A Psychologist's Insights Into 5 Book of Mormon Prophets _ LDS Living

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A Psychologist's Insights Into 5 Book of Mormon Prophets _ LDS Living
  1/24/2018A Psychologist's Insights into 5 Book of Mormon Prophets | LDS Livinghttp://www.ldsliving.com/A-Psychologist-s-Insights-into-5-Book-of-Mormon-Prophets/s/840601/10 A Psychologist s Insights into 5Book of Mormon Prophets byCameron StaleyMakes You Think  1/24/2018A Psychologist's Insights into 5 Book of Mormon Prophets | LDS Livinghttp://www.ldsliving.com/A-Psychologist-s-Insights-into-5-Book-of-Mormon-Prophets/s/840602/10 My training as a clinical psychologist has forever changed howI see the world and even how I read scripture. I can’t help butwonder about the personal lives of the people in the Book of Mormon. What was it like growing up with Nephi for ayounger brother? What was Alma involved in that led him sofar astray? How unbearable was it for Moroni to watch as allthe people he loved died? Would the Book of Mormon sounddifferent if it was written from the Lamanites’ perspectiveinstead of the Nephites’?The prophets in the Book of Mormon come alive to me as Iconsider each of their family dynamics, unique personalities,and how their life experiences provided them insight onspecific aspects of the gospel. Of course, my “analysis” wouldbe far more compelling (and accurate) if I could have a fewsessions with Captain Moroni on my therapy couch, ask him tocomplete a couple personality inventories, and observe his  1/24/2018A Psychologist's Insights into 5 Book of Mormon Prophets | LDS Livinghttp://www.ldsliving.com/A-Psychologist-s-Insights-into-5-Book-of-Mormon-Prophets/s/840603/10 interactions outside of a war context, but there are someinteresting things I’ve learned by studying what we do knowabout his life and the lives of others in the Book of Mormon. Nephi: We need to do a better job of showing loveto everyone. When I was young, I was the Nephi in my family. I would readmy scriptures and listen to my parents, and I prepared mywhole life for serving a mission. Nephi was my hero!Now as I read Nephi’s account from an adult perspective, myfocus often shifts to his older brothers, Laman and Lemuel. Iwonder how much of their difficulty embracing the gospelcame from their reaction to their younger brother’s direct, attimes sharp, teaching style. Often Laman and Lemuel’saggressive outbursts follow one of Nephi’s stern rebukes.It is clear that Nephi loved his family. In his own words heshares that “I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night  , because of them; and I cry unto myGod in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry” (2 Nephi33:3, emphasis added). I can feel Nephi’s deep commitmentand love for his family members. But as a psychologist, Iwonder if he shared these feelings openly with his brothers orif he kept them to himself. Would Laman and Lemuel havebeen more receptive if they could have felt the love Nephi hadfor them that was behind every rebuke?It is often difficult for us to show “an increase of love” when itfeels like a family member’s eternal salvation is at stake, buteasy to nag or constantly try to talk them back onto the gospelpath. If someone we know is struggling with the Church andits teachings, it is important for us to do our best to make sureand show that any concern we share with them is motivatedby love for them. While I don’t know all the circumstancessurrounding Nephi and his brothers’ interactions, I sometimes  1/24/2018A Psychologist's Insights into 5 Book of Mormon Prophets | LDS Livinghttp://www.ldsliving.com/A-Psychologist-s-Insights-into-5-Book-of-Mormon-Prophets/s/840604/10 wonder if things might have been different if they hadexpressed more love to each other.  Jacob: We need to find joy in living the gospel. I gravitate toward individuals who love living the gospel. Jacobembodies the Christlike attributes we are all striving for. It’sno mistake that the prophetic line in the Book of Mormoncontinues through his posterity (Enos, Jarom, and so on). Jacobwas likely an attentive father and devoted husband. Hisdedicated service in his family and calling likely touched thelives of countless people around him.I believe we would all benefit from having a “Jacob” in ourfamilies. His writings reveal a wonderful blend of gospelteaching and warmth. When speaking of his family, Jacobshares that he is “weighed down with much more desire and anxiety for the welfare of your souls  ” (Jacob 2:3, emphasisadded). Over and over he refers to his people as “mybrethren.” In Jacob 2:17 he teaches his people empathy, “ think of your brethren like unto yourselves, and be familiar with all  and free with your substance, that they may be rich like untoyou” (emphasis added). Jacob’s love for others allows him to directly confront severalegregious practices his people were engaged in. Jacob pleads,“wherefore, my brethren , hear me,” (Jacob 2:27, emphasisadded) and that “the word of God burdens me   because of yourgrosser crimes” (Jacob 2:23 emphasis added). He is notpointing fingers at those around him, he is taking uponhimself the sorrow of their actions. Jacob effectively calls hispeople to repentance because of the relationship he has withthem.The other quality I admire about Jacob is his genuine desirefor his posterity and future generations of the church to find joy in the gospel and love for their ancestors. In Jacob 4:3 he
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