When nothing is sacred, everything is fair game in conflicts of ideas, attitudes, or behaviors. If something is sacred, then some ground rules of harmonious interaction are possible.
Laman and Lemuel did not partake of the tree of life, which is the love of God (see 1 Ne. 11:25). The love of God for His children is most profoundly expressed in His gift of Jesus as our Redeemer: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (John 3:16). To partake of the love of God is to partake of Jesus' Atonement and the emancipations and joys which it can bring. Clearly, however, Laman and Lemuel did not have such faith--especially in a Christ yet to come! (see Jarom 1:11).
In contrast, Nephi, "had a great knowledge of the goodness . . . of God," hence Nephi's firm declaration: "I know that [God] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things" (1 Ne. 1:1; 11:17). If we have a love of God and know His goodness, we will trust Him, even when we are puzzled or perplexed.
Thus Laman and Lemuel did not understand the relationship of mortals with God, and, worse still, they did not really want to understand. They sought to keep their distance from God. Furthermore, being intellectually lazy, they did not count their blessings, when gratitude could have lessened the distance. But it was never inventory time for Laman and Lemuel.
Laman and Lemuel also displayed little lasting spiritual curiosity. Once, true, they asked straightforward questions about the meaning of a vision of the tree, the river, and the rod of iron. Yet their questions were really more like trying to connect doctrinal dots rather than connecting themselves with God and His purposes for them. They certainly did not "liken" the answers to themselves (see 1 Ne. 19:23).
« Previous 1 » Next