Monday, April 28, 2014

1 Nephi 6-10

Important in the life of every Latter-day Saint, and any member of the true church of Christ, is family. Lehi, the prophet-patriarch of Nephi's family, loved his family dearly, and constantly worried about their eternal welfare. This is particularly evident in his discourse with his older, rebellious sons, Laman and Lemuel. After reading about the complaints of these two dopes in previous chapters, when the boys went to Jerusalem, we know they are fully capable of whining when asked to do anything. Lehi receives another prompting from the Holy Ghost about the continuation of his seed, and sends his sons back to Jerusalem again, this time to convince a family with lots of daughters to join them in the wilderness. At this point there is no complaints from Laman and Lemuel, who I am sure are fully aware of what this mission will end with: wives. After obeying their father's commands so willingly, the return journey home finds them at odds with Nephi and his righteousness again. After tying Nephi up with the desire to leave him in the wilderness to be "devoured by wild beasts" (1 Nephi 7: 16). Through the strength of God, Nephi is able to break the cords that his brothers tied him with, and Laman and Lemuel, as well as the others who had recently joined them, repent and all is seemingly well.
Now! On to the symbolism of family bonds. There are countless records of Latter-day Saint doctrine involving Families, the most well known is The Family: A Proclamation to the World (learn more about it, and the doctrine of eternal families by clicking the link).
In 1 Nephi 8 we read Nephi's account of his father's vision of the Tree of Life. Lehi dreamt he was in spacious field, and in that field was a beautiful tree "whose fruit was desirous to make one happy" (1 Nephi 8:10). Immediately after eating the fruit himself, and finding it as wonderful as described, Lehi wants his family to eat this fruit, and be happy as well. His first thought, after obtaining this happiness for himself, is to have his family join him. Without his family, his happiness isn't complete. This is a core doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We desire to be with our families forever. The symbolism in the Book of Mormon is very clear on the importance of families, and even mentions it within the first 10 words of the first book, in the first verse, on the first page. Though much of the symbolism in the Book of Mormon, or any scripture to be frank, is muddy at best, the symbolism of the importance of family is clear and obvious throughout the entirety of the Book of Mormon.
Lehi dreams of the Tree of Life

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