Wow! What a wonderfully insightful article. That relationship with Heavenly Father and Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is truly what it's all about. Following the Lord brings lasting joy during the journey, as well as at its destination. Beautifully written. Thank you!
This precisely why my life's tagline is: Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a well-preserved, gently used body. It is rather a skid to broadside, thoroughly used up in service, totally wornout from trials, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a ride!"
I think it is also instructive to look at the purpose of the Isaiah chapters. Laman and Lemual, if they had any religious beliefs, they were tied to or buried in the Jerusalem sites and culture. When they left for the wilderness, they saw it as leaving their belief system behind. Much of the Isaiah chapters are to convince them of their heritage to convince them God and his blessings are not tied to Jerusalem and its culture.
I have always believed that Laman and Lemuel were twins--probably identical. It answers the many questions such as, why were they always in collusion? Why were they always mentioned together--very rarely would you see their names singly? Why did they do everything together, never cleaving to or mentioning any of their other siblings? It always seemed they were of one mind! I said this to my seminary teacher when I was a teenager, and he was shocked--he said HE had always thought the same! Great article--insightful and interesting!
Maurine, I came across your article on Facebook. Finding little gems like this is why I have a Facebook account. I really enjoyed your insights, and it makes me want to deepen my relationship with my Heavenly Father. You are a gifted writer. Thank you for sharing.
I LOVED this article! Thank you for sharing these thoughts. It seems that's one major problem the world is facing today: they're looking for healing and happiness everywhere but the true source. It's so sad to think that Laman and Lemuel CHOSE not to know the dealings of Heavenly Father, and thus had to suffer so much. I hope I can always choose Nephi's way and remember that I'm not in this alone. Please publish more articles like this! I love them!
Maurine, thanks for a wonderful article. It brought me to tears because of the severe trials I've gone through and it affirmed what I have learned through those trials, that the Lord is there with each of us if we want Him to be. I' so grateful for that knowledge!
brilliant...absolutely brilliant. you are completely right. thank you for this phenomenal insight.i'm reading the book of mormon again this year and looking for the ways that the words apply to me in this age and what i can learn from the experiences and words in that book that can help me. this article is pushing me on my way. thank you.
Thanks, Maurine, for bringing deeper insight and understanding to our reading. Yours and the additional comments brought me to see again ... it's all about relationships - ours with ourselves, with God, with others. Charity is always a necessary ingredient for real happiness.
I appreciate your very valid points. I would also add that Laman and Lemuel kept looking back. They didn't turn into pillars of salt like Lot's wife, but they kept thinking of what they could be enjoying instead of relying on the promises of what lay ahead. Then that difference led to failing to seek the Lord like Nephi and Jacob did. Without the spiritual strengthening as you mentioned, they were bitter about losing their position and possessions of their former lives.In every change in my life, I have to let go and let God lead. When I learned this in my first severe trial, it made the subsequent trials easier to bear. But I sometimes have to reminded of this as well.
Laman and Lemuel are representative of the Jews at the time, whose religion had been stripped of its most spiritual aspects. "Visionary men" were suspect, while the law, or a show of keeping the law, was the standard and the structure. Laman and Lemuel couldn't abide the idea of receiving and acting on revelation and spiritual guidance that so nourished Lehi and Nephi and transformed their journey. So today, is the juxtaposition of relying on logic and situational morality in our walk through life compared with journeying the same wilderness with God's help and succor.
This is a great article, but I think you left out a major point:Nephi tells us that Laman and Lemuel were "like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem"...well what were those Jews like? Jeremiah tells us that those Jews who were at Jerusalem were adulterers who "assembled themselves by troops to the harlots houses" and "everyone neighed after his neighbor's wife", they were liars, they proceeded from evil to evil, and they were so spiritually dead that they no longer felt any shame about their wickedness.Spiritual death is the consequence of living a life that is "like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem", and this lifestyle is why Laman and Lemuel did everything else that they did.They were so spiritually dead that after having an angel of the Lord literally appear to them, they immediately disregarded it and went right back to murmuring. They viewed righteousness as foolishness, and wickedness as righteous.
Thankyou for a great article. I only want to add one thought: Since Nephi is telling the story, and his reaction is what we all aspire to, it is natural to identify with him and indeed ask "what is wrong with Laman and Lemuel". I think it is also valuable to look for Laman and Lemuel in ourselves--to recognize when we are murmuring, questioning and whining about our lives rather than "inquiring of the Lord" or thinking about the bigger picture. I know I have been there many, many times.
For anyone who has a close family relationship with followers of the same path as Laman and Lemuel, this article by Maureen Proctor about their "problem" hits home, completely. Nephi agonized, as did Lehi, about how to guide, instruct and influence those two who could not find any peace in their life's direction. Thank you Maureen for the time you spent in study, thought and consideration of the "problem" as it concerns us all.
Your expounding on these insightful truths is wonderful. It just so happens that I have numerous times been struck by the perspective of Nephi seeing the women strengthened while being new mothers(1 Nephi 17:2-3), and Laman and Lemuel seeing the women's burdens. (1 Nephi 17:20) Thank you for helping me to deepen my understanding.
Very insightful commentary! Thank you!
Maurine, great article. Not only good writing, but you surely hit the nail on the head. Very well done.
I loved this!! Thank you
Maurine: may I add a thought to your excellent article: Because Laman and Lemuel "knew not the dealings of God," they knew not their individual journey and Promised Land. Instead, they believed they were trekking through the desert, when in fact, they were trekking through the test of their own character. That is a lonely and feckless journey. Only by coming to God can we "come to ourselves." In this way, we recognize the desert for what it is: a soul shaping journey, rather than a stifling inconvenience.Bill
Wonderful message, Maureen! You have given the key for overcoming adversity and disappointments.
Your article was extremely well written and contained such beautiful imagry. I gained much from reading this article and listening as the Spirit showed me what things I still lack.
I just love this article! Thank you! Sister Proctor is one of my favorite authors on Meridian.This is such a perfect analogy of our journey today, it's just that our wilderness looks a bit different. While I feel like I have a ways to go yet before I know God the way I truly wish to, I am so grateful for where I am and for the gospel. I look around me and what is going on in our world today and often wonder where I would ever be without the knowledge and gift of the gospel that I have. I am always then flooded with feelings of gratitude for faithful parents who found the gospel and gave their children a solid foundation that has provided me the much needed stability through so many trials in life. Also for a Heavenly Father who never fails to walk with me even when I do not necessarily realize it. This article has inspired me to work on deepening my relationship with my Heavenly Father so I can always be sure to walk through the wilderness with joy. Thank you!
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