Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Daughters of Zelophehad

Artwork by Elspeth Young.

Scriptures to read: Numbers 26:33, 27:1-11, 36:1-13, Joshua 17:3-6, and 1 Chronicles 7:15.

Joseph, who was sold into Egypt
Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, Tirzah (5 daughters of Zelephehad)

What did these 5 young girls do? They went to Moses to appeal the inheritance policy. Zelophehad only had daughters, no sons and just because they were girls they could not own property. They were fatherless. So, five little girls went before Moses to appeal this law.
This was not a selfish thing to do. They did not desire wealth or economic status but wanted the inheritance in their father's name so the family line would not become extinct.
"Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son?" Numbers 27:4

The law was revised:
           Order of the Right to Inheritance (Numbers 27:8-11)
               1. Son or sons
               2. If no son, then daughter(s)
               3. If no daughter, then a brother
               4. If no brother, then an uncle
               5. If no uncle, then the next closes male relative.
*Restriction: The daughters inheriting property were required to marry within the same tribe their father had been affiliated.

In the Gospel, we are taught to stand up for righteous desires but many times we fear doing that. How often do we back out of a missionary discussion because we are afraid? I am guilty of this. What would we be like if we had the courage of these little girls and stood before our governments and leaders and asked for what we feel is right? Or... we took the courage of these girls and gave out a Book of Mormon? They were very courageous at an amazingly difficult time in their lives and quite the example to me. Maybe one day I'll have the courage of these five little girls.
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