Thursday, April 13, 2017

1 Nephi 4:36-37 -- On Fear and Trust

"Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.
And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him."
1 Nephi 4:36-37

Zoram intrigues me.  Sometimes we gloss over it, but in thinking about what he faced, it is almost crazy what happens.  Zoram thinks that everything is cool, and he is doing as his master asks, and them he finds out not only has he been tricked, but that the guy who tricked him killed his boss and now he wants him to join him.  ... I mean, patently insane, right?

Given, perhaps Zoram was scared of the consequences if he didn't agree.  Perhaps he wanted freedom, or had despised his old master.  We don't know.  But when Nephi promises him his life in exchange for listening, it seems like he really did listen, and I suspect that the spirit was working here, not just fear.  After all, when he promised to stay with them it says that their fears ceased.  If he was being forced into this, it doesn't seem like their fears would cease, and they would have to be constantly worried that he would run away back to Jerusalem and bring death upon them all.  Instead, though, he agreed, and everyone was happy.  I think God must have been working on them all.

I'm also impressed by Nephi here because even though the spirit asked him to shed blood earlier, he doesn't take that as permission to do so here, with equal danger to his family.  Instead, he talks to Zoram, and tells him everything, and Zoram believes him, and even trusts him.  That's huge, and I think both an indicator that Nephi was a prophet and also something that I want to emulate.  I am very far from being someone that kind, trustworthy, and harmless... but I want to be like that.

Today, let's try to be more like both Nephi and Zoram, and be willing to listen to each other and to solve our problems, even the biggest ones, with patience, faith, and goodwill rather than threats and violence.

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