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The Nephite Metaphor of Life as a Probation: Rethinking Nephi's Portrayal of Laman and Lemuel
|Title||The Nephite Metaphor of Life as a Probation: Rethinking Nephi's Portrayal of Laman and Lemuel|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2023|
|Authors||Reynolds, Noel B.|
|Journal||Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship|
|Keywords||1 Nephi; Deuteronomist Reforms; Laman (Son of Lehi); Lemuel (Son of Lehi); Metaphor; Nephi (Son of Lehi); Plan of Salvation; Small Plates of Nephi:|
Commentaries on Nephi’s first book tend to interpret the fraternal struggles it reports as historical facts that are meant primarily to invite readers’ evaluative responses. While recognizing the historical character of the facts marshalled by Nephi, this paper will argue that the author transposes that history into an allegory meant to inspire his readers in all times and places to abandon prevailing metaphors of life that are focused on the attainment of worldly goods and pleasures. In their place, Nephi offers the revealed metaphor of life as a day of probation taught to him and his father in their great visions. God’s plan of salvation revealed to them made it clear that the welfare of each human being for eternity would be determined by a divine judgment on how effectively their lives had been transformed by their adherence to the gospel of Jesus Christ in mortality. The message of 1 Nephi is that all men and women are invited to let the Spirit of the Lord soften their hearts and lead them into his covenant path wherein he can prepare them to enter into his presence at the end.
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