What does it mean to be highly favored of the Lord? And my father dwelt in a tent. Kingship in the Book of Mormon.
[00:00:15] Speaker A: Welcome to the weekly Deep Dive podcast on the Add on Education network the podcast, where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussion and try to add a little insight and unique active. I am your host, Jason Lloyd, here in the studio with our friend and this show’s producer, Nate Pyfer.
[00:00:31] Speaker B: What’s up?
[00:00:32] Speaker A: Hey, how you doing, dude?
[00:00:34] Speaker B: We got a lot of feedback last week. Yeah, glad we like kind of strangely overwhelming. Our numbers were kind of bonkers last week and was getting a lot of really nice messages.
One of the messages was pointed out to me that I forgot for the first time in three years to drop the email address at the end of the episode on how you get a hold of us. And that is. Hi@weeklydeepdive.com, so that’s for your feedback. Questions, comments. I think by the end of last episode, I just assumed that anybody still listening to this has probably heard me say it a thousand times. Good to include, but it is good to include. So that is how to get a hold of us. I wanted to start this week with that so that, in case I forget.
[00:01:22] Speaker A: Again, I think a lot of people were wondering, like, if we just disappeared or fell off the face of the earth.
[00:01:27] Speaker B: They’re probably worried about us. They’re probably worried about us.
[00:01:30] Speaker A: And we’re back. We’re here, we’re recording. We’ll be consistent, and the book of.
[00:01:34] Speaker B: Mormon is going to be great.
[00:01:35] Speaker A: Oh, man. That is the biggest challenge tonight is to try to fit everything in these first few chapters into one concise episode. That’s just not going to fill up your whole week full of listening hours and keep us up all night. We’re going to try.
[00:01:51] Speaker B: It will be long, though.
[00:01:52] Speaker A: We’re going to try to squeeze this into a reasonable amount of time.
[00:01:56] Speaker B: But be prepared.
[00:01:57] Speaker A: Be prepared just in case.
[00:01:58] Speaker B: Get a snack.
[00:02:00] Speaker A: Have a snack ready. I hope you’re on a long drive.
[00:02:03] Speaker B: Yeah, I was going to say, or if you’re in like, la morning traffic, it’ll be actually a perfect length for where you’re going. 7 miles away or whatever. All right, let’s do it.
[00:02:13] Speaker A: Let’s do it. Let’s just dive right in because there’s a lot to talk about. I love the Book of Mormon, particularly these first few chapters. Nephi really sets the stage. He offers us something that we don’t see so much in a lot of the other books, and that is an introduction of who he is and why he’s writing. And I almost want to point out a little detail here just to set the stage it’s almost like Nephi has a propensity to overshare I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, what does that have to do with the story? Why do we care if your parents were goodly? And what does goodly even mean? Nephi, what are you talking about? He does this a lot, to the point where sometimes he puts himself in a negative light, a little bit like, yeah, I get it. He is this younger, annoying brother that’s always tattling on his older ones, or always trying to do this. Sometimes his oversharing of details maybe is a bit too much, it seems.
And that’s Nephi. He’s very honest. He’s very clear. Sometimes he’s a little bit repetitive, and he tries to tell us, I love plainness in speech. I’m going to try to spell this out very plain. So I think that’s important to know going forward into this, that Nephi has this, and yet he is extremely wise. And some of the details that he leaves here are actually extremely profound. And here’s what I’m talking about. First off, what does it mean to be born of goodly parents? And I think goodly in this sense is status, reputation.
His parents have a good reputation in society. Maybe they have a good position in who they are and what they do. And Nephi defines being goodly parents in that he was educated in all of the learning of his father. And it’s not to say that he just learned the trade that his father learned. Anybody learns what their dad does for a living. But he talks about all of the education that his dad has him also receiving. And he’ll get into that with languages that he speaks, languages he learns, and his dad making trades. Nephi knowing where to find ore and how to smelt and make tools. And he was just a very well educated person. And I think that’s what he’s loading into this. My parents were goodly, but this also sheds a little bit of light on layman and Lemuel. I think oftentimes Layman and Lemuel come off very one dimensional, as just complaining all the time. But you have to understand, they were older brothers to Nephi. If Nephi was educated in all the learning of his fathers, so were layman and Lemiel. These characters. These people were very well educated, were very intelligent. And I don’t know that layman and Lemiel get that rap. I don’t think we typically associate with them intelligence and learning, but they were. And I think that adds a little bit of dimension as we read about their family and their travels, all right. To keep going. I don’t want to spend too much time on that. What he does say, that really catches my attention.
After the learning of his father and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days, that, to me, is one of the most powerful lessons. And we haven’t even gotten through the first verse yet.
So many people think that to be favored of the Lord means that they don’t have to suffer, that they don’t have to go through afflictions. Like, I did everything God asked. Why doesn’t God love me? Why doesn’t God protect me? Why doesn’t God make it so that my life is now going to be a breeze?
And Nephi is saying, I went through many afflictions. Nevertheless, I was highly favored of the Lord. And isn’t that the case with everyone that God has loved? Look at Jonah, look at job, look at Abraham, look at Christ. I don’t think anyone could say that God loved anyone more than what he did Christ. Yet nobody suffered more than what Christ did. And Nephi gets this.
Being favored of the Lord does not mean an easy pass, a lantern, that the genie pops out and grants you whatever you want because God loves you.
I just think that’s a lesson maybe a lot of people don’t get. And Nephi to grasp that and state that so powerfully at the beginning.
I like it. Anything you want to add? No. Okay, so then what does it mean to be highly favored of the Lord if it doesn’t mean that you have an easy walk in life?
He’s going to define that. He says, yea, having been highly favored of Lord in all my days. Yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God.
That’s what it means to be highly favored of Lord, to have a great knowledge of his goodness and his mysteries. And he’s going to spell this all out for us. But the reason we have to ask ourselves the question, why is he including all of this? Why is he over sharing if he is? Indeed, he’s engraving this on plates. This is not the easiest process.
It’s not like we’re just writing piece of paper here, and then they hand this on. I’m just going to write everything. Why is it important to the story that we understand that he was educated, that we understand that he went through a lot of afflictions, and that we understand that, notwithstanding that he was favored with knowledge and goodness, and blessings from God. And what he’s doing is helping us by explaining why he is writing this record. Because he has the education, because he has the skill set, because he has the learning of his father. He’s capable, he has the means to do it. And now he has the motive because he sees the goodness and the mysteries, and he has a desire to help, to participate and to share that with those who are going to be listening.
It’s putting it all together, the opportunity, the means and the motive. This is what he feels he needs to now do. And I think that a lot of us, maybe we’ve been blessed in life and we feel like we understand things or we have a perspective that we can offer a way that we can maybe help make people feel better or understand things or help them along the way. Maybe we feel like we need to do something because of all the ways that we’ve been helped in our life to try to pass that on, to help someone else as well.
[00:09:05] Speaker B: Do you feel like he was specifically commanded to do this? Or do you feel like this was because what you’re describing feels like it was more of, kind of like an internal calling, what you just described as somebody that it seems way more self motivated to be doing this. Where I feel like we later on in the Book of Mormon, a lot of the writers, it almost feels like this was kind of their calling, really. And I mean, by the time it kind of gets to Mormon and Moroni specifically, at least, it reads very much like this is something that the Lord has kind of commanded them to do. Because some of the writers even too, it almost feels like I’m trying to remember if it’s like the Jerem Almni or whatever. Some of those dudes are basically like, hey, I don’t even think I’m that great of a dude. I’m writing this because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I have to do this. And so I guess I’m just wondering if the different writers are maybe doing this for different reasons. And this is what you just described.
That’s what’s kind of unique about Nephi is that we’re really getting him going and giving us an intro, basically being like, I’m doing this because I feel like it’s the right thing to do for me. I don’t know. Does that make sense?
[00:10:28] Speaker A: It does make sense, and I’m going to answer that with something else in here.
When Lehi tells his family they got to leave all of his sons, Nephi included, by the way, to some extent think that Lehi’s crazy, because Nephi talks about going to God and praying about this with all of his heart. And it says that the Lord softened Nephi’s heart.
So I think Nephi even had a hard time with what his father was asking, if his heart needed to be softened for that experience to happen. Right?
And he talks to his brothers later on. And we’ll see this with the vision of the tree of life. We’ll see this in several different instances where layman and Lamo’s response is, the Lord did not make this known to us. The lord didn’t tell us. The Lord doesn’t communicate with us. The Lord isn’t. And Nephi is never waiting for the Lord to just tell him something. Nephi is going to the lord and begging and requesting and not letting up until he gets answers.
And so taking this back to what you’re saying, and I want to take this to last week’s lesson on the three witnesses, because when I read their account that they heard that there was going to be three witnesses for the book of Mormon, and they wanted so bad to be those witnesses that they were going to Joseph Smith and saying, we want this, it almost came across to me, early on anyways, as selfish, almost like Martin Harris in the 116 pages and like, oh, my goodness. And how come God has to keep putting up with this? I almost looked at this in a negative way, but I’ve changed. And especially looking at this in light of Nephi, God, it’s not like he’s grabbing people and saying, I need you to do this. It’s that people want so desperately to do God’s will or feel. Going back to this case, this particular example and the question that you asked me, I think Nephi felt this here is an opportunity. I have this education. I have a desire to help to do this, that this fell in line with what the Lord needed. And those two.
[00:12:44] Speaker B: Let me throw this out there, too. I wonder if maybe the inception of this or the catalyst of this was maybe the fact that God had him kill somebody over getting the records and histories and genealogies of people. I wonder if maybe that was the seed or the inception of how important it is to keep records of God’s tender mercies as he talks about it in these chapters. I wonder if maybe even that initial drive to keep records was with the burden that was kind of put on him very early on in life, of, hey, this is how important it is for people to have a record of God’s workings among men. And I wonder if maybe that was the thing that then showed him an example, maybe, of, hey, here’s what you should be doing, too. I don’t know. I wonder if that maybe plays into it a little bit.
[00:13:50] Speaker A: That’s a really good point, because we get that Nephi doesn’t even start making this record until after he has these bring that. That’s a really good point, Nate.
