Page:Book of Mormon (1840).djvu/17

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14
FIRST BOOK OF NEPHI.

spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the house of Laban, I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine. And when I came to him, I found that it was Laban. And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof, and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.

And it came to pass that I was constrained by the spirit that I should kill Laban: but I said in my heart, never at any time have I shed the blood of man, and I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. And the spirit said unto me again, behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands; yea and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken . unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.

And it came to pass that the spirit said unto me again, slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should per- ish, than that a nation should dwindle and perish in un- belief.

And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise. Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law. And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass. And again — I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause, that I might obtain the records according to his commandments. Therefore I did obey the voice of the spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sward.

And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armour about my loins. And after I had done this, I went forth unto the treasury of Laban. And as I west forth towards the treasury of Laban, behold I saw the servant of Laban who had the keys of the treasury. And I commanded him in the voice of Laban, that he should go with me into the treasury; and he supposed me to be his master, Laban, for he beheld the garments, and also the