Let’s think about Lehi. He had dreams and he had visions. He shared those dreams and visions with his wife and children. He also tried to share things God had revealed to him with the people of Jerusalem—and because they didn’t like what he had to say—which sounded a lot like: “REPENT!!”—the people of Jerusalem wanted to kill him.
What was the reaction of his wife and children to his dreams and visions? Skepticism, mostly. Even Nephi, who believed his father’s words, did not just passively accept everything Lehi said. Nephi never said: “Whatever Dad says is good enough for me!” He always went to the Lord for confirmation and further instruction. Laman and Lemuel, of course, thought their father was crazy. And they certainly didn’t believe that God communicated to Lehi—or anyone else—through dreams and visions.
What do you think Lehi’s motive was in sharing his dreams and visions? Did he just want to make people angry? Was his motive to make his family miserable? Or send them on guilt trips? Or embarrass them in the community and with their friends? No. Lehi was motivated by love. Because he loved his family and his neighbors, he warned them of danger. He told them of destruction to come. Only a few people listened and believed. The majority scoffed, made mock of him, and wanted to permanently silence him.
If Lehi lived today, he’d have an even harder time because the scoffers and mockers would post a video on YouTube of a mob laughing him to scorn. The police would arrest him on suspicion of being on hallucinogenic drugs. The electronic and print media would condemn him for his “hate speech” with headlines demanding government intervention. The Hollywood elite would label him “UnAmerican” and a kill-joy. Laman and Lemuel would try to have him declared senile and a danger to himself as well as others and have him put in an institution.
Are there “Lehi’s” among us today? In other words, are there people inspired by God today who are warning us of dangers to us and our families? If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever – which I believe to be true – then He would have to give the world enough “Lehi’s” to sound in every ear.
Who are these Lehi’s? You can probably name some individuals who are obvious modern-day Lehi’s. I would like to suggest that they are numerous. Some of them are Mrs. Lehi’s. Some are young, some are old. One of them could be you.
I believe that being a warning voice like Lehi was is one of the assignments we were given to fulfill on this earth in our day. We are to be warning voices. We should be able to warn our spouse and our children or our parents and our grandparents or our best friend and our neighbors when our eyes or minds are enlightened by the Spirit as to a danger.
And if they come to us with such a warning, we should be humble enough to listen carefully, and to get confirmation from God. Their motivation is love. It is so easy to get offended and to act like Laman and Lemuel: “God made no such thing known unto me—therefore I won’t believe you!” Remember how they refused to listen to Nephi their younger brother because he was younger? They refused to listen to Lehi because it meant an end to their comforts and pleasures. They even became hard-hearted enough that they refused to listen to angels.
Some people will not listen to or learn from a woman, or a younger person, or an old person, or a person with bad grammar. Others have other prejudices. Because of pride, they do not recognize the voice of the Spirit speaking through the voice of someone they are familiar with or feel superior to.
I believe we are expected to be “Lehi’s” and to “stand for truth and righteousness.” At the same time, we are also expected to be like Nephi and Sam, humble and teachable. When the “Lehi’s” among us warn us to depart from Babylon (and I believe that is happening), it is time to hit the road, not make jokes about Lehi’s latest ridiculous over-the-top rant or make excuses for not giving up our favorite Babylonian entertainments..