I Will Go and Do (1 Nephi 3)
After Lehi and his family had walked for three full days into the wilderness, Lehi informed his sons that the Lord wanted them to return to Jerusalem to retrieve a set of records referred to as the "plates of brass." You can imagine the responses: Wait, what? Are you kidding me? Why didn't you have this dream three days ago?
Only Nephi received the directive in a suitable manner, responding, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded."
Nephi's statement has two parts to it – "Go" and "Do." Both are often necessary to be successful in an undertaking.
One night, a man lost his contact lens and was looking around in the street for it. Someone came by and offered help, asking, "Where did it fall out?" When the man responded "Across the street," the helper asked, "Well, why are you looking here, then?" The response: "Because the light's better over here."
In this illustration, the man is "doing the work" but for the sake of ease or convenience, he's doing it in a place where he has no chance of success.
If I want to be a fruitful servant of God, I need to be willing to go where the work needs to be done. This may mean going to church instead of "serving God at home." It may mean going to visit people who are sick instead of just putting their names on a prayer list. It may even mean traveling to a location other than my home location if there is work to be accomplished there. It will often mean going out of my comfort zone, remembering 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."
Although it's admirable to be willing to "go," it's important to not forget the "do" part.
I have to admit, I tend to cringe when I hear someone describe himself as a servant of God by saying, "I go to church." Going to church in and of itself doesn't make someone a servant of God any more than going to an auto repair shop would make him an auto mechanic. Rather, it's what the person does at church — and elsewhere — that defines his servanthood.
When going to church, do we:
- Praise God in testimony and song?
- Seek to be a blessing to someone else?
- Help a visitor to feel more connected to the church?
- Help the children to learn about God?
- Preach the inspired word of God (if a minister)?
- Pray along quietly with the ministry?
- Allow the Spirit of God to work through us?
There may be other things we can do at church besides the list above, but the point is that going to church — or wherever God directs us — is just the first part. Doing what He wants us to do when we are there is what brings about the fruit.
"GO" + "DO" = A Fruitful Servant of God
Note: This article is part of a chapter-by-chapter series on 1 Nephi.
Happy Veteran's Day!
Thank you to all our brothers, sisters, and friends who have served our country in the armed forces. God bless you.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.