sacred sabbaths: they knew not the dealings of god

Jan 8, 2012

I have recently started reading The Book of Mormon. I have read it many times before by myself and as a family and I gain new insights about myself, about life, and about my Savior each time I read it. I love it and I am so, so grateful for the truths it teaches.

Last night, we were reading 1 Nephi, where we are introduced to Laman and Lemuel, two sons of the prophet Lehi. Laman and Lemuel murmur, moan, and groan their whole lives. They are full of jealousy, unbelieving hearts, and a lack of commitment to the truths they are taught. They do not believe the words of their father and they make the lives of those around them quite unpleasant.

Last night as we read, I noticed a sentence that struck right to my heart. In 1 Nephi 2:12 it says

And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.

Did you catch that? They murmured because they knew not the dealings of that God who created them. That phrase is powerful. They may have been taught all about Jehovah. They may have been raised hearing the words of the Lord from their Priests. They may have known the stories of the children of Israel. They may have joined their fellow Israelites in prayer and supplication asking God for the Messiah to come. They may have offered sacrifice. And yet, right there, it says they knew not the dealings of God. What does that mean? To me, it means they didn’t know, really know how God feels about His children. It means, they did not understand that the purpose of this life is to return to God. It means that they did not know that God is working, endlessly working, to bring us home to him. It means they did not know how much He loves them. It means they did not know how He works to bring us home. It means they had a false picture of God in their heads and most definitely in their hearts for they did not know Him at all. They knew of Him, but they did not KNOW Him.

How many times in our lives have we done the same thing? How many times have I murmured because I did not have an accurate understanding of God? How many times have I felt abandoned or abused because I did not understand how He was working in my life? How many times could I quote a scripture, but lacked the essential knowledge of the saving power of the words?

Many. Far too many.

As I study the scriptures and read of His dealings with His children in other ages and times, I see a God who is full of love for His children. I see a God who is merciful and tender and powerful and majestic and who LOVES. As I move through this life and rely on Him more fully, I have come to know a God who loves me. Who knows me. Who reaches out to me again and again and again. Who doesn’t give up on me. Who blesses me in ways I cannot even comprehend.

I have a dear, dear friend who is struggling right now. She is struggling because she knows not the dealings of God. She can give all the Sunday School answers about who God is and how He loves us. She has read all about the Atonement and His grace and mercy. She knows the answers. She just doesn’t believe them enough to really know them…to own them as her own life-saving answers that will bring her home to Him and to the joy that only choosing to follow God can bring.

Knowing Him is the only way we can stop murmuring and start seeing the truth of His words, of His plan for His children. Knowing Him is how we are changed into followers of God because as we come to understand, truly understand, how He feels about us, we are filled with a safety in His arms, a security in His fold, and a softness in our hearts to do what He asks us to do. We are given strength to obey and strength to love. We are given sustenance to nourish us as we learn how to choose Him over and before all else.

I pray for my friend this day and all days. I pray for her to be able to believe the truths she has learned enough to trust them and to open her heart to her God so He can teach her how He really feels about her…and how He plans to deal with her…with love and with a tenderness she longs for…but will only find in the arms of her Savior.

Related Posts


  1. jessica

    The gospel doctrine lesson was on this very thing today!

    • tracy

      Oh really? Tell me all about it!

  2. LaPriel


  3. Anne

    Love these thoughts. I’d like to share them in my lesson coming up in a few weeks if that’s OK with you . . . I alreayd emailed it to Terri Isom, too.