06 July 2010

1 Nephi 7: Oh Fetch! We forgot the fricken women!

Remember how Nephi and his brothers had to return to Jerusalem to get the brass plates? Well, now they have go back again to get some women. Otherwise they'd have to have sex with their mom in order to populate the New World, and that's just too yucky for Mormons to even think about. (It was OK for Adam's family back in the day, but not for Mormon Israelites in 600 BCE.)

So after Lehi made an end of prophesying about his seed, God stopped by to chat for a while. God said that he couldn't help but notice that Lehi didn't bring any women along with him, and God just didn't think it was meet for Lehi not to have some daughters to give to his sons. What were they going to do, God asked, fuck their own mother? (I'm paraphrasing here.)

And now I would that ye might know, that after my father, Lehi, had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise. 1 Nephi 7:1

So God commanded Lehi to send his four sons back to Jerusalem (again!) to get Ishmael and his family. That way Nephi's sons would could have sex with Ishmael's daughters instead of their mom.

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness. 1 Nephi 7:2

And so it came to pass that Lehi's sons went back to Jerusalem one more time.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did again, with my brethren, go forth into the wilderness to go up to Jerusalem. 1 Nephi 7:3

It was just another quick, uneventful, 400+ km trip. After they arrived, the Lord softened up Ishmael's heart enough that he agreed to leave Jerusalem with his family and go into the wilderness so that Lehi's sons could have sex with Ishmael's daughters.

And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord. And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father. 1 Nephi 7:4-5

But then deja vu came to pass all over again. Laman and Lemuel revolted, along with two of Ishmael's daughters and two of his sons.

And it came to pass that as we journeyed in the wilderness, behold Laman and Lemuel, and two of the daughters of Ishmael, and the two sons of Ishmael and their families, did rebel against us; yea, against me, Nephi, and Sam, and their father, Ishmael, and his wife, and his three other daughters. 1 Nephi 7:6

The whole rebellion thing came to pass because they were desirous to return to the land of Jerusalem.

And it came to pass in the which rebellion, they were desirous to return unto the land of Jerusalem. 1 Nephi 7:7

And then Nephi gave a speech that no one should ever have to read or listen to.

And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying, yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you? How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord? How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him. And if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shall obtain the land of promise; and ye shall know at some future period that the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; for all things which the Lord hath spoken concerning the destruction of Jerusalem must be fulfilled. For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison. And they have sought to take away the life of my father, insomuch that they have driven him out of the land. Now behold, I say unto you that if ye will return unto Jerusalem ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go ye will also perish; for thus the Spirit of the Lord constraineth me that I should speak. 1 Nephi 7:8-15

After listening to Nephi's awful speech, Nephi's brothers were exceedingly wroth. So they tied him up and left him for the animals to eat.

And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts. 1 Nephi 7:16

But then Nephi prayed unto the Lord.

But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound. 1 Nephi 7:17

And, just like magic, the cords were untied.

And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again. 1 Nephi 7:18

Nephi's brothers tried to lay hands on him again but he was saved by a daughter, mother, and brother of Ishmael, who softened the hearts of Nephi's younger brothers.

And it came to pass that they were angry with me again, and sought to lay hands upon me; but behold, one of the daughters of Ishmael, yea, and also her mother, and one of the sons of Ishmael, did plead with my brethren, insomuch that they did soften their hearts; and they did cease striving to take away my life. 1 Nephi 7:19

Then Nephi's brothers bowed down and begged Nephi to forgive them.

And it came to pass that they were sorrowful, because of their wickedness, insomuch that they did bow down before me, and did plead with me that I would forgive them of the thing that they had done against me. 1 Nephi 7:20

And it came to pass that Nephi forgave his brothers and they returned to their father's tent in the wilderness, where they killed and sacrificed some animals for God and began to get to know the daughters of Ishmael.

And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so. And after they had done praying unto the Lord we did again travel on our journey towards the tent of our father. And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father. And after I and my brethren and all the house of Ishmael had come down unto the tent of my father, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him. 1 Nephi 7:21-22

Blogging the Book of Mormon
Next episode -- 1 Nephi 8: Pointing the finger of scorn at Lehi's magic happy-fruit tree


Unknown said...

Why didn't Laman and Lemuel take 'the friken women' they wanted and STAY in Jerusalem??? (or head off to some other nearby city if they were afraid of capture)

Steve Wells said...

Well, dbd, I think they would have done that but then a daughter of Ishmael, along with her brother and mother, softened up their hearts (7:19) before they got a chance to escape with the fricken women. And I guess they lost interest after their hearts were softened. It happens.

Urban Koda said...

I think the 'official reason' is that they didn't want Laman and Lemuel telling the rest of the Israelites they they had left, but that raises another couple of questions...

If you were Laman and Lemuel, would you admit being related to the crazy visionary man, and the brother who was always spouting off about how great he was.

And if the Israelites found out the Lehi and his self righteous little punk son had escaped, why waste the time going after them.

Sakura said...

Ah, I loved this passage, I always asked my seminary teachers growing up about this and why it was cool for adam and eve but not for nehpi and co. and they'd look SO flustered and immediately switch topics.

Unknown said...

"and it came to pass" - anyone got the whole of the Mormon dirge in text format ? Perhaps load it into Word and do a replace on "and it came to pass" wit hblank and see just what percentage of the book is removed?

busterggi said...

And so it came to pass that women were just an afterthought, a means to continue procreation.

An unpleasant necessity.

Not like hanging with the boys on a clear desert night under a romantic moon.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Ahhhh, I see we've got a former Mormon on here, now! Welcome, Sakura; hope you enjoy your stay, here -- and feel free to add more to the conversation! :-)

skanksta said...

2nded Sakura - I've never met a Mormon !

Don't think we have any..

Unknown said...

Sakura, one reason that God wanted the Nephites to go get other women instead of procreating with their mother is pretty simple science. With Adam and Eve, there was no problems with DNA. Over time, problems happened. By this point in history, interbreeding would have created offspring that wouldn't have had everything there. Look at anything that has severe interbreeding and you can see that I am right. That is why in a lot of states it is illegal to marry your first cousin; it would create problems with the offspring.

Unknown said...

So, after all these 400+ km trips done in three days each time, I had to play with some numbers. I estimate a little, so please don't go too nuts, here. It still illustrates a point. 400km is approximately 240miles. It's more than that, but I figure 240 makes each daily distance easily 80miles. Average walking speed of a human is 3.1mph, according to Wikipedia's extremely informative article on walking. At 80 miles per day, Nephi and Friends had to walk approximately 25.8 hours per day. I would assume that, carrying back brass plates containing tons of records and genealogy would slow them down, or traveling with the family of Ishmael, or HOLY HELL THEY'RE WALKING 80 MILES A DAY.