Monday, June 2, 2014

9 of my Favorite Blessings

Having gotten my wisdom teeth out recently, and not feeling like doing much of anything - I've had a lot of time to think and reflect on many things. Yesterday was Fast and Testimony meeting in church. Members are welcome to go up to the podium and share their testimony with the congregation. While listening, I reflected on how much God has blessed me. He's continually watched out for me, protected me, and provided a way for Trevor and I to accomplish many things. It's been interesting to look at all the many instances where God's influence and power is so clearly evident in my life. Yet, when I take a closer look, His hand guides my life every day. I'm not perfect, far from it, But God has never deserted me or left me helpless. He asks so little of us, and grants us such great blessings based on our faith and obedience. As I've reflected, I've counted my blessings, as the song says, though this isn't all inclusive. Granted, not all could fit on this list, but here are the blessings I enjoy and am most grateful for. These blessings have truly impacted my life and changed it for the best


9. The Law of Tithing - If there was one God's laws that I've gained the biggest testimony on - it's the law of tithing. Each time we receive a financial gain - like a pay check or grant - we pay 10% to the Lord. A lot of times, it's not very much., but that's not what matters. This is an instance where we give so little, and the Lord gives us so much back. There are times when we look at our financial situation and wonder how things will work out, with faith and the law of tithing, it always works out. God provides a way. He's proved to us so many times that He will watch out for us, if we but do our part.

8.The scriptures and living prophets. I think this is a blessing we some times take for granted, for those of us who have been members of the church our whole lives. Being in Wymount, I've meet some people who are converts and usually around the age of 18 or so. So, they grew up without the gospel in their lives. The Book of Mormon was new to them, along with living prophets to lead and guide us. I gained my testimony of the gospel and of Christ by reading the Book of Mormon. I took Moroni's challenge and prayed to know if it was true. I'm happy to say, that I do know the Book of Mormon is true. The Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion. So, if the Book of Mormon is true, it makes sense that the rest of the laws and principles of the gospel are true. And, I have a testimony of that.

7. My health and protection. This is a really big one for me. I've had challenges in my life, I've seen other's challenges. It makes me so ever grateful for my health, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I try to take the Word of Wisdom seriously, because there are some amazing blessings that come with it. If it was one challenge that I think would really kill me, be one of the hardest challenges, it'd be poor health. All the way around, I've done what I can to be healthy in all aspects. Not only healthy, but God's protected me on more than one occasion as well. I know that there have been times where he allowed guardian angles to  come down and watch over me, protect me, and keep me out of harms way.

6. My family, their love, support and memories. This is a HUGE blessing that really doesn't get the justice it deserves. My family has been amazing and a HUGE blessing. We are so close and are each other's best friends. Growing up isn't always easy, especially in the teen years, but they always loved me! They were my biggest champion growing up, their support was and still is overwhelming. I look back of my childhood at home fondly. I learned so much and became who I am today while there. Now that I'm all grown up, married and on my own, I look back on the memories I had as a kid and I cherish those. I learned so many lessons that impacted me in such a huge way. It's helped pave the way for my future

5. My own trials and challenges. Everybody has trials and challenges, I get that. But, I also believe that God tailors our refiners fire to our individual needs. He knows what we need and He also knows how to get us from point A to point B. Meaning, He can get us to where we need to be in life. I've seen that is such a huge way. I'm so grateful for my own challenges that I've been through, because of the personal growth that comes with it. The lessons learned stays with us forever and helps us in future circumstances.

4.Prayer. It's simple. It's a primary answer. Yet this is probably the biggest tool we have in our spiritual toolbox. It's like a telephone straight to God. All prayers are answered, sometimes not in the way we expect, but prayers are always answered in the way that is best for us, even if we don't believe it at the time. We can receive personal revelation through prayer. I have. We can pour our our soul unto God, express our worries, fears and hopes and dreams. I have. He sends His spirit to comfort us, give us peace and helps us to move forward with life.

