Normally, sleep is good. Sleep is right. Sleep is true. I love sleep. I have a personal testimony of the power of sleep to revive and refresh the soul. However, the Mormon Third Eye recommends you avoid the “Sleep of Hell” at all costs.
The Prophet Lehi was a man of obedience and action. When the Lord warned him of the destruction of Jerusalem, he immediately went to the streets to warn his fellow citizens. When the Lord directed him to flee impending destruction, he packed up his family and left town. When the Liahona appeared in front of his wilderness tent one morning, he was careful to follow its directions in righteousness. It seems like he was always doing something. Knowing the importance of acting on faith and inspired direction, one of his last most precious prophecies to his oldest sons Laman and Lemuel was to avoid a certain type of sleep; the “sleep of hell” (2nd Nephi 1:13).
Laman and Lemuel, like all of God’s children, were essentially good people. They had no problem being righteous; they had problems staying righteous. They were continually repenting, which in and of itself is not a sin, unless you keep making the same mistake over and over again, which really is not repentance at all. Lehi knew his sons. He knew that they were not actively seeking guidance and direction from the Lord. They were not obedient to the light they did receive through Lehi and Nephi. Lehi correctly characterized this predicament as the “sleep of hell.” He pleaded with them to “shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe.” The adversary had taken advantage of their laziness in living gospel principles and slowly led down the path of sin. They would be eventually bound by the chains of sins.
The imagery invoked by Lehi’s pleas speaks to us today. The adversary lulls us gently to sleep with seemingly comfortable rationalizations that just a little indiscretion is not that bad, and he is right. The real evil lies in the path it puts you on. When you fall asleep at the wheel, your senses are dulled and danger rises. My own memory is seared with the eerie vision of a roadside sign attacking my family’s van in slow motion as I fell asleep at the wheel almost 40 years ago and put lives of my five brothers and sisters at risk. We escaped with only a scar and a broken bone, but those who fall asleep at the wheel of gospel living are not so lucky. If they don’t pay attention to their prayers and testimonies, and don’t take time to act on what they believe, the chains of disobedience and obeisance to addictive lifestyles will dull their spiritual senses and send them softly to the sleep of hell. If and when they wake up, they will most likely find the misery and woe Lehi promises.
So… the Mormon Third Eye pleads with you. Get physically and spiritually fit, get the rest you need, but take time to act on your faith and avoid the sleep of hell at all costs.