Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Admonitions of the Lord

Shortly before Lehi's death, he speaks with the children of Laman and Lemuel. He leaves a blessing with them that if they are cursed because of their parents, the curse will be answered upon the heads of their parents. After years of warning1 Laman and Lemuel that they should repent, the forebodings2 he had felt about them were almost sure to be realized at this point.
 2 Ne 4.13 And it came to pass that not many days after his death, Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael were angry with me because of the admonitions of the Lord.
 2 Ne 5.3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to rule over this people.
At this point, the Lord warns Nephi to take his people and leave the land of their first inheritance. It is amazing to me how often Laman and Lemuel turn the blame on Nephi for the Lord's judgements upon them. They have so many compelling witnesses[3-6] that the Lord is with Nephi, yet when they fall into sin, they are quick to attribute the wrath of God to Nephi.

Rather than dwell on the unrepentant ways of Laman and Lemuel though, we should ask ourselves if there is anything in our behavior that is similar to theirs. Do we murmur against our Bishop when he admonishes us? Do we blame our trials on those around us and fail to recognize when we should be on the Lord's errand?

Nephi was passing through all of the same trials that his brothers were, and he had the added trials of being persecuted and threatened by his own family. Had Laman and Lemuel accepted the Lord's will for them, their blessings7 would have been the same as Nephi's. Their afflictions in the wilderness would have been for their own good8, and would have consecrated them to God. Yet they let the stepping stones become stumbling blocks, and missed all of the lessons that the Lord would have taught them along the way.

I have had my fair share of Laman and Lemuel moments.  There have been times on my journey through the wilderness of my afflictions that I have been caught in the trap of self-pity, and at times I have even been guilty of speaking evil of the Lord's anointed who would have helped me. Seeing that I have the same tendencies as these men, it is up to me to turn to the Lord, and ask Him to make my weaknesses9 become my strengths. Hopefully I can learn the lesson that they were never able to.
 2 Ne 1.13 O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.

1. 1 Nephi 8:36-37
2. 1 Nephi 8:17-18
3. 1 Nephi 3:29
4. 1 Nephi 17:54-55
5. 1 Nephi 18:3-4
6. 1 Nephi 18:20-22
7. 2 Nephi 1:28-29
8. D&C 122:7
9. Ether 12:27


  1. There is so much to learn from these verses. I tend to dwell on their unrepentant ways, and need to have more introspective. Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it.

  2. Nephi was truly a mighty leader and example. It is interesting to me to see the parallel that you draw with a bishop. I have seen, in my journey, many who question their file leader and yet profess to be true to the living prophet. I have also been the recipient of those murmurings and been the giver. Great lessons of Faith, Obedience, and Proper Use of Agency are learned (or the opportunity to learn lost) when you are the recipient. When your Father is “the” prophet (as Lehi was) and your brother is also a prophet, if you exercise your agency and choose to disobey, it seems like one of the most logical consequences would be to turn away from the truths professed by prophets and say that it is not true or try to “kill” the prophet.
    I have a friend who struggled to keep the word of wisdom and as I had an opportunity to visit with him and see what other struggles including true fidelity in marriage were also creeping into his life I asked him if he prayed and read the scriptures every day. Surprisingly, he told me he was faithful in keeping this habit alive and never missed a day. I had never known someone with this habit who was not able to withstand the fieriest of darts from the adversary. In hindsight I realize that a habit can be trivialized. Like repeating the same prayer over the food every time with the exact same words (no offense intended to a certain special someone in my life—it is all they are capable of at this stage.) Communication with our Father in Heaven, the Father of our Spirits, is not a trivial matter. It is a sacred privilege by which help and direction comes when we truly communicate with Him. It is hard to reach him when we send out a recorded message or worse no message at all. I think of how many times I have listened for a moment to a recorded solicitation from a politician or someone else on a computerized phone campaign. Usually thousands of dollars are spent to initiate such a campaign but when it rings at my phone I rarely give ear to the recorded message…there is no real intent in the message just a superficial campaign spending senseless dollars to try and get me to act in their behalf or in their interest. I have never sent anyone away with a political campaign (or religious for that matter) away from my door when they KNOCK and ASK with REAL INTENT.
    Just a thought or two. (maybe a ramble?)


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