Taylor Halverson: Becoming a man of God like Nephi

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  • Beccamv5 Deventer, 00
    Oct. 17, 2015 9:29 a.m.

    1.96 Standard Deviations

    No sorry, I don't buy that.

    People in ISIS are also feeling inspired by their god to cut off people's heads for several reasons. I'm sure they think their reasons are just as valid as Nephi thought his were..
    A whole nation perrished spiritually would be worse than physical death? Really? I'm sure that God could have thought of another way to make sure those people had the information that they needed.

    Zoram was in all effect kidnapped. He was forced to leave his life, his family behind wasn't he?
    Just because they didn't enslave him doesn't mean he was free, because he wasn't free to just go home.

    Your answer, however well meant isn't helping to be honest...
    It's the standard thing I've heard for many years and the more times I hear it, the more it seems to stick up my nose..

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Oct. 15, 2015 9:17 a.m.

    @1.96 Standard Deviations

    Thank you very much for sharing that. And yes, the Lord could have provided a means of possessing the scriptures without taking what Laban held... Assuming possession of said scripture were the sole purpose of the command, nevermind the courage and obedience also demonstrated, or offering Zoram the opportunity to join with a daughter of Ishmael. But the Lord could up and just make everything work out, too; there are often unobvious or even mortally unknowable ends to the means we are presented with when given commandments.

    I admire the kind of example set by Nephi and others in the Book of Mormon because they demonstrate the gospel in action. A real Paladin, if you will. Nephi, Ammon, Moroni, Mormon, and others are all people who trust in the Lord, but also do everything they can in terms of work that isn't immediately tied to the gospel. Hunting, smelting toools, building a ship, and outfitting his people in later years are just four examples.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 14, 2015 11:45 a.m.

    RE 1.96 Standard Deviations.In August, 1842, the Millennial Star, printed in England, published Joseph Smith’s story stating that the angel’s name was “Nephi” (see Millennial Star, Vol. 3, p. 53). On page 71 of the same volume we read that the “…message of the angel Nephi[not Moroni]…opened a new dispensation to man…”Also,

    ” Joseph son of Jacob, prophesied of the future mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith twenty-four hundred years before the LDS prophet was born”…(50:33 JST)

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Oct. 14, 2015 8:32 a.m.


    "This part of the Book of mormon has always troubled me a bit to be honest. Nephi killed someone."

    The Book of Mormon student manual for seminary or institute has additional insight. Laban had already stolen Nephi's property and attempted to murder him. Under the law of Moses, those were serious crimes and could be punishable by death. Laban was was a leader in the area and certain knew the mosaic law.

    Also, remember that the Book of Mormon says the brass plates (their scriptures) were for Nephi's family and his descendants so they wouldn't perish in unbelief. The Book of Mormon teaches it was better that Laban perish, otherwise an entire nation would have died spiritually -- which is much worse than physical death.

    As for Zoram, he entered into a covenant with Nephi to follow him out of Jerusalem and Nephi promised Zoram he would be a free man. People aren't free when they're kidnapped. Since Zoram was free, he wasn't really kidnapped. Zoram made a choice to remain with Nephi and leave Jerusalem -- though I recognize Nephi was persuasive.

  • Publius nota bene Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2015 7:13 a.m.

    "...the scriptures are a powerful source of light and truth, providing stirring examples of what it means to be a man and what the process is of becoming man."

    I do not believe this constitutes a reasonable definition of what it means either to be a man or the process of becoming man. The Book of Mormon describes Nephi murdering an incapacitated Laban to steal his property.

    Anyone can come up with justifications to commit murder. Certainly, the Lord could have provided a non-murderous way for Nephi to obtain the Plates of Brass without resorting to killing.

  • Beccamv5 Deventer, 00
    Oct. 14, 2015 6:43 a.m.

    This part of the Book of mormon has always troubled me a bit to be honest. Nephi killed someone. In cold blood! Can someone explain to me why that is okay? Because he needed those plates? But recently we read in the Ensign that Joseph didn't even need the plates to translate. He read all the words from the sacred rock by the power of God!
    Why did Nephi have to kill Laban, and kidnap Zoram?

    I've been a member for 18 years and I still don't get this.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Oct. 13, 2015 3:41 p.m.

    Good observations on Nephi's growth. However let us not forget that almost all of Nephi's writings in the small plates are a retrospective, recorded numerous years later in the Western hemisphere. He did not write about his experiences with Laban the next day (at least not in the small plates). The real question then is, what was he thinking when he recorded those experiences decades later?

    What occurred then between 1 Ne 2:16 and 1 Ne 4:31 if of course important, but let's keep it all in balanced historical context. Far more occurred between the time his family Jerusalem, and the time Nephi actually writes about it. Let's not oversimplify the "youth to man" idea when Nephi may not have been really been emphasizing that in the first place.

  • EditorJack West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 13, 2015 11:16 a.m.

    What I find interesting about Nephi is not his virtues but rather his faults. He constantly harps on his brothers and even his parents to be more righteous. Over and over, Nephi reports that his brothers "were angry with" him because he was "constrained to speak unto them" and had "spoken many things unto them." (See 1 Nephi 7:16, 19; 17:48; 18:10; 2 Nephi 4:13-14.) Eventually this led to the estrangement of his brothers and ultimately to contention and warfare that persisted for a thousand years. What are we to learn from this? "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile." (D&C 121:41-42.) How do we interact with our families and with others? Do we badger them, or do we lovingly persuade and influence them? Focusing on Nephi's virtues, we usually overlook his faults, but these, too, provide lessons for us if we take the trouble to look.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Oct. 12, 2015 11:30 a.m.

    RE: 5. Be willing to fulfill whatever command the Lord asks of you.

    Love the LORD(YHWH) your God(Elohim) with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength(Deut 6:5).
    And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

    The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these(Mark 12:30-31)e.g….,
    "Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48), Jesus was saying, "Let your love be complete as God’s love." God loves all people, even evil ones. This is how we can be as "perfect" as God. Our love for our fellow-man needs to grow and mature -- including loving our enemies. If we do not love our enemies, we are not acting as sons of God ought to act.