(January 14, 2015)
I had a number of thoughts as I made my way through this chapter. The first of these was on Nephi’s bow breaking. I wondered, first, why it was Nephi’s bow (after all, he was the younger brother – and he had a snazzy new sword). I wondered whether it was because he made the bow himself, which would be consistent with the fact that he seemed to demonstrate a capacity for metal-working throughout his life.
The second thought was on whether it was Nephi’s fault that the bow broke. It is never clearly said how or why the bow broke, but it did say that his brothers were angry with him about it. If he had done nothing wrong, you would think even Laman and Lemuel wouldn’t have been so angry. Is it possible that the bow breaking occurred because of some mistake Nephi made? I somewhat like that idea, because of what it teaches us.
Each of us will have problems in our lives, and these problems don’t always come because of a Laman or a Lemuel. Sometimes we are hungry because we have made a mistake. When we are in that position, what we must then do is follow Nephi’s example – instead of defending our past mistake or obsessing about it, we instead turn our attention to fixing the problem. We go to the Lord and seek out guidance not about the past, but rather what we must do next.
The third thought was on the chastening of Lehi. In my life right now, I don’t know how I would handle the Lord chastening me – I feel too fragile, sadly, for that. But I know that it is inevitable that the day of chastening will come – I hope the Lord loves me, and whom the Lord loves He chastens. I need to get stronger, so that the Lord can chasten me without breaking me.
The final thought that I had was in the Liahona sending Nephi to the top of the mountain to find food. In the wilderness, the tops of mountains were dangerous places and had limited sources of food. It was certainly counterintuitive for Nephi to have gone there. But when we are focused on a temporal problem, and when we correctly look to the Lord for the solution, we find that the Lord will often send us places that don’t seem to make sense (and the symbolism of the top of the mountain in reference to the temple seems apt here). We can then find the temporal assistance we need, even when logic might not dictate that would should be successful.