As I was studying my scriptures this week, I found some interesting parallels in the way we approach sex and the way the sons of Lehi approached their father’s vision and beliefs. Are you more like Laman and Lemuel? Sam? or Nephi?
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Let me start this off by saying if you are not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I hope you stay with me here. While I am going to bring up scriptures and things we do in our religion, I still believe that much of what I have to say is pertinent to you as well.
Just as a little background, each year, we study as a family, and as a church, a book of scripture in depth. We have weekly discussions within our families on topics and scriptures, and this is called Come, Follow Me. It is centered around Christ and building a more personal relationship with Him. This year we are studying a book of scripture called The Book of Mormon, which is an amazing book that is an account of people living in the America’s and was recorded by prophets much like the Bible. The entire book is centered around Christ and building a better relationship with Him and even has a record of him visiting the people in the America’s after his resurrection. If you are interested in learning more, please visit ChurchOfJesusChrist.org, or you can contact me directly, and I can put you in touch with someone in your area that can help you learn more.
Like many of you, we have started the Come, Follow Me for the Book of Mormon. I think we did pretty well with it last year with the New Testament, but I’m excited about the Book of Mormon this year.
My youngest son, who is almost 12, has really struggled with Come, Follow Me. He is a HUGE reader, but he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of critical thinking when it comes to the scriptures. The New Testament and The Book of Mormon aren’t as exciting to him as the fictional books he typically reads, and because they take a little bit of work to understand, he just doesn’t want to do it. And I get it. But I still feel like he needs to learn these things and get in good habits. So, I’ve been trying to read and study with him each day, so that we can read the scriptures together and I can help him understand the verses that he is reading a little more. I’m no expert, by any means either.
So, we were sitting down reading 1 Nephi, and as we were reading and I was talking to him about these verses, the idea for this podcast came to me. So, I hope that I can make this cohesive and that this all makes sense.
So, as we know, Lehi was a prophet in the time of Jeremiah in the Old Testament. Lehi has this dream that Jerusalem is going to be destroyed, and he has been commanded by God to take his family into the wilderness. I asked my son what he would think if my husband all of a sudden said that he had a dream, and we were supposed to leave our new home and trek into the mountains. My son said he didn’t think he would like that idea. That it would be tough to accept this and maybe even trust that this was really what we were supposed to do.
We then read the verses about Laman and Lemuel, who are Lehi’s oldest two sons, and how they “murmer[ed] in many things against their father.” And they murmured because “they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.” We talked about that verse a little bit. Laman and Lemuel were raised in a home with “goodly parents who loved the Lord,” just like Nephi. They were being taught out of the scriptures, yet they didn’t know “the dealings of [God].” How is that? Why wouldn’t they know when they were being taught the same things in the same home?
Now, let’s contrast this with Nephi. Nephi was the youngest of 4 sons. He is the one that is recording this account about his father and his family. He is a faithful believer. Chapter 2, Verse 16 says, “Having great desires to know the mysteries of God, where I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father.”
So I asked my son what the difference was between Nephi and Laman and Lemuel? And he said, “the difference was that Nephi had a desire to know and Laman and Lemuel didn’t. They weren’t even willing to try.” Smart kid.
Then we read about Nephi’s older brother, Sam. Nephi told Sam the things he had learned, and Sam believed him, which is great. But, Sam didn’t have enough desire to go searching on his own. He just relied on the testimony of his brother. I asked my son about this, and he said, “[that] it was still a good thing that he believed, but it would be better for him to get a testimony for himself.” I agree.
Ok, so you are probably wondering how this relates to sex. And I have to tell you because my mind is so focused on my clients and my listeners and the things that I hear that you are struggling with, my brain is always on the lookout for ways to ways to help. So sometimes it comes up with some pretty crazy things! But I still wanted to share this with you because I think you can relate.