3. The Priesthood - and Trevor being a worthy priesthood holder. The older I've gotten, the more I've come to understand the significance and importance of the priesthood. One memory I cherish, where everything started to click in my head, was when I saw Trevor bless the sacrament for the first time, I swelled up with tears. I was going to marry a man who had the priesthood, which is a large protection and comfort beyond the realms of this world. I've been able to receive priesthood blessings, not only from him, but from my own father as well. I was able to be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, take the sacrament every week, receive my patriarchal blessing, and go to the temple an receive the ordinances there. When a blessing is given, it's as if it came directly from God - because it does and the priesthood holder is God's mouthpiece for that moment. Because of the Priesthood, family's can be together forever and we can return back to live in the presence of God.

2. Trevor and our temple marriage. The more time goes by, the more I realize the significance of my temple marriage. I always wanted to be married in the temple. And I did it. It was probably the best decision of my life. I get to be with my best friend for all eternity. The blessings of the temple are binding and eternal. In sealing rooms in the temple, there are two mirrors, one on either side of the wall. What you see is never ending mirrors and the members in the room. It's a glimpse of what eternity can be for us. Never ending.

1. The Atonement of Jesus Christ - and my faith and testimony. I have a small, human mind. I cannot totally comprehend the Atonement. I understand that Christ suffered and died for me, so that if I'm faithful, I can return to live with Him and our Father in Heaven. It's only been the last few years that I've started to gain a better understanding of what the Atonement is and how it can be applied in my life. Not only did the Atonement provide a way to remove our sins, but because of it, Christ understands everything that we've been through or will go through. I can't comprehend how it all works, but that's not what matters, what matters is that He does understand everything. So, he knows best how to succor us. He understands completely and wholly. I have a testimony of this. I've felt the cleansing power of the Atonement in my life, and the healing that comes with it. There is nothing on earth more purifying than the Atonement. It's a gift given to every member of the family of Adam. It has been so freely given, God has such perfect love, that again, it's hard to understand or comprehend. But I have a testimony of it. At a time when my faith was little and breaking, in the dark I found God's light, forgiveness and healing. From then on, I haven't looked back. It was such an earth shattering, life changing moment, it changed my path forever. I was redirected towards God and his light. I have a testimony that He lives, that He loves us and that He is there. I'm grateful for what I know. I consider myself lucky. I was able to be humbled and brought to a realization of these things. I cannot deny it. I cannot deny my faith in God or what I know to be true. God's love is there for each of us, He's knocking on the door, we just have to open. He wants to be involved in each of our lives, we just have to allow Him to enter, and our life can change forever.

- SamiMae

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Illustrious Mormons: Edwin Catmull, the Heart and Soul of Pixar

Hey.

It's been a while, huh? *Clears out cobwebs.* 

Since last we spoke, I've visited my mom in the hospital nearly weekly, studied for and taken my finals as a junior in civil engineering at a reputable national university, captained a design team at a regional student civil engineering conference (we took third place), presented an ethical paper at the same regional conference (I took first place), and then found out that the same paper, which I submitted concurrently to a national competition, won first place nationally as well, so I was dealing with the logistics of that. Also, I attended two weddings in the family (including my father's), been in the car for maybe 800 miles mostly to visit family, started my summer classes, which are going twice as quickly as last term (though I only have half as many of them).

So, I guess what I'm saying is that I really didn't mean for my hiatus to extend as long as it did, but it's probably good that it did.

Today, I'm going to start on a blog mini-series that I think I'll call Illustrious Mormons – blog posts detailing the lives and work of Mormons who have made or are making a difference in modern society. But first, a word on why I write these blog posts:

For faithful Mormons, I hope it inspires us and motivates us to know that we can make a difference, and still live ever-closer to God; for non-Mormons, I hope it piques your curiosity about what we have that makes us unique (because there is plenty); for those who are wavering in your belief in Mormonism, I hope it gives you reason to stay with it a little longer; and for those who have left Mormonism for the fear of the world, I hope it helps you reconsider your decision to leave, by showing that Mormonism is a high-quality religion that anyone can be a part of.


Illustrious Mormons: Edwin Catmull, the Heart and Soul of Pixar

Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs, and John Lasseter,
the early creative team at Pixar.

Edwin Catmull is a Mormon that a lot of people don't know about – I myself didn't even know about him until I started surfing famousmormons.net in earnest. Regardless, though, he makes a tremendous impact – so I thought he'd be perfect for my first Illustrious Mormon Lives blog post. Catmull is the co-founder and president of Pixar Animation Studios, and, as of 2006 (when Disney bought Pixar outright), the president of Disney Animation Studios. In addition to being the creative genius behind Pixar, Catmull has also pioneered computer animation throughout his life, and thus has made significant contributions to the way that moviegoers nationwide get their fix every weekend.

