on the trip back to Jerusalem. But, now I realize the way the spirit works you don't usually get a full plan laid out all at once. The two trips is just another little notch mark saying to me this story is true. That would be the way the Lord works.
Day 186 Tami Fitzgerald Harris