I wonder if he doesn’t look back at his own family line and wish that his fathers and his father’s fathers had been keeping records like Laban. If they would have done that, it wouldn’t have put him in that awkward position to where he was killing another man for that. And maybe he’s looking at that and is, I don’t want anyone else to ever be in a position. I need to make sure that I am starting the tradition and that my.
[00:14:29] Speaker B: Dad was, too, because in theory, from what we believe, his dad had a record, too.
[00:14:34] Speaker A: And that’s true. Lehi is writing. Right. Because Nephi tells us that he makes an abridgement of the record of his. So Lehi does have.
[00:14:41] Speaker B: So maybe. Maybe it’s just a general example. Maybe that’s kind of the answer, at least to the question that we can come up with. Maybe he’s seeing. Okay, cool. I can see a good example of my father and the fact that my father cares so deeply about this that he’s willing to put his son’s lives at risk to go make this happen. And basically, like, I need you to promise me that you’re not coming back here without those records. It’s like, oh, that’s pretty important. Obviously, then, to his dad as well.
[00:15:10] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:15:13] Speaker B: I’m interested into revisiting this question of the why as we kind of make our way through different writers, as we go through this, I’m really interested.
And one of the things I’m looking forward to exploring a little bit is, and I think, for me, a lot of this is getting brought up because we just finished the New Testament, and obviously, you and I explored quite a bit of the. I mean, we really overemphasized the point that these are all different books from different writers. Some of the writers we don’t know who, some of the writers we don’t know why, with Paul, we don’t even understand the context in a lot of the things, basically. Right. And so it was so fascinating to me, as we were going through the New Testament, to really try to understand the drive of writing this and the fact that you brought that up right off the top is like, oh, this will be fun. To understand why Jerem and Omni are writing, because they basically just say, like, hey, look, my life had a lot of fighting in it.
I don’t really think I’m that great of a dude, but I think it says in there, but I’ve been commanded to do this, and so that’s why I’m doing it.
[00:16:29] Speaker A: I think the motivation changes. And you look at it because they feel the responsibility.
[00:16:36] Speaker B: Maybe that’s too, that’s a great, you.
[00:16:38] Speaker A: Can, you can see the motives are different. You can see Nephi has a passion for this. You can see Nephi has a desire to do this. And then you get to some of these other ones. And maybe it’s just a tradition that’s been started by Nephi that’s been passed down and ingrained to, I have to do this, and it’s not so much I want to.
[00:16:57] Speaker B: Cool. Let’s keep going.
[00:16:59] Speaker A: All right.
[00:17:01] Speaker B: Thanks for letting me. I know I’m going to try not to derail you.
[00:17:05] Speaker A: No, this is good. You step in, please.
All right. So he makes a record of his proceedings in his days, and in verse two real quick, he says, yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians. And I think this is worth taking a little bit of a note on because this is something that’s visited again at the end of the book of Mormon, where they say, had we been able to write this record in our own language, there would be no imperfections referring to Hebrew at the time.
What does it mean to be writing a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians? And I think the learning of the Jews refers to the words that the Jews use. Hebrew in a sense. Right. But when he says the language of the Egyptians, I feel like he is writing Hebrew words in the egyptian script. And so the Egyptians around this time had created a new text in which they would use a cursive, a shorthand.
So for us, for example, you have spanish words, and you say, hola, adios, or whatever you’re going to say in Spanish. The problem is we use the same Alphabet that they use in Spanish. So if you write Spanish words with English text, it still says ola in the Hebrew. You have Hebrew characters that are written from right to left that look very different from the Egyptian characters that you’d be writing in this cursive script. And so to try to break this down, and make it quicker to understand.
Shalom. I think that’s a word most of us are familiar with in Hebrew. And if you try to spell it, you’ve got your SHEEN, your LAMId, and that’s the hebrew characters. But if I wanted to write this in a way that people would understand it in English, to be able to say the word, then I’d be spelling it S-H-A-L. So that is a Hebrew word in an English text. I think that’s what he means by the learning of my father, Hebrew words spelled out in the language of, in this case, the English English text. So I think what he’s doing is using a Hebrew cursive text to be able to write quicker, to be able to write in a more compressed space, but using it to write actual Hebrew words. So when Joseph Smith talks about the plates being written in a reformed Egyptian, I think what he’s referring to is Egyptian text used to illustrate Hebrew words, which would make it maybe kind of difficult for a scholar to try to go in there and translate. But I think that’s what he means, for what it’s worth moving on, he talks ABout, this is the first year of the reign of zedekiah. That gives us some time of the setting. Many prophets came prophesying of the destruction of Jerusalem. And this is kind of in the new testament we talked about last year. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. This is planting a seed in lehi’s heart, that he have all these prophets coming. This is the time of jeremiah. They’re prophesying that Jerusalem is going to be destroyed. This gives LEHI a seed, and this is what’s going to start this WHOle journeY. And he’s concerned. He’s concerned ABout his people. He’s concerned about what the prophets are saying, so much so that it says that as his father went forth, he prayed unto the Lord, even with all of his heart.
And I think this lays out another couple of important things to talk about. One is, as he went forth, he prayed to God, we don’t have to always stop everything we’re doing to try to communicate with God.
Sometimes some of the best prayers we have are as we’re walking and we’re just talking to ourselves or talking in our head to God and trying to sort things out, or as we’re on a trail running. I think a lot of people get a lot of clarity when they’re out running and just having a conversation with God, or when you’re in your car driving to work and you just start talking to God.
[00:21:23] Speaker B: I feel like that’s pondering more than anything, truly. We talk about pondering all the time. And I always think that we kind of, when we talk about search, ponder and pray, I always feel like ponder gets the shaft. Even though ponders, for me, is the best one. And what you just described, I think, is the. It’s my favorite way to prepare for a talk. It’s my favorite way to prepare for a lesson or to really just try to better understand. And you make a great point that maybe it’s not as official as, like, getting on your knees and bowing and praying and saying all of the things that we say to open and close our prayer.
I would propose God’s probably still just as happy to communicate with us, you know what I mean? On a morning bike ride where we are really just dedicating our thoughts and kind of even, I don’t know, even if it’s not necessarily that much of a formal conversation, but just really pondering. I don’t know. That’s the best word I can think. What you just described is what I would at least consider the ponder part of search. Ponder and pray.
[00:22:35] Speaker A: Well, and I think part of it, too.
I think it’s easy to turn to God if you’re a monk in a monastery and that’s all you’re doing.
But how many people are going to listen to you? I mean, you talk about these prophets that are coming and speaking to the people. And maybe these prophets are socially awkward because they’re out living in the wilderness in rough garb, eating grasshoppers and like, okay, yeah, this guy is a little bit weird to begin with. Maybe I’m not going to give him as much heed. But when you’re talking about somebody who is still doing their work, who is still fitting into society, who’s still filling a role and not setting all of that aside. When you can live for God and still function in society, I think it becomes even more meaningful. And Lehigh’s not setting aside his family. He’s not setting aside his career. He’s not setting aside. He’s integrated. That, and I think that becomes powerful when he talks about his parents being goodly parents, I think having that social standing. And we talked about this a little bit before. Nate Lehi’s got possessions, and he’s used to traveling in tents. He’s used to negotiating. And you talk about his sons coming in, and they know they need to negotiate to try to get these records. It seems like something his father does.
[00:23:55] Speaker B: They speak multiple languages.
[00:23:57] Speaker A: They speak multiple languages. It feels like Lehi is a merchant, a well to do. He’s got silver, he’s got gold.
[00:24:07] Speaker B: They’re very close to roots.
[00:24:10] Speaker A: A lot of people in his standing in these merchants are at this time making a lot of money off of the.
And so Lehi is not someone who’s laid the trade aside, who’s dedicated his whole life to God. And that’s what makes Lehi, to me, even greater. Somebody who can be a father, somebody who can be a businessman, someone who can still do his balancing all of those things and yet still making time for the Lord to where he’s praying with all of his heart, but as he goes forth. I like that concept. I like marrying that principle.
But it’s also good to know that he is doing it with all of his heart. And that’s going to create a little bit of dissonance for us here in this chapter as we go forward. And I’ll show you what I mean. It says, as he went forth, he praised unto the Lord even with all of his heart. And it came to pass that the spirit of God came and dwelt upon a rock before him as a pillar of fire. As a pillar of was as he on behalf of his people.
I think this is also putting Lehi in an intercessory role. If he’s praying on behalf of his people, it’s almost creating him as, like, a Jesus type character. Please save this people. If my own righteous. Almost like.
[00:25:32] Speaker B: It’s very Moses imagery.
[00:25:34] Speaker A: Exactly. Moses. And also the one I was thinking of is job, when he’s saying, just in case my children sin. Like, here’s a couple extra offerings just to cover their sins, too. Right?
[00:25:45] Speaker B: I’m just saying the pillar of fire on the mean, we just needed a bush on fire. And it’s like Moses.
[00:25:51] Speaker A: Well, and this is a temple experience for Lehi just as much as it is for Moses.
[00:25:59] Speaker B: Interesting.
[00:26:00] Speaker A: And so when God first appears to Moses, like you say in this burning bush, it’s this pillar of fire. Right? And it’s an introductory thing, but it’s not the end of it.
And I think this is a very similar thing. Here you have this pillar of fire coming, and it’s God descending to where Lehi is and meeting him where Lehi is at.
But then subsequently, Lehi is going to be carried up to where God’s at. And take that back to Moses, who goes up into the mountain.
And what happens when Moses is in the mountain?
We don’t have those details. Instead, we get the story about them melting down gold and making a calf.
[00:26:42] Speaker B: Yeah, exactly.
[00:26:43] Speaker A: We don’t get the good stuff. What was God telling Moses? What was that exchange like? What is this? And this theophony that we have in first Nephi? Extremely powerful, because how many times does it ever mention a prophet seeing both God the father and Jesus Christ?
It doesn’t happen very often.
We’re going to see it with Joseph Smith in the sacred grove, as Stephen sees God and Christ on the right hand. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden in the cool of the day. But in these instances, I want you guys to think this is a temple experience, because what happens in the temple, is it not Christ taking us and introducing us back into the presence of the.
And I think it’s not talked a lot about here because of the sacredness of it. Just like it’s not talked a lot about with Moses, just like it’s not talked a lot about on the mount of transfiguration, what transpires with.
