Cartoon by hartboy on flickr
“…and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days…”
These are clearly the words of an optimist. Nephi wasn’t kidding when he said he’s seen many afflictions in the course of his days. Can you imagine having to leave your home, your bank account, and everyone you’ve ever known (other than your immediate family,) to go blaze a trail to an undiscovered country and settle there? Oh, and let’s just make you the leader of the new colony, too.
You’ve probably heard someone point out that Laman and Lemuel did do the things they were asked to do. They did leave Jerusalem with their riches. They did go get the plates. They did go back for Ishmael’s family. They did help build the boat. They even crossed the ocean like God commanded. What was the difference? Their attitude. They complained every step of the way, and tried every which way to get out of their duties. They never killed their father or brother, but they highly considered it. In the end, their attitude destroyed them and their posterity.
But what about Nephi? Didn’t he complain? As far as we know, he never did. He suffered all the same things his brothers did (including guilt – see 2 Ne. 4: 17), and though even his father complained at one point, it seems that Nephi never did.
I guess it’s too late for me to become like Nephi in that sense, but I can change. I can become one who doesn’t complain, doesn’t resist duties, and doesn’t put off what I should be doing.
In case at this point you’re experiencing doubts about my assertion that Nephi never complained, check this out:
1 And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.
Sounds like he might be ready to complain, right? Here are his next words:
2 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
Did you catch that?! “We only get to eat raw meat, but it’s totally awesome, because the babies are still getting good mommy Juice – and these moms, by the way, are as buff as the guys, thank you very much. No complaints here!”
The closest some of us could come to saying something like Nephi said would probably be to tell about how there are plenty of things that suck about having children.
Wow, we’ve got a lot of growing to do!
Of course our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, Jesus Christ, but I think emulating Nephi is a step in the right direction!