Each night before bed, we read “Book of Mormon Stories” to Raine. Tonight we were reading “Lehi’s Dream” (as we are every night because Raine always wants to read the same chapter, over and over; it used to be Nephi building the ship, now it is Lehi’s dream, in a week or two it will be something else). As I read, the following conversation took place.
Momma, reading: “Lehi saw many people in his dream. . .”
Raine, interrupting: “No, it’s Nephi’s dream.”
Momma: “Well, this one is Lehi’s, but yeah technically they both saw it.”
Raine, not impressed in the least with technicalities: “No this one is Nephi’s.”
Momma, sensing that I am not going to win this argument but willing to give it one more try: “No it’s Lehi’s dream, see” (pointing to the photo)
“That is Lehi and he is eating the fruit.”
“And there is Nephi here, Lehi wants him to eat the fruit.”
Raine: “No, it’s Nephi’s.”
Momma, having recognized defeat and now trying to change the subject: “See everyone eating the fruit, are you going to eat the fruit?” (Please say yes, please say yes!)
As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I regretted them. All I could think about was Elder Bednar’s talk on how our conversations with our children can indicate spiritual problems, i.e. if she says ‘no’ then the writing is on the wall . . . she will fall away from the straight and narrow before she even enters kindergarten and all will be lost, I will have failed as a parent. It was one of those irrational thoughts that flash through a parent’s mind and even though you don’t actually believe the thought, it is disturbing nonetheless.
Raine: “No, I don’t want to eat the fruit.”
I knew it, good-bye iron rod.
Momma, trying to change her three-year-old mind: “But it’s really yummy; see, all the people are eating it.”
Raine: “I don’t want to eat fruit.”
Momma, pointing out how Nephi was eating it and he was the good guy. Then to reaffirm my point I asked: “Who’s the good guy?”
Momma: “What!?!” (didn’t see that coming.) “No, Laman and Lemuel are the bad guys, Nephi is the good guy. Remember?”
Raine, finally revealing what was really going on on that three-year-old brain: “Did Laman and Lemuel just need to go potty first? And then they will eat the fruit?”
Momma, having completely given up on this gospel discussion: “I don’t know, do you think they just need to go potty first?”
Raine: “Yes. They will just go over to that building ’cause that’s where the potties are and then they will come back and eat the fruit.”
Raine: “Yeah, but that is a big step.” (pointing to the river) “They will have to watch out for that big step.”
Momma, satisfied that we could at least agree on one point: “Yep, they will definitely have to watch out there.”
So there you have it, an alternate interpretation of what Lehi’s dream REALLY meant with regard to Laman and Lemuel.
We have random conversations like this all the time but I am never in a position to record them, so I’m glad that I got this one down. Although, a written rendition doesn’t do it justice because you can’t hear her sweet little voice with its three-year-old New-England accent.