There is safety in following the Lord’s counsel. A righteous branch of the house of Joseph must be established in the promised land; therefore, it is imperative that Lehi and his family heed the directive of the Lord to leave Jerusalem and journey toward the promised land.
The Lord is our refuge. We, like Lehi, experience moments of truth in our lives when we are prompted to seek refuge in the Lord. He will guide us to safety. He will nurture us and bless us according to our needs (see Alma 7:11–12).
Moreover, blessings await us as we follow the Lord’s counsel: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10). If we devote ourselves to following the Lord, He will prepare the way for us to prosper and attain our spiritual potential.
President Gordon B. Hinckley confirms this principle as follows: “Prepare ye to follow the way of the Lord. That is what this church is all about—to help us to prepare to follow the way of the Lord, to walk in obedience to His commandments, to get into our lives the spirit of His work, to come to know Him and to love Him, and to seek to do His will. Prepare ye to follow the way of the Lord” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1997], 471).
Memories: The Coat
I can recall my father telling me, as a young boy, the story about “the coat.” He had been saving for some time to buy a heavy winter coat to protect my mother against the stark Canadian winters. Finally the coat fund was of sufficient size, and the time was at hand. As he sat with the family in sacrament meeting, he pondered the planned gift and thought of the joy it would bring to his wife.
As it turned out, the program that day centered on missionary work and the sacrifices that the Saints are called upon to make in order to carry the gospel message to others. My father’s thoughts then shifted to a certain older couple in town who was preparing to go on a mission. They were struggling to gather sufficient resources for their mission, and the local church leaders had sent word requesting the support of local Saints. My father could not suppress an idea that came into his mind. He felt impressed to donate the coat funds (several hundred dollars—a goodly sum in those days) for the benefit of the missionary couple. He felt the need to follow the Spirit. After all, he had stated over and over again to his family that Nephi was one of his great scriptural heroes, and if Nephi had the faith to do as the Lord commanded (see 1 Nephi 3:7), then should he not exercise faith as well? He proceeded to donate the entire fund for the benefit of the missionary couple. Thus they were able to fulfill the Lord’s errand. As part of their missionary service, the couple was called to preside over a branch of the Church that was struggling to achieve greater cohesion and unity. Their efforts succeeded, and the branch prospered under their leadership. My father later commented that it was a source of much satisfaction to him to know that the coat was having such a protective and benevolent influence in building the kingdom of God. As for my mother, the opportunity eventually presented itself to obtain a fine coat for her. (Richard J. Allen)