"Therefore" vs. "Nevertheless"
By josh
9/25/2006 9:23:05 PM
1 Nephi 1:1 — I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.
There is an entire sermon to be found in the first verse of the Book of Mormon. This verse reveals so much about Nephi's attitude, and it alone speaks volumes by way of example to us.

Nephi uses the word "therefore," which implies cause and effect. Because he was born of goodly parents he was taught somewhat in the learning of his father. Later, the word "nevertheless" implies "in spite of." In spite of his afflictions, he was highly favored of the Lord. I was thinking about how this scripture would read instead if it said, "...having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, therefore..." What would follow? Probably something out of the book of Laman or the book of Lemuel.

"Having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, therefore we continually suffered - my crazy father made us leave everything behind and suffer in the wilderness. Therefore we lost everything we had. Therefore we were afflicted, our self-righteous younger brother ruled over us, and life pretty much stank."

How often do we follow our afflictions with "therefore" instead of "nevertheless?"

"I am cursed with this addiction to lust, therefore I suffer with it. I can't beat it on my own, therefore I always fail. I have many afflictions, therefore pornography is my outlet. I did NOT have goodly parents (or siblings or friends), therefore they I was exposed to this great evil that now binds me."

How instead would our own book read if we switched our attitude to the word "nevertheless."

"I suffer with this affliction, nevertheless God in his tender mercy has the power to change me. I am given this weakness that brings me great despair, nevertheless this weakness makes me humble, and when overcome by coming unto Christ, it makes me strong. I have hurt my wife deeply, nevertheless through the power of the atonement we can become closer together than ever before. In short, I have seen many afflictions in my days, nevertheless I have been highly favored of the Lord."

I appreciated Derek's last blog about Ether 12:27, how this weakness is GIVEN to us (not to excuse the poor use of our agency in giving in to the weakness). I've often commented on the irony of how my struggle (and it is truly not only my struggle, but my wife's as well, as we are one) has brought my wife and I so much closer together, and the overcoming of it has been the catalyst to so many wonderful experiences. I don't know if I'd go so far as to say that I would ever wish this addiction on anyone else, but NEVERTHELESS, in a strange way I am grateful for the humbling effect it has had on me. It has taught me more powerfully than anything else of the power of the atonement to heal and to change. It has taught me that I need the Savior, every hour I need Him.


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"The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world, but we should "be of good cheer" because He has "overcome the world". His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough not only to pay the price for sin but also to heal every mortal affliction… He knows of our anguish, and He is there for us. Like the good Samaritan in His parable, when He finds us wounded at the wayside, He binds up our wounds and cares for us. Brothers and sisters, the healing power of His Atonement is for you, for us, for all. "

— Dallin H. Oaks

General Conference October 2006