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I Will Go and Do, Brother Jack S., January 21, 2024

Updated: Feb 25

Good morning brothers and sisters. I would like to welcome all of the  new members of the Beachside Ward and look forward to meeting you.  My name is Jack Sharapata. The scripture I was given today to speak  about is from our Come Follow Me Study. When the Lord commanded  Lehi’s sons to obtain the plates of brass, he did not give specific  instructions on how to do it. This is often true of direction we receive  from God, and it might feel like He has required “a hard thing” but what  was Nephi’s response?  

In 1 Nephi 3:7 he says “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my  father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded,  for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children  of men, save he shall Prepare a way for them that they may  accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 

What immediately came to my mind was the primary song we learned  as youth “Nephi’s Courage”.

The Lord commanded Nephi to go and get the plates 

From the wicked Laban inside the city gates 

Laman and Lemuel were both afraid to try 

Nephi was courageous. This was his reply: 

I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands.  

I know the Lord provides a way, he wants me to obey. 

I will go I will do the thing the Lord commands. 

I know the Lord provides a way; 

He wants me to obey 

The history recorded in the Book of Mormon would not exist today if it  was not for the courage of Nephi the son of Lehi. Nephi listened to his  Father’s dreams and pondered the meaning of them asking of the Lord  for spiritual understanding. He knew of a certainty that his Father’s  direction to leave Jerusalem because of its impending destruction was of the Lord. When given the direction to build the vessel to take them  to the promised land, Nephi once again had the courage to withstand Laman and Lemuel’s continual persecution, forgive them and proceed  with the Lord’s commandment. Laman and Lemuel’s guidance was not  of the Lord but from Satan.  

Nephi’s courage brought forth the book of Mormon. This is the second  witness of Jesus Christ and confirms the writings of the Prophets of the  Old Testament. Without these scriptures and their translation by Joseph Smith the Gospel would not exist in the world. These scriptures  were meant to lead and guide us in these latter days. The words  written regarding Christ’s second coming are for us in this day as we  prepare for his return. 

I have had many of these experiences where the Lord has intervened in  my life to make it possible to continue to be his servant here upon the  earth and keep his commandments. When I was called by Judd to give  this talk, he asked me to share some personal experience from my life where the Lord has provided ways to keep his commandments and  fulfill the things the Lord has asked me to do. These experiences are  very sacred to me and I have been told by some in this ward that they  have heard them before. This made it very difficult for me to share any  experience, but because it was requested, I will keep this to one. 

When I was drafted during the Vietnam War, I had the choice of  choosing one of the other branches of service. I spent six years in the active Army Regular National Guard. I believe this was a blessing given  to me when I received my patriarchal blessing at the age of 19 after  being baptized as a convert to the church after receiving my draft  notice. 

I was activated with the National Guard to go to Camp Roberts and then  immediately ordered to turn around by the Governor and return to the  Long Beach Armory and be a participant in the Watts riots. I was put on  

Guard Duty at the Long Beach Armory and was promptly shot at, but  the bullet hit the window above my head. I never sustained any injuries during my service because of the protection the Lord had given me if I  remained faithful as promised in my Patriarchal blessing. 

When I was activated the others in my Battalion would go on their days  off to town to drink and always wanted me to go. I knew that because  of my faith in my Father in Heaven the importance of keeping the  commandments. I had never had any desire to drink, which I think was  a blessing from my Father in Heaven. It never was a temptation to me.  

We also are faced with many temptations and stumbling blocks along  our journey in life. How do we have the unfailing faith of Nephi to go  and do as the Lord commands? 

The commandments ask us to forgive others and honor our parents.  This is sometimes difficult when we have faced traumatic periods in our  childhood. I was given a blessing by my Bishop some years ago where  he called my Father by name (I did not tell him his name) and was told  that he was working hard on the other side to become the person the  Lord wanted him to be. I know without a doubt that progression continues on the other side because of this experience. I also took  steps to understand my father’s circumstances in life and that he was  doing the best he was capable of due to his own life circumstances, which allowed me to fully forgive him. 

How does the Lord provide a way for us to obey? In a talk given by  Elder Oaks from the April 2021 General Conference gives us some  insight into this question.  

“In a Saturday evening meeting at a stake conference many years ago, I  met a woman who said her friends had asked her to come back to  church after many years of inactivity, but she could not think of any  reason why she should. To encourage her, I said, “When you consider all  of the things the Savior has done for you, you have many reasons to  come back to worship and serve Him.” I was astonished when she  replied, “What’s He done for me?” 

Our Savior feels and knows our temptations, our struggles, our  heartaches, and our sufferings, for He willingly experienced them all as part of His Atonement. Other scriptures affirm this. The New Testament  declares, “In that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to  succor them that are tempted”. Isaiah teaches, “Fear thou not; for I am  with thee: … I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee.” All who suffer  

any kind of mortal infirmities should remember that our Savior  experienced that kind of pain also, and that through His Atonement, He  offers each of us the strength to bear it. 

Under the plan of our Heavenly Father, He “created the heavens and  earth” so that each of us could have the mortal experience necessary to  seek our divine destiny. As part of the Father’s plan, the Resurrection of  Jesus Christ overcame death to assure each of us immortality. Jesus  Christ’s atoning sacrifice gives each of us the opportunity to repent of  our sins and return clean to our heavenly home. His commandments  and covenants show us the way, and His priesthood gives the authority  to perform the ordinances that are essential to reach that destiny. And our Savior willingly experienced all mortal pains and infirmities that He  would know how to strengthen us in our afflictions.” 

I have had many of these experiences where the Lord has intervened in  my life to make it possible to continue to be his servant here upon the  earth. 

What has the Lord done for me? He has given me all of these gifts  through the Atonement. He has blessed me with the Priesthood to  bless the lives of others and my family. He has given me an eternal  

marriage; he has given me the faith to face my adversities and  weaknesses knowing that repentance and forgiveness are possible.  Sometimes we ask in life, this is hard, I don’t know how I can do this.  But I can, because of my faith in my Lord and Savior and Redeemer  Jesus Christ. How would we ever know even a portion of the pain and  suffering that he took upon himself in Gethsemane if we did not go  through difficult trials in our lives. It’s all in how we either react to  them or respond to them. We can go forward with faith as Nephi of Old. Fear is not of the Lord. We must trust in his light and protection in  these last days before the Lord returns and all will be well with us  whatever the Lord’s will is for us so long as our faith remains strong in  him. 

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen



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