Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Lehi’s Firm Compassion

November 02nd, 2017 by G.

After Lehi’s boys went off to Jerusalem on their dangerous mission, Sariah, mother-like, started to imagine all that could go wrong.  She expressed her worry by attacking her husband.

For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness; and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying:

Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.

And after this manner of language had my mother complained against my father.

Lehi’s response is something we can learn from.

And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying:

I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.

But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver my sons out of the hands of Laban, and bring them down again unto us in the wilderness.

And after this manner of language did my father, Lehi, comfort my mother, Sariah.*

First, Lehi started by agreeing with her.  But not in a submissive or truckling way.  He took what she had said that was true, proclaimed its truth, and tied it back in to the big picture that his wife was losing sight of.  He did not apologize where no apology was necessary.  He did not placate.  But at the same time, he acted to comfort her.

It may seem odd that you comfort someone by showing that you are confident in your mission.  But its no odder than taking an attack as evidence that someone needs comforted.  The truth is that people–women, but not just women–often complain and attack when they are feeling unsettled and uncertain.  What they need is evidence that the person they are attacking cares about them but also is confident and reliable.  Reacting with hostility is an error; so is reacting with weakness and compromise.  Neither one is what is they need.

You see Bishops and General Authorities handle complaints the same way sometimes.

*I wonder if there is something symbolic about the names Lehi and Sariah that fit their roles here, at least in Nephi’s mind.  Because the way he repeats their  names is curious.

Comments (1)
Filed under: Deseret Review | Tags: ,
November 02nd, 2017 06:30:12
1 comment

Steve Reed
November 5, 2017

Thanks for this. I only wish I had read it before yesterday because I needed these words yesterday. I don’t think I handled the situation poorly but I could have certainly been raised to a higher standard. This is really insightful and valuable, I think, for couples who are on different levels in particular aspects of their spirituality.

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