By Alex W.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints studying the Book of Mormon at BYU, I have learned many things concerning how to live a good life. In the first book of the Book of Mormon, 1st Nephi, there is a story concerning an individual, our prophet, Lehi, and his sons Nephi, Laman and Lemuel.
The story in the Book of Mormon starts with Lehi and his “family dwelling in wilderness.” Lehi receives inspiration from God that Lehi should send his sons to Israel to obtain the “plates of brass (genealogy records).” The sons of Lehi depart from the wilderness and travel about 150 miles to Jerusalem. When they arrive, the eldest brother, Laman, went into the house of Laban to ask for the plates of brass that they wanted. Laban then accused Laman of stealing and threw him out of the house. When the sons reunited, Laman and Lemuel wanted to go back home due to the unsuccessful try that they had encountered. However, Nephi was inspired to obtain the plates of brass no matter what the cost. The sons went back to their previous home in Jerusalem where they resided previous to living in the wilderness. They took all of the gold, silver, and other precious items and took it unto Laban to try to buy the plates of brass from him. Laban refused. Laban made more accusations and finally desired to kill the sons. Nephi, instead of fleeing immediately, killed Laban and took the plates of brass. They sons took the plates of brass to their parents the 150 some-odd miles into the wilderness. Their dad was very pleased.
This story has implication in my life. In my BYU experience, there have been some troubles where I think I should turn back, that all is lost, but I have not. There have been classes where I think it is too much to do in a semester but I continue on and I do not drop the class. I pray on my knees to the lord in the name of Jesus Christ to help me and everything works out. That is the beauty of this Church. No matter your background, no matter your previous mistakes, or no matter what lies in front of you, you know that you have a loving Heavenly Father who is real, who you can touch and literally talk to. Without prayer, I would be literally lost. I honestly would not know where to go for help. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) I have had the opportunity to learn about the marvelous things that can come fro choosing the right. I have learned that I am punished by my sins more than for my sins. When I so something wrong, there is always a consequence. Always. However, the consequence was not God actively making my life worse, the consequence came from my sin itself. For example, if I cheat on a test, I will probably get caught. This is not God smiting me for wrongdoing, it is me getting punished by myself! This is a glorious revelation because that means that I can stop the suffering. If I choose to be honest, humble, and virtuous, I will have a much better life.