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.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.
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.
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