Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Day 18: "The Wicked Sloth-Monkey Kings" 1st Nephi 15-17 pgs 30-40
With the death of Ishamel in chapter 16 Lamen and Lemuel are openly rebellious with murderous intent towards Lehi and Nephi. 1st Nephi 16: And Laman said unto Lemuel and also unto the sons of Ishmael: Behold, let us slay our father, and also our brother Nephi, who has taken it upon him to be our ruler and our teacher, who are his elder brethren.
 Now, he says that the Lord has talked with him, and also that angels have ministered unto him. But behold, we know that he lies unto us; and he tells us these things, and he worketh many things by his cunning arts, that he may deceive our eyes, thinking, perhaps, that he may lead us away into some strange wilderness; and after he has led us away, he has thought to make himself a king and a ruler over us, that he may do with us according to his will and pleasure. And after this manner did my brother Laman stir up their hearts to anger. ***
Here is the beginning of the lie that leads to the downfall of the children of Lehi. This one lie, created in jealously and anger went on to form the basis of a tradition of hate that was passed down from father to son, from generation to generation. The false premise that Nephi wanted to usurp power and authority over his elder brothers formed the foundation of the Lamanite culture. Sad, isn't it?
Lamen and Lemuel have been scolded by an angel, and chastised by the voice of the Lord yet still they are continuing to make trouble. In chapter 17 Nephi is commanded to build a boat and the brothers try to withhold their labor.
Nephi 17:  Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder. ***
Yes, I know this is weird, but I smiled to myself as I read that. Let me explain why. In our family we have an expression for someone who is quick to make mischief but slow to do good: a wicked sloth-monkey. I was smiling because when I read the verse above, I realized Laman and Lemuel were wicked sloth-monkies. In fact they were wsm's to the extreme. I conjectured that they were Wicked Sloth-monkey Kings!!! I thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the chapter where Nephi threatens them with death if they touch him and later when the Lord tells Nephi to touch them and give them a jolt, they are stupid enough to fall at his feet and worship him. Ha ha. What dopes!
When I finished my reading my daughter joined me at the table and inquired about my reading. I think I still must have had a silly grin on my face to make her wonder what I had read that was so amusing. I laughingly told her about Laman and Lemuel's wickeness and stupidity.
I then read to her verse 45: "swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God." I quiz her, what does that sound like in the family vernacular? Right away she piped in, "WICKED SLOTH-MONKIES!!! So the best way to deal with wicked sloth-monkies is to use shock therapy?" We shared a good laugh. Who says scripture study can't be fun?
Joseph Smith Jr.
Pearl of Great Price