“And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.”
Notice that immediately following the quote from the Father, Nephi adds a quote from the Son. Here Nephi makes it clear that the Father said to Nephi what is quoted in verse 11, because he adds, “And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying…” As soon as the Father stopped speaking, the Son added the comment he now quotes.
This contradicts what is an often referred to Mormon legend. Our legend is that the Father does nothing other than introduce the Son. This comes from a misreading of the Joseph Smith Translation of John 1: 18. This verse is rendered in the JKV as follows: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” In the JST is is changed to read: “No man hath seen God at any time except he hath borne record of the Son; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” This is the basis for asserting the Father doesn’t ever speak, apart from introducing and bearing testimony of the Son. It is clearly a false notion, however, as the Father has many quoted words in the Book of Mormon. The fact the myth exists is, once again, evidence of how little we have as a people studied the Book of Mormon.
Well, returning to this verse, we find that the promise of the Holy Ghost is made by the Father! That is, Christ is saying when the Holy Ghost is sent, it is a gift from “the Father.” Indeed it is! The Father of our spirits (Heb. 12: 9) has given us all that spirit which dwells within us. (D&C 130: 22.)
First the Father tells us to be baptized and follow Christ. Then Christ adds to it the plea: If you do that you will receive the Holy Ghost as a gift from the Father. So “follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.”
How seamless the will of the Father is with the desire of His Son!
How eager are both the Father and the Son for us to come to them!
How consistent is the message we receive from both the Father and the Son!
There is no other record in all scripture that puts together the promises of the Father and the plea of the Son like Nephi has done here!
How great a prophet was Nephi! How trusted and familiar must he have been with both the Father and the Son to be able to deliver this message to us!
Let it sink in. Let it be understood. Then, realize Nephi was a man just like you and I. He suffered, toiled, was rejected, fled and worked in obscurity to follow God against the active opposition of his own brothers. His knowledge and experiences are open to all. If you have not realized before, now you should realize why Nephi forms the bedrock example in The Second Comforter to lay out the process of returning to God’s presence. Among prophets, Nephi was a pillar of light, whose understanding reached into heaven itself.
Perhaps we should have been giving him more attention for the last 180 years. Well, it’s not too late for you to begin to do so now.