Mormon Missionary Tells Us Why We Should Cut Off the Whole Head

Kylee Chapa is a Mormon missionary currently working in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was recently teaching the Book of Mormon to a 13-year-old girl named Kami and they came across a horrific passage in which Nephi is told by God that he must kill Laban in order to secure some brass plates.

In the story, Nephi struggles with the command to kill someone else because, you know, murder is wrong. But if Heavenly Father says so, why not?! So Nephi cuts off Laban’s head.

If you’re a missionary, how do you teach this story?

And if you’re hearing it for the first time, don’t you have some natural objection to it?

Kylee writes [***Update***: It appears the post has been removed from the site, but the Google Cache is here...]:

Kami asked a question, and it amazed me because I had just learned this lesson myself a couple of weeks ago. She said, “Why did Nephi have to cut off Laban’s head? Why didn’t he just slit his throat or something?”

Good question, Kami! Why would anyone listen to the voices in his head and murder someone else?! Shouldn’t we hear those voices and say, “Screw you, God”?

Can’t wait to learn how Kylee spins this story into something positive…

I then answered her by explaining that God asks us to follow His commandments wholeheartedly, not only “just kind of.” When we are asked to keep the Sabbath day holy, for example, does that mean that as long as we go to church, we are excused to do anything else that we want to do? No! We should be devoting the entire day to the Lord and spending our time doing those things that are right in His sight; i.e. spending more time with our families, doing service for those in need, resting and studying the scriptures, etc. I asked her what might have happened if Nephi had just slit Laban’s throat? She said, “Well, he might not have died!”

“Exactly!” I said, “And that is why he cut off his head. Nephi knew that if he was going to follow a commandment of God, he wasn’t going to give himself a way back, he was going to follow completely through with it. Cutting off Laban’s head would ensure his death. And keeping the Sabbath day holy is going to bless our lives, but not if we treat it like any other day of the week. We must follow all of God’s commandments with our whole heart.”

Ummm… wow. Her moral of the story is that when God asks you to do something, even committing a gruesome violent act, you should do it with all your heart. Never question. Just obey.

It’s really the worst advice you could give to someone so young and impressionable

Since then, Kylee’s been inspired by that passage:

Now, Sister Fletcher and I have a saying when we are trying to do the things the Lord asks us to do: “Am I slitting the throat, or cutting off the head?”

Yeah! Decapitation! Inspiring, motivating decapitation.

Because there’s no better way to show someone they should obey God by jumping straight to killing on his behalf.

I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by the brainwashing here when Kylee’s being taken in by her own overlords:

On Friday we got to do some service for our bishop, Bishop Striebeck. He is remodeling his house right now and so the elders… and Sister Fletcher and I went over on Friday morning, had breakfast, and then did some yard work which included digging out “dirt” (it was more like clay) so that they can put a retaining wall around their yard.

“Service” project. Sure.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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