Sunday, August 9, 2009

House Hunting and Zeniff’s Over-zealousness

My husband and I have been renting since 2005. My husband really wants to buy a house. I’d like to buy too. We started looking at houses in December of 2008 but couldn’t find anything we really liked in a decent price range. So we decided to give it another year before we started looking again.

But our realtor still sends us emails of houses coming on the market. And we keep opening those emails.

On Friday I caved and asked to look at a particular house I had had my eye on—house #1. The realtor showed me three. All of them were disappointing. I actually liked house #2 better than house #1; it had a brand spankin' new upgraded kitchen and master bathroom. Too bad it also had three enormous roof leaks, interior water damage, and a certain parfum de mildew. I could fill a page describing all the things that were wrong in that house, and I could fill another page describing all the things that were right about that house. (I won’t subject you to these pages, though.) Yesterday I kept thinking about it, wondering if we should just cave and buy it and put in the money to get it fixed and livable.

Then, in my scripture study, I happened upon these verses. King Limhi is speaking.
21 And ye all are witnesses this day, that Zeniff, who was made king over this people, he being over-zealous to inherit the land of his fathers, therefore being deceived by the cunning and craftiness of king Laman, who having entered into a treaty with king Zeniff, and having yielded up into his hands the possessions of a part of the land, or even the city of Lehi-Nephi, and the city of Shilom; and the land round about—
22 And all this he did, for the sole purpose of bringing this people into subjection or into bondage. And behold, we at this time do pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites, to the amount of one half of our corn, and our barley, and even all our grain of every kind, and one half of the increase of our flocks and our herds; and even one half of all we have or possess the king of the Lamanites doth exact of us, or our lives. (Mosiah 7:21-22)
The thing that always gets me whenever I’m reading about Zeniff’s over-zealousness is how he could have possibly have been deceived by the Lamanite king. These are LAMANITES he’s treating with! These are the people who have historically sworn in their wrath to wipe out all things Nephite! Does anyone else think it’s a really REALLY bad idea to set up living quarters near Lamanites, or is it just me? I mean, come on! Surely we can all see the problems coming!

Zeniff was so excited about settling in at Lehi-Nephi that he minimized the seriousness of the Lamanites’ dangerously close proximity. He was willing to overlook that “minor” detail to get what he wanted.

Now, as I think about my house hunting in light of this story, I am not going to go so far as to say that our realtor is trying to enslave us with cunning and craftiness. (He’s LDS, after all, and he’s a really nice guy. (And he’s not paying me to say that.)) But it seems to me that if I want to be smarter than Zeniff, I should keep my zeal for home ownership in check before I do something foolish like minimize the problems that could result from buying a house with significant water damage. Something better will come along.


Rebecca Irvine said...

I have been wanting to buy a new van for years (3) now. It has been a spot of dissent in my marriage. But about four months ago I had a strong feeling I should drop the issue. I was likely being overzealous about it, like Zeniff, I admit. Maybe we will be able to get a new van next year. Patience is such a virtue.

Chas Hathaway said...

So true. My wife and I just moved into our first house about a year ago. Talk about a frightening leap of faith!

But the Lord looks after his children. He got us a beautiful little place which has a mortgage comparable with what we paid for in an inexpensive apartment. And the town and ward are AWESOME!

I don't know how He did it, but He did. We didn't do much. He provided a way.

- Chas