One of my favorite Book of Mormon prophets is Jacob, Nephi’s little brother who was born in the wilderness. He never saw Jerusalem. He was born out in his family’s wanderings and was incredibly faithful to the truths he learned from his father, Lehi, and his brother Nephi.
After Nephi’s death, the Nephites began to be wicked and Jacob was commanded by Heavenly Father to admonish them. He did not want to. His congregation had assembled to “hear the pleasing word of God” and he, instead, had to tell them of their crimes and sins. He was most concerned with the women, who had been hurt by the sins of the Nephites. Jacob said, “Wherefore, it burdeneth my soul that I should be constrained, because of the strict commandment which I have received from God, to admonish you according to your crimes, to enlarge the wounds of those who are already wounded, instead of consoling and healing their wounds; and those who have not been wounded, instead of feasting upon the pleasing word of God have daggers placed to pierce their souls and wound their delicate minds.”
But he went on, saying “But, notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God…” And he then goes on to tell them what they are doing wrong.
I am not in Jacob’s position, but I am asked by God, through the Holy Spirit, do do things I am uncomfortable doing. Just yesterday at church I felt prompted to interrupt a teenage girl’s phone call and tell her I liked her hair. Someone was pushing my wheelchair, rather quickly, and we were going to the Young Women closet to check out some supplies. I didn’t want to delay my other leader friend by asking her to stop, but I don’t want to be someone who blows off promptings and I know they need immediate action. Luckily for me, I asked her to stop right in front of the YW closet (I didn’t know where it was) and we were able to check it out quickly before I turned around and went back to the teenager. I interrupted her call, hesitantly because she looked like it was an intense phone call, and I told her I liked her hair. I did like it, it was two braids. Super cute. She smiled big and seemed like the interruption was no big deal at all. Whew.
I might never be asked to do things as great (as in big) as Jacob was asked to do, but as far as the tiny, inconvenient and highly awkward promptings that come, I hope I am always ready to put aside my own agenda and act immediately, saying as Jacob did, “notwithstanding the greatness of the task, I must do according to the strict commands of God.”