Location: the wilderness
People: Nephi, his family, and Ishmael’s family
Important events & details:
- Nephi and his brothers marry the daughters of Ishmael; Ishmael passes away, and his family begins to murmur because of their hardships in the wilderness.
- Lehi finds the Liahona (“a ball of curious workmanship”) outside his tent one morning. The Liahona directs them through the wilderness, leading them toward “more fertile parts” and towards the promised land. The Liahona also displays messages from the Lord from time to time. Nephi tells us that the Liahona only works according to their faith.
- Nephi breaks his bow and is unable to obtain food for his family, and his brothers complain; he makes a new bow and arrow from wood and sticks, and he prays to the Lord to help him find food.
28 … I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them.
29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.
- The guidance of the pointers in the Liahona and the messages that are written for Nephi and his family remind me of the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, and my patriarchal blessing. These are all things that I have free access to, at any point in my life, but that can only guide me when I have faith and humble myself. Even though the scriptures and my patriarchal blessing never change – sometimes, at different times in my life – new things become important to me, or I gain new and different understanding from the things I have previously read.
- I love that when Nephi broke his bow, the first thing he did was go out and make himself a new one, rather than complaining or moping. Once he did all he could on his own he turned to Heavenly Father, to gain inspiration and guidance in solving the rest of the problem.
- “Your patriarchal blessing is yours and yours alone. It may be brief or lengthy, simple or profound. Length and language do not a patriarchal blessing make. It is the Spirit that conveys the true meaning. Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers.” – Thomas S. Monson
- Do I give as much heed and importance to scripture study and my patriarchal blessing as I should? Do I allow them to guide me in all things?
- When faced with a problem, do I do everything I possibly can, before turning to the Lord?
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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?
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.
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…
- 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.
- Do I have enough charity in my heart to immediately forgive those who do wrong against me?
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.
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?
- 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.
- 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.