It must be addressed

Nephi and Laban
Ok, this part of the Book of Mormon bothers me everytime I come to it. I am a person that shuns violence. I have a deep love for newborns. I cannot resist them, partly because of their smell and partly because I love how I feel holding them. Each life is a gift from God.
So today I tackle this event and hope for additional understanding and light. My studies took me to the Book of Mormon student manual(available at LDS Disribution).
It's important to note that before Nephi reached this point, Laban was given two chances to part with the brass plates without requiring his life. Also, let's not forget the crimes Laban committed against Nephi and his brothers. Laban was a liar and a robber and at least twice sought to murder. These crimes were at that time punishable by death. Ok, but he was King and we all know how kings are when they are evil ones. They usually don't recieve the death punishment unless issued by God.
This is where Nephi comes in. Upon finding Laban passed out drunk, Nephi hears the voice of the Lord. First note, Nephi knows, really knows the voice of the Lord. He hears the command to take Laban's life. He questions(who would not question this?). What justification is there for a righteous man like Nephi to take the life of another? The Lord wanted Lehi and his descendants to have the scriptural record "even if one man should perish" for it to happen. The brass plates blessed Nephi and his descendants. Long after, when translated to the Book of Mormon, the brass plates has blessed and will bless nations. All of this was at stake when Nephi stood over Laban and followed the voice of the Spirit. Did Nephi understand this, I believe he did not know completely the implications of that moment.
Now what have I learned from this added study today? First, do I know(really know) the voice of the Lord? What in my life is too loud that keeps me from hearing it? Second, without knowing the results of my decisions, can I follow through with whatever it is the Lord asks of me? Do I have faith to obey? I know Jesus Christ lives. What am I willing to DO for Him? And how will my choices affect another? I will never be asked to take a life to save nations, but what seemingly small, prompted acts do I shun because I lack faith and courage?
Perhaps this is not anything new and insightful, but from this added study my heart and mind have been more inclined to the God I love because of the pondering. After all, isn't that what daily scripture study is for?
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