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Author Topic: "Come Follow Me" questions  (Read 1069 times)

Taalcon

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2020, 08:23:37 pm »
I'd saying Nephi killing Laban was very much an exception. According to Nephi, he didn't come looking to do it. When the idea occured to him, he rejected it until God made clear that he was authorized to do it, and for what purposes.

And here's something the occurred to me tonight, when we watched the video version of this story with my family - when he caught Zoram, it would have been very easy to simply kill him, too, if that was something Nephi wanted to do. He could have justified it with, "well, it is part and parcel of my authorization to kill Laban."

But in the account, he immediately gives him the opportunity to unite with his people. In other words, Nephi himself didn't take his exception as the rule for him every time.

(Side note: I really dislike the story, and there's a very high discomfort level in using an example where the good guy heard a voice saying, "Kill someone!", his morals say 'I don't want to,', the voice reaffirms he needs to do it, does it, and it declared righteous for having done it. It's VERY uncomfortable to me ... and I find the observation by Grant Hardy that we don't have an account of Nephi sharing this with Lehi, perhaps because Lehi didn't react well. I've come to very much like the idea that Lehi's new doctrine of "Adam Fell That Men Might Be" was an inspired answer to his struggling and wrestling in trying to figure out how Nephi breaking one of the Core Commandments in killing a man could have been God's will for his family.)
 
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dyany

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2020, 10:51:26 pm »
I think of the times in the scriptures when people 'violated' the laws as established.
Nephi killing Laban.
Nephi taking the brass plates.
Peter being taught to eat forbidden foods, and, in parallel, to teach and covenant with Gentiles.
Joseph Smith starting polygamy when commanded.

I also think of times when people 'kept' the rules they had been given.
Laban refusing to give up the brass plates which had been entrusted to him.
Zeniff 'taking back' the land of their first inheritance.
Saul making a sacrifice to God at the appointed time, but before Samuel got there.
Nephites and various historical Israelites practicing polygamy.

Each of the first 4 were very definitely 'exceptions.'  Each of the latter 4 NEEDED to be 'exceptions,' but weren't because of the weakness of the people. The difference in all cases is what was specifically commanded AT THAT TIME. The difference to me is clear in theory: commanded by God vs. individuals deciding they 'knew' what was right, but were actually following either habit, tradition, pride, or physical lusts. 
But we all know that it isn't generally that clear in practice; that differentiating between the still small voice and our own thoughts can be extremely difficult.  I feel humility and CONSTANT prayer are key, but I still can't tell well myself, though sometimes 20 years later or so I have some "OHHHHHH I SEE NOW" moments. :P
 
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Roper

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2020, 09:30:45 am »
But we all know that it isn't generally that clear in practice; that differentiating between the still small voice and our own thoughts can be extremely difficult.  I feel humility and CONSTANT prayer are key, but I still can't tell well myself, though sometimes 20 years later or so I have some "OHHHHHH I SEE NOW" moments. :P
+1 Dyany. I have come to accept that I walk by faith in just about everything. The times when I have chosen and acted with certainty: Less than 5 in 50+ years.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Jana at Jade House

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2020, 09:47:39 am »
So, what's the difference between an "exception" and a "rejection?"

One makes you feel closer to the plan and one does not.  One requires listening to the Spirit with an open heart, one requires listening to your mortal inner voice with a closed mind. One leads you to repent and regret, one leads to deeper and broader knowledge. One makes me glad for the Atonement and unending mercy, and leads to humility, one makes me suddenly feel like a worm and humiliated.  That is my experience.

We ALL have made  decisions on the covenant path on both sides. It is a human condition through which we  learn and grow  whether positive or negative.

It is tough sometime to distinguish between the two at first.  That is why we keep covenants...
 
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dyany

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2020, 12:05:21 pm »
Yes!  I feel like a huge difference is how we feel after we pray and listen and make the decision.
With the Exception, we feel:
Peace.
Love & forgiveness for others (including those who hurt us, whom we may have had to hurt in following the exception).
Closer to Heavenly Father.
More determined in keeping the commandments and honoring our covenants.

