Sunday, August 9, 2009

When you haven’t heard from someone for a while

I noticed some interesting things when I was reading the scriptures a few days ago.
1 And now, it came to pass that after king Mosiah had had continual peace for the space of three years, he was desirous to know concerning the people who went up to dwell in the land of Lehi-Nephi, or in the city of Lehi-Nephi; for his people had heard nothing from them from the time they left the land of Zarahemla; therefore, they wearied him with their teasings.
2 And it came to pass that *king Mosiah granted that sixteen of their strong men might go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi, to inquire concerning their brethren. (Mosiah 7:1-2)
Some phrases that struck me as significant were:
  • “his people had heard nothing from them [the people living in Lehi-Nephi]”
  • “he [King Mosiah] was desirous to know concerning the people”,
  • King Mosiah sent men to “inquire concerning their brethren”.
I think that this act of inquiring shows a certain amount of charity toward people who haven’t been present for a long time. We think about people we haven’t seen in a while. We haven’t heard from them in a while. So we want to find out what’s going on with them and we have to take action. This can be applied in our families, and also in the church. When we notice we haven’t seen someone in a while, we can inquire about them. Christ calls this “searching out the lost sheep”.

As it happened in this story in the Book of Mormon, it was a good thing that King Mosiah didn’t say something like, “Oh, they’re probably doing fine. Maybe they don’t want to hear from us; if they wanted to talk to us, we would have heard from them by now. We’ll just wait for them to send us news.” We know that those people in the land of Lehi-Nephi were in bondage to the Lamanites and having a very difficult time of it. They had even tried to send men to find Zerahemla to appeal for help, but they hadn’t been able to find it, so they were stuck. The first thing King Limhi said when he found out who Ammon and his party were was:

…Now, I know of a surety that my brethren who were in the land of Zarahemla are yet alive. And now, I will rejoice; and on the morrow I will cause that my people shall rejoice also.
15 For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne. And now, behold, our brethren will deliver us out of our bondage, or out of the hands of the Lamanites, and we will be their slaves; for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites. (Mosiah 7:14-15)

Limhi had been wondering the same things about the people of Zerahemla! It was a good thing that King Mosiah decided to take action by sending those men to try to find Lehi-Nephi.

I wonder how many people who are inactive really want to come back and need us to inquire after them and go find them?

I can think of at least three people who I want to inquire about.

(And isn't nice that the application Facebook exists now so that we can check someone's status? We just have to make sure we also send messages too and actually make contact. Knowing a person's status was never intended to be a substitution for having a real conversation.)


Rebecca Irvine said...

Modern technology solves this problem more and more as time goes on. What a huge blessing it is to have the Internet, telephone, and even modern mail. Still, there are always people we think about and wonder how they are doing.