I'm always impressed by two parts in this chapter,
one is the way Nephi is able to follow the Spirit into a city the size of a modern metropolis in the dark and he doesn't get lost in location or in what to do next;
the other is that Zoram trusts them not to kill him later, and they trust him not to rat them out to the highest bidder all because they take an oath.
When faced with an unknown situation, I am not always the first to hit my knees and ask for help. But I do know that it works. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints every person who joins the church through baptism and lives worthily may accept a 'call' to some voluntary work. Usually the bishop, or one of his counselor's, pray about and receive inspiration as to who the Lord wants to serve in a position, or a 'calling'. They invite you to serve in this calling until the Lord has need of you elsewhere. Sometimes a calling is one that you have some experience in, but more often than not, it is completely new territory. People often say that the reason they are called to a position is because THEY need to learn those skills the most, not because they're the greatest at it. Like the time I was asked be the pianist - I hadn't had lessons since I was in elementary school. The time I was asked to be the Emergency Preparedness Co-ordinator for our area, I hadn't put my own food storage in order yet. Or currently, as the Scout Master of the 11 year old boys - I'm allergic to almost everything out-of-doors and I have a fear of creepy crawlies. In the six months that I have had this calling, I've worn through more pants kneeling in prayer than in meandering in the woods - I still feel a bit lost, sometimes literally, but I'm beginning to find my way.
As for oaths . . .
32 And it came to pass that I spake with him, that if he would hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth, and as I live, even so that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his life.
33 And I spake unto him, even with an OATH, that he need not fear; that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go down in the wilderness with us.
34 And I also spake unto him, saying: Surely the Lord hath commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord? Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father thou shalt have place with us.
35 And it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I spake. Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father. Yea, and he also made an OATH unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
36 Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.
37 And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an OATH unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.
And you think the scenes on today's TV shows are intense - this is a live or die moment. Their conversation is without a 'free phone call.' 'Do you feel lucky?' They are putting their lives in each others hands and there is no "bad-boy, bad-boy 'desert police' " - even if there were, who's payroll do you think they'd be on anyway?
To think a man's word would be all it took. I wish that were the case today, I have trouble making a cash deposit into my own bank account without providing my full name, address, phone number and weight at birth. And if you think Zoram is a guy just out for his own agenda - personal freedom - think again, he certainly proves otherwise in upcoming chapters. . . read on!