The Book of Mormon Made Harder, The Condescension of God

More 1 Nephi Chapter 11. Here, Nephi prays for wisdom and his prayers are answered when the Spirit of the Lord carries him up into a tall mountain and asks him what he desires. Nephi wants to see the same vision his father saw. He immediately sees a tree, most precious and beautiful, like the tree his father saw. He is asked again what he desires, and this time Nephi responds with a wish to know the meaning of his father’s vision. The answer to this question is a vision of a beautiful woman living in the city of Nazareth.

An angel then comes down and asks him another interesting question:

16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

So, Nephi, who is young and unmarried is carried up in a vision and is shown an amazing tree, followed by a vision of a beautiful, young woman and is asked about the condescension of God. He answers:

 17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

Why would tree be compared to this woman and why would both cause Nephi to express his knowledge of God’s love? What follows is an overview of Christ’s life. Christ, a perfect being comes from God to be born, to live in obscurity and poverty, and ends his short life, to suffer and die.

So much of this is counter-intuitive to what you might expect. Jesus, the prince of peace, lives a life in relative obscurity, in a modest corner of the world. He does not seek for power, but rather he is content to serve and to live with the destitute, the hungry, the poor. And he came not for physical deliverance but to offer something deeper but more subtle, peace in suffering and a hope for a better world after we die.

Nephi knows none of this before he’s asked the question though. He sees a beautiful women and immediately feels the the deep love God has for each of us.

Because really, we’re all beautiful, loved, worthwhile and blessed because Jesus did condescend to become one of us and then living among us, chose to suffer and to die and in that suffering He is able to reach out to lift each of us up.

This is a beautiful chapter.