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8.18.2004

1 Nephi 4 

Okay, so we left off with Laman and Lemuel murmuring, even though they'd seen an angel.

I love the references back to the Bible throughout the Book of Mormon. Nephi, in trying to bolster their courage and faith reminds them of
Moses and the children of Israel escaping Pharoah. Looking at verse 3, I am inclined to also say there is a pattern here of the Lord destroying his enemies. (Also, a little bit of foreshadowing, eh?)

So, here are the brothers creeping toward Jerusalem. Nephi decides to trust in the Lord and go forward. Every other time they've trusted in the some earthly-reasoning,
but this time Nephi's faith was soley in the Lord.

And how did it turn out?

Here's Nephi, a righteous man being
constrained to kill Laban. Now, we've established the fact that Laban is a jerk, but to kill him? Let's look at why Nephi was commanded in such a way:

1) He sought to take away Nephi's life.
2) He sought to take away the life of his family.
3) He was
leading away others to unrighteousness.
4) He was impeding the work of the Lord (not obeying the commands of God).

I think that reason four is pretty vital to why we have the Book of Mormon today. We need to know and understand the commandments (to prosper in the land of promise). Just last night I had a discussion with a friend of mine regarding whether or not baptism was really necessary. We see confusion with all the different congregations and affiliations of churches. We needed to have
this second witness. (and in the Book of Mormon: 2 Nephi 11:3 and 2 Nephi 29:8.)

Zoram

Zoram got snookered here, for a bit. But what I want to point out is the oath Nephi made to him in verse 32, "As the Lord liveth, and as I live." Here, Nibley says it better:


The Oath of Power

"What astonishes the western reader is the miraculous effect of Nephi's oath on Zoram. . . . The reactions of both parties make sense when one realizes that the oath is the one thing that is most sacred and inviolable among the desert people and their descendants. . . . But not every oath will do. To be most binding and solemn an oath should be by the life of something, even if it be but a blade of grass. The only oath more awful than 'by my life' or (less commonly) 'by the life of my head' is the wa hayat Allah, 'by the life of God' or 'as the Lord liveth.' . . . So we see that the only way that Nephi could possibly have pacified the struggling Zoram in an instant was to utter the one oath that no man would dream of breaking, the most solemn of all oaths to the Semite: 'As the Lord liveth, and as I live' (1 Nephi 4:32)."25

-- 25. Nibley, Approach to the Book of Mormon, 128—29.

And so now we have a new traveler on our journey to the promised land!






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