“In the Furnace of Affliction”

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

This scripture from Isaiah has particular relevance for Nephi and his group. They’ve lost their home in Jerusalem, endured eight years of hardship in the wilderness, and finally completed a long ocean voyage to start life anew in a strange world. Being refined and chosen by the Lord through sore trials and adversity is a gospel theme that virtually all of God’s children come to know through personal experience.

Through John the Revelator, the Lord confirmed this doctrine with a promise of eternal scope: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:19–21).

From the walls of Zarahemla, Samuel the Lamanite proclaimed the same principle (see Helaman 15:3). And again in our day, the Lord has emphasized this doctrine once again in plainness and charity: “VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you… .” (D&C 95:1).

The message of hope is this: If we find ourselves in the midst of sore affliction, we must turn to the Lord in full faith and devotion and know that He loves us and that He will deliver us in mercy and love, and multiply His blessings unto us in His own due time.

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1