Living by the scriptures

"And my father dwelt in a tent." — 1 Nephi 2:15

I was in the deacons quorum meeting about a week after they had returned home from the weeklong summer camp. We were going around the room and each was sharing a favorite scripture. As I was awaiting my turn, I humorously thought of this scripture but then decided against sharing it, not wanting to detract from the spiritual mood of the setting. The verse had always been one of my favorites, although I had never taken it seriously.

Suddenly, I felt a prompting and questions started flowing to my mind: "Why was Lehi dwelling in a tent? Why did that fact impress Nephi enough to write it down? What do my children think when they see me dwelling in tents as the Scoutmaster?" I narrowed it down to three words: obedience, sacrifice and faithfulness.

Lehi probably had a pretty nice house and was able to have nice things, but the Lord spoke and he left it all behind and took his family into the wilderness to dwell in tents. The word "dwell" is a long-term word; this was not just a camp out or a vacation. Not everybody was happy with the situation. It was a sacrifice. It was hard, but he did it anyway. Nephi was observing all of this and learning and growing and developing his own philosophy of life. It must have made a great impression on him. He summed it up with the succinct statement, "My father dwelt in a tent."

I was amazed at how much insight I could receive from such a simple-appearing scripture and decided to share it after all. I will never be able to read that scripture the same way anymore, and will take more seriously my position as a part-time tent dweller.

—C. Dale Cottrell, Garland 2nd Ward, Garland Utah Stake

"Living by the Scriptures" is another in a series of Church News reader response articles. Was there a time when a particular scripture touched you, when it offered comfort, guidance and much-needed support? If so, please describe your experience in 250-300 words, giving the scripture reference and telling how it affected you.

Send your submission to Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax (801) 237-2524. E-mail: [email protected]

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