With the rejection, we feel:
Pride, to the point of haughtiness.
Disgust/annoyance/anger with others, especially church leaders.
If it was a local leader who made a (possibly egregious) mistake, feeling they are the rule (even upheld by the Church), not the exception.
Not like we were the exception and the rule was generally good, but that the rule itself is/was wrong.
Distrustful of all the rules and covenants.

One thing I see that brings this up is people who have been sexually or otherwise abused, either directly by priesthood leaders (including sometimes in the home but also bishops and other church leaders), or abetted by gormless church leaders, I know a LOT of people, mostly women, who have experienced them. All of them have been deeply traumatized by it, and the further the church leader support of the abuser goes, the more deeply traumatized the victim is. In dealing with the abuse, the victim tends to go in one of two directions: either getting to a point of distrust of church leaders and speaking angrily and in absolute terms about the 'evil,' self-serving rules and policies which support this behavior, OR in a more humble way where they still acknowledge the abuse fully for what it is and are working through forgiving and learning good boundaries, but recognize that abusers and abettors are the exception, they are not supported by the Church though it may sometimes seem that way, and that, while all church leaders are flawed human beings, there are many good ones (more the higher you go) who are working very hard to protect you and everyone, though some mistakes will be made.

The first group may heal, but it's more slowly, and includes a thread of anger and resentment that taints everything, and they generally leave the church.

The second group seem to heal a bit faster, because they KNOW Heavenly Father is real and there for them and that there are good people who won't hurt them and can even support them. The forgiveness heals them better. The knowing that the abusers and abettors are exceptions helps heal them. The knowing that the structure is trying to help them and not just support "old white men" helps heal them.

It's very sad to watch the first group. It's very sad to know that there are evil people out there masquerading as upstanding church members who further destroy the victims' fragile testimonies. It's very sad to see the victims turn on the things that could help them, because of those evil people becoming the face of the Church to them. It's hard to love love love them when they react like rabid dogs to anything Church-related. But loving them fiercely and absolutely while maintaining my testimony (and healthy boundaries) is the only thing that has hope of helping them, at least as far as my actions go.
 
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Roper

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2020, 01:25:02 pm »
Why Nephi?

I accept that the account of Lehi's family is factual, and that the events proceeded as recorded. I also accept that we only have one side or perspective, because those are the records we have.

In trying to connect all of that to my own reality, I'm coming to understand that the account is much richer and more complex than I've understood in previous read-throughs. For example: My previous understanding was that the Lord chose Nephi because Nephi was faithful and obedient, and his older brothers were not. I think it's more than that.

I served as a military officer. I currently serve as an assistant principal. In these positions, I've had to evaluate the work of other people and write appraisals. Almost all have been very good at their jobs. The difference comes in how people react to change. For example, after a lot of research, comparisons, and teacher recommendations, we adopted a new math curriculum. A few teachers embraced it and immediately started collaborating and planning how to implement it and connect it with other resources. Some teachers studied it and quietly figured out how to implement it. Some teachers grumbled about how "things are always changing" and reluctantly implemented it. Some teachers complained that "they never get a say in things" and did the bare minimum to go along. A few teachers rebelled. They refused to implement the curriculum and kept using the previous version. They had secret meetings with other teachers to try to get more support for their "cause."

The teachers who engaged enthusiastically became team leaders. The teachers who figured out integration wrote procedures and designed professional development. The teachers who grumbled are doing what they've always done. The teachers who rebelled are no longer with us.

