My daughter is serving as a missionary in the SLC South Mission and asked us a question that an investigator asked her. He was concerned about the Lord asking Nephi to kill Laban. He says the Lord doesn’t ask people to do that. The only instance we can think of is in 1 Samuel 15 where the Lord chastises Saul for not killing what he was told to kill and bringing back spoils. Can you think of any others ? By the way I served as a missionary in the Argentina – Cordoba Mission from 1972 – 1973 under President Brown. My husband used to fly for Sky West and now works for the FAA FSDO in Honolulu. He loves that Spitfire ! Thank you so much and ciao,
Muy Estimada Dee,
Another interesting circumstance where the Lord himself eliminated a large number of people was the occasion of the escape of the Israelites from the Egypt under the leadership of Moses. When Moses let the Goshenites from Egypt, there were not just a few involved. The number of men and boys able to bear arms was 600,000. If one were to count also the women and children the total number of those who fled from the Egyptians could have been on the order of 2 million souls!
They were discovered somewhere along the way after leaving Egypt and the Pharaoh sent his army in pursuit of them. Neither was the army only a small group of soldiers. Pharaoh’s army consisted of 600 chariots, 50,000 horsemen and 200,000 footmen, all armed. Moses and the Israelites approached the Red Sea along a valley between two mountains whose ridges ran down toward the sea. The mountains near the sea were so precipitous as to be impassible.
When the Israelites reached the sea they looked back to see Pharaoh’s army on the horizon. At this point, Moses received a subtle revelation from the Lord to march into the sea and it would part asunder, giving them safe passage to the other side. (It is estimated that the sea was about five miles wide at this point).
A word about Moses’ revelation is recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants 8:2-3–
Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
Now, behold, this is the spirit of revelation; behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground.
.Such an action was incredulous to the Children of Israel who followed Moses out of Egypt. In spite of all the miraculous interventions of the Lord on their part in the past, they couldn’t believe what Moses was telling them to do, and so they started throwing rocks at him. Nevertheless, he stepped into the sea and the waters receded before him, and followed by the Israelites, he marched across to the other side on dry ground!
Meanwhile, back on the horizon, the Egyptian army came in sight of the Israelites just at dusk as they approached the waters of the Red Sea. Seeing the sea in front of them, and the fact they were in a valley from which they could not easily escape to either side, their only route out would be back against the Egyptian army. So the army made camp for the night at that point, thinking that they could easily take care of fleeing Israelites the following morning. However, when they awoke in the morning they saw this huge procession walking through the Red Sea on dry ground! Their determination was, of course, to break camp, follow the path taken by the Israelites and exterminate them.. However, as they marched down into the sea, a terrible storm came up, as recorded in Psalm 77:14-20–
Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled.
The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.
The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook.
Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
When the Egyptian army with all their equipment was fully in the sea, the Lord caused the waters to come together again, and destroy 250,600 men and 600 horses–not one escaped alive.
There are many places in the scriptures where the Lord uses the righteous to destroy the wicked. Think of the great flood at the time of Noah, in which the Lord drowned the entire population of the earth, except for eight souls. It would seem that those numbers would be sufficient justification for the Lord to command Nephi to cut off the head of Laban so that the entire Nephite civilization, during its thousand year history, could have the scriptures to guide them, and to prepare the background that would result in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon that was key to the entire restoration of the gospel with the final establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth, destined to prepare the way for the advent of the Savior to initiate His great millennial reign.
¡Que bien que pudo servir en la hermosa Misión de Córdoba, y que su esposo trabaja por la FAA en Honolulu. Quisás conoce un amigo mio allá, Bertram Dupont, que también es piloto.