Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oaths and Promises

Hello Everyone! 

As I was reading in the Book of Mormon with a Recent Convert while I was on exchange with another Elder in the Zone, we read the following passage that stood out to me:

"And I spake unto him, even with an oath, that he need not fear; that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go down in the wilderness with us...and it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I spake" (1 Nephi 4:33-35)

This passage stands out to me in the fact that all it took to calm Zoram was a promise from Nephi.  A simple verbal commitment was all it took to turn a frightened servant into a loyal friend.  In this scenario Nephi was holding all of the cards, so to speak.  Zoram had no bargaining power or leverage which he could apply on the sons of Lehi.  So why would Zoram take such heart at a simple verbal promise made by a young man?  I think a large part of the reason rests on the fact that in ancient Israel, a man's word was law.  By the testimony of a mere two witnesses, judgement could be passed.  No need for surveillance footage or fingerprinting services back in the days of Zedekiah (barring the obvious reason that there weren't any at the time).  

So the testimony and witness of two men was held as truth, and lest we think Nephi was alone in wanting Zoram to come into the wilderness, there would have at least been Sam who would understand the import of not wanting Zoram to return to Jerusalem.  Here Zoram had two witneses (if not a begrudging witness from Laman and Lemuel as well) that if he went down unto the tent of Lehi, that he would be a free man and no longer a servant.  

When we ponder on the importance of keeping our commitments and promises it's good to remember that the Lord specifically commanded us to not bear any false witness when he gave the 10 Commandments to the children of Israel on top of Mount Sinai.  Our Heavenly Father is perfectly truthful, and can fulfill all of his promises with exactness.  We too must learn, by trial and error in some circumstances, the importance of doing the same.  Honesty is a heavenly virtue.  It is a virtue that was well held by civilizations of old, and must find it's way back into our current culture.  Honesty is a godly virtue, and as such deserves our attention when pondering ways that we can grow closer to the Savior.  

Honesty is one of those Christlike attributes that I've brushed over in the past, but recently I have found great wisdom and insight as I have worked on being honest in my dealings.  I know that great blessings come as we are honest, for in honesty we are being the polar opposite of Satan who was a liar from the beginning.  Let us all be honest.  With honesty, all things are made better.  

I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Gailey

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