My connection with Lehi's family is this: Yes, having the right attitude and motivation --having your heart in the right place--is important. How we embrace change is doubly so.  The Lord didn't choose Nephi to be a leader because he didn't murmer like Laman and Lemuel. The Lord chose Nephi because Nephi proved time and again that he would "go and do" what the Lord asked him to do. That's what leaders do. They take risks and move ahead when the outcome isn't assured and when each step of the plan isn't perfectly laid out.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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dyany

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2020, 05:50:10 pm »
Roper, I absolutely agree with you. Over the years, I've realized that one of the greatest impediments to our growth and happiness is basically what I call 'coasting' or 'autopilot.'  People don't want to think, they just want to go. Yes, people talk about ruts and lives being boring, but that is far less a matter of outside forces and far more a matter of unwillingness to think and change. 
This ties in with motivation and such. 
For instance: "when ____ happens/stage is reached, then I can ____." 
Like, "when I finish school, then I can 'start my life.'"
"When I'm married, I won't have to worry about ___ anymore."
"When the kids are older, I can breathe and have time for me again."
"When the kids move out..."
"When I reach this stage in my career..."
"When I'm making X amount of money..."
"When I have the house paid off..."
"When I retire..."
"When I get this health condition under control..."
 
Most of the times these are not stages in goals, but excuses we use to put off the difficulties of change. Often, we think that for some reason, when we reach that milestone (which we may or may not be seriously working towards), we can 'coast' -- that is, we've 'made it' and we can then engage autopilot and "enjoy life." 
But it never, EVER works that way. In fact, I daresay that autopilot--going through the motions of what we feel we're supposed to be doing or what we've always done--is one of the biggest blockades to feeling the spirit and making better choices there is.
How many times have we passed someone in need, but not stopped to help or even noticed them because it would have disrupted the task we were doing/path we were on?  How many times have there been little signals of struggle or pain from our spouses, siblings, children, parents, or friends, but we chose to ignore them because we were afraid of making them uncomfortable, overreaching, overreacting, or otherwise disrupting the status quo?  How many times have we been the ministers at the door saying "let us know if you need anything!" when a moment of opened eyes and hearts, along with a moment's thought, would have revealed a plethora of need we could do something about RIGHT THEN? 

And how many times, like Laman and Lemuel, have we been offended at the disruption to our plans and dreams?  How many times have we, like Laban, been so set on dogmatically following some policy (he HAD been entrusted with the brass plates) or procedure or tradition that we end up completely deaf and blind to the Spirit and what we REALLY need to do? 
Life is about growth and learning. That is our PRIMARY purpose here.
And growth and learning REQUIRE change. By definition.
 
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Roper

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #22 on: January 14, 2020, 09:08:32 am »
A connection from this morning's study: At the end of accounting Lehi's dream (1N8), Nephi records that Lehi "...did exhort them then with all the feeling of a tender parent." I thought of Adam and Eve exhorting us to give heed to messengers sent from God. I had a brief flash of understanding that Adam and Eve, acting in their roles as "tender parents" like Lehi, had followed the path and held on to the rod which led them to God's love in this world. Like Lehi, they desire all of their children (us!) to partake of the fruit of the Gospel. Since I first learned the symbolism of Lehi's dream, I've always understood that although it was about Lehi's family, it applied to me in an indirect way. Making the connection with Adam and Eve's exhortation to their posterity made it much more "real" for me this morning.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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Roper

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2020, 09:08:12 am »
In this morning's study, we discussed 1N11, particularly vs. 34: "And after he was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord." Our current apostles are also "apostles of the Lamb" just as they were in Christ's time. Are the multitudes of the earth gathered to fight against our current apostles? In what way?
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

Jana at Jade House

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2020, 09:28:51 am »
Is that a literal or figurative fight. Because in my mind, the Apostles are stewards of the Fullness of the Gospel to an exponentially greater
power, by calling, than I am. This makes them the sworn protector stalwarts who must defend against all the mortal hogwash passing as truth that comes down the information highway.
We all have the mandate to defend and protect our testimony and the Plan, but they are ordained and covenanted. The Knights to our squires as it were.
In this respect the worldly multitudes against them with respect to what the Lord has called them to do is very real.  Now, most of the world do not know them by name, and are not personally acquainted with any member of the church. But the fact remains that any and all who profess beliefs which are not supportive of the Plan of Salvation are "fighting" against these 15  warriors.
My opinion.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #25 on: March 02, 2020, 08:54:07 am »
I wanted to drop by this thread and HIGHLY recommend the new small book by Joseph Spencer, 1st Nephi: A Brief Theological Introduction. It's the first in a series of BYU's Maxwell Institute's small, inexpensive discussions of the books of the Book of Mormon from a theological (not doctrinal, ie, normative) perspective. Exploring what the text can teach us with a close reading, what questions we might ask, what it raises, and what it might teach.