So start to notice, start to look. What we have here is a very unique, special experience. And Nephi, who we’ve identified as somebody who maybe likes to overshare a little bit, what does he tell us about this?
Here we have this first vision where God comes and dwells upon a rock before him. Verse six. And it came to pass that he prayed unto Lord, and there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him. And he saw and heard much. One word.
[00:28:24] Speaker B: That’s right.
[00:28:25] Speaker A: How much? What is much?
Nephi’s here telling us his whole life story. And yet, I won’t tell you what happened.
And what this reminds me of, by the way, is when Joseph Smith goes to the sacred grove and he prays, and you have God coming and meeting him where he’s at. But then I think Joseph Smith is transported up to where God’s at, and he has this heavenly experience, this temple like experience, which is extremely sacred to where this boy, who would like to share and tell you, come back home. Wouldn’t you be dying to tell people what you just saw?
And his mom’s like, what’s wrong with you? I learned for myself today that the Methodist church isn’t true.
[00:29:15] Speaker B: That’s much for him.
[00:29:17] Speaker A: That’s much. That’s exactly it.
[00:29:19] Speaker B: Right?
[00:29:19] Speaker A: He saw much, but he’s not willing to share why.
[00:29:24] Speaker B: But it is interesting. You just brought up a really interesting point, too, and I’m sure you were already getting there. But it is funny you just mentioned it, just in case. Not though. Joseph Smith, Jr’s. Reaction after that experience is very similar to Lehigh’s, right. Where it’s like they kind of go home and they kind of exhausted and.
[00:29:39] Speaker A: Throw themselves on their bed.
[00:29:41] Speaker B: It’s funny. It’s almost a parallel wonder. I wonder much is probably a lot, is what I’m saying. The answer to that question is it’s probably a very overwhelming.
That’s how I would define it.
[00:30:00] Speaker A: And then why not tell us what? Right. Why do we get the golden calf story instead of the what’s going on in the mountain? Isn’t the what’s going on in the mountain way more significant? Way more important?
[00:30:13] Speaker B: I mean, I know that my first time through the temple, I felt overwhelmed. And I felt like I had just gotten.
[00:30:19] Speaker A: You saw and heard much.
[00:30:21] Speaker B: Yes, I saw and heard much. And after that, I probably was the same way, which is just like, one, I commanded not really to talk about this, but two, I don’t really know where I would start with a lot of this.
Trying to fully grasp and understand all of the incredible new information that I’ve just been trying to process.
[00:30:41] Speaker A: Well, and that’s what impresses me about this story, is for somebody who likes plainness, who likes to explain everything to death, to where he maybe repeats a few things a lot, he’s going to leave everything out.
Either because, one, his father didn’t tell him, or two, because he’s had similar experiences to what his father had.
Because Nephi went to the mountain off and he prayed off, and he had almost the exact same experience as his dad did. And he knew that they were of a sacred nature and that he couldn’t talk about what they were. And I feel like that’s what we have here. And this is Nephi’s way of preserving the sacredness of what transpired. I’m going to limit this to much. There was a lot that happened. And if you want to experience much, then Nephi lays the pattern. What do you do if you want to know? I didn’t know. I went and did the same thing. I was desperate. I asked, I begged until I was given the same thing. I went to the temple and I experienced this also.
[00:31:48] Speaker B: It also gives us some clues to why Lehi was willing to uproot everything on a to. He was willing because understanding that he saw much almost sets the stage a lot more for the fact that it’s like. Again, it’s hard to imagine kind of how you described it. If he’s going about his day to day, if he’s working, if he’s being a good father. If he’s praying, if he’s doing his thing, and he just gets a dream one night that’s like, hey, you got to get out of town. But that’s it. That’s the beginning, you know what I mean? And the end, it would be hard to go, was that just a dream?
Wait, you see what I mean?
The fact that we’re now being told, well, no, he actually had a very profound experience. He saw and heard much so that by the time that the dream is coming saying, hey, you got to pack up and get out of town, he probably is like, yeah, I now know how God’s communicating with me. I know what my calling is at this point. And, yeah, this is what we’ve got to do. Which also, though, then explains why those that didn’t have that same experience, those that didn’t see and hear much, were a lot more like, wait, we’re following this, as they call him, the visionary. Wait, we’re just, oh, great, dad’s having a dream, and I guess we’re giving up this awesome life to get out of town. And so it does just add a little bit more of a, oh, yeah, that makes a lot more sense why Lehi’s now at a place to start turning his full attention to this situation.
[00:33:25] Speaker A: Well, let me float something else past you, too.
Joseph Smith had a vision where he saw Peter, James, and John, who gave him the Melchizedek priesthood. Correct.
When did that happen?
[00:33:39] Speaker B: That’s the one that we don’t know the exact date of.
[00:33:41] Speaker A: We don’t have the date.
Wouldn’t that be way more important? Like, this is one of the most transformative events in modern times, to have this Melchizedek priesthood restored to earth. And really, it’s summed up like this much where we don’t have any details about when it happened, where it happened, how it took place. We’re trying to piece together the puzzle of this very sacred thing that happened, and yet why was that not recorded?
And you have to wonder, now, Lehi is not from Levi. There’s no priesthood here, and yet he is going to be officiating, offering sacrifices, acting in the priesthood. But it’s not a levitical priesthood.
He’s going to be acting in a Melchizedek priesthood role, much like Melchizedek, much like Abraham, much like the prophets before him.
So when you talk about what he saw and heard, how is that going to be received? If you go to Jerusalem and you look at how careful they are about their lineage and who can have priesthood and who can’t? And what priesthood you have.
[00:34:54] Speaker B: That’s part of the reason he wanted the documents. Do you think that plays at all into the reason that he wanted the plates or. No.
[00:35:00] Speaker A: Could be with the genealogy and trying.
[00:35:02] Speaker B: To preserve a line with how important that is culturally.
[00:35:06] Speaker A: Yes. I don’t.
[00:35:07] Speaker B: Just because that’s what they were going, is to get a record of their people. Right.
[00:35:11] Speaker A: Well, and it becomes very important when you look in third Nephi. Fast forward the book.
Maybe not even going to third Nephi. Isn’t it? When you get to Alma goes and finds Amulek, and Amulek talking about his status, and he says, I can trace my lineage back to Nephi and to.
And what if this is not associated with the restoration of the Melchizedek priesthood here, to Lehi and his family, which they are going to need as they break away and start their journey?
This is something that you can’t talk about to the public, to the Jews. It will get you killed.
[00:35:56] Speaker B: Exactly.
[00:35:57] Speaker A: Which, by the way, is what’s going to. They’re going to seek his.
[00:36:03] Speaker B: Wonder.
This is opening up a bunch of fascinating lanes of thought for me, which is maybe there’s a reason that Laban really didn’t want to give them up. That’s more profound than we understand.
You know what I mean?
I’m trying to follow all of these thought processes now of. Yeah, why were the plates so important to Lehi and Nephi when they have a direct line of communication with God already? Right. At this point, can’t God just give them new scriptures? Why do they need the brass plates? Right. Maybe there’s more to why Laban didn’t want to give them up. Maybe there’s more to why Lehi felt it was necessary to have them than maybe we’ve thought through.
I don’t know to this point, and I don’t even know if I have all the answers. All I know is my brain’s kind of racing now, going down these lanes of. Oh, man. Maybe there was priesthood lineage. Maybe there were things like that that very much I don’t know.
[00:37:09] Speaker A: Could be because you have Laban coming from Joseph, right? Lehi coming from Joseph. Joseph has an authority different.
The kingdom Israel splits into two kingdoms. The tribes of the north, the tribes of the south. The north is called Ephraim. The south is called Judah. The north is Joseph versus the south, where you have Judah. And they had this enmity, they had this problem, and the north created their temples, their sanctuaries. And the south accused them of being apostate Laban’s record becomes significant because it’s the history of the Jews, but most likely from the perspective of the north, where what we have today, the Old Testament, is the history of the Jews from the perspective of the south. And when we talk about the stick of the records, the scroll of Joseph versus the stick of Judah, and often we say, oh, well, the stick of Judah is the Bible and the stick of Joseph is the book of Mormon. What if the stick of Joseph is actually going to be more parallel with the stick of Judah? It’s the brass plates that Nephi gets that, by the way, is promised, is going to be kept and never lose its luster, because these plates are going to come forth at some point in time in the last days where we’re going to have accounting of the story of the Israelites, but a whole different perspective from the tribes of the north. And those are going to be joined with the history of the tribes of the south.
[00:38:58] Speaker B: Just fascinating stuff, man.
But I’m sure, though, never mind. I’m going to work on not being snarky all year, but I’m sure some farm kid, a well educated farm kid, was able to put all of this together when he was making up the Book of Mormon or whatever. I’m just saying, I don’t mean to be snarky, but at a certain point, the depths of understanding and the connections being made, for me personally, it’s just so much harder to believe that any human being was able to make this up and put all these connections together in the amount of time.
So please forgive me for constantly trying not to be snarky, but bringing it up again where it’s like, give me a break.
[00:39:49] Speaker A: I’m glad you bring it up. I feel like it’s going to be.
[00:39:52] Speaker B: It’s going to be a common theme. I’m sorry it has to be. I apologize now for our listeners, a common theme will be like, that’s. I mean, even the idea of, even the idea of the Hebrew language mixed with the egyptian language and being able to put together a. Well, there was probably pretty prominent trade routes between Egypt and the israeli land at the time, or whatever we’re calling it Jerusalem at the time, and that it probably makes sense that this person would have had some sort of trade routes going on between because of how really great he was in a tent and with camels and how good he knew wilderness routes and how totally comfortable he was moving with his family in and out with the money and the prominence that he got from there. It’s like all of these details, was that just coincidentally? Right?
[00:40:43] Speaker A: Do you want one more?
[00:40:44] Speaker B: Hit me.
[00:40:46] Speaker A: Fast forwarding a bit and I’ll come back in chapter two. Lehi has the dream that he’s supposed to take his family and depart into the wilderness. Right. Verse four. And it came to pass that he departed in the wilderness and he left his house and the land of his inheritance and his gold and his silver and his precious things and took nothing with him, save it. Where his family and his provision is tents. Right. He lists his house and the land of his inheritance separate. Isn’t your house typically the land that you’ve inherited, that’s your house. But here’s the deal.
