1.96 Standard DeviationsNo 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..
@1.96 Standard DeviationsThank 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.
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
Beccamv5:"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.
"...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.
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.
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
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.
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.