Derp. Looks like it’s been a while since I read all of this through. From chapter one of verse two:
“because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.”
So maybe Lehi didn’t know in advance what kind of risk he was taking. Maybe even prophets aren’t given all the answers at once. Still, the whole reason he got into this in the first place was a love for his people. Paul is also vindicated today, because though I said the other day that I struggle to understand his writings even more than Isaiah, this thirteenth chapter from his first letter to the Corinthians is what came to mind:
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
Always a nice perspective on the importance of love. Loving God and loving our neighbors are the two greatest commandments, right? So Lehi did this out of a love for his people AND out of a love for the Lord who commanded it of him.
Other thoughts from chapter two, which I shall not elaborate upon right now:
It’d seem Laman and Lemuel complained almost every step of the way, and yet they still went? I wonder why that is? Do we ever go along with the Lord’s plans but with a grudge in our heart and a complaint just under our breath? What’s the point of that? :-p I’m sure we’ll run into their antics again though, so I won’t elaborate there.
This part wasn’t something new that I learned so much as a commentary: I know what it is like to be commanded to pack up my family and enough provisions to survive and just leave. It took me a long time and a lot of questioning. I love that Lehi just got himself out of there when the Lord commanded. I also love that when I had to leave, my kids were much more like Nephi and Sam than Laman and Lemuel.
At 3am on the morning of May 8th, 2009, I finally obeyed the message: LEAVE. RIGHT. NOW. So I used a few laundry baskets to gather enough things to get by (and the kids favorite stuffed animals, too), loaded those up in my trunk, and woke the kids, who were extraordinarily cooperative given the hour. We were out in a matter of minutes. I apologized as we exited the back door, saying, “I’m really sorry this is so weird, guys. I just had a very strong feeling that we needed to go right now.”
Said Mary, “I think that strong feeling was the Spirit talking to you, because the Spirit talked to me, too.” She explained that she’d felt the Spirit tell her to get up quickly and to obey her mom without complaining. And then she added, “Besides, it’s not like we’re fleeing into the wilderness.”