“Rudeness that it offended the Spirit of the Lord”

D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner

Singing and dancing can be either good and uplifting or evil and degrading. The word of the Lord at Winter Quarters, given during the Saints’ modern exodus westward, states, “If thou art merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing, and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving” (D&C 136:28). In the case of Nephi’s brothers and Ishmael’s sons, the merriment was carried on with such “rudeness” that it offended the Spirit of the Lord. And, as usual, Nephi’s cautions were met with Laman and Lemuel’s anger. They bound Nephi and treated him so roughly that his wrists and ankles became greatly swollen. The traveling party also suffered the consequences of unrighteousness on the high seas. However, the most powerful lesson comes in Nephi’s magnificent response to all of that: “Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions” (1 Nephi 18:16). To remain loyal to God, especially through trials clearly not of our own making, and resist the temptation to become bitter over the Lord’s nonintervention is the great test and lesson of life—“to serve Him at all hazards,” thus guaranteeing our exaltation. 47

Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon: Vol. 1