I’m sure this point has been made many times and is obvious to any serious student of the Book of Mormon. The Liahona that Lehi found in the desert worked ‘according to the faith and diligence and heed’ which the family gave it. Countless seminary, institute, gospel doctrine and primary teachers have made the point that the gift of the Holy Ghost works just like the Liahona.
I imagine that some astute instructors have lead a discussion of the three requirements that Nephi identified as being necessary for the Liahona to work properly – faith, diligence and heed. But if you haven’t considered it before, join me in my scripture study this morning as I take a closer look at each of the three qualifications.
Faith – This is the first of three actions required to make the Liahona work. Faith is more than just a belief and it starts with trust – a trust in God and in his desire and willingness to bless us. In other words, Lehi and his family knew that this gift was of divine nature and that they would do well to make the conscious effort to believe in the gift and trust that it would direct them. Applied to the gift of the Holy Ghost, we must believe that it is real and that it will work for us.
Diligence – If you have ever looked this word up you know that it carries with it a connotation of the passage of time. Diligence means a sustained, continuous effort over an extended period of time. That is a difficult thing to do for mere mortals, but it is the key to success in just about any worthwhile endeavor. To make the gift of the Liahona work, Lehi and his family had to exercise their faith over an extended period of time – never wavering in their determination to succeed.
Heed – Now this is perhaps the most difficult of the three actions required – First we must believe and trust in God’s gift, next we must be patient and unwavering in our determination to make it work for us and finally, we must pay attention and apply what we learn from the gift. To give heed to something or someone means to listen closely and carefully with the intent of learning something new and then applying it into our lives – doing the action suggested.
There is one more unique feature of the Liahona from which we can draw another analogy. Lehi and his family were so impressed by this feature that it caused them to ‘fear and tremble exceedingly’. What could cause such an unusual reaction? There appeared on the Liahona a new writing, which was plain to be read, which was written and changed from time to time. I guess it was shocking to them to realize that the Lord knew them personally in this manner.
Conclusion: The gift of the Holy Ghost is our personal Liahona. It is a gift and like any gift it must be received and used to realize its full value in our lives. We receive inspiration and direction in our lives according to our faith, diligence and heed which we give to our gift. It is an active gift and must be exercised to remain useful. We must not be surprised when from time to time the Lord gives us specific written direction that is clear to our understanding.
In other words, we will most often find the answers to our prayers in the written word of the scriptures and the written word of the prophets and apostles who speak on behalf of the Lord.
What do you think? There are so many lessons that can be learned from the account of the gift of the Liahona. The scripture reference is 1 Nephi 16:10, 26–29. What have you learned from these scriptures and how do you apply them in your life?