Saturday, May 23, 2009

1 Ne 4 - 7. More interesting themes. So far the message is basic. God commands, through dreams, visions, and the appearance of angels, and Lehi and his family, and by extension the rest of us are to obey. Cut and dried. Over and over again the text reinforces the importance of keeping the commandments, keeping the commandments, without being that specific what they are. In this situation it's specific things like leaving Jerusalem and returning to perform specific errands, like retrieving the plates and Ishmael and his family. Duties are performed that move the drama along. In this day and time, though, it's less specific. Angels didn't appear to us and direct us to go to some city and perform some function. It's more general day-to-day stuff related to our micro-behavior. Read your scriptures, pray, pay tithing, keep yourself morally clean, etc.

It's interesting how the drama of Laban and the plates plays out. Nephi and his brothers are basically commanded to go to Laban and get the plates, either through convincing or direct purchase, and when that doesn't work, to murder him, take the plates, and kidnap his servant. It plays out this way in the Old Testament sometimes, as in the conquest of Canaan, but as often as not the person is convinced to yield to what the Lord wants.

Again, people are given inspiration to perform specific things, but not as much to just set themselves up as authority figures and run institutions.

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