Why did Nephi go pray and gain understanding on his own?
And why was it his brothers just couldn't get it and wouldn't do that on their own?
It's interesting too thatright after that they get the Liahona (1 Nephi 16). It's as if the Lord was trying so hard to get them to hear him and learn from him.....he gave them something that would absolutely tell them where to go.
Gospel Doctrine.com says:
(1 Ne 10:17) I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and
know of these things
One of the reasons Nephi was privileged to see
the things that he did is that he had a great desire to know the things of the
Lord. The Lord blesses us according to our desires (Alma 29:4). Another prophet
who was blessed with visions of heavenly glory based on his faith and desires
for righteousness was Abraham. Although raised by an idolatrous father, Abraham
desired to be a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed
great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a
greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and
desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became
a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers
(Abraham 1:2). Paul emphasized the other important component which was Abraham’s
exercise of great faith, For the promise, that he should be the heir of the
world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the
righteousness of faith (Romans 4:13). Thus, we see that faith and desire open
the heavens to those who diligently seek the Lord.
Bruce R. McConkie:
“The Holy Ghost, as Nephi expresses it in a passage
of superlative meaning and beauty, ‘is the gift of God unto all those who
diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should
manifest himself unto the children of men. For he is the same yesterday, today,
and forever; and the way is prepared for all men from the foundation of the
world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him. For he that diligently
seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the
power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well
in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one
eternal round.’(1 Nephi 10:17-19.) In harmony with these words of transcendent
beauty are those of latter-day revelation that say simply to every member of the
Church: ‘God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the
unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost.’ (D&C 121:26.) Such is the promise, and
the promise is sure. The sole need on the part of any individual is to comply
with the law that entitles him to receive the promised revelation.” (A New
Witness for the Articles of Faith, p. 489)
I would think that just giving the information isn't the best idea. Although, the Lord did, in effect, do that by giving them the Liahona. Perhaps sometimes it is appropriate.
How do you move from that to the next level though? How do you encourage, inspire, teach them to go and learn on their own?
In Lehi's vision he sees that some of his children are eager to taste of the fruit of the tree, but others don't care to. Is it that some of us are just more apt to follow and taste the fruit for ourself? Or is there something that can be done to cause them to want to tase it? It seems clear to me that no explanations can ever replace experience.