1 Nephi Chapter 1:1
Why does Nephi start his record stating that he has been born of "goodly parents". What does this statement say about Nephi and his parents? Because I have read the Book of Mormon many times I would agree that his parents were good. But what if I knew nothing of his parents? What if this was my first time reading this? What would be my reaction to the opening line of someone who says I was born of goodly parents?
1. This man (Nephi) is a respectful and grateful person filled with hope. I do not think that Nephi thought his parents were perfect, and I am sure if he wanted to he could list a long number of things that they did wrong, but he didn't. This statement says that Nephi is a man that honors the good that he has been taught over the bad. He had a positive attitude that permeated his associations with his family. He also must have appreciated all that his parents did for him. Our children could benefit from his example. Optimists are filled with the hope that produces progress and do not dwell in the negative parts of their past. I want my kids to be optimistic and encouraging to others, like Nephi was.
2. Nephi had some good parents. I feel similarly to Nephi, I have some great parents who raised me with the knowledge and confidence I need to develop and succeed in the world today. I can attribute much in my life to how my parents raised me. I want to do the same for my kids. Let them know that I have full confidence in their abilities, and teach the basics they need for living in this world.
3. Nephi was taught "somewhat in all the learning of [his] father". It sounds like Lehi (Nephi's father) taught Nephi many things, but let him have choices in many things as well. Having sons I sometimes think that they should be just like me and learn the same exact lessons that I learned. I want them to have my same interests and be my little "buddies", and for now I think that is fine (my oldest is 8 years old), but I know as they get older they are not going to want to be biologists when they grow up, or will have other hobbies. I will strive to teach them "somewhat" of what I know and then let them choose from there.