The second book of Nephi begins with a reminder to the rebellious sons of Lehi that God has actually been merciful in bringing them out of Jersusalem. They don't see that and their lack of vision keeps them from having the power of the atonement evident in their lives.
2 Nephi 1:3 "And he also spake unto them concerning the land of promise, which they had obtained -- how merciful the Lord had been in warning us that we should flee out of the land of Jerusalem."
Lehi, unlike his two sons, Laman and Lemuel, has had the atonement change him. He sees what the future is for his own family and for the future of those that inhabit the Land of Promise.
2 Nephi 1:15 "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love."
To be fully awake to the spiritual power given to us we must first yield to the Holy Ghost. If we yield to his direction our paths will be on a higher road.
2 Nephi 1:23 "Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust."
To be free to act for ourselves is one of the greatest gifts of the atonement. With that freedom we prove to ourselves what we truly want. Every day this gift manifests itself to me. Somedays I wake up and I put myself in the driver's seat and I act without yielding to the Spirit.
As the day progress I wonder why I feel so sluggish, so uninspired. As I awake to my poor choice there is always a surge in power when I move over and welcome the spirit aboard.
2 Nephi 2:27 "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."
Nephi testifies of this great gift to act and choose liberty when he laments of his own sins.
2 Nephi 4:27 "And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?"
His solution is to awake and put the Holy Ghost back in the drivers's seat.
2 Nephi 4: 28: "Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation."
If you are like me you like knowing that the benefits of yielding to the Spirit are numerous and nurturing, and they are. If the chains of captivity are not attractive then the arms of His love will certainly be motivating. To be encircled in the arms of his love and to be given the robes of His righteousness are the most sublime gifts of atonement.
2 Nephi 4:33 "O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way -- but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy."
We can act like Mormons, or Christians, and talk like them, but acting the part does not yield the fruits of the spirit. I know the difference and trying to light a spark with my own power is vastly different than basking in the light of Christ.
2 Nephi 7:10 "Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light? Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand -- ye shall lie down in sorrow."
I am often sorrowful at the end of a day with only the spark of my own light. May I start out this day with the full light and be awake to the enticings of the Spirit which heals and invigorated my soul.
Here are some sketches of my favorite scenes in this scripture block.