posted by: grammakelly
“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.” The Family Proclamation 1995
This is no new proclamation. Lehi understood this principle and was obedient to the admonition of the Lord to send his sons back to get the family of Ishmael before their exodus could continue.
“We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.” The Family Proclamation 1995
“…it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise.” 1Ne 7:1
Once again they journey to Jerusalem to retrieve something that they needed to progress to the promised land. One thing that intrigues me, and has been brought up before, why didn’t they just get everything they needed to complete their exodus to the promised land right from the get-go? As I’ve thought about that over the last few weeks, I’ve wondered how many times I’ve had to go back to a point to get something that I needed. What I started with was good enough at the time, but now I need more to progress. Unfortunately with half-timers (I can only remember half the time) setting in, I seem to repeat my steps often as I forget what I was doing. But I think that sometimes the spiritual retracing of steps is more of a growing process than a forgetting process. While each journey was a physical exercise for Nephi and his brothers, it was also a spiritual exercise for them with each experience giving them the opportunity to grow or rebel. We have already defined the two groups by their obedience and willingness to really go the extra mile or tag along because they have to sort of honor their father the ‘visionary’. They have all been privileged to see angels and the hand of the Lord helping them to accomplish the things that he has commanded them to do.I’ve wondered why Nephi still wanted them to go with him sometimes. Why does he want them around? All they do is complain and murmur about him and their father. I’m sure the whole process would have been ten times easier if he had just let them sneak back up to Jerusalem and live the ‘good life’. “I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you? How is it that ye have not hearkened to the work of the Lord?” 1Ne 7:8-9 After he finished calling them to task, they were quite angry and tried to kill him. They ask for forgiveness and he freely forgives them.
As I have pondered the way Nephi treats his family members, both those who support him and those that fight him, I have learned two things:
1. We don’t get to choose our family but we are expected to find a way to live with them. Happily! We have been put together as family units here on earth to learn and to grow. Sometimes the process is a painful one, and sometimes it is pleasant. Some of us will never know what it’s like not to be loved and accepted for who and what we are, and some will long for just a glimmer of hope or love from their families. Nephi may not like L&L and perhaps just doesn’t get them, but he loves them and he understands the eternal scheme of things. He knows they are an integral part of his family and he knows they need him and he needs them.
2. Just because you are the oldest doesn’t always make you the best.(as an oldest child-this one was hard for me to assimilate) I have come to realize that I have learned some pretty important things thru the examples of my much younger siblings. Your position in your family doesn’t negate your responsibility to help teach and uplift other family members. They are truly an inspiration to me and I can see the Lords hand in the ways they have taught and supported me. I think L&L think that being the oldest is a no-brainer. But it’s not! They will be the cause of a very great split in their family because they will not hearken to the voice of the Lord or their father. Generations of people will fall away from the teachings of the Savior and much blood will be shed because of the hardness of their hearts. It won’t just affect them—it will affect generations of people. By the same token, many generations of people will be blessed because of the righteousness of Nephi, Jacob, and Sam.
“We the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” The Family Proclamation 1995
I think Nephi knew this way before 1995! I think it is why he will do all he can to keep L&L with the family, and tolerate all the abuse they hand out. His family is central to the Creators’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children and he knows it. So are each of our families!!!