Many people know about the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, but many are unaware of the fact that God commanded other people to keep sacred records. One, such record, was kept by Nephi and details the account of the people who lived anciently on the American continent and their dealings with each other and with God.
‘Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.’ (1 Nephi 9:5)
These records were so important that Nephi was commanded to keep the records and he did understand why, but he did it anyway. Today part of these records are known as the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It is known by this name because Mormon was a prophet, who was commanded to make an abridgement of many records that had been kept over a thousand years.
Nephi begins his writings by introducing us to his family –
‘I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.’
And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.
For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.’ (1Nephi 1:1-4)
He tells us that he is ‘born of goodly parents’ and in a time when many people could neither read or write, he tells us that he is taught by his father and knew both his father language, Hebrew, and Egyptian and he knew the ‘learning of the Jews, ‘ which today would, in part, mean the Torah. He was a well educated young man. He tells us who his father is, Lehi and were they had come from and why they left and even a reference to the date, by referring to the person who was the King at the time, Zedekiah.
He also shares his knowledge and understanding of God and bears his testimony of the truthfulness of the words he has read and the things he writes. Yet, more than all this, he wrote a sacred Journal because God had commanded him to do so.
Today, we are commanded to continue to personal history. Since, i began keeping a daily Journal my record has been more or less complete, but there are many things that have gone on before that i have not written about. I even have a Family Tree containing thousands of names and yet, I do not even know, which school my father attended as a boy – but i do know that the first job my mother had was taking milk bottles from a conveyor belt and placing them in a crate. The bottles came at her so fast, that many of them ended up on the floor. Her first job lasted a day.
Today and in the future we will rely more and more upon technology and social media to keep a record of our life and the lives of our families, but a hand written or even a computer written and printed version of our lives may stand the test of time and technology.
Maybe you could start with; ‘I…being born of goodly (?) interesting (?) boring (?) parents i was taught somewhat in the language of my day… besides, we really do not know what!