How to Become More Like Sam
In The Book of Mormon, there are many great men who did important things. There are even more good men whose deeds were just as impactful. If we look into Nephi’s account of his family’s journey into the wilderness, we find one of those good men. Of course, we are talking about Sam, Nephi’s older brother.
Who is Sam?
Sam was Lehi’s third son. Not much is known about him, save that he was a “just and holy” man. (Alma 3:6). He did not rebel or murmur against the Lord, his father, or Nephi, despite his afflictions and trials. As much as Lemuel followed Laman, Sam followed Nephi.
Lehi saw Sam in his vision of the Tree of Life. He stood with his mother, Sariah, and Nephi, and came to his father at the tree when called. (1 Nephi 8:14). He believed on Nephi’s words when he bore testimony of the truth of Lehi’s words. (1 Nephi 2:17).
Why Isn’t Sam Special?
Sam is an example of someone who faithfully serves the Lord who is not seeking for recognition from and “of the world.” You don’t have to have your name in a book to do good unto the Lord and be blessed for it. He listened to the words of his father and brother, obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and did his best to deal with Laman and Lemuel’s constant murmuring and rebellion.
You may ask, “Why isn’t there any mention of Sam’s seed, you know, Sam-ites?” Well, father Lehi has something to say about that. In 2 Nephi 4:11, Lehi blesses Sam that “thou, and thy seed. . .shalt inherit the land like unto thy brother Nephi. And thy seed shall be numbered with his seed.” So, many of the Nephites were descendants of Sam instead of Nephi.
What Can We Learn From the Brother of Nephi?
Sam listened to the prophets of the time (Lehi and Nephi) and followed their counsel and examples. He obeyed his father and went with his brothers on both of the return trips to Jerusalem. (1 Nephi 3-5, 7). Because of his brothers’ increasing hostility, Sam had faith and followed Nephi into the wilderness. (2 Nephi 5:5-6).
He had faith in the Lord and did not let the fingers of scorn draw him away from his belief. Sam was diligent in keeping the commandments and living the Law of Moses. Nothing that is said about him makes us believe that he wasn’t unlike the rest of us: children of God just doing their best to make it home.
In short, be more like Sam.