1st Nephi, Chapter 3

December 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Nephi is speaking.

Nephi returned to his father’s tent after speaking with the Lord. Lehi told Nephi that he dreamed a dream wherein the Lord commanded him to send Nephi and his brothers back to Jerusalem to get the “record of the Jews” and “genealogy of my <Lehi’s> forefathers” from Laban, which are “engraven upon plates of brass”. (vs. 3)

Laban

Nephi’s brothers murmured and said that it was a hard thing that Lehi asked of them, but Lehi said it was a commandment of the Lord. (vs. 5) Lehi tells Nephi to go, and that he will be “favored of the Lord” because he did not murmur. Nephi responded:

I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. (vs. 7)

When Nephi said this, it made his father Lehi very glad.

Nephi and his brothers headed back to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they consulted with each other and cast lots to decide who would be the one to go into the “house of Laban” to obtain the plates. The lot fell upon Laman, and so Laman went into the house of Laban, and he “talked with him as he sat in his house”. (vs. 11)

He asked Laban for the plates of brass, which made Laban angry and he “thrust him <Laman> out from his presence” and would not give him the records, and said “Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.” (vs. 13) But Laman “fled out of his presence” and told Nephi and his other brothers what Laban had done.

This made them very “sorrowful”, and they were about to return to their father in the wilderness when Nephi said:

As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us. Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord. For he knew that Jerusalem must be destroyed, because of the wickedness of the people. For behold, they have rejected the words of the prophets. Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish. Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land. And behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers; And also that we may preserve unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and power of God, since the world began, even down unto this present time. (vs. 15-20)

This persuaded his brothers and they remained faithful in keeping the Lord’s commandments. They went down to the “land of (their) inheritance” and gathered their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, and returned to the house of Laban.

They went in and offered Laban all of their gold, silver, and precious things in exchange for the plates. When Laban saw all of the money and valuables, he lusted after it, and threw out Nephi and his brothers and sent his servants to slay them in order to obtain their property.

Nephi and his brothers fled, leaving their property which then fell into the hands of Laban. They fled into the wilderness and hid in the cave of a rock, and Laban’s servants did not overtake them.

Laman was angry with Nephi and Lehi, as was Lemuel (because Lemuel listened to Laman). They spoke hard words to Sam and Nephi and even ‘smote’ them with a rod. As they did so, an angel appeared and said:

Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.

Then the angel departed, and Laman and Lemuel began to murmur again, doubting that the Lord would deliver Laban into their hands. “Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?” (vs. 31)

1st Nephi, Chapter 2

October 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

Nephi is speaking.

The Lord told Lehi in a dream that he was blessed for the things he had done, even to the extent that the people of Jerusalem wanted to kill him, and commanded Lehi to take his family into the wilderness. Lehi was obedient and did as the Lord commanded him. He took his family, leaving all of his precious things including his house, gold, and silver, etc., and departed into the wilderness.

They went down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea, in the wilderness with his family:

Sariah: Lehi’s wife, Nephi’s mother
Laman: Nephi’s older brother
Lemuel: Nephi’s older brother
Sam: Nephi’s older brother

 

Traveled three days in the wilderness when he pitched his tent in the valley by the side of a river.

Lehi built an altar of stones and made a sacrifice to the Lord, giving thanks.

Seeing that the river flowed into the Red Sea, Lehi named the river Laman, as he wished for Laman that he would “be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!” (vs. 9)

He named the valley Lemuel, saying to Lemuel: “O that thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!” (vs. 10)

Laman and Lemuel were stiffnecked.  They murmured against Lehi because he had led them away from their home in Jerusalem because of his visions. “They knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.” (vs. 12) They did not believe that Jerusalem could be destroyed. They were like the Jews in Jerusalem who wanted to kill Lehi.

Lehi spoke to Laman and Lemuel with power, being filled with the Spirit, until they shook and were confounded, and did not speak against him. They did as he commanded.

Nephi

  • At this time, was “exceedingly young”
  • Large in stature
  • Had a great desire to know the mysteries of God
Nephi cried unto the Lord, and the Lord visited him and softened his heart, which caused him to believe the words of his father and he did not rebel against him like his brothers. Nephi told Sam what had been shown to him through the Spirit, and Sam believed him. However, Laman and Lemuel would not listen to Nephi. This made Nephi sad, and he cried unto the Lord for them. The Lord spoke to Nephi, saying (vs. 19-24):
Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart. And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands. And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren. For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also. And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.

1st Nephi, Chapter 1

October 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

See Key for icon explanations.

 

Nephi is talking (and is introduced).


About Nephi

  • Born of goodly parents.
  • Taught somewhat in all the learning of his father.
  • Saw many afflictions in his lifetime.
  • Highly favored of the Lord.
  • Had a great knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God.

Written in the language of Nephi’s father — in other words, the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.
What exactly does “the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians” mean?
Answer : See Mormon 9:32-33
The first year of the reign of Zedekiah (~600 BC)
 
Zedekiah is introduced.
  • King of Judah
 
Lehi is introduced.
  • Nephi’s father.
  • Lived in Jerusalem his whole life.
Jerusalem
Many prophets prophesied that the people of Jerusalem must repent or the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed.
Where does it talk about this event in the Bible?
Answer : See Jer. 52:3-5
Lehi prayed “with all his heart” in behalf of “his people”. He saw a vision that caused him to tremble. He went home, overcome with the Spirit, and saw another vision. In this vision, he saw:
  • God sitting upon his throne
  • Angels singing and praising their God
  • Christ and the twelve apostles
  • “A book” (What book is this) Answer : See D&C 77:6
    • In it, he read that Jerusalem should be destroyed and that many of the people of Jerusalem should “perish by the sword” and many others be “carried away captive unto Babylon.”
  • The abominations of Jerusalem
  • Many great and marvelous things
After this, Lehi exclaimed unto the Lord:
Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!
Lehi praised God, his soul rejoiced, and his whole heart was filled because of what the Lord had shown him.
Nephi is making an abridgment, or shortened version, of his father’s record.
“And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written…”
After this, he will write an account of his own life.
After his vision, Lehi went among the people and prophesied of what he had seen. The Jews mocked him because he spoke of their wickedness. He testified of the things which he saw, heard, and read, and also testified of the coming of Christ to redeem the world. The Jews became angry with him and wanted to kill him.
 
Nephi says, in regards to the threats to his father’s life:
But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.