Born to a Mormon family of five children in West Virginia, and raised in Salt Lake City, Catmull enjoyed animation from a young age: he made crude animations through flip-books, and dreamed of working for Disney. Unfortunately, he wasn't a very good artist, but fortunately for him (and for us all), he was very good at math, and so he ended up at the University of Utah, studying physics and computer animation, and eventually getting a doctorate degree in computer animation.
Toy Story 3 grossed over $1 trillion
worldwide, second only to "Frozen."

This was at a time when computer animation hadn't exactly come into its own yet, but Edwin Catmull brought it into its own throughout the course of his career. He worked at Lucasfilm in the 70s, and believed that the technology to create a full-length computer animated movie was about ten years off. (It was actually twenty years before Catmull's team would create the world's first full-length animated motion picture: perhaps you've heard of Toy Story?) As such, he pioneered many of the technologies involved in creating an animated movie, both during his time at LucasFilm and afterwards.

As with many pioneers in their field, Catmull felt that the guys at Lucasfilm didn't really understand his vision, since it had never been done before. When George Lucas had to let him and his team go for cost reasons, he was contacted by Steve Jobs, who teamed up with Catmull to found Pixar.
Yep, he won an Oscar, too.

Some would say that “the rest is history” at this point, since everyone knows about Pixar's teaming up with Disney, and their long string of incredible successes (“Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” to name just a few). However, incredible successes like that don't just happen; in this case, Pixar has enjoyed such a long string of successes because of Catmull. As president of Pixar from day one (that's 26 years now that he's been at the helm), his passion, enthusiasm, creativity and hard work have been the engine that makes Pixar run. Writing in 2004, Fortune magazine had this to say about Catmull and the Pixar creative team:
Steve Jobs, Pixar's CEO, calls Catmull "our quiet Beatle" (that would be George, the deep one), and John Lasseter, the pioneering animator who directed the company's first three films, refers to him as "Pixar's heart and soul." But the best description comes from Brad Bird, a newcomer who directed The Incredibles: "I refer to those guys as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Ed, who invented this cool medium and is the designer of the human machine that is Pixar, is the Father. John, its driving creating force, is the Son. And you-know-who is the Holy Ghost." from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2004/11/15/8191082/

According to the late Jobs (taken from the same article), "Pixar is on really solid ground and Ed is a big reason why."

Just how good is Pixar, with Catmull at its helm? Good enough that Toy Story 3, Pixar's highest grossing film, took in over $1 billion dollars worldwide, currently behind only Disney's Frozen for the highest grossing all-time animated movie ever. 

Just how innovative is Edwin Catmull? Innovative enough to win an Oscar for his innovations in the field, two Scientific and Technical Awards the Academy, and be inducted as a museum fellow at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley.

And he's a Mormon.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter! (and an update)

On this Easter, may we all take a moment to slow down and reflect reverently on the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Through His sacred death, we may all have life everlasting. Through Him, life has meaning and direction. God be thanked for the great sacrifice that His son gave for us as He hung and died on a cross near Jerusalem, nearly 2,000 years ago at this point.

Now, about the blog: I expect to take a few more weeks off: since it's a weekend project, I need free weekends to work on it. Since these next two weekends are busy with family weddings (one in Sam's family, and one in mine), I don't expect to be back up to posting on it until early to mid-May. But when I do, I hope to come back in, guns blazing. I've been thinking up some good stuff over these last few weeks I've been on hiatus, and I hope I can write it as well as it sounds in my head.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mono and the Sacrament

Today in Church, we celebrated Easter. We had our Easter program in Sacrament meeting and in Sunday school and Relief Society we discussed the Passover (Studying the OT), and the Sacrament. In RS, we talked about how to prepare each week to take the Sacrament.

As I sat and thought, I remembered and experience that happened to me 2 years ago. I was in singles ward and was starting to really strengthen my testimony on partaking of the Sacrament every week. I had gone so long without missing a week. I didn't like the though of being in a position on Sunday where I would unable to (not because of unworthiness, but because of circumstances). I have come to learn that taking the Sacrament every week is very important. There is a renewal of strength that we receive that helps carry us throughout the coming week.

