Sunday, December 10, 2017

A&C Series - Do not Murmur

"Do not murmur saying, Too much has been required at our hands in too short a time. If your hearts were right it was a light thing I have asked. You hinder and delay and then you say I require too much of you and do not allow you time, when, if your hearts were right and you prepared yourselves you could have finished this work long ago."

Murmuring in the scriptures, to the best I can find, is always used negatively.   It's something that, if avoided, is universally a good thing.

Websters Dictionary: Murmur:
1: a half-suppressed or muttered complaint : grumbling
murmurs of disapproval

2a : a low indistinct but often continuous sound

1828 Dictionary: 

2. To grumble; to complain; to utter complaints in a low, half articulated voice; to utter sullen discontent; with at, before the thing which is the cause of discontent.

1 Nephi 2:12, Nephi gives an interesting cause for his brothers murmuring.   

12 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.


I found that very informative.   Nephi in particular used the word "murmur" a lot in his writing, more than any other scripture author.  Nephi's brothers murmured because they "knew not the dealings of that God who had created them".  Their lack of knowledge caused them to murmur.  They didn't understand, because they didn’t do what was required to understand, and didn’t know what God was up to.  So, naturally they complained, and what usually goes along with all that is some degree of going against what God is doing.

So one antidote for murmuring?  Acquire knowledge of God's dealings.  How do we do that?  Nephi as it turns out talked to his brothers one time (at least) about their lack of understanding. Their reply was that they had not inquired of the Lord and that “the Lord maketh no such things known to us”.

8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?
9 And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.

So they were left without understanding because they opted not to follow the steps Nephi had done in developing faith.  Nephi says in a few instances in the BOM says that he "murmured not".  And what allowed him to not murmur?  Was it merely stoic endurance? A positive mental attitude?  Or  was it a perspective that comprehended or had faith in what God was doing?  Even if he didn't like it, or found it very unpleasant, or caused him to suffer, he was able to not murmur.  At least knowing that God is up to something allows the person to show faith rather than murmuring.  This takes time and experience, at least for me.  But enough others have done it that we ought to give it a try.  

In my experience, this hold true.  I'm inclined to do things like murmur when I see no point to something, or do not see God's hand on something, or feel like I'm enduring something pointlessly.  In hindsight once Gods hand is a little more clear the murmuring was unjustified and uncalled for.  As the A&C paragraph at the beginning shows, the murmuring is uncalled for and the Lord explains why. 

So it amounts to my own lack of knowledge of God's dealings.  I can see God's dealings all throughout scripture.  Unfortunately it's often harder to see it in your own life, when the dealing gets tough.  But from Nephi's example, faith in God's dealings is a realistic thing to obtain.  It's substantial enough to put faith in.  It's something we can lay hold on.  And there is evidence in scripture that God responds very positively when people do not murmur against him.  He already knows our difficulties.

Our murmuring is something we ought to take accountability for.  It seems to always stem from our own lack of harmony with God, our own hearts which are hard or not right, or our own lack of knowledge of his dealings.  

The good news is Isaiah 29: 24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

1 comment:

  1. It's nearly impossible to find educated people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what you're taking about!
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete