Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write…And I make an end (Omni 1:9).
Wow! One verse! Chemish only wrote one verse. Why? Why would the Lord even want to include in Mormon’s abridgement efforts, in Joseph’s translation efforts, in our study efforts, the existence, much less the words, of a man who wrote only one verse? For that matter, why would He include the limited words of all these men—Jarom, Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom?
How tempted we are to think, “What a waste.”
What was the Lord trying to convey? Was He trying to make a negative example of these men—holding their names up before us 2000 years after their time as examples of how NOT to do it?
I don’t think the Lord disrespects any of us like that, not even when our actions might seem to merit us His intense disapproval.
Today I know God as one who never teaches negative lessons. We can be assured the Lord always has a positive purpose—even in the inclusion of these men’s efforts in this record.
What is the lesson? God is teaching us the power of choosing not to give up. There is power in the fight to keep trying, rather than quitting altogether because we don’t do as much or as well as another.
While we are tempted to think negatively of these men, asking, “Why did they do so little?” God recognized them for doing so much! They could have melted the brass plates down and made them into a bowl or spear. They could have tossed them off a cliff or left them in the back of a deep cave.
But they didn’t—and because of their efforts, this sacred record was passed down safely amidst several generations of wickedness and apostasy.
The Lord’s purposes must be carried out by someone and, more often than we perfectionists would like to admit, adequate is sufficient for His needs. Adequate merits His acceptance and approval.
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