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Having received the words of his father concerning the tree of life, Nephi sought diligently for his own revelation concerning its meaning. This was Nephi’s typical response—to seek for greater understanding through contemplation and prayer.
This is an excerpt from Making Precious Things Plain.
1 Nephi 11:1 Pondering: Nephi spoke of the effect of study and meditation. He wanted to know about the things his father had seen, and in order to gain this knowledge, he spent time pondering and communing with the Lord. While doing so, he was “caught away in the Spirit of the Lord” to a high mountain, where he was shown a beautiful vision.
Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were also meditating on the scriptures when they received their marvelous vision of the kingdoms of glory (D&C 76:19). President Joseph F. Smith was pondering the scriptures when he received his vision of the spirit world (D&C 138:1-2, 11). And Moroni says pondering is one of the steps necessary to the acquiring of a testimony (Moroni 3-5).
Considering our desire to ascertain the will of God in our lives, we need to spend more time pondering than we usually do. Our modern world is so full of nearly nonstop stimulation—the sights and sounds of radio, television, cell phones—that it leaves very little room for peaceful meditation. If we desire to receive revelation through the Spirit, we must disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the world and spend time alone, pondering the things we wish to know and prayerfully seeking the Spirit. Only then can we expect to receive revelation.
1 Nephi 11:4 Faith: The angel first asked Nephi if he believed his father. Without faith, we cannot receive understanding ( 1 Nephi 15:5-11). Nephi believed his father and also knew the Lord could and would answer his prayer (1 Nephi 11:1).
1 Nephi 11:7 Action: A responsibility to testify accompanies any vision from God. The Lord’s question when granting revelation to us is, What will you do with it if I show you these things? This is the test of “real intent” (Moroni 10:4). In this case, Nephi showed his willingness to act upon his knowledge by doing exactly what he was instructed to do (1 Nephi 14:29-30).