It's a FANTASTIC book, and is only intended to be an introduction to ways of thinking, and types of questions ones can ask, and models ways it can be answered.


It makes some very helpful observations about the structure of 1 Nephi, and how being aware of that may shed some light on some of Nephi's intentions and why he tells some of the stories in the ways that he does.

Anyway, it's very good, and at $10 (for print or Kindle), I highly, highly recommend it. Will be a great compliment to having just covered and thought about the material. Especially given some of the discussions about different topics had here, the observations and ways it explores those here I think would be appreciated by many here. I just finished it this morning, and I'll be thinking about some of the stuff in here for a long time.

Here's the table of contents:
PART I: The Theological Project of 1 Nephi
1. Occasion and Structure
2. The Remnant of Israel
3. The God of Israel

PART II: The Theological Questions about 1 Nephi
4. Laban's Death
5. Laman and Lemuel
6. The Women
 
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Sparky

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2020, 06:56:14 pm »
Hubby and I were watching some of the BoM videos yesterday, and as we watched the one where Nephi's bow is broken and he goes and makes a new bow, hubby remarked that this was the turning point in the family, where Nephi becomes the leader because he is the one who goes and saves the family from starvation. While Lehi continued as the patriarch of the family, Nephi became the one who does what is needed and the whole family recognizes it. Hubby said it was the first time he had thought of it that way. I like his thought.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #27 on: March 10, 2020, 03:13:27 pm »
After arriving in Jacob, I did a flash re-read of 1 & 2 Nephi, with some of the insights from the 1st Nephi Brief Theological Introduction and The Book of Mormon for the Least of These in mind.

Something that came to light was how Nephi's characterizations of the inhabitants of Jerusalem('The Jews') changes, and has a VERY swift reversal that only comes towards the very end of his writing.

Now, obviously, Nephi had a traumatic experience with the people of Jerusalem. As a kid, yhey tried to kill him and his dad, requiring an exodus, and becoming a people separate from them. That was his last association with them. Then, Laman and his crew followed in their footsteps, requiring Nephi to once again have an exodus, and create a new identity separate from them. He considered and made the connection that his brothers were like those in Jerusalem. He doesn't want any association with those people, and doesn't consider himself one of them.

BUT.
Following all those chapters of Isaiah, and even just a few chapters after Nephi tells us that he's not even going to bother teaching his people the history and means of understanding the scriptures the way the Jews did, and after the Jews are characterized as so wicked they would crucify their God, we get Nephi recording what he presents as the direct words of God commanding respect for the Jewish people and their record, saying, essentially, how dare you revere the scriptures and records we have from them and speak so evil about them.

Quote
4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what cthank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?

5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have cursed them, and have hated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.

6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

We always see that as referring solely to the future Christians who reject the Book of Mormon while revering the Bible while at the same time speaking ill of the Jewish people. Well, consider if Nephi ALSO felt chastised by this message as he was recording it. He had just gotten done essentially cursing them, and relegating them to the dustbin of relevance.

You'll see all remaining references to the "Jews" have now changed in tone! You can almost see Nephi in real-time revisiting his prejudice which was based on his very real and very traumatic experience.

It's something I may not have noted without the compressed time of a binge-read, and without some of the additional observations and perspectives of others that had been highlighted earlier. I'm grateful for these new observations, and new questions, and new perspectives, and new insights.
 
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Roper

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Re: "Come Follow Me" questions
« Reply #28 on: March 10, 2020, 03:45:47 pm »
I had never thought of it that way, Taalcon. Thanks for sharing your insights. I find that same quality--the ability to openly accept correction--in Joseph Smith.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 
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