If Lehi is actually coming from Joseph and actually coming from Manasseh, then potentially the land that he has inherited could be part of the northern kingdom. And when Assyria came in and destroyed the northern kingdom and people had to flee, where did they have to flee to? They flee down to Jerusalem. So he’s got a house down in Jerusalem that he lives that now his family, his ancestors have bought their property. They have it here. But he still has the land of his inheritance in the north that maybe one day they’ll return to if they can.
And that’s just another detail that.
[00:41:56] Speaker B: Where do you detail that?
Yeah. Again, apparently some young genius was able to make up, I guess, and put all that together. Or dot, dot, dot. That’s the common theme is or let’s keep going. I don’t mean to derail it with my subtle eye rolling snarkiness.
[00:42:19] Speaker A: This is wonderful. This is my favorite. I love these. I mean, we’re not even going to get out of the first chapter without just being overwhelmed. And that’s how lehi is, right? That’s how we left him. He’s overwhelmed. He’s overcome. He stops whatever it is he’s doing because he was going forth. Maybe he’s out on a trade route. Maybe he’s whatever. And whatever he saw was important enough for him to drop whatever he was doing, return to his own house at Jerusalem and cast himself on his bed, where he’s overcome into another vision. He sees the heavens open and see, this is where God comes and dwells on a rock before him. Now he is carried up into heaven.
[00:42:56] Speaker B: That he sees God on the throne.
[00:42:58] Speaker A: On his throne. And he sees one whose brightness was above that of the sun at noonday.
[00:43:03] Speaker B: Followed by twelve others. Okay, who’s the 12th?
[00:43:08] Speaker A: It’s a good question.
[00:43:09] Speaker B: Okay. Because there’s always twelve, right?
[00:43:12] Speaker A: There’s always twelve and I think twelve signifies witnesses.
[00:43:17] Speaker B: Okay?
[00:43:18] Speaker A: Because you have your twelve apostles, which are called to be special witnesses of the resurrection.
You have twelve witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
[00:43:26] Speaker B: So we’re not just going to assume that it’s Peter, James, John, could be, and Judas.
[00:43:32] Speaker A: It’s a good question.
[00:43:33] Speaker B: All right, let’s keep going.
[00:43:34] Speaker A: And it doesn’t identify any of them.
[00:43:37] Speaker B: By name because here’s the question, okay, if it is them, it still makes sense for me that it could be Judas because Judas was still a disciple even when he.
[00:43:52] Speaker A: Before.
[00:43:53] Speaker B: This is before. So that’s the only reason it still makes sense, something to think about.
[00:43:58] Speaker A: All right. And I will say this. The church today and the church that Christ formed in New Testament times, when he calls twelve, you have your first presidency, your Peter, James and your John, and you have twelve apostles, is based off of a structure that’s much older than that. When you go into the Old Testament times, you have the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which are your three, and then your twelve sons.
And just think about the patriarchs, the three, the first presidency, again, as the godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and then the twelve witnesses, the family, the twelve. So I don’t know who they are, but it is something that’s been used as an image from Old Testament.
[00:44:43] Speaker B: I guess that was the question because it doesn’t name any of them by name.
It leaves a lot of room for it to be the symbol of it. It leaves a lot of room for it to be, not the metaphor, but the big picture symbolism of twelve, the witnesses.
[00:45:03] Speaker A: And I wonder if it doesn’t represent the heavenly council. I mean, that’s a whole different thing we could go into in a different time.
Amos 37, though surely the Lord God doth nothing save it. He revealed his secret to a servant of the prophets, the word secret. There is counsel.
And another part in the Old Testament, he accuses the false prophets and says, had you been in the council of gods, you wouldn’t have messed up. But you’re not part of that council. You’re not privy to that information. The Lord reveals the council of gods, what they decide to his servants, the prophets, here on earth. And it’s not just that here on earth you have a structure of apostles and prophets and 70 and whatever, it’s the idea that in heaven it also mirrors a structure that you have a council of gods that gather, that make decisions. This idea, who shall we send? You have a godhead. That’s it.
[00:45:57] Speaker B: You have a godhead of three, and.
[00:46:00] Speaker A: They call them the children of God, the Bana, Elohim, and it’s all throughout the Old Testament. They talk about it a lot.
It’s interesting. And even the word Elohim, God is.
[00:46:10] Speaker B: A God of structure, right?
[00:46:12] Speaker A: He is. And even the word Elohim means gods. And so when you’re talking about the gods, you could be referring to God or you could be referring to what the gods decided.
[00:46:22] Speaker B: Interesting.
For another day. We’re not even out of chapter one yet. Let’s keep going, right? Dude, it’s meat and potatoes, baby. What’s, what we’re going to try to do this year? Let’s keep going.
[00:46:35] Speaker A: So he sees the throne and he sees Christ, and he sees twelve others.
And Christ and the twelve others descend from heaven, so he must also be descending, because when he gets down there, it says, the first came and stood before me and gave me a book. And so I equate the first with Christ as the one that was leading the twelve others that was following him. Which, by the way, think about this for a second.
You have the sun in God sitting upon his throne and the moon and the twelve stars. Or in other words, you have a celestial, a terrestrial and a trestrial being represented in this vision in these different kingdoms. Which reminds me of Paul when he says that, I remember 14 years back, a man who was carried away into the three heavens.
Again, this is a temple experience.
And if you have God representing the celestial, and then you have these twelve representing the celestial, it is important to me that Christ is the one that comes and gives him a book, because Christ is the one that stands between the two worlds that takes the world, the stars, the numbers, the whatever on one side. And it’s through him. He is the gate, the door through which men can enter into the presence of God the Father. And this is how it’s set up. In the temple, you have the holy of holies and God sitting on his throne. Then you have the holy place. And the holy place is filled of images of Christ with the tree of life, the menorah with the showbread, the altar of incense, and then outside you have the courtyard and the people and the masses, you have the stars. And it’s just this progression of this all displayed here through this vision. So I think it’s Christ who’s this mediator, by the way, they talk a lot about, if you don’t have a temple, the mountain becomes the temple. And why is the mountain a temple? Because the earth represents one plane, the heaven represents the other. Well, the Mountain is the place that unites the heaven and the earth. It’s the in between place. Christ is this in between, between God and us. And he is the one conveying the messages to Lehi. So he gives him his book and he bathes him to read. This is like John. He receives this vision in a book, right? And it’s bittersweet. John talks about it being honey. And he talks about it being bitter. Right? Lehi reads this.
And remember, what’s Lehi praying about with all of his heart crying, begging the God to preserve, to protect, to help his people.
And he reads, woe, woe unto Jerusalem. For I’ve seen thine abominations. And he reads about how they will perish by the sword and be carried away captive into Babylon.
How heavy would that feel? You’re praying, dear God, please save my city. And God’s response is, I am going to slay your city.
[00:49:42] Speaker B: Lehi’s response then is even wilder. Where he’s just like.
[00:49:44] Speaker A: Yes.
[00:49:45] Speaker B: Where he’s like, God, thank you for all your mercy.
[00:49:48] Speaker A: Yes.
Let’s read that. Right.
It’s verse 14. And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things. Now, this goes back to what we saw with the first vision. He saw many. Except for it didn’t just stop with many this time. It’s great and marvelous. He added a few adjectives to here, which is more than we got in the last one. He did exclaim many things unto the Lord such as, great and marvelous are thy works. O Lord God Almighty. Thy throne is high in the heavens. Thy power, thy goodness and thy mercy. Wait, what?
Your goodness and your mercy. You just said you’re going to kill everyone. How is that merciful? How is that great?
And it says, and after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God, for his soul did rejoice. Whoa. Where’s the heaviness?
You just read about your whole city that you’re praying about so much and you care so much about is going to be wiped off the face of the earth. Thank you, God. You made my day. It doesn’t jive, it doesn’t fit.
And so you have to fast forward.
[00:51:01] Speaker B: Unless it’s just in response to thank you for showing me these things. So I know to get out of. Really? That that could potentially mean maybe that’s the most. What do they call it? The Occam’s razor or whatever. It’s like, maybe it really is. The simplest explanation is the reason he said that was thank you so much for giving me the heads up. Well, I’m out.
[00:51:24] Speaker A: Nephi lets it slip. Okay, so we fast forward to verse 19. And it came to pass that the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them, for he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations. And he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book. So we’re going back to this vision that he saw. The things that he read in the book manifested plainly the coming of a messiah and also the redemption of the world.
[00:51:53] Speaker B: If I let it slip.
[00:51:56] Speaker A: So why is he rejoicing?
This is Enoch’s temple experience.
When Enoch is commanded to be this military leader, this militant, he’s going through and wiping people out and creating this fearless whatever. And what happens? He gets caught up into heaven. He gets to see God sitting on his throne, and he gets to have these conversations, and he sees the destruction of the world, and he sees the heaven weep. And he says, how can you weep? Seeings? This is the residue. These people suck.
What are you crying about?
And God says, these are your brothers. These are your sisters. My creation. How can I not weep? They won’t listen.
And when he sees it through God’s eyes, he refuses to be comforted until God says, here’s how I’m going to. And he shows the savior, the coming of the Messiah, and the redemption of the world. And nothing short of that is going to comfort Enoch. It’s when he sees the coming of the messiah and the redemption of the world that that sorrow can replace with hope. And that’s what Lehi is seeing. But instead of talking about the coming of the Messiah and the redemption of the world, which, by the way, I would think would be the two most important things you could talk about in.
[00:53:14] Speaker B: This chapter, that would have been the headline.
[00:53:16] Speaker A: Yeah. And apparently Lehi is preaching this, but Nephi leaves it get. It’s just like Moses’s experience. I’m so glad you brought up Moses early on.
He’s in the mountain, probably seeing the coming of the Messiah and the redemption of the world. But we’re stuck with seeing the golden calf.
We’re stuck with seeing the destruction of the people in Babylon. They’re going to be perished by the sword and carried away captive. We’re stuck seeing everything else. And the good stuff is held back time and time and time again until we want to see it.
