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Scriptural characters have an added dimension—their life experiences are typological; they help elucidate larger truths…. The things that happen to scriptural characters aren’t just for them; their life experience can be interpreted typologically, [as] pointing to Christ. Jesus employed typology often during His ministry, most memorably on the road to Emmaus after His Resurrection, where “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).
On another level, the experiences of scriptural characters can be used as ‘types’ to understand our own life experiences. In this sense, they are parabolic in nature.
Nephi is not just a young man sent on an errand; he represents each of us when faced by a seemingly insurmountable challenge. One way to “liken all scriptures” (1 Nephi 19:23) to ourselves is to assign a symbolic meaning to each component of the story. As we read, we might ask ourselves, “Is there something about this story that stands for something in my own life? Can I read this as a parable?” Let’s try it.
The story of Nephi going back to Jerusalem to get the brass plates is inspiring on the surface because of his faith and courage. But it also lends itself to interpretation as a parable.
If I am Nephi trying to bring the scriptures into my life, who or what might my Laban be? Who or what do I have to “kill” to make the scriptures mine? My “Laban” may be too much TV, time at the gym, or work. My “Laban” may be too much socializing and not enough personal time. Whatever is keeping me from the scriptures must be eliminated.
To be victorious over the adversary, we may need to take the Sword of Laban and cut the cable cord. The moral of the story? It is better that one Netflix series go unwatched than a whole soul perish in unbelief!
* Excerpt from The User-friendly Book of Mormon: Timeless Truths for Today’s Challenges, by Marilyn Green Faulkner *