About six months ago, I read through the first book of Nephi again. This time I read with the intent to better understand the difficulties and nuances of Nephi, his brothers and their experience as a whole. I keep a study journal of thoughts and what-nots of the books I read. This is an entry I found the over the weekend.
"Nephi 'shrunk' (think about that) at what he needed to do, but he did it. He killed a man. He cut a man's head off! He hid a dead body. He put on a dead man's clothes. Nephi may have left his own clothes behind.
When Laban's guards found Laban's body be-headed and naked and learned that now the brass plates were missing they would have known it was the sons of Lehi. The guards would make an assumption that the prophet Lehi was orchestrating the murder of Jerusalem's King - the city Lehi preached repentance to or be destroyed.
There would have been an immediate pursuit after Lehi's boys. The King's staff would have spread the word, a bounty would have been put out; if Nephi were to be caught he would have be put to death. The brothers were fleeing for their lives. According to the city, they were assassins.
Laman and Lemuel would now know there was no way they could return to Jerusalem. Since leaving the city with the family they have wanted to return - understandably so- their home was still furnished, closets of clothes still filled, gold and silver still under dad's mattress, friends down the block, prestige and opportunity from Lehi's previous successes- now it is all gone.
No wonder why Laman and Lemuel are so pissed at Nephi, murdering the King was not in the plans, every good idea has gone awry and it is going against the grain of their ultimate desires- to live a normal life, in a booming metropolis of opportunity and community. Nephi's brothers are now aliases in Jerusalem's head line news story.
Following God is difficult.
What creates the difference between Nephi and Laman?
- Nephi desires to know the truth about his dad's experience
- Nephi's heart is "softened" by the Lord
- Nephi's testimony transitions into conversion by overcoming cynicism, skepticism and doubt by choosing to believe and do something about it."
(from my study journal entry, January 2015)