Did you know that Nephi didn’t end up writing his experiences until 30 years after they left Jerusalem? We didn’t realize that! But we read it in the Book of Mormon student manual:
1 Nephi 1:16–17. Two Sets of Records •
Nephi wrote his record about 30 years after Lehi’s family left Jerusalem and journeyed to the promised land (see 1 Nephi 19:1–5; 2 Nephi 5:28–31).
What does this tell us about the importance of backtracking and making a record of past events? Well, to put things into perspective:
- We wouldn’t have known about the prophets in Jerusalem, nor the fulfillment of prophecy when the Jews were taken into captive into Babylon for not heading to the Prophets warnings
- We wouldn’t have known where the plates came from or how Nephi happened to obtain them.
- We wouldn’t have the few examples of faith that Laman and Lemuel exemplified before turning against the righteous.
- We wouldn’t have the one line that Nephi is most famous for penning: “I, Nephi, said unto my Father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded”
These things and more would have never been known in all the church had Nephi not chosen to backtrack and write down previous events in his life.
Why is this relevant?
When Katie and I made our new years resolution on January 1, 2016 to become better at writing in our journal, we contemplated how we would best go about doing that. A paper journal is great, but we wanted to somehow combine our journals together to make a narrative of both of our lives together. It was tricky to think of a way to share a paper journal easily. We also had a desire to backtrack journal- meaning, we wanted to go back on document past events that are special to us. How could we possibility do this in an organized manner?
Nephi obviously made it work by starting from the beginning and writing up to the current day of his journeys. However, he didn’t really have any other option.
Blogging sites like WordPress and Blogger allow us to actually publish posts in the past. How cool is that! I can go back and set posts to the date they actually occurred, making this wordpress site our final decision to help us backtrack journal!
Thanks Nephi, for helping us reaffirm the importance of writing in a journal, not only of current events, but past events as well!
(Though this post is shown as published on September 17 when we discussed this topic in our studies, I actually didn’t get around to writing this post until September 20. Case in point!)