Ever since I have been married, when I read the account of Nephi being commanded to build a ship, it hits me on a very personal level. The Lord calls to Nephi to go to the mountain so that He can instruct him. Then He tells him, "Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters." (1Nephi 17:8) When I read that, I hear the Lord talking to me. He wants me to build a ship, or a home..a haven...a temple, for my people...my family, that He may carry us across the waters of our life. The pattern for me is the same as it was for Nephi. He needed to go to the mountain to hear the Lord's commandments for him. I need to go to the temple, and the quiet places in my home to hear the Lord's counsel for me. Nephi didn't know how to build a ship. I don't know how to be a wife and a mother. The Lord tells Nephi, and all of us..."I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led." (1Nephi 17:13)
I know that being a woman is a calling and blessing from the Lord. It is hard work. I am so grateful to know that I can turn to the Lord every day to ask Him for help and guidance in building my family's ship. I feel His guidance as I turn to Him. I know that He loves me and that He does and will help me just as He did for Nephi. I can feel the world laughing at me sometimes just as Laman and Lemuel mocked Nephi saying..."Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters."(1 Nephi 17:17) Sometimes the adversary gets me to be the one who is mocking myself..."I can't be a mother....I'm horrible at this! I have no idea what I am doing!" But thankfully, Heavenly Father's love rescues me every time. I know that I am His daughter and I know why I am here on this earth. So even when it is hard and even when I mess up, I can be rescued through the atonement of my Brother and Friend, Jesus Christ. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf told us of God's love for us...
"Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount- that is the measure of God's love for you. Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely."
How grateful I am to feel that love! His love changes everything and makes everything possible and wonderful! I am so grateful for my role as a woman and as a mother that allows me to feel His all-encompassing love as I strive to do what He has asked me to. I am so grateful for the knowledge that the gospel of Jesus Christ gives me of the true character of God. I feel to say with Ammon, "Who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of His great power, and of His mercy, and of His long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."(Alma 26:16)