But, I've also learned, that the Lord understands that sometimes we can't make it to Sacrament, but we can still feel that renewal of strength when we take the time to ponder on Christ and his Atonement for us. I will share a story where I learned this.

It was Labor day weekend in 2012. My family was taking our yearly trip to Yellowstone National Park. We love camping and we love the park. But this year, there was a series of unfortunate events that happened. On the days leading up to our trip, I had fallen quite sick. My tonsils were the size of giant swelled up golf balls in the back of my through, with leaving me only a quarter to a dime sized diameter in the back of my throat to breath, frequently clogged with mucus. On our drive up, the sun had set, and our trailer popped a tire. While changing the tire, some of the family feared they had seen a bear. The next day, as we pulled in to park our trailer in the park, we found out that "They who will not be named", were also at the park. (Only family will get that). Now everyone was on high alert. The trip had seemed to have some bad "ju-ju".

This was before the meds wore off.
To make things even better, Mom took me to the hospital at Old Faithful. They got me right in, ran some tests on me (because the high dosage of amoxicillin wasn't even touching it). I looked horrible, I felt horrible. The tests explained why I looked like death. As I sat on the bed, watching Old Faithful go off out the window, the nurse told me I had mononucleosis. Awesome. Great. First day of our trip, which I always look forward to, and I had come down with an awesome case of mono. Well, they gave me some steroids and 2 shots in the butt and sent me on my way. I felt great after the shots! I was ready to do some hiking an explore the park. Everyone was so worried about me having mono. Grandma and Grandpa had come along also. Everyone kept asking me if I was ok. They kept saying this was nasty stuff. But, I was proud and was going to prove them wrong. I was great! These shots were amazing! I had some drugs in me and life was good. Shortly after we hiked around Mud Volcano, (my favorite spot). The drugs stared wearing off and I got super exhausted. This is when the side effects of mono really set in. I had never felt anything like it. I had never been so exhausted that no amount of sleep would help.


The meds were starting to wear off. lol
Well, I crashed the party. Grandma and Grandpa took me from mom and dad to take me home after 2 days. But this is where I really got an amazing experience out of the whole horrible ordeal. Grandma and Grandpa had rented a room at the Flagg Staff Ranch in the Teton area, just out of the south entrance of the park. Saturday night they took me to their hotel room and then we'd make the trek home the next day. Mom had given me a ziplock baggie of 2 slices of bread and some crackers. Eating was so hard because my tonsils were so large.  That night, Grandpa had gotten me a bucket of ice to eat, since that helped with the constant pain. I was taking 800 mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours and my prednisone.  (Tylenol didn't touch the pain).

That night, it was quiet and lonely. Grandma and Grandpa went to bed. I couldn't sleep. I had no cell phone service. All there was that night was me, my 2 slices of bread, a bucket of ice, and a hymn app on my cell phone. I kept chewing one ice cube after another to try to keep my throat numb. I had to break the bread into small pieces to eat, or they'd get stuck in my throat. After some while, I realized what I had in front of me. These were the symbols of the Sacrament. I knew that I wouldn't be attending church the next day. But I couldn't help but think of the Savior and his Atonement. I realized, that he knew exactly the pain that I was feeling that night. In that moment, I realized that I didn't have to do it alone. I was slightly distraught at the path that laid ahead of me. My Savior helped me and was with me that night, and my long 3 months to recovery. I felt of his Spirit and his closeness as he buoyed me up. I read the hymns and was reminded and pondered on His life and the things He had done. That night, I learned that it's the intention of our hearts that matters. I may not have made it to church, but still taking time to pause and think about Christ and His Atonement - I felt a spiritual renewal.


I cherish that night. Yes, I was as sick as I have ever been in my life, but I learned important things that night. In the Sacrament prayers, there is the promise that if we always remember him, we may always have his spirit to be with us. I felt his spirit that night. That night, I took another step closer to my Savior. I learned more about Him and about me and my relationship with Him. I wasn't alone. He was with me that night, throughout my recovery and I strive to have his spirit with me to this day still. I can tell you that he supported me and gave me spiritual renewal that I so desperately needed as I went about that week.

