“The Stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet
Lehi’s consummate joy of personal participation in the divine was clouded and impeded by the constant complaints and spiritual lethargy of his elder sons, Laman and Lemuel. Like all sensitive and attentive teachers, Lehi sought to capitalize upon the elements of his surroundings to teach and exhort those under his care. The Savior himself drew upon lilies, sheep, rocks, light, and water to teach profound realities and to point men’s minds toward deeper verities. Likewise did Lehi take this occasion in the wilderness to show his love and to solicit the support of his two strong-willed eldest sons. With reference to the river before them (which Lehi names Laman), it was as if the prophet were saying, “Laman, I would to God that you would follow the paths of righteousness and seek the Lord always. Even as this river flows into the great Red Sea, I would with all my heart that you would pursue those paths of purity and goodness which would lead you directly into the presence of him who is the fountain of all righteousness.”

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1