Saturday, April 15, 2017

Nephi gets Laman and Lemuel’s blessings

When Lehi and his family leave Jerusalem, they camp near a river’s outlet to the Red Sea, and Lehi tries to use the geographical features around them to teach his sons how they need to be.

9 And when my father saw that the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea, he spake unto Laman, saying: O that thou mightest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!
10 And he also spake unto Lemuel: O that thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!
11 Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart. (1 Nephi 2:9-11)

To me it is obvious that Lehi hoped the way rivers continually run to the ocean would be a good illustration to Laman of how he should continually run toward the Lord.

But I have often been puzzled that Lehi pointed out the desirable qualities of the valley to Lemuel as being firm, steadfast, and immoveable, especially when it would be much more obvious to say the most desirable quality that Lemuel needed most was humility, which perfectly matched the obvious lowness of valleys.

But maybe Lehi hoped that message would go without saying and called attention to other desirable qualities of valleys that he hoped Lemuel would decide to cultivate.

Overall, the characteristics of continually running into the fountain of all righteousness and steadfastness (and humility) are great ones for anyone to acquire.

In that same chapter, Nephi tells of how he cried to the Lord because he wanted to know the mysteries of God and the Lord softened his heart so he believed and didn’t rebel. When he prays for Laman and Lemuel, the Lord commends him with these words:

And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart. (1 Nephi 2:19)

The very qualities Lehi wanted for Laman and Lemuel, Nephi was acquiring, so Nephi was gaining blessings that his brothers could have had if they had only listened.

Starting today, let’s seek the Lord diligently, with a humble heart.