So for those of us who may not be able to make it to Sacrament for one reason or another, take a moment to pause and think about our Savior. Just because we can't make it to Sacrament one week, doesn't mean we have to forgo feeling a spiritual renewal and feeling His Spirit with us. That night was a very spiritual one for me. I believe it's the thought that counts. God knows our hearts. He didn't withhold blessings from me, but instead He blessed me in so many ways.

I spent the next three months doing a lot of sleeping. But slowly, I regained my strength back, and my health. It was a considerable challenge for me at the time, having just hardly turned 19. I don't think I was given that challenge "just because". I believe that I was given that opportunity to learn things and gain insight to things that might not have happened otherwise. I believe that that night and that challenge was given to me as an opportunity to build my testimony and deepen my understanding of His atonement.  I was given the opportunity to draw closer unto my Savior during that time. Now, having passed out of that challenge, I'm grateful for it and I feel like it benefited me in ways that I didn't understand at the beginning. I feel I've grown from it and it's an experience that has helped to build the testimony I have today. This experience happened during a time of huge spiritual and character growth for me. It gave me time to pause, to think and pray.

I challenge each one of us to stop and take time to think about the Savior and his atonement and what it means to each of us. It's the Easter season. Now it the perfect time to reflect on the life of the Savior and His Resurrection. He was the perfect example. He overcame death and has provided a way for us to make it back to our Heavenly Father. He's our elder brother and He is there for us. Come, follow me - He said. I encourage each one of us to follow this counsel. May it bring us joy and happiness as we draw closer unto Him.  I know that my Redeemer lives!

Happy Easter

- SamiMae

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Hiatus

Hey all -

Things have gotten pretty crazy this last week, between personal matters, homework and exams, and some extracurricular stuff I'm involved in. I won't be posting anything this week, but Sam still might. Actually, it will probably be a few weeks until I can devote the time to this blog again like I want, but hopefully it won't be much longer than just a couple of weeks to a month.

If you're looking for something to satiate your Mormon blog appetite, I recommend the Millennial Star blog, found at millennialstar.org. Good stuff, and thought-provoking.

Cheers,
Trevor

Friday, March 7, 2014

Book of Mormon Stories: Nephi Gets the Brass Plates

Le'ts start off this post with a video! Book of Mormon Stories that my teacher tells to me, Bum Bum Bum..... sing along! Recall some of the great Book of Mormon stories! Bum bum bum....



Chapter 4 gives us an awesome story. Nephi keeps God's commandment to retrieve the brass plates. There is a TON we can learn from this chapter.

1. Be faithful; God is mightier than all the earth. (1 Nephi 4:1). Nephi reminds his brothers to be faithful in keeping the commandants because God is mightier than their foe, Laban.

2. Be strong, and look to the greats. (1 Nephi 4:2) Nephi is giving another pep talk and he reminds his brother of Moses. We to can remember the greatest and strive to be like them.

3. "Wherefore can ye doubt?" Nephi asks his brothers. They have the scriptures, their father is a prophet, they've seen an angel. They know that God can and will provide a way if they keep the commandments, so wherefore can we doubt?

4. OK, now we are really getting into the story. Nephi takes off on his own. He convinced his brothers to stay right outside the wall of Jerusalem. Nephi went into the city and was "led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." (1 Nephi 4:6) Sometimes we are like Nephi, the spirit prompts us to do something, and we don't quite know what it is, but we go with it. The spirit knows, if we follow, everything will work out how it's suppose to.

Now, Nephi is led to the house of Laban. as he approaches, he sees Laban on the ground, drunk. Nephi takes a moment to admire his beautiful sword. "the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel". Next, he is prompted to kill Laban!

Nephi, in his heart, desires not to kill him. He had never killed a man before. "I shrunk and would that I might not slay him." (1 Nephi 4:10). Twice more the spirit tells him to slay Laban. The spirit whispered to Nephi " Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands; Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief." (1 Nephi 4: 12-13) That's pretty intense.

I think it's interesting that in vs 14-17, Nephi is reasoning it out in his heart. He remembers the commandments God has given him. He needs the brass plates so Nephi's posterity could keep a record of their language and have the gospel. He thought in his heart that his posterity can't keep the commandments if they didn't have them. He knew the commandments were on the brass plates. In Vs 18, he obeyed the spirit of the Lord and kills Laban.

