8 And it came to pass that he called the name of the river, Laman, and it emptied into the Red Sea; and the valley was in the borders near the mouth thereof.
9 And when my father saw that the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea, he spake unto Laman, saying: O that thou mightest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!
10 And he also spake unto Lemuel: O that thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!
11 Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
12 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.
13 Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets. And they were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem, who sought to take away the life of my father.
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Lehi and his family have left Jerusalem and it appears that Laman and Lemuel have been giving their parents trouble, perhaps complaining the whole way there or just part of the way. Road trips are certainly made difficult with whining complaining people along for the ride.
This reminds me of some dear friends of mine. The husband rather suddenly it seemed wanted to move away. So the family put their house up for sale. It sold quickly, rather miraculously. Things were falling into place and they moved away. Once they got there the family of 3 moved into an apartment. It didn't seem like the ideal situation. The family had moved before the husband had a job. People thought they were crazy to move so fast. I knew they were following the Lord and I knew they were united in that purpose so I thought that everything would work out fine. The wife was frugal and they lived poorly at first but eventually things improved and now the husband has his dream job and they have bought a nice home. During their time in the small modest apartment, they met some new friends and introduced them to the church. I was sad to hear people murmur and complain about their decision to move. The Lord ways are not our ways.
Similarly, when I was pregnant with Charlie. I knew his birth would be risky. Either try again to vbac or do a repeat c-section. For some repeat c-sections are not a big deal, but for me it held serious risks. Chris and I prayed and did what we felt was right. It was a very difficult time, filled with faith and near death. Following the Lord, often times we think things will got smoothly and wonderfully but that's not the case. Just because someone nearly died doesn't mean they weren't following the Spirit. A lot happened during that time good, bad and ugly. But I know I did the right thing. If following the Spirit leads you down dark and scary roads, would you not go? There will always be those who murmur and complain. After Charlie I was told by a church member 'how irresponsible' I was to have done what I did, since I have other children at home. Is it irresponsible to follow the Lord?
Laman and Lemuel complained about leaving behind their stuff. They might have seen the life they could have had. They had land, gold, silver, and precious things. Perhaps they had envisioned a life of luxury and ease and now that had all been taken away from them as they wandered in the wilderness. Little did they know the Lord was leading them to yet greater things, not just inheriting their father's land but a whole country! Do we sometimes envision for ourselves a life we dream up looks great and wonderful. Yet the Lord has so much more in store for us if we would just let him guide us to where he needs us to be.
If we follow the Lord then he will guide us. He might guide us to places we never thought we'd go.
If we truly want to be guided by the Lord then we need to be prepared to go to unknown places. There will always be those who murmur, but we need to press forward in faith. If we are the ones complaining we need to take a step back a accept that following the Lord doesn't always appear logical.
Laman and Lemuel were 'like unto the Jews at Jerusalem who sought to take away the life of my father'. That's the scary part. May the gospel of Jesus Christ a call to repentance never give us murderous rage.