Saturday, April 8, 2017

We Meet the Rest of the Family -- 1 Nephi Chapter 2

What Happens

"Lehi takes his family into the wilderness by the Red Sea--They leave their property--Lehi offers a sacrifice to the Lord and teaches his sons to keep the commandments--Laman and Lemuel murmur against their father--Nephi is obedient and prays in faith; the Lord speaks to him, and he is chosen to rule over his brethren."
1 Nephi 2 Chapter Heading


I make no secret of the fact that I kind of hero worship Lehi... he does some cool stuff in this chapter that I admire. First: The Lord says go and he goes... he doesn't even ask "how high" when told to jump, he just does. No time to pack up the family valuables, just the 72 hour kits (or the 600 BC equivalent) and they are out the door.

We are introduced to the family here... last chapter we heard a lot about Lehi, and learned that Nephi was a pretty good kid... but here we meet Laman and Lemuel and their doubting ways. Being a sometimes doubter myself, I feel for these guys--hey, I even feel bad that they are always grouped together "Laman and Lemuel" and pretty much have one personality in the narrative. I sometimes wonder if they were equally rebellious or maybe Laman was the punk and Lemuel was the eager toadie?  Regardless, Lehi knows that they are less than happy with this whole dwelling in a tent gig and he talks to them, encouraging them to be better... and not saying "hey, fine - get thee hence already if you don't want to be on board with what the family is doing."

We also get to meet Sam - dear Sam...  I realized recently as we were studying later in the Book (spoiler alert!) that when they mention all the Nephites, Ishmaelites, Lemuelites and many "manner of ites" that there were no "Sam-ites"... I like to think that this is because Sam's desires were SO in line with the desires of Nephi (and of God) that they were indistinguishable.  Or maybe Sam just didn't have kids... either way, he is cool.

Nephi tells a lot about how he taught his brethren here, and for a long time I thought of him as a little snotty, but hey--the Lord commanded that this be written, and Nephi was just reporting what was done. Just because MY brain interprets things in a snotty attitude doesn't mean that it was there. One thing I have learned studying the scriptures is to not interpret 600 BC happenings by 2017 standards (you wouldn't think that would be so difficult).

Verses 21 to the end deserve a few words: cautioning against rebellion, how bad it is for us, how we are protected unless we rebel, etc...  and since we already know the sad and tragic end of this tale, I think it is a little sad that this warning is here. But hey, maybe (okay definitely) the warning is there for ME as much as it was there for them.

1 comment:

  1. Sam is definitely interesting. He must have had some of the same sibling rivalry as everyone else, but he seemed to listen better... to Nephi perhaps, and definitely to the Spirit. He seems like the quiet one in the family. Observing, being impressed by angels, etc... and when it comes down to the choice, he consistently chooses the Lord. Maybe from the outside that isn't as impressive as some of the things that Nephi did, but I feel like this Sam was just as solid, impressive, and necessary as Frodo's version. :)