1 Nephi 10

Location: the wilderness

People: Lehi & Nephi

Important events and details:

  • Lehi tells of a vision he has, that in 600 years from the time his family left Jerusalem a Messiah, or Savior of the world would be born. Lehi also tells of how the Messiah would be baptized with water, slain by the Jews, and then rise from the dead and manifest himself unto the Gentiles.
  • After Lehi finished telling about his visions Nephi was desirous that he see, hear, and know of these things too.

Favorite verses:

6 Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.

18 For he is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and the way is prepared for all men form the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him.

19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Christ’s life and the important things He would accomplish while on earth were prophesied before He was even born. This is why the Book of Mormon and the Bible go hand in hand, we see the prophesies or Christ’s life in the Book of Mormon, and then we are able to read of His life and death in the Bible. We then see His resurrection and appearance to the Nephites later in the Book of Mormon. It’s only with both books that we get the full picture of His life and purpose as Savior of the world.

Questions:

  • When prophets and apostles speak (in general conference), or even when the Bishop or people speak and teach (in church on Sundays), do I show a desire to know and have a witness of truth of what they say?
  • Am I living my life in a way that the Holy Ghost is my constant companion and is able to confirm the truths of the gospel to me?
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1 Nephi 9

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi

Important events & details:

  • Nephi tells us that the Lord has commanded him to write two sets of plates. He says in this set he writes more of the ministry, and on the other he writes more about the reign of the kings, the wars, and the contentions of his people.

Favorite verses:

3 … I have received a commandment of the Lord that I should make these plates, for the special purpose that there should be an account engraven of the ministry of my people.

5 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.

6 But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning, wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words…

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Nephi again shows faith to follow the Lord, even when he doesn’t fully understand the reason behind His commandments. He reminds us that God fulfills all his words, and that He will always provide a way for us to accomplish His commandments.
  • Reading Nephi’s account – of how he didn’t know why he was making a second set of plates, but that he knew it was for a wise purpose – strengthens my testimony of God’s plan for us, His greater knowledge of the “whole picture”, and His love for us. Heavenly Father knew that hundreds of years later Joseph Smith would lose part of the record, and that there needed to be another copy so that I, me personally, could have these scriptures.

Questions:

  • Do I have enough faith and trust in God to follow all His commandments, even if I don’t fully understand them yet?

1 Nephi 8

Location: the wilderness

People: Lehi & his family

Important events & details:

  • Lehi sees a vision of the tree of life, “whose fruit was desirable to make one happy”. He calls Sariah, Sam, and Nephi to come partake of the fruit with him, and they do. Lehi also sees the iron rod and the strait and narrow path that lead to the tree. On the other side of a river Lehi sees a great and spacious building full of people laughing at and mocking those who are eating the fruit.
  • Lehi sees some people who follow the path for a little ways, before getting lost in a midst of darkness; some people who cling to the iron rod and taste of the fruit before feeling ashamed and joining the people in the great and spacious building; a third group who press forward, continually holding onto the rod until they come to the tree and eat the fruit; and finally many people who went into the great and spacious building.
  • Laman and Lemuel do not partake of the fruit and Lehi is “exceedingly feared” for them.

Favorite verses:

11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted…

12 … it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also…

30 … and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • It’s easy to get distracted or stumble when we are more focused on Satan’s temptations (e.g. what’s going on in the world around us, what people are saying/doing about us & the gospel, etc.) than on our straight and narrow path. But we have the iron rod (i.e. the word of God) that we can, and need to hold onto in order to press forward and stay on the path. The iron rod and the path are always there – they never disappear – even if & when midst of darkness sometimes cloud our vision. All we need to do is keep our end goal, the fruit of the gospel, in our sights; hold onto the knowledge we have; and have faith as we press forward and then we won’t be so distracted and tempted by the things that don’t matter.
  • “If there is any one thing most needed in this time of tumult and frustration, when men and women and youth and young adults are desperately seeking for answers to the problems which afflict mankind, it is an “iron rod” as a safe guide along the straight path on the way to eternal life, amidst the strange and devious roadways that would eventually lead to destruction and to the ruin of all that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report.”” – Harold B. Lee

Questions:

  • Which group am I most like? Do I cling to the rod and then become ashamed of my membership in the gospel? Do I get distracted and lost in midsts of darkness? Or am I able to have faith, press forward, and continually hold onto the things that I know are right and true?