Until, like Nephi, we. Or like the three witnesses, wait, there’s something more. And when we desire so much to see it that we start pestering God. Almost go back to that parable in the New Testament, the woman that keeps bothering the unjust judge until she gets justice, right. When that becomes us, then the greater things become manifest. And that’s a big part of this story. And I think the reason why it is such a big part is because God wants this temple experience for all of his children.
This isn’t just something you read about for Moses or for Lehi or for Nephi or any of these others. God’s saying, I want all of you to experience this. I want all of you to come where I am, and I will meet you where you are and help you get to where I am.
[00:54:49] Speaker B: You bring up a good point, man. And what was the common theme you said just now? We’re the ones stuck seeing the knuckleheads. Right?
But so are the knuckleheads, right? Moses literally came down and said, God desires for all of you guys to go up. And they all were like, no, you got this.
[00:55:14] Speaker A: Do it for us.
[00:55:15] Speaker B: Do it for us. I mean, like, at the end of the day, there was prophets coming into the north and the south kingdom, apparently, and going, hey, you guys got to shape up, right? In Lehigh’s time, it says that there was all kinds of prophets coming and saying, you need to act right.
Is there not much more of an invitation of God going, come to me so that I can save you? Repent. Repent, because I can save you. But if not, you’re going to be destroyed. And everybody’s like, no, we’re good.
The only reason this is important is because of what you just said, which is, where’s the parallel in our lives, right?
[00:56:03] Speaker A: We are the knuckleheads.
[00:56:05] Speaker B: That was, sadly, my realization about myself as you were bringing that out, is sadly, maybe the reason that we only get to see what the knuckleheads are seeing is because maybe that’s something we need to overcome. And if we want to be able to see what’s not written in the scriptures, maybe it takes a little bit more dedication on our part.
[00:56:27] Speaker A: Thank goodness that Ronai actually puts closure to this, because it seems like such a mystery when Nephi does this.
And then Mormon lays this all out in third Nephi. 26.
I’m sorry, these scriptures are not as worn out as my old ones, so it takes me a little bit to flip these pages.
[00:56:56] Speaker B: We can wait.
[00:56:59] Speaker A: It tells us, oh, that’s 27. No wonder it didn’t make sense. All right, 26.
And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people. Does that sound familiar? We can’t write even a hundredth part of what. We just sum this up with much or great and marvelous things.
But behold, the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people. You’re like, oh, yay. And these things which I have written are a lesser part of the things which he taught. Oh, dang it.
And it says, and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again of this people from the Gentiles, according to the word which Jesus has spoken. And when they shall have received this which is expedient, that they should have first to try their faith. And if it shall so be that they shall believe these things, then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.
And if it so be that they will not believe these things, then shall the greater things be withheld from them, unto their condemnation. Behold, I was about to write them all, which were engraving upon the plates of Nephi, but the Lord forbade it, saying, I will try the faith of my thought. I thought Nephi was really good at being plain and mean.
[00:58:26] Speaker B: That’s about as plain and direct as it gets right there.
[00:58:28] Speaker A: Nephi was kind of just very subtle. Nephi’s showing us and then love it.
[00:58:38] Speaker B: Yeah, let’s keep going.
[00:58:40] Speaker A: Okay, so the last thing in chapter one.
Maybe last two things in chapter one. First, I want us to notice that when Lehi is testifying to their wickedness, it says, the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them, for he truly testified of their wickedness and abominations. Getting made fun of is one thing, and they don’t really care.
You tell somebody they’re wicked, no big deal. Okay, whatever.
But it says, and he testified, when he says, the coming of the messiah and the redemption of the world, and when the Jews heard these things, that’s different. When they heard the coming of the messiah and the redemption of the world, they were angry with him, even with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out and stoned and slain. And they also sought his life, that they might take it away. So what’s the difference? What changed? When you testify of their wickedness and say, repent, no big deal. But when you say God is going to take on the form of flesh and live among us, that’s blasphemous. How dare you say that God could.
[00:59:45] Speaker B: Be like a person? Yeah, interesting.
[00:59:47] Speaker A: Isn’t that the same reason why they crucified Christ?
[00:59:50] Speaker B: Exactly right.
[00:59:52] Speaker A: So when a prophet crosses a line, and for them, it’s a religious line, it becomes a blasphemous thing. Christ isn’t the first prophet to be killed for blasphemy. All of his prophets that testified the coming of the messiah and the redemption of the world faced similar consequences.
All right, last thing. And this is verse 20, the very end. They sought to take his life away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen because of their faith, to make them mighty, even of the power of deliverance. And that’s what Nephi is going to show us, is how the Lord saved his father from being killed by these jews who are here at Jerusalem because of their faith. And this sets the stage. So, chapter two, when the Lord comes and speaks to Lehi, it says, blessed art thou, Lehi. This is verse one. Because of the things which thou hast done and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away their life.
Lehi is chosen one because he’s proactive. He’s going forth praying with all of his heart, trying to save his people, doing everything he can. And the Lord says, you want to help? Here’s what you can do. Gives him an experience, empowers him, potentially, gives him the priesthood, commissions him, and gives him a message to take to the people because he was doing something first.
And you might say, well, Lehi had to do this first. But really, was it not God who sent other prophets? And it was first by hearing that, Lehi has the faith to begin to act right. And so he acts. And when he acts, God gives him something else to do. And when he follows through and acts on that, God says, blessed art thou because of the things which you have done, not what you believed or not simply just because you thought of, but because you cared enough and believed enough that you did something about it. That’s the pattern. He cared enough about what the first message of the prophets, that he acted on that. And when he was given something even harder to do, that meant separating himself from everyone else. It didn’t stop him from still acting on it. And now the Lord’s going to give him something else to act on because he knows he’s going to be obedient. When you’re obedient in the small things, the Lord can trust you with even greater things. And this is the vision where God says, I need you to take your family and depart into the wilderness.
Anything you want to add on that, shay?
[01:02:35] Speaker B: No, let’s just keep going.
[01:02:36] Speaker A: We’re going to keep rolling.
So he does. He takes his family.
And just a real quick comment on this in verse five.
And he came down by the borders near the shore of the sea. And I just find that phrase so funny. He came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea. If it’s a border, isn’t it near the. Like, isn’t that the definition of a border, meaning it’s touching or close to? So when he says the borders near the shore of the Red Sea, it seems a little bit odd. And he talks about these borders a little bit. And I believe it was Hugh nibbly pointed out the hebrew word for borders is.
So if I read this as he traveled in the mountains, which were near the shore of the Red Sea, to me it reads a little bit smoother. And so then I have to wonder about this translation process. Is there words that maybe could have been translated a little bit differently? And I think we come across a few examples like this where maybe it was. And then one has to ask, how was this translated then? And the whole reason I go down this is somebody actually did some research on this.
Sorry, I probably should have looked up who this was.
They did a word search and on all these words that the Book of Mormon is translated to in the english language, and they found out that a lot of these words were not one, eight hundreds english words that Joseph Smith would have been using in his time. In fact, a lot of the words predated Joseph Smith by a couple hundred years, 1600s English, or maybe even earlier.
What they were finding is that a lot of the words used to translate were coming more familiar with Tyndall’s time and kind of the theory that they put out there, which I find is fascinating. William Tyndall, if you’re not aware, was killed for translating the Bible into English. And you have to wonder what his role is. I mean, bringing the English language. And he famously said that I will make it so that a farm boy will know more about the Bible than the priest. Right.
What if, as Joseph Smith is looking in the and thumbim, we don’t have people in the spirit world that are also helping to bridge that gap between the language of them and to the language of English? And who else but someone who was very familiar with the Hebrew language and the English language working to try to translate this and bridge that gap and continuing to work very similar on the other side of the veil to the work that he did while he was here on the earth. It’s just something to think about.
[01:05:21] Speaker B: Interesting. I like it.
[01:05:23] Speaker A: Just a theory.
I can’t say that it is. That it isn’t right. It’s just something worth pointing out. All right, so talking about them traveling, going down to the shortest, the borders near the Red Sea.
Nephi here introduces his family. He talks about his mother, Saria, his elder brothers, Laman and Lemuel and Sam. So Nephi is kind of the baby of the bunch here.
And this is where it gets interesting to me. Verse six. And I’m going to read this, Nate, and I’m going to leave two whole verses out in the middle.
Could you even tell where these verses go? So pay attention here, you guys, here at home. Verse six. And it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water. And it came to pass that he called the name of the river Layman, and it emptied into the Red Sea and the valley that was in the borders.
And the valley was in the borders near the mouth thereof.
And so I said two verses. I’m sorry. It’s just one. There’s one verse in here that if you take out, it actually reads a lot smoother. And why is he injecting this verse in here? Because when you put it in here, it interrupts the flow, and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. And so if I read this, he travels in the wilderness, and he pitched his tent in a valley by the side of a river of water. And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and he made an offering unto the Lord and gave thanks unto the Lord our God. And it came to pass that he called the name of the river Lamid, and it emptied into the Red Sea, and the valley was in the borders of the mouth thereof. Here’s what I think is going on and why this is significant. And then I point this out. He mentions this as the valley, the river. And then he talks.
What I think he’s doing is creating a chiasmus here. And the center lines of a chiasmus are always the most important. And he says he made an offering unto the Lord, and he gave thanks unto the Lord. And so he’s making a big deal out of that, because giving thanks unto the Lord and making the offering unto the Lord are the two synonymous lines. And then he’s going to back his way back out, talking about the river again and then mentioning the valley again, and I think this is a very big deal, at least to Nephi. And the reason why he’s writing this chiasmus and trying to emphasize this offering is that his dad is exercising priesthood. You don’t have this happening anywhere else. He’s not a Levite. This is a significant event. And not only is it a significant event, but Nephi is going to talk about this. He’s been traveling for three days up to this point, and yet Nephi feels it important to mention, now, three days later, his father is dwelling in a tent.
Why not mention that? Oh, we left, and we were dwelling in tents for the first day and the second day. Well, there’s a difference between the tent that he’s using as a travel tent versus setting up a base camp here and creating this tent. And this tent is very different, and it becomes very significant, because this tent is a three days journey from the temple, and he’s able to officiate and offer sacrifices and create his own sanctuary. It’s important to know, in Hebrew, Ohel was the word for tent, but it was also the word for temple. And that God traditionally dwelt in a tent. In the canaanite mythology, God dwelt in a tent by a river of water in a valley at the base of a mountain. And this is the same setting that we have here. Nephi is painting a picture of his dad dwelling in a tent, just like God, because who dwelt in the holy of holies? Who dwelt in the tent? It was God. And God’s. Nephi is kind of creating this imagery, and that’s why when Nephi says, and my father dwelt in a tent, it becomes so significant.
