The Writings of Sam
And it came to pass that I, Sam, was astonished at the cooperation that existed among my brothers as we prepared to go in unison to the House of Laban with the idea of purchasing the sacred record. Father, as the Chief Scribe of His Quorum of Elders had rights to the record though Laban and his family kept them because of their value and his prestige in the family. These are things of course my brothers and I did not know at the time we went about to obtain the records. From my understanding, Laban’s family are distant relatives who were entrusted with the record by one of Father’s fore-bearers with the idea that the records would be returned.
I am of the opinion that Laban had no such knowledge because of his accusation towards Laman. Yet, it is likely that he did have such knowledge and refused to honor the tradition being that he had access to the records with opportunity to read them. He was not a man who recognized God–only so at the festivals and public meetings. Laban has employed our house on many occasions for re-translations and restoration of records. I have personally entered his home to work on many items with Father. Logic seems that he would welcome our treasure and honor our request. Yet I felt a nagging at my mind.
The unity that this new plan created reunited Nephi and Laman in a way that was most remarkable! It was as if the two became one in purpose acting as a voice and eyes of the same head! Nephi suggesting the treasure to Laman changed the nature of our visit to the city. I am certain that Laman did not include all of father’s riches in the purchase price for the record, but to an observer it would seem as he had. Only father and Laman knew exactly what the wealth of the family had become over the years and I was amazed at how much wealth we had to barter for the records.
We drank and were merry the night prior to going to Laban’s estate to present the offer. Lemuel even stole away as he often did. I am not sure what it was that he did during those times. I sat quietly listening to Laman and Nephi laughing at the strange tales that Laman related from his many travels with father and those of his alone. I knew that God truly prepared the way before us to get the plates. I offered up devotion to God before retiring that night for his kindness for our success.
Lemuel returned with a torch it was so late. He did not indulge in the wine as much as did Nephi, Laman and I, Sam. I did not question Lemuel as he came in, for I was too full of wine. I retired in my father’s house and fell into a deep sleep. I had a dream.
In this dream I was in the house of Laban, but I was not visible to him or his household members. It came to pass that as I went about in this dream I heard Laban speaking to his servants trusted advisers and elders of the church while drinking fresh wine.
“What of these people referred to as strange ones? I see they are being taken off the streets in great numbers for public disturbances by the guard,” Laban mentioned in my dream to one of the chief elders at his home in meeting.“Yes,” one of the elders at the meeting responded. “These people are predicting the destruction of the people of Jerusalem. At first there were only a few with the chiefest among them being Jeremiah. Now, there are a great number of them all calling for reform and that we will fall before Babylon!”“What’s worse,” says the Chief elder, “many scribes are taking up the sacred records and claiming that it has been prophesied that these days would come and the people are starting to become divided.”“What say you chief,” Laban inquires with a rye smile on his face. “Do you believe Jeremiah and his band of “prophets” talk of the destruction of Jerusalem has merit. Am I to be fearful of the very scribes for thieves now?” Laban gives a hearty chuckle in my dream.“What I say Laban is that you should be careful about who you let into your home. The records you possess are of great value. I have heard tale of some of these so called scribes running off with records. When caught they claimed to have been acting for the God of Israel!”“I only have one house that I trust to maintain my records, the House of Lehi,” responds Laban. “He and his house have never been in question. Does not Lehi sit on one of the highest seats of the quorums of Israel?”“I have heard from my brethren that many of the strange ones were in high seats and that Lehi was named among them. He has abandoned his seat and his house following the path of Jeremiah. He has not been seen or heard of for days. His seat is in jeopardy,” the chief elder informed Laban.“Lehi is gone?”“Yes Laban. If you are not careful, you may be robbed! You must find a new house to maintain your records aside from Lehi. I saw him in the Gate of the Gentiles speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem,” another elder confesses.
I, Sam thought this dream odd. It went about in the manner of the elders persuading Laban about the waywardness of the house of my father Lehi. Repeatedly in my dream Laban was told that any such that goes to him to inquire about the plates of Brass in particular is probably going to try to steal the record. My dream continued and I saw Laban speaking with himself. He revealed that his only prestige and power were the fact that he was the record holder of those sacred plates and that he would kill to protect his claim to the society of the elders. Though he was not a member of any quorum, he was well connected with the house of Zedekiah and an official officer of the royal court. Having access to the records of the people afforded him great trust.
Following my dream, I arose with a start. Laman’s visit to Laban was cursed because of the poison the elders spewed about father. I knew my dream was a warning, one that came too late. If I had been more prayerful, maybe God could have told Laman before he went to the house of Laban. Laman’s mission was doomed to fail from the beginning. Laban dealt usually with father and me directly. I should have gone instead of Laman. I resolved to inform Laman before we set to offer our treasure to Laban of my dream and why Laban chased him from his home.
I know that Laman does not like it when we speak of dreams, but this time, I must. I felt uneasy about the treasure also. I am not certain if any of this will please God if I attribute it to him, but I will trust that he will prosper us as we are doing his will.
I felt uneasy about the treasure because in my dream Laban would kill for his possession of the record. The record offered him influence and society that our wealth may not replace. I did not want to tell my brethren about my misgivings toward our journey. I thought maybe the dream was just a dream that my anxiety caused to occurred–being anxious to get the record. Nevertheless and notwithstanding my feelings, I would tell my brethren of my dream.
I told myself, “I am familiar with Laban. I am not sure if this dream comes as a warning, but I will keep my fear alone. My brothers are happy. Tomorrow we get the plates.”
This story is based on people mentioned in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. For the actual history and book itself, click the link on the book’s title. It will take you to the site where you can read online.
This work does not attempt to mimic the 19th century English style writing into which The Book of Mormon was translated.
All rights Reserved, Rodric Johnson Copyright 2013