Monday, February 15, 2010

Alma - Chapter 27

 22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance.
  23 And behold, we will set our armies between the land Jershon and the land Nephi, that we may protect our brethren in the land Jershon; and this we do for our brethren, on account of their fear to take up arms against their brethren lest they should commit sin; and this their great fear came because of their sore repentance which they had, on account of their many murders and their awful wickedness.
I think this is one of the finest acts of kindness ever demonstrated in the scriptures.  Obviously, people had to abandon their homes and property to make room for the People of Ammon, yet it appears that they did it gladly.  Further they offered to defend the new comers, who were, of course, enemies in the not so distant past. It seems to indicate to me the depth of the conversion and faith of the Nephites.  I wonder if we would be as willing today. 

Not long ago I read a wonderful book by Richard Eyre called The Three Deceivers.  I recommend it highly.  It so clearly and carefully describes the state of being required to do such a thing as we've just seen the Nephites do.  I'm not being critical of us.  Wonderful things are being done on behalf of the people of Haiti.  I just wonder if we would be willing to abandon the land of Payson, or Cedar City or Vernal to make room for the Haitians if they were required to move here for their survival.

Of course that makes me wonder about the value of segregating the People of Ammon, rather than integrating them into the breadth of their Society.  Might not that even be better?  Each question enables some serious introspection on my part.  How about you? 

1 comment:

D1Warbler said...

Two thoughts on this chapter:

1. I heard a talk on the Book of Mormon recently in which the speaker said that the word "Jershon" in Hebrew (yes, there is such a word in Hebrew) means "inheritance." Since I don't think Joseph Smith knew Hebrew (although he eventually studied it years later) when he was translating the plates, this seems to me to be an internal witness to the truth of the Book of Mormon.

2. In answer to your question: perhaps the reason the Nephites in Jershon gave up their lands so willingly to the Anti-Lehi-Nephites, is because they knew of the sacrifices the Anti-Lehi-Nephites had been willing to make and their compassion was stirred to the degree that they were more willing to help than they might otherwise have been.

I also wonder if the reason the Nephites kept them together in the land of Jershon was that they felt they would be more comfortable with living near their old friends and neighbors while in a strange country, rather than being spread throughout the new country. It may have also been a matter of their not knowing the language in Zarahemla, and so being better able to live with people who generally spoke their language.