|Nephi about to slay wicked King Laban|
The first attempt was unsuccessful as Laman attempted to ask King Laban for the plates. In the second attempt the brothers went back to their previous residence and obtained all their precious items of silver and gold and tried their hand at bartering for the plates but wicked King Laban had his guards chase them and attempted to have them killed and in the process he was able to obtain their silver and gold. It was at this point that the two older brothers Laban and Lemuel started to hit Nephi and Sam with their staffs and threatened to take their lives. It took the appearance of an angel who rebuked Laman and Lemuel to stop the assault on Nephi and Sam. Nephi took courage after they had been visited by the angel and in the third attempt he was lead by the spirit. It was this third attempt that has drawn much debate among the scholarly community. Nephi in following the spirit was lead into Jerusalem city limits and went towards the house of King Laban where he found a drunken King Laban who had been out with councilors and had apparently passed out. It was at this point that the spirit told Nephi that he was to slay King Laban. This was the only time that I know of that Nephi actually questioned the motives and the direction of the Lord. Now Nephi admits that "Never at any time have I shed the blood of man and would that I might not slay him" but the spirit told him again to slay him "for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands." It is this phrase that helps us gain the added insight.