I wonder if it is a teenager thing, but murmuring could actually drive me to insanity! I think my children love to complain, just for the art of complaining. I have said to them, even if I give you a million dollars I am sure you would complain about how hard it is to spend that much money. This morning as I was reading in my scriptures, I came across one of my favorite stories in 1 Nephi. This story actually made me worry a little bit about the amount of murmuring my children actually do...
First let's start in 1 Nephi 3:1. Notice how after Nephi had a spiritual experience with the Lord, he first went to the tent of his father. Nephi desired to know the things his father knew, and the Lord blessed him with this knowledge. I had never noticed before how he than went first to share his wonderful experience with his dad. What a wonderful insight to their close relationship. Lehi than tells Nephi of something hard Nephi and his brothers are going to have to do for the Lord. They needed to go back to Jerusalem and get the plates of brass from Laban. Lehi said, "I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord." Those who know the story, understand the difficulties of this commandment. Lehi understood. Nephi and his brothers understood. I LOVE verse 6 and what it says, "Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured." Nephi is being favored, yes favored of the Lord because he did not complain about what the Lord has asked him to do. The Lord did not say, I love you more than your brethren because you choose the right. No, the Lord says you are favored for not murmuring. I tell my children this all the time. One child will be favored over the other for being obedient. It doesn't mean I love one child more than the other, it just means the one child who listens to me and does what I ask without murmuring, I am usually a lot nicer too! Lehi even feels the blessing of having a child not complain. We don't have the account of Lehi telling Laman and Lemuel to go back to Jerusalem, but we can assumed by Lehi's response to Nephi's willingness, (my father was exceedingly glad) that things didn't go as well with the older brothers.
The Lord gave Nephi a commandment and expected him to fulfill it. This is the part of the story I love! Just because we have been giving a commandment to do something, doesn't mean it is going to be easy! Also, it doesn't mean we will be able to do it on our first try! After their first failed attempt, Laman and Lemuel were ready to head back to their father and throw in the towel. But Nephi said no! Not till they accomplish what the Lord had commanded them to do (1 Nephi 3:15). Nephi said, "let us be faithfil in keeping the commandments of the Lord" (1 Nephi 3:16). Going to get the plates was a commandment of the Lord and Nephi was going to keep the commandments. Nephi then had to persuade (1 Nephi 3:21) his brothers into being faithful to the commandments of God. If you have to "persuade" someone into keeping the commandments, the chances are they are not keeping them for the right reason and are likely going to have a change of heart. They tried a second time, and failed! This time Laman and Lemuel started taking their frustration out on Nephi and Sam, until an angel came and said; First stop hitting your brothers and second the Lord will make it possible for you to get the plates. And after the angel left, Laman and Lemuel STILL MURMURED, saying how can the Lord make this possible. They just had an angel tell them they were going to get the plates and they still were complaining! Nephi then goes on to testify of the power of God and how through God the Red Seas were parted and how an angel told them this commandment was possible. Yet they still continue to murmur (1 Nephi 4:4). How destructive is murmuring? I read this account and think: I do not want my children to end up like Laman and Lemule. Through out 1 Nephi you can see how their murmuring brought many trials and difficulties that could have been avoided. When we keep the commandments and are obedient to the will of the Lord, we will be blessed or highly favored of the Lord. Sometimes, no wait, a lot of the time, it will take a huge amount of faith to keep the commandments. And it will seem absolutely impossible to do what the Lord has asked of you. But here is one of many stories in the scriptures that show how the Lord provides a way for those willing to keep His commandments. I also have countless times in my life when the Lord has blessed me for keeping His commandments. Trust me, it hasn't always been easy, and even at times it took countless efforts, but the Lord was always there helping me. I love the scriptures. I love the insights and understandings I receive when I study them consistently. I just hope I am able to show my children the importance the scriptures in their lives. Also that they might possibly ease up on the murmuring!
4 days ago