Remember how Isaiah talked about how God is going to come again? Well Nephi liked what Isaiah said so much he decided to say it all over again. Only this time without poetry. I guess Nephi liked saying things all over again without poetry because he’s done the same thing once already.
Do you remember how he retold the story about that tree with fruit that was bright like a light bulb? First his father saw the vision and talked about it. Then Nephi saw the same vision and then talked about it. But when Nephi talked about it, he explained all the poetry away so that people wouldn’t think it meant the wrong thing.
When Nephi tells stories, he wants people to understand, because he doesn’t want them to be confused about a few important things that people sometimes are confused about. First, Nephi wants people to understand who God is.
God loves the world. He loves the world so much. He loves the world so much he would die for it. And when I say God loves the world I don’t mean he loves the place Earth. I’m sure he loves earth too. He created it and it’s the most beautiful thing any of us have ever seen. But that earth is not what God is talking about when God says he loves the world. He’s talking about us. He loves us because we are his children. We are the world to him. We are his world.
The second thing Nephi wants to clarify is that when God says he loves the world, he doesn’t mean part of the world. He doesn’t mean he loves one continuent. One group of people. Or just a few friends of his. God loves everyone. And God wants everyone to be his people so that he can be everyone’s God.
The third thing Nephi wants to straighten out is that when God talks about his people, he doesn’t mean the righteous or the rich or the successful people. When God talks about his people he’s talking about the people who repent.
Repent (a definition)
To turn towards God
So when you do something wrong, you don’t run away from God. You turn towards God. And let him heal you. That’s what makes you God’s.
So if you ever feel like you’re not God’s, remember that you are God’s and turn back and run to him, and hold your arms wide open, and say “heal me.” And he will. And being healed by God is the best feeling in the world. It’s better than milk or candy. And guess what, it’s free!
The fourth thing Nephi wants you to know is that the Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. They are both books that God had people write so that we would know about him. Both books are good. And both books matter. And they matter because God uses these books to write a whole different book, a book he writes personally for you and me and for each one of us.
Because when God writes he doesn’t use a pen or a pencil. When God writes he uses his pointer finger and he doesn’t write words on paper or a computer. He doesn’t even use stone anymore. When God writes, he writes his words on your heart. So he needs us to read these good books because a lot of the words he writes come from these books. Words like repentance. Now you know it. Now God can write it and you will understand.
The fifth thing Nephi wants you to know is what to do when you feel God writing words on your heart. What you’re supposed to do is exactly what Nephi did. You’re supposed to write it down. So that you can remember it. Because you can’t go looking at your heart all the time. And it’s even harder for other people to see what God wrote on your heart. So write down what God tells you so you can remember and so you can help other people who don’t yet know that God is writing on their heart.
The last thing Nephi wants you to know is that when God comes again, it’s going to be awesome. It will be like a petting zoo. Only it won’t just be lambs and goats. There will also be lions and snakes and oxen and elephants too. Oh and friends. Lots of friends. And the children will be in charge of all the activities. It will be like a day on the beach. Only instead of the ocean we will all be tanning and playing and swimming in the knowledge of God.
Well that last bit might have started to sound a little bit like poetry. I guess even Nephi sometimes can’t say things straight. Sometimes he slips. Whatever God told Nephi about his second coming must have been so big and beautiful that Nephi couldn’t think of a normal way to say it. So he said, look out Isaiah, here I come.