My analogy here is definitely a generalization, but typically I see three kinds of responses to sex when the husband approaches the wife. Now, I know that this isn’t the case in all marriages, and there are marriages where the woman is the higher desire partner, and there are also marriages where the woman loves sex and is entirely on board when approached. But, but just for simplicity’s sake, let’s go with the husband approaching the wife, and she’s not all for it. Ok?
- The Murmurer – This is the wife, who, when her husband approaches her, doesn’t even consider it. She thinks he’s crazy. She laughs it off. She rolls her eyes. She doesn’t even want to try. She’s probably angry about it and resentful.
I can’t tell you how many women I see like this. They are so tired of their husband approaching them about sex. And they just shut everything down because it’s not what they want. And if they do give in to their husbands desires, they do so VERY begrudgingly. They feel resentful. Even if they enjoy it, they still resent it and don’t want to do it again. It reminds me of the last verse in 1 Nephi 3, where it says, “And after the angel had departed, Laman and Lemuel again began to murmur…” That even after they had experienced God’s goodness and seen an angel and had been delivered out of the hands of Laban, they still couldn’t see the good.
How many of you see yourself in this situation? I’m guessing, some of you do. But most likely, the woman who is like this isn’t looking for podcasts to improve her sex life. She’s completely shut off. She doesn’t even care to look.
- The Compliant One – This is the wife, who doesn’t put up much of a protest (like the murmurer does), but she also isn’t putting forth a lot of effort to embrace her sexuality and initiate things. She has sex out of obligation. She might like it once she gets into it, but there’s not a lot of effort there. It’s more just a go with the flow.
This woman reminds me a lot of Sam. He wasn’t murmuring like Laman and Lemuel, but he also wasn’t putting in the effort that Nephi was either. He didn’t have enough of a desire to do the work to find out for himself. So he just rides on the coattails of his brother, much like the woman who just rides the coattails of her husband’s desire.
How many of you see yourself in this one?
- The Student – This is the woman, who although she may not have a lot of desire for sex, has the desire for things to be good sexually. So she puts forth the effort to educate herself, to learn, to experiment on the word. To see if she can figure out how things work so that they will eventually be great.
This is where I see most of you. That is why you are here. You don’t understand why you don’t desire sex anymore, but you are working on trying and figuring it out. You are seeking answers. You want things to be good so you are willing to put forth the effort to figuring it out. You are “going” and “doing.”
You, my friend, are like Nephi! I’m sure he didn’t want to leave his home and go into the wilderness with his family. I’m sure he didn’t want to back to Jerusalem to get the plates. But instead of complaining or just going along with the things, he decided to seek out answers. He had the desire to know what God truly wanted for him. And he had the faith to act. And because he did, his prayers were answered, and his heart was softened.
Now, hopefully, my little analogy made sense to you.
I’ve created a worksheet for this episode that can help you think about some things related to this episode. See the link either above or below.
Let’s just talk about desire for a minute here. Right now you may not have a desire for sex, but you have a desire to figure out why and to make things better. You are seeking knowledge. Maybe I am your first exposure to what the possibilities are. Perhaps you’ve been seeking knowledge for years and years. And while you have this knowledge of how things are supposed to work and what your sex life could be like, there is a disconnect. There is a disconnect between what you currently have and what you currently want. And no matter how much you try, you can’t seem to make it work.
I want to invite you to come coach with me. I know you are learning so much here on the podcast, but learning how to apply this knowledge is what is going to make the difference. In coaching, I help you find that disconnect. I help you find the missing piece — the part where you are getting in your own way. We find the real cause of why things aren’t working and address it in a way that creates real and authentic change in your life. It is so helpful to have an outside perspective. I see things in my clients that they can’t see in themselves.
I would love to help you bring real and lasting change to your sex life and every area of your life. Chances are this is something that has been on your heart for a really long time. Chances are you’ve probably been like Nephi and have been praying for answers on how to fix this. Maybe, just maybe, that’s why you found me.