(July 16, 2015)
The Lord, in retrospect, could have gotten the people of Lehi across the ocean in a number of different ways. He could have provided them with transportation (instead of a Liahona, they could have found a ship outside their tent). He could have made arrangements for a shipbuilding people to be there in the land
Bountiful. But instead, he taught Nephi how to build the
ship and let him build it. Why?
I think there are a couple of easy answers to that question that really help to teach us how the Lord works with us today. First, there were lessons that Nephi had to learn and which Laman and Lemuel also had to learn. But secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the Lord not only wanted Nephi to have a ship – He also wanted Nephi to have the capacity to make a ship.
When he arrived in the
New World, Nephi began making
tools and swords and any number of other things. We don’t know the level of technology and
interaction which the Lehites had to this point (and, presumably, there was
some), but undoubtedly there was some refinement and increased understanding by
him through the process of building a ship.
So too, in our lives, we might like the Lord to give us what we need to get from where we are to where the Lord wants us to be. But the Lord not only wants us where He wants us, He wants us becoming what He wants us to become. Sometimes the Lord gives us a Liahona, and sometimes the Lord teaches us to build a ship. But in both cases, we are blessed by the process.