As a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred as “The Mormon Church” by the media), I have the privilege of studying the Book of Mormon while here as a student at Brigham Young University. Reading this great volume of scripture has helped me so much in my life. Not only is it uplifting, but it also provides us with examples of people who demonstrated great qualities. One of these many examples would be Nephi, one of the first people mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
In the very beginning of the Book of Mormon Nephi’s life is turned upside down. His father, Lehi, takes his family away from their home in Jerusalem and departs into the wilderness. The family, including Nephi, travels approximately 200 miles to the tip of the Red Sea. At this point Lehi tells Nephi and his three brothers, Laman, Lemuel, and Sam, that God has commanded that they return and retrieve the “Brass Plates.” The Brass Plates were a collection of metal pages that contained scripture and the genealogy of Lehi’s ancestors. Laman and Lemuel, who are the elder brothers, both complain and do not desire to go. Who can blame them? They had just trekked about 200 miles across a harsh, desert landscape only to be told that they must go back. Nephi does not follow the example of his older brothers, though. He states that God has given them a commandment and that he will fulfill that commandment to the best of his ability. This is a great quality to be had, not only by Nephi but for us. Though the path ahead may be hard, and sometimes we may not know why we must travel down said path, we should face it head on, knowing something good will come out of it. It can kind of be described as looking on the bright side of things.
After going back to Jerusalem, Nephi and his brothers cast lots to see who should go and talk to Laban, the owner of the plates, about retrieving the plates. Ironically, the lot fell to Laman. When Laman goes to try and convince Laban to hand over the plates, Laban calls Laman a robber and threatens to kill him. Laman immediately flees and returns to his brothers. At this point Laman and Lemuel wish to return to their father, Lehi, having already given up on getting the Brass Plates. Nephi cannot believe what he is hearing. He tells his brethren that they did not come all this way on the Lord’s errand just to turn back at the first sign of difficulty. Nephi then makes an oath that they will retrieve the plates and return them to Lehi, no matter what. Again, this is a great quality that Nephi possesses that should be shared by all. Though faced with adversity, he refuses to give up. Oftentimes we may give up too easily. We see the road ahead chock full of potholes, roadblocks, and other obstacles, and we turn and find an easier solution. We should not give up, and if we do persevere, I know our lives will be better for it.
By Kyler A.