Monday, June 4, 2012

Legends of Peru—Four Brothers First Settled the Andes, Part II

Continuing with the recorded ancient legend of the Four Brothers told to the early Spanish conquerors by the Incas, and faithfully recorded by at least eight well-known historians of the period, the first twelve points will be covered in this post, the next 12 will be covered in the next post:

The story of Lehi’s family: Top LtoR: Four Brothers that left Jerusalem; One was obviously the leader; Bottom LtoR: One Brother was brave and feared by the older brothers; the Liahona guided them to the Land of Promise; Laman, the oldest, was troublesome, continually causing problems from the beginning 

Taking each of the 24 points of the Legend one at a time and comparing each with the Book of Mormon:

1) Four  sons left Jerusalem -- Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi (1 Nephi 2:5); 

2) Sent by their father to the place of origin to retrieve some golden vessels they had failed to bring with them - Nephi and his brothers were sent by their father Lehi back to Jerusalem, for the brass plates (1 Nephi 3:4, 9);

3) Propagators of the truth and militant soldiers of a new and exclusive gospel -- obviously, Nephi, Sam, Jacob, and Joseph were teachers of the truth and expounded on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Nephi, himself, called Jacob and Joseph to be teachers and priests to his people (2 Nephi 5:26); 

4) Each brother was married to a sister-wife -- Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi each married a daughter of Ishmael (1 Nephi 16:7), thus each wife was a sister to each other wife.  In addition, these wives were also descendants of Joseph as were Nephi and his brothers (1 Nephi 5:14; 6:2; 2 Nephi 3:4), thus making the daughters of Ishmael and the sons of Lehi, cousins, or brothers and sisters in the tribe of Joseph;

5) A golden staff of peculiar properties which informed them when their mission was at an end by remaining fixed on an unknown promised land toward which they were journeying -- this part of the legend should be broken down into the following parts;
• Golden Staff – the Liahona was a ball of fine brass of curious workmanship (1 Nephi 16:10);
Of peculiar properties -- the Liahona had spindles that pointed in directions (1 Nephi 16:10), with words that appeared written on it (1 Nephi 16:27), and worked by the faith of those who used it (1 Nephi 16:28; 18:21).  The instrument also stopped working in the face of wickedness (1 Nephi 18:12);
Fixed on an unknown promised land -- the Liahona was used by Nephi to guide him across the seas to the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:21-23); 
It  showed them when their journey was complete -- the 8 to 10 year journey through the wilderness and across the many waters culminated when the Lehi Colony finally reached the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:23).   

6) The oldest and most troublesome of the brothers -- time and again Laman caused problems from the moment they left Jerusalem (1 Nephi 2:12) to the time they reached the Land of Promise (1 Nephi 18:11, 18; 2 Nephi 5:2-4), many times threatening to kill Nephi (1 Nephi 7:16; 17:48) and return to Jerusalem (1 Nephi 7:7);

7) Who had prevailed upon to return to the place of origin -- Lehi asked Laman, as his first-born son, to return to Jerusalem  (1 Nephi 3:2-5) which was their place of origin for Lehi had spent all his days at Jerusalem (1 Nephi 1:4);

8) To retrieve some golden vessels -- the brothers were sent back to retrieve the brass plates (1 Nephi 3:3) and in so doing, they obtained the gold and silver and all manner of riches from their father's house (1 Nephi 3:16, 22) to use in purchasing the brass plates from Laban (1 Nephi 3:24);

9) When one of the brothers was near death, he designated his grown son as his heir and successor -- Nephi, upon getting old and ready to die, appointed his successor (Jacob 1:9), who the people decided to call Second Nephi (Jacob 1:11).  In fact, Nephi appointed his brother, Jacob, to be his religious successor, or prophet (Jacob 1:1-4), to maintain the records and oversee the people.  At the same time, a ruler, or king, was appointed who may have been Nephi's own son.  This parallel is found among the Jaredites, for when the youngest son of Jared was appointed king (Ether 6:27), the record and religious leadership was maintained by the Brother of Jared and his descendants (Ether 1:34; 2:14; 3:25; 4:1).  In fact, the religious record of the Nephites was maintained down through Amaleki (Omni 1:12), a descendant of Jacob, who died without a son, and his brother had gone with Zeniff back to the Land of Nephi (Omni 1:25, 30), so he gave the records to king Benjamin, the political ruler and king (Omni 1:23; Words of Mormon 1:17). About a thousand years later, through this line we come to Mormon who called himself a pure descendant of Lehi through Nephi (3 Nephi 5:20; Mormon 1:5; ).  Thus it might be assumed that Nephi's political leader, the man who became known as Second Nephi, was one of Nephi's own sons;

10) When  people considered themselves indigenous to the land -- The Nephites separated themselves from the Lamanites and settled a new land which they called the Land of Nephi (2 Nephi 5:7-8).  There they spent about 300 years until Mosiah was told to flee and take those Nephites who would go with him to a land further north (Omni 1:12).  For 300 years, the Nephites would have considered themselves indigenous to the Land of Nephi;

11) Considered themselves unwarlike -- The Nephites were taught never to give an offense or raise the sword except it were against an enemy in the saving of their lives (Alma 48:14); and taught to fight only to defend themselves (Alma 43:9-13) and maintained throughout their periods of righteousness a benevolent attitude toward their enemy, the Lamanites, often freeing their captured armies when the Lamanite soldiers covenanted to go in peace and make war no more (Alma 62:16-17);

12) Chose leaders who were war-leaders -- Nephi was chosen by his people to be their king, but he chose the title of ruler (2 Nephi 5:18-19).  He defended them and led them in many wars (Jacob 1:10), and those who followed him as leaders (Jacob 1:11) were mighty in battle (Omni 1:3, 10; Words of Mormon 1:13).  When the Large Plates of Nephi are finally obtained, we will have a more complete record of the kings and the wars of the people and will learn the role played by Second Nephi, Third Nephi, etc., who obviously served as "war-leaders";

(See the next post, “Legends of Peru—Four Brothers First Settled the Andes, Part III,” for the comparison of the next twelve points of this early Peruvian legend with the Book of Mormon) 

No comments:

Post a Comment