1 Nephi 18:5
5 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came unto my father, that we should arise and go down into the ship.
Nephi was in charge of building the ship. Lehi was still the prophet and leader. He is the one who received the commandment to gather his family and supplies and go down into the ship. Probably he was actively engaged in working and preparing the ship also but the record that we have in the Book of Mormon is in Nephi's writings so we get it from his point of view. It is an excellent record and perfectly accurate but the feelings and directions that Lehi received may be left out because Lehi wrote his own record. That record is not available to us but we have sufficient record to direct us.
To enter the ship was to make a full commitment to keep the commandment to cross the ocean and begin a new life.
The family was being protected from the enemies in Jerusalem who would have destroyed them and their religion. They were being given a new start in a new place but not without a lot of work and suffering and learning in the school of hard knocks. They were being tested and tried. Now they had built the ship and gathered all kinds of supplies and were ready to begin the journey. It was a total commitment to get on the ship and sail. There could be no turning back.
We see this pattern as the Latter Day Saints left their homes in Kirtland and in Nauvoo for a better place where they could live their religion without persecution. Others left their homes in foreign countries to come to Zion and sacrificed much..
Moses and the Israelite s also left Egypt with much difficulty for the right to be free and to worship as they chose.
Noah's family boarded the ark and closed it up when the rain started that had been prophesied.
Abraham and Lot took up their journey also.
This pattern is applied as we follow the Prophet today as well.
Stay On The BoatThe Lord in His goodness has provided help, including a boat, essential supplies such as life jackets, and experienced river guides who give guidance and safety instructions to help us make our way down the river of life to our final destination.
President Brigham Young commonly employed “the Old Ship Zion” as a metaphor for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He said on one occasion: “We are in the midst of the ocean. A storm comes on, and, as sailors say, she labors very hard. ‘I am not going to stay here,’ says one; ‘I don’t believe this is the “Ship Zion.”’ ‘But we are in the midst of the ocean.’ ‘I don’t care, I am not going to stay here.’ Off goes the coat, and he jumps overboard. Will he not be drowned? Yes. So with those who leave this Church. It is the ‘Old Ship Zion,’ let us stay it.
And finally, President Young reminded the Saints: “We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … All is right, sing Hallelujah, for the Lord is here. He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right.”3
God Is At The HelmIn last October’s general conference, I invited listeners to follow Brigham Young’s counsel to stay on the Old Ship Zion, which is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to hold on with both hands.1 Since then, I am happy to know that some of my family and others were listening and have asked me this question: “What’s in the Old Ship Zion that we should hang on to?” I reminded them of what President Brigham Young said: “We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right.”2
Clearly, our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have outfitted the Old Ship Zion with clear and simple eternal truths that will help us stay the course through the troubled waters of mortal life. Here are just a few.
The Church of Jesus Christ has always been led by living prophets and apostles. Though mortal and subject to human imperfection, the Lord’s servants are inspired to help us avoid obstacles that are spiritually life threatening and to help us pass safely through mortality to our final, ultimate, heavenly destination.
Lehi's family boarded the ship to sail to a place they have never seen or heard of except from the Lord as the “promised land”. That it would be a leap of faith and total commitment. When we are baptized into the Church we also make a commitment. We promise to keep the commandments and serve the Lord. To take His name upon us. As we are baptized by water, so the waters of the great sea “baptized' that ship and all who were in it symbolically. . They totally relied on Him to take them to the place of freedom to worship. There was no going back. They would follow the prophet all the way.
We make a commitment when we make covenants with our Heavenly Father wen we are Baptized, partake of the sacrament and when we receive temple covenants.
Staying true to our covenants with total commitment brings great peace and blessings. If we stand firm and steadfast then we can receive eternal blessings. These things apply to our Sabbath Day observance, fulfilling callings and keeping the commandments. Commitment means that we are all the way in 100 percent.
1. Firm as the mountains around us,