The Importance of Companionship
We learn from the scriptures that it is not good for men (and women) to be alone (see Genesis 2:18). Lehi also knew this and was concerned that his boys wouldn’t have anyone to marry and have children with. “that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord” – 1 Nephi 7:1
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also teaches that “salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter” (Russell M. Nelson, April 2008 General Conference). Basically, this means that God’s “plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave” and “for families to be united eternally” (The Family, A Proclamation to the World). Lehi wanted to make sure his sons had an opportunity to have families and sent them back to Jerusalem a second time.
Ishmael’s Family Joins Lehi’s Family
Nephi and his brothers “again return unto the land of Jerusalem” – 1 Nephi 7:2. They went to the “house of Ishmael” (1 Nephi 7:4) where Ishmael, his wife, and five daughters lived. Ishmael also had two other sons who already had families of their own (see 1 Nephi 7:6).
After talking to Ishmael “the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father.” – 1 Nephi 7:5.
Despite some rebellion and murmuring by non-other than Laman and Lemuel, and some of Ishmael’s family, they make it back to Lehi.
Lehi’s and Ishmael’s Children are Married
“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife.” – 1 Nephi 16:7
Without these companionships, Lehi’s family, and thus The Book of Mormon would likely have ended abruptly. Likewise, without family, our own stories will quickly come to an end.
We also know from other sources that having an Eternal Family, and marital companionship is key to eternal happiness. I have another series of lessons about building eternal families. You can find the first post here.
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