Parenting with the Spirit

Lehi, while traveling with his family in the wilderness, counsels his rebellious sons Laman and Lemuel. This pair get a lot of flack in the scriptures as a couple of brothers who ultimately love the world more than they love God. The see Angels, watch earth shake and heavens tremble, yet still the natural man in them prevails and overrides their spirituality and connection with God, who had chosen them to join Lehi and Sariah on their sacred exodus from Jerusalem to the promised land.

While they are still young, patriarch Lehi takes his eldest sons and pleads with them. He must have loved these boys. He names a river that runs through the wilderness Laman, and the valley of refuge that they rest in Lemuel. But his heart is heavy as he sees with mantle: he knows their murmuring and the streaks of wickedness in them. So he teaches them, he warns them, he admonishes them to be righteous. He does so not as their prophet, but as their father. 1 Nephi 2:14 reads,

And it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel, with power, being filled with the Spirit, until their frames did shake before him. And he did confound them, that they durst not utter against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them.

I think the example Lehi sets as a priesthood holder and father is crucial here. What sort of man do I want to raise my children? I’d hope he was made of the same stuff Lehi was made of: unafraid to minister and admonish those in his stewardship. He parents with the spirit, the result of which, Nephi writes, is power. 

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