Lessons from the Prophets of Old

Today I was thinking about an important principle found in the Book of Mormon, specifically in the words of Jarom, a prophet who lived among the Nephites many centuries ago. In Jarom 1:11, we read of the dedication of the prophets, priests, and teachers who laboured diligently among the people, exhorting them with patience and teaching them the Law of Moses. However, their efforts went beyond instruction alone; they sought to instil in the hearts of the people a strong anticipation of the coming of the Messiah, persuading them to believe in Him as though He were already among them.

Contained within this verse is a timeless truth that connects with us today: the importance of looking forward to Christ with unwavering faith and belief, even among all the challenges and trials of our mortal existence. There are three key lessons we can learn from the example of these ancient prophets.

1) Their diligent labour teaches us the importance of persistence in our efforts to teach and share the Gospel with others. The prophets, priests, and teachers did not grow weary in their task; rather, they laboured diligently, demonstrating patience and long-suffering as they worked to impart the principles of truth to the people. In our own lives, we are called to emulate their dedication, consistently striving to share the message of Christ’s love and redemption with those around us, regardless of the obstacles that we may face.

2) We learn from these ancient servants of God the significance of understanding the Law of Moses and its purpose. The Law was given to the people as a preparatory schoolmaster, guiding them towards a deeper understanding of the Saviour and His mission. Just as the Nephites were taught to look forward to the Messiah through the Law of Moses, we too are called to study the scriptures diligently, seeking to comprehend the eternal truths they contain and applying them in our own lives.

3) Perhaps the most important lesson we can draw from Jarom 1:11 is the imperative to cultivate a forward-looking faith in Jesus Christ. The prophets did not merely teach the people to anticipate the Messiah’s coming in the distant future; rather, they encouraged them to believe in Him as though He were already present among them. This perspective enabled the Nephites to experience the blessings of Christ’s atonement in their lives even before He walked upon the earth.

As disciples of Christ in these latter days, we are likewise called to cultivate a similar faith, trusting in the Saviour’s promises and relying on His grace to sustain us through every trial and tribulation. We are invited to live our lives in such a way that we are constantly preparing for His Second Coming, eagerly anticipating the day when He will reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Let’s make every attempt to follow the example of the prophets of old by labouring diligently in the cause of Christ, seeking to understand the scriptures and applying their teachings in our lives, and cultivating a forward-looking faith in Jesus Christ. As we do so, we will find peace, joy, and salvation in His name. May we always look forward to the Messiah with hopeful anticipation, knowing that He is indeed our Saviour and Redeemer, both now and for evermore. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.