Nephi’s story of leaving here, and I guess more Lehi’s story becomes symbolism for God’s story.
Remember, Nephi had just outlined his family here. He’s got his father and his mother, and he’s got four children. And now he’s gonna also. His dad’s gonna have two kids in the wilderness, Jacob and Joseph.
That’s six kids.
[01:09:53] Speaker B: Six boys.
[01:09:54] Speaker A: Six boys. He doesn’t mention any of the daughters by name, and he doesn’t give us account of how many daughters there are. Out of the six boys, Layman and Lemuel, rebel against him. And the other four, Sam, Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, become righteous. You have one third versus two thirds.
And yet all of them are going to leave the land of their inheritance, their father, where they came from, and come to a new land to dwell.
But for the two that rebel, they look at it as being cast out of their home, where the other four look at as receiving another estate.
And so read the words of Abraham. Those who kept not their first estate were cast out. Yet they all go to the same place, but one’s receiving an inheritance while the other ones are losing it. This becomes God’s story. And the tent is where Lehi receives instructions from God for his children to go back and get the plates. It’s where he receives the instructions from God for them to go back and get their family, to get their wives. It’s where Lehi has the vision of the tree of life, which is associated with the temple.
And it’s where Nephi, when he’s carried away into a high mountain and has his great vision explaining everything that his father saw, it says at the end of the vision that he returned to the tent of his father. This becomes the pivotal point for all revelation. It is the temple for them.
It’s not like any other tent.
Nephi and his brothers go back to Jerusalem, and he doesn’t make a point of saying, and we dwelt in tents while we went there.
I don’t know. There’s a lot more we could go down.
[01:11:41] Speaker B: Mean. But then also, to your point, look at Nephi’s role, right? He has a son that basically is charged with saving the family, right? He’s the one hunting food. And even when the bow breaks or whatever, you can see that there’s a responsibility to physically feed the family. You see, even not to go too far down this. But who knows? Even when his dad sends him back to get the plates, right?
And who’s really the only one that can get it, even with his brothers and everybody else trying to kill him and beating him up. I guess I’m just saying there is a lot of even kind of parallel and symbolism there. And if we’re going to follow the type, right, where it’s setting it up to God’s story, then Nephi’s role in that whole thing kind of changes and plays a pretty significant role as well.
[01:12:35] Speaker A: Like as a type of Christ, almost like Isaac, right? How many times was he almost offered as a sacrifice by his dad sending him to do things? I mean, when he went to go get the plates, his mom mourned his loss and held a funeral.
[01:12:49] Speaker B: Yeah, it’s crazy.
Let’s keep going.
[01:12:54] Speaker A: All right.
Yeah. Nephi, verse 16. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, it’s a weird thing to say, unless you’re like, oh, yeah. Nephi is just an overshare. He likes to tell us every little detail. But I also think this detail becomes a little bit important in understanding.
I don’t know. It’s an interesting detail. David is a young man who’s tall in stature, where he wears the king’s armor. Saul stands head and shoulders above everybody. It’s kind of interesting, this type that he feels. But in Nephi’s case, when he’s associating this with his youth, he’s almost saying he was tall for his age.
And you don’t say that a grown man is tall for his age. Usually you say someone’s tall for their age if they’re going through puberty, maybe a little bit faster. Usually you say somebody’s tall for their age to a boy who’s maybe developing faster than he would be otherwise. This gives us a little bit of indication or clues as to the age of Nephi. This and the fact that he’s got three older unwed brothers puts Nephi at early teenage, mid teenage years.
When Nephi does put on the armor of Laban and impersonates him, and he calls to the armor bearer enough that he believes him, he’s not going to sound like a little kid. His voice isn’t going to be cracking, or nobody’s going to buy into that. But he is at this.
I don’t know. I’d say he’s maybe 15 years, which is also significant, because that puts him at about the same age when Joseph Smith receives his first vision. Puts him at the same age when Mormon is commanding armies, when Mormon is visited by Amaron, when Mormon sees Christ, probably puts him at a very similar age. Samuel, when he’s called by the Lord, and he’s a young man. David, when he slays Goliath. There’s something powerful about youth being trusted by God. And when we learn to turn to God and how that shapes us for the rest of our life.
Next he cries to the Lord.
Nevertheless, he has great desires to know the mysteries of God. Wherefore he cries to the Lord. And we already mentioned this point. The Lord did soften my heart so much that I did believe all the words which my father had spoke. And he speaks to Sam, making known unto him the things which the Lord manifested unto him by his holy spirit. And Sam believes all of his words. But behold, Laman and Lamuel would not hearken unto my words. And being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts, I cried unto the Lord. For them it came to pass. The Lord spake unto me, saying, blessed are thou because of thy faith, and thou hast sought me diligently with lowliness of heart. And this is kind of where it becomes important. Inasmuch as ye shall keep these commandments, ye shall prosper and shall be led to a land of promise, even a land which is prepared for you, which is choice above all others. And inasmuch as your brethren shall rebel against me, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. So talk again about being cast out versus receiving this inheritance.
And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren. And those words are important. The ruler and the teacher. You go back to the very first page of the first book of Nephi. It says, his reign and ministry, ruler and teacher. And this is where that promise is made to him in that first vision. And we’re going to see him kind of take on that role.
This is going to take us to chapter three. And before I go into this one last verse that I need to mention, when layman and lemuel are rebelling and murmuring against their dad, they say a few things. Neither do they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets. And there’s a few things they say, it says, and they were like unto the Jews who were at.
Well, of course, aren’t they Jews living in Jerusalem? Of course, they’re like the Jews who are at Jerusalem. That doesn’t make sense unless you read this next line. Nephi says, who sought to take away the life of my father. They weren’t just Jews at Jerusalem. They were like the ones that were trying to kill his dad. They were plotting to kill his dad. They were plotting to kill Nephi. And so with everything on the line and them potentially killing their dad, that says, and it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel, with power being filled with the spirit until their frames did shake before him. And he did confound them that they durst not utter against him wherefore they did as he commanded him. That was the power of speech that Lehi had. Lehi is known for his ability to speak, his ability to negotiate deals as a trader, as we talked about, his ability to confound his kids into obeying him, his ability to prophesy to the people.
I find it significant because in so many Old Testament stories, they’re named with a name that fits their personality. Boaz means strength, whereas in Machlone and Chileon, weakly and sickly. Moses means to draw out, but it also means son of. And it’s the son of the unknown God. Lehi is the hebrew word for jawbone or for a jaw for someone who has the ability to jaw, to talk. And Lehigh, just like Samson slays with the jawbone. Lehi, with the power of his speech, is able to confound his sons and be able to deliver himself and be able to preserve his family.
[01:18:30] Speaker B: Or he slays, as the kids would say. He slays with his jawbone.
[01:18:34] Speaker A: He slays with his jaw.
[01:18:35] Speaker B: I’ll see myself to the door.
[01:18:41] Speaker A: I think that’s all I wanted to mention in chapter two.
[01:18:43] Speaker B: Let’s keep moving.
[01:18:44] Speaker A: I’m going to try to wrap this up because I know this has been so long already.
[01:18:47] Speaker B: I mean, dude, it’s good stuff, man. You and I knew going into this one, this was going to be one of the longer, if not the longest episode we’ve ever recorded. So I told everybody to get some snacks at the beginning of this thing.
[01:19:00] Speaker A: Do we have an intermission?
[01:19:03] Speaker B: I told everybody, get some snacks, man. It’s on them. If they didn’t get some snacks at this point. Let’s keep going.
[01:19:08] Speaker A: Let’s get to Lehi commanding his. Well, not even commanding his children. Verse three. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the lord to the tent of my father. There it is again, right? He has his experience. And where does he go? To the tent of his father.
And it says here, and it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying, I have dreamed a dream in the which the Lord hath commanded me, that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem. For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also genealogy of my forefathers. And they are engraving upon the plates of brass. Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban and seek the records and bring them down hither into the wilderness. And now thy brother, behold, thy brothers Murmur saying is a hard thing which I have required of them, but behold, I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.
Therefore, my son, go, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured so. There’s his father telling him what it means to be favored.
And it came to pass that in if I and this is that, I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded.
There’s a lot there. We’ll just leave a lot of this here.
I like that. His dad does say, I haven’t required it of them. It’s a commandment of the Lord, and he’s not shy about passing that on. Lehi is the prophet. He’s not just a prophet to the people in Jerusalem now. He is taking a role as a prophet to his family and guiding them. But we’re going to start seeing a transition with this ask of him having to go back and get the plates from Laban. Laban and Lehi are somehow related.
And you have to mean, what’s Laban doing with the record of Lehi’s forefathers?
Did Lehi get robbed out of a position of leadership or power in the city? Is Laban taking this? I wonder what some of that backstory is.
And he’s got to go get these plates.
And Nephi says, ok, we’ll go and we’ll do this. He’s the youngest, but he’s going to be faithful in going and doing this. He takes his brothers out there, and the cool thing is their first approach is to draw straws or cast lots to see who’s going to do it. And the idea of casting lots was, if I’m not deciding and you’re not deciding, we’re just going to let fate or chance or luck decide or God. That’s what it means. In fact, the word luck was the name of a pagan God. And so if you say if you’re lucky, that means that God blessed you, and that’s where it all comes from in our culture, right? If it’s chance, we’re not deciding. God’s deciding. And God gives the chance to Layman, who’s the oldest son. It’s his birthright. So it’s not like he’s trying to rob layman of any authority. He’s giving layman every opportunity to prove himself, to rise up to the occasion, despite his whatever he’s going to be doing.
[01:22:19] Speaker B: So did Lehi, by the way, too?
[01:22:22] Speaker A: Yes.
[01:22:22] Speaker B: I mean, like naming rivers after him and doing the whole thing.
[01:22:29] Speaker A: There’s no Nephi.
