Monday, February 13, 2012

1 Nephi 3: Going and Doing

Chapter three begins with yet another direct revelation. God tells Lehi he's gotta go back and get the brass plates. Laman and Lemuel, of course, as Nephi's foils, hate the idea, and continue with their characteristic grumbling and "murmuring." Then...we hit a scripture mastery.

Nephi and Adam Need to Have Lunch Together Sometime
In modern terms, Nephi says, "Okay, Dad. I'll go do what God said, because I know he won't tell me to do something unless he's made it possible for me to do it successfully."

Ooh, okay. That's a great point. Nephi should pass that little gem along to Adam sometime. Because according to Russell M. Nelson:
To bring the plan of happiness to fruition, God issued to Adam and Eve the first commandment ever given to mankind. It was a commandment to beget children. A law was explained to them. Should they eat from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil", their bodies would change; mortality and eventual death would come upon them. But partaking of that fruit was prerequisite to their parenthood.
So...the first two things that God ever told his children to do were...mutually exclusive? They can either do what God said and have children, or they can do what God said and not eat from the tree...but they can't do both? Nephi, I think maybe you need to rethink your stance. Because there was no way that Adam and Eve could accomplish both the things that God commanded them.

It was a nice thought, though, Nephi. Really. I like the sentiment. Good try.

What's the Deal with Those Plates?
In verse 20, Nephi explains to us that the reason he and his brothers are trying so hard to get the plates from Laban is that they need to preserve the word of God as written by the prophets. That strikes me as kind of silly. Considering how much God's been speaking lately, sending people revelations, visions and dreams, and even sending angels out to yell at people (verse 29), it doesn't seem like God would have much of a problem reiterating any of His word that might have been lost.

Living In Little Brother's Shadow
Nephi and his brothers, on their second attempt to get the plates from Laban, offer him their money and treasure. Instead of allowing them to buy the plates, he kicks them out and keeps their money. Nephi and his brothers flee from the city, and then Laman and Lemuel beat Nephi and Sam up because they're pissed at them for losing the money. And then an angel comes to stop them. And the angel says to Laman and Lemuel, "Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities?"

Why the hell would the angel say that? Laman and Lemuel are pissed at Nephi, and they're kicking his ass. So the angel comes down and says, "STOP! GOD LIKES HIM BETTER THAN YOU CUZ YOU GUYS SUCK!" Won't that just make them resent Nephi more? God's angel doesn't seem to have a really good handle on bullying. Instead of helping the brothers get along better, all he did was drive a bigger wedge between them.

And what do you know, later on the family will split and form separate societies which will attempt to eliminate each other several times over the next few hundred years. Way to promote family unity, angel. I hope you got fired for that one.

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