All Is Not Well

“All Is Not Well,” New Era, Nov. 1997, 12

Scripture Lifeline:

All Is Not Well

My home life is far from ideal, but I find comfort in the examples of people like Nephi.

I used to attend a school where it was really hard to be a Latter-day Saint. The LDS students were a minority, and there weren’t many who shared similar standards. It seemed especially frustrating for me because my parents divorced during my freshman year.

During that time life was pretty confusing for me. I guess that’s when I really discovered the scriptures. But my family wasn’t supportive of my scripture reading. Even my mother used to tell me it was a waste of time. But through the scriptures I found someone else who dealt with family contention.

Lehi counseled Laman and Lemuel “because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father” (1 Ne. 2:11–12).

My family was divided. We fought all the time, my parents couldn’t say anything kind about each other, and they discouraged me from attending church. Our home was full of conflict.

“And it came to pass that Laman was angry with me, and also with my father; and also was Lemuel, for he hearkened unto the words of Laman. Wherefore Laman and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod” (1 Ne. 3:28).

I tried to set a good example for my family. I went to church, attended Mutual, and prayed regularly. I even invited my mom to get active in the Church again.

“And now I, Nephi, … spake unto them, saying, … Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?

“How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord?” (1 Ne. 7:8–9).

Sometimes, in private, I cried. Sometimes I prayed for them. Always I felt lonely.

“But, behold, Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words; and being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts I cried unto the Lord for them” (1 Ne. 2:18).

When I was sad, I knew that Nephi knew sadness. When I was discouraged, I knew that Nephi knew discouragement. When I was lonely, I knew that Nephi knew loneliness.

No, my story doesn’t have a nice, neat ending. I wish it ended “happily ever after,” but it hasn’t yet. My home is still unhappy. But Heavenly Father has given me the scriptures, and I know that he understands exactly what it is like for me at home. Though the conflict hasn’t stopped, at least I have found comfort and peace and ways to cope.

“I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Ne. 3:7).

Just as Nephi knew that the Lord would help him accomplish anything that was commanded, I too know that Heavenly Father will continue to strengthen and support me from my heavenly home as I struggle to deal with a torn earthly home. The scriptures are my lifeline to that heavenly home.

Paintings by Arnold Friberg