[01:22:31] Speaker B: Layman didn’t get the short end of the stick. Is that casting lots? Is that the short end of the stick? Never mind. Okay, I guess he did.
Layman was given every opportunity to step up to the plate and be the oldest and to be the leader.
[01:22:45] Speaker A: And in his defense, he went this time. He went and he sat down and he talked with Laban.
And it’s kind of interesting. Their go to to try to get the plates is the skill that their dad has the gift of the jawbone. The jawbone. I’m going to try to just talk him into this, because that’s how my dad solves all of his problems.
And he’s taught me in all of his ways. Maybe I can convince him, too. Doesn’t go so well, and he gets back out there, and this is one of the coolest stories to me.
I can only imagine Nephi saying, putting these pieces together in his head. We left our gold and our silver and all of our precious things. Maybe this is why we left it behind, so that we could go back and get this. This is an answer from God.
And how many times do we think we have an answer from God? And we’re like, this is it. This is why we did this. This is why this happened. This is why I met. Cross paths with this person was exactly for this reason. They go and they get it, and it doesn’t work.
[01:23:56] Speaker B: On its surface. I have a thought about this, but keep going.
[01:24:00] Speaker A: And that’s the deal, right?
It would have been easy for Nephi to say, why, God? I did everything you asked me to. You left us here. And I went and I got it. And it didn’t work for him to walk away like his brothers and to call it quits. Didn’t he make every effort? First, Layman went and he tried, and he tried to do it peaceably. And then we tried to do it by fair, with just with buying it. We’ve done everything. I’m done.
[01:24:32] Speaker B: Do we have time for a thought about this?
[01:24:34] Speaker A: Please? Do.
[01:24:37] Speaker B: You and I have talked about hebrew law, where when layman goes, Laban accuses him of being a thief and then tries to kill him. Right? Basically gives his people. And so, by nature of hebrew law. And again, this is your information. This isn’t mine. So I’m only using this to set up my thought about this in theory, as far as we can understand, right, that justifies the same punishment of what would have happened had the falsely accused been punished, right?
[01:25:13] Speaker A: Yes.
[01:25:13] Speaker B: Okay. So therefore, Nephi has a legal defense to kill Laban by.
[01:25:23] Speaker A: Just.
[01:25:24] Speaker B: Just to help me out, just to.
[01:25:25] Speaker A: Say what you’re saying. The punishment in hebrew law for falsely accusing someone of doing something is you suffer the punishment that you sought for them.
[01:25:35] Speaker B: Okay. Is accusing somebody of being a thief an executable?
[01:25:42] Speaker A: Yes.
[01:25:42] Speaker B: Okay.
[01:25:43] Speaker A: Which is why Laban sends his guards out to execute.
[01:25:46] Speaker B: Okay, here’s what the thought that I had earlier today when I was reading these chapters again, I think that it actually worked perfectly to have Laban then actually steal all of that.
[01:26:02] Speaker A: He’s falsely doing it now.
[01:26:04] Speaker B: He is actually a thief, and therefore, he now has absolutely opened the door for capital punishment.
[01:26:12] Speaker A: It’s like when Nathan goes to David and tells him the whole story about a man stealing another one’s sheep, and what should the punishment? And then he says, thou art the man.
[01:26:22] Speaker B: Yes.
[01:26:23] Speaker A: And Laban has decreed the punishment for being a robber as death. And after he says that thou art the man, he does. Exactly.
[01:26:34] Speaker B: This was. My point is. My point was, like, it’s even now more beyond them just being like, it’s a case of false accusations, and then being subject to the punishment from it is no. Then Laban literally actually does that thing and stands in a vulnerable position for that punishment.
[01:26:52] Speaker A: Thou art the man, therefore, Nephi.
[01:26:56] Speaker B: Because I remember having a conversation, even with a friend at the time, who had very much an issue with the idea of Nephi, basically being saying, hey, the spirit was basically just saying, you got to kill this guy. And I wrestled against it, but the spirit said I had to do it. And my friends at the time’s contention was, well, yeah, we’re only getting Nephi’s side of the story. And it seems a little bit suspicious that Nephi says that it’s okay to go against thou shalt not kill law of Moses, and it’s convenient for him to be the one writing the story and being, you know, the spirit told me to do. I always. There was always dissonance there with that, where I was just like, first of all, bro, Chill. Like, I’m going to take Nephi’s word for this over yours, first of all. But it is nice having a little bit of this confirmed, not only from what we had already talked about in previous years about the law, but then the fact that he really did rob them, too, and tried to kill them for it at the same time. It’s armed robbery really is what this is. And Nephi, this goes far beyond even, just, like, the moral issues with it, when it’s like, no, bro, you were justified under the law.
You were absolutely within your legal rights, within jewish law, to do this.
And therefore, it makes still then now more sense where you’re going. Yeah, I can see how he still had a moral dilemma with this. His whole thing is, I’ve never killed anybody before. And by the way, this is the first thing they teach you at all of these. I go to some firearm trainings, right? Just so that I can be really comfortable with the firearm. I’m very pro second amendment, and I’m armed pretty much at all times, right? And the first thing they teach you is you should pray that you never, ever have to pull that trigger. Their whole thing is when it’s another actual human being and you realize the actual human dilemma that you’re in, you realize very quickly you can kind of throw out all your preconceived notions of what that situation will be like out the window, because it’s different when it’s an actual human being, right? We read this story of Nephi, and we go, yeah, we all know how this ends, right? We all know what needs to be done. This dude was a jerk. The dude was trying to get him killed. Like, yeah, clearly, the lord gave to you. Chop his head off and move on, right? We all get this, and we don’t think of the human beings involved in the story sometime, right? And I appreciate both the very human side of Nephi in this, having a very moral crisis in the moment with it and still choosing to do the right thing. But it is also comforting, as the reader to know, and he wasn’t just making up his own rules as he went along, because that’s kind of the contention.
[01:29:58] Speaker A: Yes.
[01:29:58] Speaker B: Unfortunately, the contention is, well, Nephi is just kind of making it up on the spot. And basically, you never know because he’s the author of this. He could kind of be justifying it to himself, and he took advantage of a bad situation, and he’s kind of writing the rules as he goes. And you’re like, no, that is absolutely not the case.
[01:30:17] Speaker A: It actually gets even more interesting.
[01:30:19] Speaker B: Hit me.
[01:30:20] Speaker A: Because if, for example, somebody were to murder somebody else inadvertently or on purpose, or whatever the case may be, it is that person who’s dead. Their next of kin, is called the redeemer of blood and has the responsibility to hold the murderer accountable and to slay them. Now, remember, Laban calls Nephi’s brother the robber and sentence his brothers to death inappropriately.
Nephi is the next of kin. His brother. He is the redeemer of blood. It is his responsibility to hold that person accountable for what he’s done to his brother. If Laban were to have slain layman, Nephi legally, would have the responsibility to kill Laban for it.
[01:31:24] Speaker B: But I’m sure a 14 year old kid, farm boy in New York knew all of this in depth Hebrew, ancient, near Easter and hebrew law when he was making up these verses in the scriptures.
[01:31:36] Speaker A: Well, it’s something that just seems odd to me, something that odds the wrong word intrigues me is the ancient practice of the substitute king and it’s interesting here when his brothers make the argument saying that he can command 50.
And then later, the lord talks about the thousands that he can command. And we read about this in the setting that the king of a city had. At his defense, the commander had a garrison of about 50 that he would use to protect the city versus the thousands that he would have out in the field, the troops.
Laban appears to be a local commander, a governor, a ruler in the city, not the king of Judah, not the king of the whole kingdom. But, like Lakeish, you have kings of these independent cities about. He’s a ruler in this area.
Yet his next of kin, or a close kin to him, is Lehi, whose ancestry is also there. What if, by some intrigue, so Laban takes the position from Lehi? What if it was supposed to be Lehi and his family that are supposed to be ruling, and they’ve then deposed them by their brother?
In ancient history, you have the substitute king ritual that anytime a king has offended God or has done something that causes disfavor or disgrace, the lord sends counselors, advisors, wise men, prophets, to say, you have upset the gods, and the gods are going to kill you. In which case, the king has the option of finding an alternate, another king to put on the throne to act as a lightning rod to atone for his sins. Lightning rod. Right.
And sometimes the king dies of natural causes, and things have been restored, and the rightful king comes back and promises to do better so that he doesn’t put himself in a bad situation again.
And here you have a setting where Laban has been warned, and it’s not that the whole kingdom is going to be destroyed. They specifically say the city of Jerusalem will fall. Your city has fallen out of favor, and you’re going to die. He chooses to ignore the council, and he fills the role of the lightning rod, if you will. He pays the price for his sins, and now leadership goes to the next of kin or the family. Lehi’s family. Maybe he doesn’t have children. Maybe he doesn’t have someone to take the throne. And now it falls to Lehi’s family to take that position. That rule, in any case, when Lehi rules from here on, is his reign and ministry. Right.
Those emblems of kingship is the sword.
[01:34:22] Speaker B: Of Laban is the Nephi.
[01:34:24] Speaker A: Right, right. Sorry.
With Nephi and his reign, the emblems of kingship become the breastplate of Laban.
[01:34:35] Speaker B: The armor.
[01:34:36] Speaker A: Yeah, the armor. The sword of Laban. The plates of Laban. These are the servants. The servant and the servant becomes very close friends and serves Nephi.
It’s this transition of power that fits in this cultural setting with what we understand in these rituals of kingship.
[01:34:58] Speaker B: Awesome.
[01:34:59] Speaker A: Which, again, you make the point, but.
[01:35:01] Speaker B: What farm boy as well educated, whose brother went to a boarding school of an uncle’s second cousin? That was a never.
[01:35:14] Speaker A: I don’t know.
[01:35:16] Speaker B: I was going to go back and look at the exact lineage of just the absurdist of absurd claims, but I realized I would much rather spend my time hanging out with my kids. All right, what else we got?
[01:35:27] Speaker A: I think, honestly, we’re about to wrap this know. Nephi is guided by the spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which he should do. That’s obviously a very powerful verse.
[01:35:37] Speaker B: It’s a good scripture, and it’s funny you bring that up. It was one of the ones I wanted to bring up. Maybe not on air, but off air, but might as well bring it up on air.
