(WARNING: Yet another religious rant ahead. Gee, Sue, what is the deal? Can't you write about anything else?)
Interesting how one verse—and it’s not even the whole verse—in the good ol' Book of Mormon, can have so much information in it.
Take for example 1 Nephi 11:1 (lots of “1s” there). Here Nephi is outlining a great way to get answers from Above. He has listened to the words of his prophet father, Lehi, and wonders just what they mean. So our pal, Nephi, tells us the formula for receiving personal revelation. In the LDS church, personal revelation is a thing.
First Nephi says, “I had desired to know.” Step One: you want to know. How many truths have you wanted to know? Understand? Untangle? Doubts and questions about the gospel are fine, actually good, because it means you are thinking. What matters the most is where you go for those answers. Ask God, not Google.
Step Two in the process: “Believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me.” Here is the faith stuff. You have no doubt God can answer you. It doesn’t say He must, or will, or should, but that He is able if He chooses to and thinks it’s the right thing for you at the time. (Again, the God Timetable Principle we all have such a hard time with.)
Then the Third Step, “Pondering.” This is the Turn Off, Tune In, Think About, Deliberate, Consider, Meditate—whatever term you want to use for “getting into your head and listening with you heart.” And the cool thing is that our Father in Heaven, because He knows all of us so well (He is our Father, after all), knows exactly how to talk to us. He knows the language, examples, thoughts, words, and analogies that will get through our thick heads and really resonate with us.
If you continue to read chapter 11 in 1 Nephi, you will see that this formula worked pretty darn good for our friend, Nephi. And I am pretty certain it will work for each of us.