1 Nephi 7

Location: the wilderness & Jerusalem

People: Nephi & his family, and Ishmael & his family

Important events & details:

  • Nephi and his brothers return to Jerusalem to get Ishmael and his family in order to be able to marry and have children in the wilderness.
  • While journeying Laman, Lemuel, two daughters of Ishmael, and two sons of Ishmael rebel against the others because they want to return to Jerusalem. When Nephi rebukes them they tie him up and “seek to take away [his] life”.
  • Nephi prayed to Heavenly Father and his bands were loosened, some of Ishmael’s family were able to convince the others of their wrongdoing, and Nephi forgave them.

Favorite verses:

12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.

21 And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done…

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • No matter how many times Nephi’s brothers rebel against him, he continually remains faithful to the Lord and reminds them to be faithful too.
  • Even after they seek to take away his life, Nephi has enough love and faith in his heart the he immediately forgives his brothers.

Questions:

  • Do I have enough charity in my heart to immediately forgive those who do wrong against me?

1 Nephi 6

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi – no new people

Important events and details:

  • Nephi says that he does not include a full genealogy of his fathers because his purpose for these writings is to convince people to learn of and come unto God. He says that he will only include the things which are pleasing to God in his writings, and commands his posterity to do the same.

Favorite verses:

4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • The things that are written in the Book of Mormon are those that God wants me to hear, everything in this book is there because the prophets thought it was important to helping me learn of and come closer to God.

Questions:

  • Am I paying enough attention to what I’m reading and studying in the scriptures? Am I making these things part of my daily life, to help build my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior?

1 Nephi 5

Location: the wilderness

People: Nephi’s family – no new people

Important events and details:

  • Sariah complains to Lehi that he is a visionary man, and now because of it their sons are lost. Lehi comforts Sariah by telling her that the Lord will deliver their sons.
  • Nephi and his brothers return with the brass plates, Lehi and Sariah offer sacrifice and burnt offerings to thank God, and Lehi begins to search the brass plates. Lehi discovers that they are descendants of Joseph of Egypt.

Favorite verses:

18 That these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people who were of his seed.

21 And we had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us…

22 Wherefore, it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us…

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Sometimes we are given commandments, not knowing why or what kinds of blessing they will bring, but when we follow and keep them, we see the blessing we receive and are able to glimpse a part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us.

Questions:

  • Am I as anxious to study and search the scriptures as Nephi and Lehi?

1 Nephi 4

Location: Jerusalem

People: Zoram (servant of Laban)

Important events and details:

  • Nephi returns into the city to try a third time to get the brass plates. He finds Laban drunk and passed out on the ground. The spirit tells Nephi to kill Laban, but Nephi struggles with this prompting. After the spirit tells Nephi that it is better for one man to die than a whole nation to dwindle in unbelief Nephi kills Laban with his own sword and dresses in his clothes.
  • Nephi returns to Laban’s house dressed up like him and has Zoram, the servant get the plates and carry them outside the city walls where his “elder brethren” are waiting. Zoram thinks Nephi is talking about the elders of the Jews and follows Nephi.
  • When Nephi’s brothers see him they are afraid, thinking he is Laban and has killed Nephi. Nephi calls to them, and then stops Zoram, who now realizing he is not Laban is scared and trying to run away.
  • Nephi promises Zoram that if he follows them into the wilderness he will be a free man, so Zoram makes an oath and follows them out of Jerusalem.

Favorite verses:

1 …let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban…

6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.

34 … Surely the Lord hath commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord?

Thoughts/Reflections:

  • Nephi was diligent and faithful always, knowing that he might have to try multiple times, and it would be hard, but that the Lord would provide a way for him to follow His commandments.
  • Even a prophet like Nephi will questions promptings, but ultimately he follows and obeys every time.
  • The Lord often expects us to try and work things out our own way before He provides us with or shows us a way to do things. But when we rely on Him, He will always help us and lead us to do the right thing.

Questions:

  • How many times am I willing to try to follow a commandment from the Lord, even if it is hard or I am not able to get it right the first time.