Those silly, and obviously wicked, Nephites throwing stones and shooting arrows at Samuel the Lamanite on the city wall. Why were they so blind and hard hearted? They knew truth. They’d made covenants recently after the life changing famine. How could they have lost so much light to feel such anger and vengeance against Samuel?
What about Samuel’s message was so repulsive? Repent–well, there was that. What else? Destruction if they didn’t repent. And then, the most beautiful prophecy of the Savior’s birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and promised visit to the Americas. He also mentioned that the Lamanites were covenant-keepers and reminded the Nephites of the Lord’s latter day promises to Lamanite descendants.
This message so enraged the Nephites that they slung stones and shot arrows at Samuel. The most poignant point to me is that they felt justified while murderously shooting arrows at the Lord’s prophet.
“The more part of them did not believe in the words of Samuel; therefore when they saw that they could not hit him with their stones and their arrows, they cried unto their captains, saying: Take this fellow and bind him, for behold he hath a devil; and because of the power of the devil which is in him we cannot hit him with our stones and our arrows; therefore take him and bind him, and away with him.”
What I hear is “I know that I am ‘Right,’ and so is my lifestyle. Therefore, he must be the worst kind of wrong there is.”
Why become involved with Samuel at all? Why not shake their heads, say he’s crazy, and walk on? Why the concerted effort of most of the people to kill him? Wow, Samuel’s voice must have been powerful to even reach them from the top of a wall and through the ruckus of stones, arrows, and angry voices.
Those silly and misguided Nephites. Lucky for me I’d never be like them.
Could This Ever Apply to Me?
I eagerly anticipate General Conference. I mean really, really anticipate it.
While going to BYU, I’d ride the bus or catch a ride to Salt Lake City and camp out to attend conference sessions in the tabernacle. As the morning session ended, I ran outside and got in line to attend the afternoon session. Then, I’d do it again on Sunday. So I attended nearly every session of Conference on those wonderfully hard benches in the Tabernacle balcony.
My situation’s a little different now. I live in Hawaii and General Conference starts at 6:00AM. I may be a little groggy, but I am still up and anticipating hearing the message coming from a TV on my wall. I love the talks. I feel the Holy Ghost. I am rejuvenated and motivated.
Every conference I hear the same thing the Nephites did from Samuel on their wall. Repent. Speakers testify that Jesus Christ lived and ministered salvation. He died and resurrected. I hear about covenant-keepers and the Lord’s blessings to the House of Israel in the latter days.
This year I wonder if I am different than I was last year when I listened to the message. Did I allow the message to change me? Did I act? Did I repent? Is my relationship with the Savior stronger, more beautiful, more real?
Or as time ticked by, did I throw a few of my versions of stones and arrows at the gentle reminders of the Holy Ghost thinking I’d follow that prompting tomorrow, or I wasn’t ready to change yet, or I’d start on that goal on Monday? Is there a difference between throwing stones and arrows in anger or apathy? Both are willful rebellion. Both demonstrate pride and arrogance.
When Samuel the Lamanite left the wall, “he was never heard of more among the Nephites.” Luckily, in my case, the message comes again to my wall every six months. And hopefully, every six months, I can find my quiver full of arrows, my rock gardens intact, and my progression towards eternal life accelerating.
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.