The Writings of Sam
It came to pass that we, the sons of Lehi, arose the next morning and prepared the animals to transport father’s wealth to the House of Laban for that following late afternoon. I arose first; though, my moorings were off as the wine I drank was prepared in its strength. I preferred it to the water, but not to such a strong mix. Never did we partake of strong drinks in my father’s house save when Lemuel prepared or procured the wine. My brother took the liberty to obtain it in its strength because of Mother’s absence. Father indulged in wine in his youth and mother has not allowed strong drink since father stopped indulging–well before our births.
I fear I enjoy wine as much as Father, which is why I swore off of it thenceforth in its strength. However, a little wine keeps the water healthy.
As I saw my brothers, a foreboding spirit lingered, loomed over my head. I did mourn to disrupt in any way the good feelings between the young Nephi and Laman. As much as they drank, Nephi and Laman arose in a cheerful disposition. Each hugging the other and congratulating the wisdom of their plan to obtain the Plates of Brass from Laban.
“When the transaction involves gold,” Laman began, “I am sure of its purpose! With two chests of gold and valuables, Laban is sure to agree.” He grabbed Nephi by the shoulder and patted his head. Nephi appeared to flush with color as if he had received the wedding kiss from the maiden of his dreams!
I could see how he honored Laman and wanted so much to please him; we all wanted to please Laman. Poor Laman was accused as a robber and driven from the home of Laban like a common thief. I am sure the very act of running wounded him. I know my brother well enough to know that revenge was in his heart for that act of Laban’s. He had not shown it yet. Somehow, Laman’s pride and Laban’s suspicion troubled me as the eventual cause of issues in obtaining the plates.
After we loaded the animals, we had some time to speak, which I had hoped to mention my feelings to my brothers. To our surprise, we saw the sons of Ishmael and three of his daughters as they went near my father’s home. They stole away to father’s house and we kissed each other and greeted each other in the safety of our house. Immediately all of my worries left as I saw my friends, especially Hannah.
It is not the custom for young men and women to mingle as such, but this was a special case for us. We had thought never to see them again. Hannah was my childhood friend and the object of my thoughts much afterward. She, of all women, captured my mind more than any woman could! I forbear speaking of her in detail out of respect for her, yet she was and is my best friend. Spending time with them occupied the best of the morning as we updated them on all that had happened.
Joshua and Zenos were astonished that Laban had sent his guard after Laman, but their report about the happenings in the city were just as astonishing. Public debates had started in the streets about Babylon and Egypt and more prophets and “strange ones” were imprisoned.
“Father is now feeling a need to speak out and warn the people as well, though he has received no instruction to do so as of yet,” Zenos revealed. “I fear that our father may be joining your father soon if he acts on what he has discussed with mother. She has told him that God told her in a dream that she would flee to a new land and be the mother to a great people.”
“We are all speculating in my father’s house,” added Joshua. “I for one think it is foolishness and will go away when the festivals have ended and the strangers in the city have gone home. With them, these people bring uneasiness each year. It will pass.”
“I hope so brother,” Laman responses. “Father is sure that we will not return to this place and we are going to obtain means to remain in the wilderness. I cannot tell you more for fear that you may be compromised. Since you fled us in the temple gate that day, I fear to trust you.
A smile churned behind Laman’s eyes as he kissed his friend.
“You should blame Nephi. If I had a chicken for each time he caused trouble I would eat for a month,” Joshua protested. “Surely you are not upset….”
“No,” Laman and Lemuel said in unison laughing too hard for the incident. It seemed that we all had nervous energy that needed to release because we all laughed a little too hard at that moment.
“I am not so sure,” Zenos spoke, “that all of these goings-on are frivolous and temporary. I get a feeling in my bones of change. I feel to go someplace, yet I have duties to attend and farms to tend.
“Oh, man;” responded Joshua. “I know you feel to flee someplace. Is not the one you desire to wed in the wilderness. We have all been promised.” Laughter filled the air again followed by a strange silence. Through the laughter, I discerned we all felt troubled by the goings-on.
“I am concerned about all of these things surely, “Lemuel added while we all agreed for several more moments in silence.
I glanced at Hannah as the others spoke on. I knew that God had a plan and that father is a prophet. We all were promised to each other before Father fled into the wilderness to never return to Jerusalem.
Though we did not live within the walls of the city, I still had love for it. I had love for Hannah, as did Laman for Hadassah, and Lemuel for Noa, and Nephi for Serach–we all loved! I knew never to act on my thoughts. None of us dared to risk our lives for just a day when we could wait and have a life with them. I did not know if we would yet live. Again the feelings returned to me as we bid our friends farewell with long embraces. We would soon need to head to Laban’s home.
“Laman, Nephi, and Lemuel,” I started. Each brother looked at me intently for I rarely spoke to all of them at once. “I had a dream that I must confess.”
Nephi’s eyes widened with interest as Lemuel threw his hands up in exasperation and said,”I had hoped that we would not get an omen!”
“Do not fear,” Laman soothed Lemuel with a calm and unreadable face. “You know how I feel about dreams Sam. I will hear you, but you are not Father. If anyone will get a dream to change this mission it would be me, the eldest.”
“I do not challenge your direction brother,” I confessed. “Just hear me please and you be the judge of what it means. I know that my confidence is in the Lord. Hear me please.”
“No riddles, little brother,” Laman accented. “I weary of these tasks, though we will accomplish them I am sure.”
“It is good that you share this dream,” Nephi speaks as if he would be the judge. “I am sure it will be helpful.”
They sat before me as I related all that I felt in my heart about the dream, which took a small moment.
“This would explain much,” Laman admitted after moments digesting my sayings. You may have a vision. Why did not God give it to you before I went to Laban’s to save us the trouble?” He stood smiling.
“We have gold now brother,” Laman shouted with glee. “We are not robbers and I will avenge my honor with this proof.” He pointed to the treasures of my father as he and Nephi exchanged gleeful looks. I could not deny I felt we should find some other means to gain the records
God commanded we should have them, so we should ask Him how to obtain them. I could not defy Laman. I had no logical grounds to do so or I would. .For father was my lord and I would honor the word of God through him, but I did not trust this plan of Nephi and Laman.
I would go with them. I would speak no more of it. As we approached the court of Laban, I looked about for places to escape instinctively. In my heart, I knew this would be a short and dangerous meeting.
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