My friend Roxy Kimokeo sent me a wonderful gift. In the chaos of moving while still working full time, Roxy sent me her thoughts about Samuel climbing a wall which elevated my thoughts out of the never-ending to-do lists.
Back in the pre-COVID days when a person could hike in Hawaii, Roxy and I climbed some high peaks together. So as she concluded her mental musings about Samuel the Lamanite climbing the wall in Zarahemla, my imagination went to the vistas we’ve shared—to ridges we climbed to watch the sun both rise and set over the sea and we could “finally see all we have left behind and all that lies before us.”
Pondering the Wall Samuel Climbed
I’ve been enjoying pondering about the wall Samuel climbed. I loved learning that Samuel used the exact same name for Christ that King Benjamin did, 118 years earlier, when he taught the people the new name they would covenant by. Benjamin also stood on high, above the people, in the very same city that they were in when Samuel climbed the wall. I read that one of the reasons the Nephites hated Samuel so much was because this Lamanite dared to use the special name that they had been taught and was calling them to repent and remember it.
Just like Abinadi, Samuel had come once before and tried to preach but the people rejected him. But when Samuel the Lamanite was commanded to turn back, he did. Only this time, instead of coming in a disguise like Abinadi, he climbed the wall.
The prophets are given a message to deliver and must do so no matter what. Both Samuel and Abinadi were protected until they had finished giving the warning they were sent to give.
Walls and Hands
I read a comment on Instagram that was beautiful. Someone cross-referenced Helaman 13:4 with 1 Nephi 21:16.
Behold I have graven thee on the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
And it came to pass that they would not suffer that he should enter into the city; therefore, he went and got upon the wall thereof, and stretched forth his hand and cried with a loud voice, and prophesied unto the people whatsoever things the Lord put into his heart.
It’s like Samuel the Lamanite stood there symbolizing the Lord saying, “I see your obstacles but look at My hands, see the proof that I am here to climb it with you.” The Lord gives us the tools to rise up and climb over our challenges. He provides the way, like Nephi said in 2 Nephi 31:21.
[T]his is the way’ and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God.
As I listened to President Nelson’s talk from general conference where he introduced the new symbol for The Church of Jesus Christ, with the Savior’s arms outstretched, standing in the arch, it all unfolded to my mind and I saw how everything tied in.
Jesus Christ Is the Center Point of Our Wall
King Benjamin gave the name of the “Saviour” in the very center of his speech. Most chiasmi we read in the Book of Mormon have Christ at their center point. Chiasmi are like the arch. Christ is the keystone at the very middle of the arch and also the end of our old lives and the beginning of the new. Just as He stood in His tomb and broke open the door, the Saviour stands ready to help us do the same.
Just as Adam and Eve were shut out of the Garden of Eden, and by so doing, we all are born into the lone and dreary world, Jesus Christ helps reverse that process by leading us through the archway of our tombs and into the beautiful paradise that awaits. Our walls of trial, and challenge, and sorrow are all around us like those walls of the tomb. But He stands there, too. He sees our walls, too. And we are in His hands, bound to Him. And He will lift us up and out of that tomb and through the sealed arch to new life.
Then, we stand on our own wall and finally see all we have left behind and all that lies before us. We are closer to Him and more able to see His light from the first rays of dawn to the last sunlit skies. And even in the night, we see more clearly the moon and stars that shine without the pollution of the lesser, confusing mass.
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.