I'm not entirely sure where to even begin with this chapter. So many good stories are found in this one, which can easily
be likened to our own lives and our own times. Various lessons come to mind....
For example, verses 1 through 3 are a magnificent litmus test of personal righteousness. When someone comes at you and truthfully starts hacking into your sense of righteousness, if your pride gets the best of you, those words will be "hard to hear". If pride doesn't get in the way (or you're not wicked), those words should do nothing but incite within, a desire to do better, to be more righteous, to right the personal wrongs which may exist.
Lesson: The righteous take criticism to be a thing of worth, and use it to better themselves. note - I didn't say abuse. I said criticism.
The steel bow saga.
There are so many lessons within this one experience, I dare not try to write them all. The one analogy I did extract from it this time around is: How to deal with things which go wrong.
Was Nephi breaking the commandments while he was hunting? Was the breaking of his bow a punishment inflicted upon him for some sin he committed? I highly, highly doubt it.
So... Why did it happen? Why did his bow break? Did God do it? Well... That last one is a toughy, since I believe that God is ultimately in complete control of this universe. I believe God did cause his bow to break, either be it due to the laws of physics by which God himself is bound, or whether he caused it to break by some other means...
of it's happening I can't answer, nor do I think it is important.
important is the reaction everyone has. Very, very interesting...
If it weren't for Lehi and his dream, nobody would have been in the wilderness, and likely, nobody would have to hunt for their food (not sure... I haven't studied ancient history much). So, Nephi's bow breaks and the whole lot of em' are hungry. They go through some pretty hard trials. So hard, that Lehi himself starts "murmuring against the Lord".
Man, those must have been some pretty hard times.
So.... Take a look at your own life, and how you react to uncomfortable situations which might have occurred just at the moment you thought you were trying your best to keep the commandments. The almost inevitable question arises, "why did this happen to me?
", and we start having a wonderful pity party which ultimately is of zero worth.
In such circumstances, I believe Nephi (once again) has the right idea down pat. Did he get frustrated? Yeah. But it wasn't because he broke his bow, nor was it because he was starving. It was probably because of everyone else's attitude of "wo is me! wo is me! I followed God's commandments and now I'm starving! We'll never get out of this stinking wilderness until we're all dead, and it all happened because of GOD!
Nephi's reaction, in contrast, was "I'm hungry. I need to do something to get food. In order to get food, we need God's help. God isn't going to help us unless we start repenting, so I'm gonna go make another bow, and also see if I can change my family's hearts toward God. God won't let us starve to death.
" That, he did, and he was right.
God kept his word and opened the door to their survival through prayer and repentance.
God prospers those who keep His commandments. It's written all over
in the scriptures.
Verse 37 and 38 are insane. They are an fantastic example of total insanity. Laman doesn't live in the same average reality in which the rest of the world does. All his claiming of Nephi's lies about seeing angels must be his own lies. He saw an angel too.... and now he also heard the voice of the Lord.
Man... if only I could get so lucky to see an angel and
hear the voice of the Lord! Laman was an idiot. I cannot imagine the turmoil which would be created in our family if he were my brother.
I'm also curious as to what verse 27 is referring to. What would cause Lehi to fear and tremble exceedingly...? I'm not sure.
Good chatper this is. I look forward to reading it again sometime in the years to come.