Summer break is over in just a week, although it seems like it just started! It is so easy getting used to sleeping in, lounging around, and just having fun with your friends. It easily has become your comfort zone. Now, you only have a week to get everything in order before school starts. How cruel it is, to take you away from this wonderful summertime lifestyle!
In the Book of Mormon, we will be reading about some brothers who found themselves dealing with a similar dilemma. Laman was the eldest of four brothers who were living with their parents and sisters in Jerusalem, about 600 years before Christ had been born in that region. Their father was a prophet among the Jewish people, trying to bring them to understand the necessity of repenting of their wrongdoings and correcting their ways, before they would succumb to the powers around them. In the Old Testament, we learn that Jerusalem was indeed carried away into captivity by the Babylonians. However, good fortune fell upon Laman and his family because their father, Lehi, followed the promptings of the Spirit and led his family out of that great city, and ventured into the wilderness in order to avoid being taken prisoner or to be stoned, as were some of the other prophets in those days.
Put yourself into Laman’s sandals. Your family is well off, and you are around many of your friends. Your parents are respected in the community. You’re planning to continue your education there in town. Jerusalem is indeed your comfort zone. Then one day, towards the end of summer, your father informs you that the Lord has warned him to take his family and leave everything behind and to be led to a new land. How would you have reacted if you were Laman? Murmuring certainly doesn’t seem out of the question. Being rebellious to your father might even seem acceptable at this strange request. But, in the end, you do show enough obedience and faith in your parents to go with them away from home – and away from everything that your family has accumulated over many years.
As we read more about the stubborness and murmurings of Laman and his brother Lemuel, we may find that we are more like them than we would like to admit – although our spirits may be more like the obedient Nephi and Sam. “Oh, Mom…do I really have to get up for Seminary?” (murmur, murmur) “Dad, couldn’t I just go to the movie with Johnny this once on Sunday?” (murmur, murmur) “But, Mom, this skirt isn’t too short; Mary’s is shorter.” (murmur, murmur). “Do we really have to visit all of our Home Teaching families this month?” (murmur, murmur)
We’re not being asked to leave town next week, but we are being asked to change our summer lifestyle, and to be obedient in our attendance in Seminary classes, while participating with others in class. So, during the next few days, it may be necessary to retire to bed earlier in the evening, arise sooner than has been the norm during your summer break, and put yourself into the frame of mind that Seminary and school are once again here for your benefit. Yes, we are all a little like Laman and Lemuel. It’s how we respond to the promptings of the Spirit, to our instructors, to our church leaders, and especially to our parents, which determines if we develop to become more like Nephi and Sam, or just remain in our murmuring state. Enjoy this week, and have fun. But, when Monday morning comes around, it would surely be nice to see you all in class, and ready to study and learn from this wonderful crystal ball of ours, the Book of Mormon.