The Middle of the Journey

I’m getting back on track with Come Follow Me which is the study program at church for families and Sunday school classes and now even Seminary so we are all studying the same thing at the same time and it makes it easier to have family discussions.

My son and I sit down together on Sunday evening and watch a video together and sometimes have nice discussions about what we’re learning and sometimes we don’t but I’m happy he’s willing to sit with me to listen about that week’s chapters.

This year we are studying the Book of Mormon.

Always, as I read the beginning chapters of the Book of Mormon and read the stories of Laman and Lemuel I relate to them. I’m not sure if you do it too but I can see myself in a lot of their responses to things and I always wish I could be more like Nephi.

Today’s reading for me was 1 Nephi 16. A lot happens in this chapter of only 39 verses.

1. Laman and Lemuel are angry with Nephi in the first few verses but Nephi (the younger brother) talks them down and by the end they felt humble and Nephi was hopeful.

2. All the brothers get married.

3. The Lord gives Lehi (the dad and prophet) the Liahona which will help them to know which way to go and what to do as they travel.

4. There were problems with their bows they needed for hunting. Nephis breaks and Laman and Lemuel’s lose their spring so they can’t hunt and they are very hungry.

5. Ishmael dies who is the father of the wives of Nephi and his brothers.

6. Everybody is sad but then they are mad and want to kill their father and Nephi

So here are the things that stuck out to me today as I was reading. It’s never that Nephi isn’t sad or upset along with the rest of them, it’s that he continues to look forward. He looks to what can be done to help the situation rather than thinking about all of the bad stuff that has happened.

He doesn’t try to blame anybody. He’s not looking for someone to punish.

When his brothers are angry, he doesn’t throw up his hands and walk away. He doesn’t tell them to leave. He talks things through with them and he must do it in a loving and calm way because almost every time they see his point and repent and try again.

When his bow breaks he’s just as hungry as everyone else but instead of mumbling and complaining he figures out how to make a new bow out of a piece of wood and asks his father where is the best place to hunt for food.

His asking that of his father causes his father, the prophet, to inquire of the Lord. Before they get an answer his father is chastised because he is also crabby and complaining. But then the Lord is very clear and Nephi goes off and brings back plenty for everyone.

When Ishmael dies and now the brothers and their wives are mad again because they are blaming Lehi for their situation and they say that all of this travel in the wilderness wasn’t actually directed by God and so they want to kill both Lehi for this discomfort and Nephi for being so bossy. At this point, things may have gone too far for Nephi to fix because the voice of the Lord comes to them “and did chasten them exceedingly” and then they repented and stopped being angry.

One thing that I thought after that lst part was that they couldn’t have been entirely evil. If they were they wouldn’t have been able to hear the voice of the Lord. Sometimes I think we are a little harsh with Laman and Lemuel but they did go when their father asked them to, they did go back to get the records when asked, they hunt and work and they are willing to listen to reason. The thing is, they never try to change they way they look at things. They never really change when they repent. Because next time a hard things happen they are right back to complaining and being angry.

This life is a journey to become more like Jesus Christ. To love each other. To take care of each other. To be patient and kind and realize that we are all children of God on the same journey. We are all at different points on the journey which is good because we can help each other along that way. The thing is, if we never get past the point of murmuring, complaining and looking for someone to blame for our hardship we can’t progress.

The Church of Jesus Christ has videos on YouTube telling the story chapter by chapter. The chapter I’m talking about here is in this video if you’d like to watch.


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