Oct 8, 2015

"We Might Have Been Happy."

Laman and Lemuel are the brothers of Nephi in the Book of Mormon. The brothers that always seem to forget or not even recognize the ways they and their family have been blessed. The brothers that wrote the book on murmuring. The brothers that see actual angels and witness the power of God and yet never "get it". The brothers that see affliction so differently from Nephi and his other siblings. The chapters that I read for my religion class this week are some of my favorite chapters they are full of all sorts of nuggets of wisdom. For my class we have 20 minutes worth of video clips from various talks that relate to what we are reading. I love these little video clips, they always give me something to think about and something new to notice. 

This week one of these clips was called "Attitudes in Affliction". For a little over three minutes the speaker, Kirk Astel, talks about the differences between Laman and Lemuel, and Nephi's attitudes. He points out that chapter 17 of Nephi starts out with Nephi talking about this long 8 year journey, through the wilderness, they have just completed. Nephi gets married on this journey. His wife has children on this journey. He becomes a dad. When he describes the journey he acknowledges that they did "travel through much affliction in the wilderness". He says, "our women did bear children in the wilderness". But then he lists all their blessings from the journey. he says in verse 2 that the blessings of the Lord were great and were upon them. He has no problem recognizing how they were blessed. Here is his list of blessings he mentions:

#1, The blessings of the Lord were upon them while they did live upon raw meat in the wilderness.

#2. Their women had plenty of milk to nurse their babies so that their babies were strong.

#3. The women became strong too, even like unto the men and began to bear their journey without murmuring.

When you keep reading and you turn the page and read verse 20 then you get Laman and Lemuel's view of the 8 year journey. They did the exact same things that Nephi did. The speaker points out that just like Nephi they become fathers, they get married, they have kids. But they see the whole thing totally different. Check out what they say:

#1.We have wandered in this wilderness for these many years.

#2.Our women have toiled being big with child.

#3.They have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death.

#4. It would have been better that the women had dies before they left Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.

But here is the clincher. In verse 21 they declare, "Behold these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our posessions and the land of our inheritance; yea and we might have been happy."

What? They "might have been happy"? 

Good attitude.....bad attitude.

An attitude is "the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way."

This really got me thinking about my attitude on my journey here in life. How I view things or behave towards them. We all gasp at the reality that Laman and Lemuel never "get it". They never change. They never even think they need to change. We can not even fathom it. We say to ourselves if all those things had happened to me I surely would have stopped murmuring and stopped having a bad attitude. We discuss it over and over, wondering out loud about "how could they?" 

Laman and Lemuel view the exact same journey so differently from Nephi. How do I view my journey that I am on with all the other people around me. How does my attitude compare? Can I see my blessings? Can I be grateful for them?

Do I declare that I "might have been happy?" I hope not. But I am human so the chances that I think this are very good. I really would rather just be happy. It sounds so simple and easy. Look at that innocent simple sentence :) Why do we always think something else would make us happier?

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