I’m a Laurel Advisor in our ward. I love being with those amazing girls as much as I love warm blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream. That’s saying somethin’.
During the month of August, one of the suggested topics is “Why is chastity important?” Normally I might avoid that subject and choose something a little less awkward, like temple marriage. Then I could bring my bridal portrait to class and let the girls giggle at how poofy my 90’s bangs and shoulder pads were. But alas, I chose to tackle chastity and sexual purity.
I’ll come back to that thought…
I recently re-started the Book of Mormon. 1 Nephi chapter 7 is quite exciting. Ishmael and his family join Lehi’s family. (Hello wedding receptions! Oh wait, there were no guests to attend the reception in the wilderness.) Laman and Lemuel act up again. Nephi gets tied up by his brothers, but the bands get loosed because of his faith. Everybody apologizes and they’re all a big happy family again. (For a few minutes.)
Chapter 8 is even more exciting. It is Lehi’s dream – the tree of life, the rod of iron, the straight and narrow path, mists of darkness. So good.
Two really fabulous chapters right in a row, where a lot happens. No dust gathers during chapters 7 and 8, no sir.
But I noticed the strangest verse right in the middle as chapter 7 transitions to chapter 8. 1 Nephi 8:1 says, “And it came to pass that we had gathered all manner of seed of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind.”
Odd. In the middle of chiseling important information about Ishmael and the iron rod, Nephi wants to tell us that they brought seeds? That seemed out of place to me. I kept thinking about it. I wanted to know why Nephi told us that.
In chapter 18, I found a possible reason. By this point, Lehi and his family had traveled in the wilderness for over eight years. Bows had broken, kids had been born, a ship had been built. They were ready to cross the ocean. Finally. In 1 Nephi 18:6 it says, “We did go down into the ship, with all our loading and our seeds.” Hey! There are the seeds again! They still have them. They’ve hung on to them. Not one of the seeds was planted while they journeyed. Once they landed in the promised land, verse 24 says, “We did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly.”
(Are you starting to see the connection between the seeds and the lesson on chastity? This is the moment when I saw light bulbs begin to go on in the class.)
They waited to plant the seeds until it was the right time! If the seeds had been planted in the wilderness, there wouldn’t have been time for them to grow and produce fruit and grain. The families were on the go – it was the wrong time to plant. So they waited for the right time. The seeds were good – they were good the whole time. The seeds were never considered “bad” or “wrong” – it was the time and place that made all the difference.
We talked about how chastity is like the seeds. It’s good, and beautiful and right if we wait until the appropriate time. Physical intimacy before marriage is the wrong time so we wait until after marriage for the right time and that makes all the difference.
After they planted the seeds, 1 Nephi 18:24 tells us “We were blessed in abundance.” (I wonder if any of the seeds were for blackberry bushes?)
When we do things at Heavenly Father’s appointed time, we are blessed abundantly.
Blog to you soon,