I think that the missing part of that scripture, to me, or the context that sometimes we use that scripture in missing, is there was so much preparatory work done before that scripture. And I know that that scripture is used a lot with missionaries, and I know that the scripture is used a lot with kind of the idea that, hey, I’m just going to go out and the Lord’s just going to tell me where to go.
We’re missing a lot of context there, which is Nephi has spent so much time strengthening his faith, seeking the Lord, seeking the word, following the commandments, right, to where he can have the confidence and have the faith, knowing I’ve put the work in, to be able to expect the Lord to guide the compass, right.
And when he says, I can go out, not necessarily knowing whether I’m going, but the Lord’s going to back me up, well, the reason he has that confidence is because of his dedication.
We use the scripture a lot, too, especially as missionaries, right. That you first need to seek and read and understand.
You need to receive the word before you can give the word, right.
That scripture, believe it or not, is more for me, another reminder of being prepared for whatever comes. Being prepared, doing what you can to first receive the word, to do what we can. And the reason I wanted to bring this up is because it’s not the hardest thing to look at the world around us right now, some of our listeners who are parents or not, for me as a parent, it’s terrifying. And the idea that I would ever just send kids out into the world going, well, God loves you, so you should just go out into the world and just trust that God’s going to guide wherever you’re going to want to go and not basically be, hey, I want our time to be at home. For me to teach you how to hear God, for me to teach you how to know God, for me to teach you how to listen to how the spirit communicates to you in your unique way, an individual way. Right. So much of the conversations I’ve been having with my very young children as of late focuses so much more instead of on, here’s what you should do, and here’s what you shouldn’t do, and instead, it’s just, please, now, while you’re young, in a very safe environment, in a very secure environment, in a very open where you can ask me questions and I can do my best to give you answers, now is the time, I would just suggest, to really start learning how to receive answers for yourself.
And that, to me, is the foundation of what makes that scripture so great. Right. And in this world, that’s just. I mean, it’s beautiful, but, man, it’s just heinous at the same time. Right. It’s both of those things.
Yes. I would hope that I could also have that same confidence that Nephi has. Right.
But there’s a lot of work that it takes to get to that point, I guess, is my only point there.
[01:39:24] Speaker A: Well, it’s fascinating because, I mean, when they come back, Soraya had held pretty much funeral services for her children. Didn’t think they were coming back. And she’s attacking Lehi. She’s having a crisis of faith.
Lehman and Lemiel are all about crisis of faith through the whole thing. Right.
[01:39:45] Speaker B: I was going to be like, how.
[01:39:47] Speaker A: Are you going to.
[01:39:47] Speaker B: When you said that and you brought Lehman, I’m like, oh, I’m very interested in that. It’s just like, yes, the perpetual crisis.
[01:39:53] Speaker A: But then look at Nephi also, in a sense, admitting to having one. When he says that the Lord had to soften his heart to believe what his dad was saying. I mean, he has his. Early on.
Early on, he has to figure out what’s going to be.
[01:40:09] Speaker B: But to be fair, though, lifestyle wise, it’s not like they were born into the home of an active prophet from the time they were born from. At least from what it reads. Right, right. It doesn’t read that, like, Nephi was born with his dad as the stake president.
[01:40:27] Speaker A: Yeah. No, he’s this merchant that all of a sudden we’re moving.
[01:40:31] Speaker B: That’s right.
[01:40:32] Speaker A: I’m going to be a prophet today.
[01:40:34] Speaker B: That feels less like a crisis of faith and more like a normal human being happening. Yeah.
What’s going on?
[01:40:40] Speaker A: And that’s what I want to hit. Right? Because Lehi has his moment when he breaks down, when the bows are broken. And I just led my family out here, and where’s the support from God that’s going to sustain us? We’re dead. I just killed my family. And he’s going through his crisis. Saria’s going through her crisis. And I wonder how much of a crisis they went through. Nephi, when he sold all the stuff to try to buy the place, and it didn’t work. And, like, what?
[01:41:05] Speaker B: Now I can tell you the crisis that his brothers went through. They beat him with a rod. That’s what I’m saying.
There’s an answer to that question.
[01:41:18] Speaker A: When we look at this story and we say, nobody is safe from having safe. There’s no. There’s no easy road.
Isn’t that Nephi’s point in the very first verse when he’s saying, having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless having been highly favored, what does it mean to know the goodness and the mysteries, to have answers from God?
[01:41:45] Speaker B: To your point, you can’t strengthen that muscle, by the way, without some pushback.
And so, again, so much of it is, what do you do with that weight?
[01:41:58] Speaker A: How do you respond?
[01:41:59] Speaker B: Do you push back against it, or do you let it crush you? I guess is kind of my final thought on what you just said.
It’s necessary, and it hurts.
But if you use it to strengthen the muscle, then, yes, it is a blessing.
[01:42:17] Speaker A: You know what the irony in it is, too?
When Layman and Lamuel say, the Lord doesn’t make such things known to us, what do you mean? Nephi sits there and explains what it means.
Why does Nephi do it? Because the Lord showed him. And what’s the Lord doing through Nephi? He’s actually showing them. He is making known to them the things that they don’t think the Lord makes known to them.
So even if we don’t ask, even if we’re not looking for it, still God is pushing out and trying to give us every opportunity to try to help us to believe through others, through people, through. If we’re not listening to God, he still opens these side channels. And so many people fail to recognize that God doesn’t talk to me. How many times has he sent somebody here to try to help you, to bless you, and you close your eyes to. Interesting.
[01:43:12] Speaker B: You bring up such a fantastic point. Too.
We get the benefit of 2020, right hindsight on this. But we go, what are you talking about? Like, miracle after miracle after angel, visitation.
[01:43:27] Speaker A: After miracle, the voice of God after.
[01:43:29] Speaker B: Miracle after miracle after the electrocution, like the Sith. You know what I mean? Like the electric shock plus this compass that only works when you’re not being jerks. You see what I mean?
And I’m not going to judge anybody else, but I’m going to speak now for myself. It would be so at this point, for me, just disingenuous to be like, well, I didn’t get an answer to that prayer.
It’s like, bro, look at the last 30 years of your life.
What are you actually asking me at this point? You see what I mean?
What more do you really need at this point?
[01:44:16] Speaker A: Dude, it comes all the way back to where you started it with Moses in the mountain versus Israel building a golden calf in the valley.
[01:44:25] Speaker B: That’s exactly right.
[01:44:26] Speaker A: Are we going to be up in the mountain seeking God and getting that answer, or are we going to be trying to create our own alternate way to figure this out, by the way.
[01:44:36] Speaker B: With a group of people that just walked through the parting of the Red Sea to escape? It’s like, at a certain point, layman and Lemuel, unfortunately, share the sentiment with a lot of people that struggle and unfortunately, at times, become antagonistic towards the church or towards their family or towards whatever it is. Unfortunately, that’s a very common sentiment, which is, well, I didn’t get to see this dude. Whole argument I saw on some social media thing the other day was, well, I would be good if I could see the gold plates.
I would come back in if I got to see the gold plates.
And you’re like, cool, man. These dudes saw an angel.
These dudes saw an angel, saw miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle, and still weren’t in. And then you have to just, at some point, go, oh, maybe it’s not about that.
[01:45:38] Speaker A: How many that saw the gold plates left?
[01:45:41] Speaker B: Maybe that’s my point, is maybe it isn’t about that.
And layman and Lemuel, what a brilliant way to kind of wrap up their early part of this story, which is like, well, we’re not seeing all these things, and it’s just God, I’m sure up there just shaking his head, like, what are you talking about?
[01:46:03] Speaker A: What more could I have done for my vineyard?
[01:46:05] Speaker B: That’s exactly what it is.
[01:46:07] Speaker A: How often, like, hens would I have gathered you?
[01:46:11] Speaker B: What are you talking about, dudes?
Anyways, not to end on a bummer note, there anything else you want to hit? But the thing is, let it be a warning to me, to all of us. I mean, I’m not even going to speak for all of us, dude, because again, dude, there’s a lot of nuance and there’s a lot of human.
Again, I’m not judging anybody else’s story at this point. Now I’m just judging mine and layman and Lemuel’s a little bit because I at least get the text. But even then, I probably need to, early on, grant them a little bit of leeway, too. For me, though, I look at this as a pretty clear warning, but also a solid reminder of if it ever comes down to me going, well, why am I not getting the answer to this question?
Hopefully I can be in the moment and out of the moment, I guess, enough to be able to look back and go, thank you, God, though, for giving me the last 40 years to look at as a whole and go, there’s too many things that are right for me to ever go away from this at this point.
I’ve seen too much at this point.
And maybe, yeah, maybe I’m not getting a specific answer to this question. And by the way, maybe it’s a hard question like we kind of talked about. Hopefully I can be mature enough to use it as a weight to push against and strengthen a muscle and not something to, I guess, collapse me. But anyways, anything else you want to add?
[01:47:55] Speaker A: I think the only thing I’d want to add, we’ve said it so many times, the wisdom of God oftentimes appears as foolishness to man. But the single greatest lesson we can learn is that when God speaks and a man listens, that man will always be right.
And how much was Lehi criticized by his sons, his oldest sons, his wife, for being a visionary man?
And maybe he felt foolish, and they said, the foolish imaginations of his heart.
And how silly did Nephi feel when taking all of the gold and whatever a perfect plan failed? Yet in hindsight, was it not exactly what needed to happen in order for that transference, in order for things to work the way it did? In hindsight, did that not give Lehi’s family opportunities to mature, to grow in ways that they never would have had? Being destroyed and carried away captive into Babylon? I mean, so much could go wrong, and so much we look at and we wonder and say, why, God? Why?
But that’s the difference between trusting and doubting. And like you say, whether we use that to push back against and to make ourselves stronger or whether we use that to turn around and walk away before we see how that actually would have benefited us and how that would have worked out in the end.
[01:49:14] Speaker B: Jason, as always, man, thank you so much for the time that you put into preparing for these.
You’re, you’re two for two for the new year, my man. You’re coming in strong. Hopefully you can keep up the momentum.
We only got 50 more weeks ahead of us.
We appreciate you guys listening. You can get a hold of us through the email address. Hi@weeklydeepdive.com we do so greatly appreciate getting your questions, your comments, your feedback.
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[01:50:38] Speaker A: See you.