2 Nephi 1:30 — LeGrand Baker – Zoram’s friendship
2 Nephi 1:30
30 And now Zoram, I speak unto you: Behold, thou art the servant of Laban; nevertheless, thou hast been brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever.
There are some words in the scriptures which catch my attention and will not let it go–not at least, until I have paused and pondered for awhile.
This verse contains two of those, “friend” and “forever.”
Fundamental to my understanding of the spirit world where we lived before we came here, is the idea that there also, human association was the most precious thing one could know–not precious beyond family, but an expanded family precious within friendship. (After all, we do call each other brother and sister.) In this world also, family bonds happen within, not without, the encompassing blessings of friendship.
Human relationships may be reduced to this simple formula: When a decision is being made which will effect my welfare, an enemy is one who will choose that which will do me hurt; one who is neither friend nor enemy will pay no attention to the effect of his choice upon my happiness; but a friend is one who, without unnecessary thought or consideration, will choose that which will do me the greatest good. If I am a friend, I will do the same. Therefore, a friend is one in whom I can place my unquestioned reciprocal trust. Thus,
23 …the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. (James 2:23)
Friendship is the mutual power by which one can expand and enlighten the soul of another. When it is honest and true it is called charity, and is the eternal power of universal creation and fulfillment.
In this world, that fulfillment it epitomized in the intimacy of conversations recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, where the Prophet Joseph and his friends are spoken of by the Saviour as his (the Saviour’s) “friends.”
It was Nephi who recorded his father’s blessing,
30 And now Zoram, … I know that thou art [present tense, not “will be” or “has been”] a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever.
“A true friend” may be a trite phrase, but the idea of “a true friend…forever” is not trite.
“Forever” is a powerful word which brings the past and the future into the present, and expands the present infinitely into the past and the future and gives them the same sense of permanence
as is found in “be” verbs, such as “is,” “be” as in the phrase “ the law on one’s own being,” and “am” as in the phrase “I am.”
One cannot know precisely what Lehi meant by those words, nor what Nephi though when he recorded them, nor who Zoram IS that he may be described by them. But one can guess, and the guess is very pleasant indeed.