Look at Laman and Lemuel’s train of thought: “And they said he had done it [Lehi left Jerusalem] because of the foolish imaginings of his heart.” (1 Nephi 2:11)
I’ve heard people close to me criticize, for example:
- A friend ‘s decision to work and save for years in order to attend a college with others of the same high standards.
- Putting off college for two years to serve a mission
- Believing that Christ came to the Americas.
- Believing in God.
What stood out each of these times was the caustic tone of the person making the remarks. Reflecting, I hear an echo of Laman and Lemuel’s accusation: “the foolish imaginings of out heart.”
As I said before, I don’t think Laman and Lemuel are evil people, just misguided. This attitude seems to be timeless; let us remember that. (And keep in mind, of course, that sometimes our friends are right.)
I like Nephi’s progression. “And I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord to the tent of my father.” (1 Nephi 3:1)
Hopefully, we will not simply “go to” but “return from speaking with the Lord to”:
- PEC meeting or Weekly Planning session
- a crucial business meeting
- a home-teaching visit
- a DTR talk (or family council with our spouse),
- or any other place where we have to make decisions.
More murmuring: “And thy brothers murmur, saying: it is a hard thing which I have required of them. But behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.” (1 Nephi 3:5)
Laman and Lemuel essentially “shoot the messenger” – getting mad at their dad for relaying what God wanted them to do. Why were they mad? Because they didn’t want to do it.
I really like Nephi’s example of likening. “Let us be strong like unto Moses: for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea, and they divided hither and thither.” (1 Nephi 4:2)
"Let us go up, the Lord is able to deliver us, like unto our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.” (1 Nephi 4:3)
Let us (me) remember the scriptures and personal history to similarly live in sacred space. Let us (me) truly have the faith to expect miracles in our (my) everyday life. Perhaps not the big miracles but the small “line upon line” miracles. Let us understand precisely what we need – a dose of charity for an irritating coworker, a smile while meeting new people, a sense of humor with a troublesome child – and pray and work for that.