Some people are unsettled about Nephi kills Laban. Please go and read this article. It's an excellent article that explains why Nephi's execution of Laban was honorable and just before the eyes of God. Yes, God have the commandment that "Thou shalt not kill." But her reasoning is interesting, and I agree. It'll only take you a moment and it'll change your whole view on the slaying of Laban.

5. The Law is engraven in our scriptures. (1 Nephi 4:16) Just as Nephi needed the brass plates, we need the scriptures in our day. The law and gospel is contained in it. For Nephi's time, it's better than a man die, (Laban), than an entire nation dwindle in unbelief (Nephi's posterity).

The story doesn't end there. After Laban's death, Nephi dresses in Labans clothes and heads to Laban's treasury to get the plates. He meets Zoram there. Zoram thinks that Nephi is Laban. Nephi's voice was disguised to sound like Laban, and remember that Nephi is large in stature. Zoram gives him the plates and follows him to the outer wall of Jerusalem.

Nephi meets his brothers there, who think he's Laban and begin to run, but Nephi calls out to them. Then, Zoram realizes his mistake and begins to flee, but Nephi "having received much strength of the Lord" was able to stop Zoram from leaving. Nephi promised to spare his life and that he would be a free man if he went with them. Zoram agreed and that was that. An oath back then was solid. No one dared to brake an oath. After Nephi and Zoram exchanged oaths, they went back to Lehi and Sariah in the wilderness.

The great stories don't end there! Read the Book of Mormon slow and thoughtfully to catch all the important good stuff! :)

- SamiMae

You Can Do It - 1 Nephi 3

This is a great chapter! We learn some important doctrine here. When the Lord commands, do it. It's that simple. Sometimes easier said then done. Let's dig in.

1. Don't murmur. It's that simple. You'll be better off for it. (1 Nephi 3:6)

2. This is a GREAT verse, it's actually a scripture mastery.
"...I Nephi said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)

Just Do it. Here we learn that the Lord will not issue a commandment to us that we can't keep. In fact,
he'll provide a way for us to keep his commandments. For example, with tithing, if you pay an honest tithe, God will provide a way for things to work out. It can usually be a surprise, but if you keep that law, blessings based on that law will follow. It's the same with all of God's commandments.  If we strive to keep them, He'll provide a way for us to keep them.

This is such an important concept, that we even have a song about it! It's called Nephi's courage. LDS kids grow up singing this song. :)






3. Encourage others to keep the commandments. (1 Nephi 3:16) Here Nephi is encouraging his brothers to keep the commandments. 

4. God has wisdom in his commandments. (1 Nephi 3:19). God isn't going to issue a commandment that's unwise. He is perfect and wants us to become like him. So, his commandments are perfect and there is wisdom in them. 

5. Pep talks never hurt the discouraged. (1 Nephi 3:21) Nephi spends some time giving his brothers a pep talk and encouragement, eventually they agree to try again in getting the brass plates. 
6. God protects his chosen. (1 Nephi 3:29). Here, Laman and Lemuel are angry at Nephi. I think maybe part of their anger was because they were scared and just came out of a high-stress situation. Laban and his men were chasing after Laman, Lemual, Sam and Nephi to kill them. I think afterwards it'd be a little stressed and high strung too. But, Laman and Lemual take it to far. They find a rod and start hitting Nephi! They are so intense and focus on hitting him, that God sends an angel to break up their fight! (I can't imagine what Sam must have been thinking.) The angel was pretty bold with them. Nevertheless, Nephi is saved by an angel.
7. Visions, signs and angels don't change a person or gives someone faith. (1 Nephi 3:31) So, let's think about this. Laman and Lemuel were hitting Nephi, an angel comes and stops them while criticizing them at the same time. Then, after the angel leaves, Laman and Lemual murmur. Faith has to be present before a vision or a sign or it won't change a person. It won't matter. After the angel visits, Laman and Lemuel still doubt. 


These are just a few of the many lessons we can learn from 1 Nephi 3. Great lessons. Let us be faithful in keeping God's commandments. Just remember "YOU CAN DO IT!" :)

- SamiMae