Book of Mormon: Lessons from the Three Episodes of Getting the Brass Plates; Nephi vs. Moses; Nephi and Laban vs. David and Goliath; Laman and Lemuel vs. Saul; Zoram vs. Jonathan; Sariah vs. Miriam
Nephi’s recounting of getting the brass plates is very interesting to me. Many say that the lesson to be learned is the degrees of relying on the Spirit and needing the Lord’s help: that we need to just rely on Him if we want to succeed. I aim to show there’s more to it; in fact, without the first two episodes, the third would have never happened.
Also, some say that Nephi was writing to be like Moses; others, that he was writing to be like David. I disagree with both; though what happened was similar to both of them, it was also very unique. (Great writers don’t copy stories; they just copy parts of great stories, then rework them to be better and unique.)
(Applicable Book of Mormon text is at the end.)
The first episode:
**Nephi has just received direct revelation from the Lord, yet there was nothing about going back to Jerusalem in there. Still, when the commandment came through his father, he knew it was from God. This shows a wonderful example of both personal revelation and receiving revelation through others, even at the same time.
**I wonder why they “cast lots” (1 Nephi 3:11) for one person to go, instead of going all together. Lehi had said, “…the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness” (1 Nephi 3:4). And Nephi had said, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded…” (1 Nephi 3:7).
**Laman, the oldest son and the one who should be leading the quest, has the chance, using all his worldly learning and pride, to get the plates. He uses the excuse of wanting to get the family genealogy to get the plates—which was ok; just didn’t cut it. His abilities got him nowhere except almost dead. Was there anything he could have done to get the Spirit and get the plates? Maybe not. If successful, was Laman going to use this opportunity to help his family, or for his own glory? This attempt of his stands out as a foil to Nephi and his turn, which should have been much harder/ impossible.
**we learn that Laban is a bloodthirsty man who is quick to anger.
**it is seen that this will probably not be an easy task.
The second episode:
**we see that Nephi swears an oath to not return without the plates; so, either they get the plates, or Nephi has to die first.
**we understand first that Nephi didn’t make them lose their riches, as they were already counted lost by Nephi. However, they were not counted lost by Laman and Lemuel before Laban took them, but only “temporarily not ours”. We must credit them with the willingness to exchange them for the plates. (This could be the origin of Laman and Lemuel’s “Nephi took our inheritance” story: saying that since Nephi had lost Laman and Lemuel’s inheritance in exchange for the plates, they should have had the plates.) Unfortunately for this reasoning, their father was still alive, and the riches were still his, and he no doubt approved of Nephi’s act, so… sorry, guys, this didn’t count as your inheritance. No doubt this is why they were really ticked off with Nephi and Sam in the cave and beat them—they lost all their treasures and almost their lives; not really that they didn’t get the plates (except that then they could have gone home sooner). So why did Laman and Lemuel beat Nephi and Sam, when this attempt had the same basic results as when Laman tried all by himself, except that Lemuel and Nephi and Sam had also been in danger of dying? Because of the loss of riches? Still, we must acknowledge that Laman had guts to go back the second time after he had been threatened with his life the first time, while for the others it was their first time.
**we see the difference in motives, attitudes, and obedience between Nephi and Sam and Laman and Lemuel.
-what Laban looks like, how he acts, his mannerisms, how he speaks;
-about Laban’s house and its layout and maybe where the treasury is and which servant is in charge of it, Laban’s servants, perhaps particularly Zoram—all in preparation for the third episode.
-more about Laban’s heart and how wicked a man he is.
*Nephi gets the law on his side, in preparation for the third episode.
*Laman and Lemuel got another witness from an angel about Nephi’s calling, and the reason for it. This angel also comfirms Sam’s belief in Nephi about his father’s words, and the necessity of leaving Jerusalem in order to live. Also, the command from the angel is clear, straightforward, and clearly from God: go back, and the Lord will deliver Laban.
The third episode:
**we see that Laman and Lemuel were not willing to challenge Nephi’s calling as being “over” them, as given moments ago by the angel. What smarted later was that the angel had told them all to go back, perhaps especially Laman and Lemuel—yet Laman and Lemuel didn’t want in. It would have actually been an easy thing for any of them to accomplish–the way was very prepared—but only Nephi had the faith to be willing to go. I don’t doubt Laman and Lemuel’s hearing Nephi’s recounting of the easiness of the task burned them. And then, to have this story retold to their parents and family, Ishmael’s family, etc.
**this is also a testimony to the others (hearing the story) of the differences between the brothers.
**we see that Nephi is honest and guileless. He could have made up a story much greater and stupendous than that of David and Goliath, and no one would have known any better! The fact that he told it like so, is something that many men vying—as Nephi did—against his brothers, would have a hard time doing.
**Laman and Lemuel had two main choices: accept that it happened as Nephi said, or not. If they were to accept Nephi’s story, then they would have to accept that God helped him. If they didn’t, they must accept that Nephi overpowered/ overcame Laban who could “slay fifty” or even “tens of thousands”, when they had cowered in fear of Laban.
**ironically, the reason Laban was drunk was probably from celebrating his “good fortune” of having increased his assets massively in one day, with almost no effort at all on his part. Not only does it give Nephi the perfect scenario, but it also gives Nephi a great excuse for anything he might do wrong at Laban’s house—“I’m drunk”. Voice a little off? forget which direction the treasury is, or where the plates are? has to tell Zoram to open the lock? —all would be apt to blame his mistakes on drunkeness.
**we get to where Nephi deliberates the killing. Had the first and second episode not happened, I believe it would have been much harder personally for Nephi to kill Laban. However, since Nephi knew, by real experience, that Laban was a(n attempted) murderer (against none other than him and his brothers–twice!), and having seen Laban’s love for the vain things of the world, and probably knowing that he had rejected what they had told him about what the Lord had told them and he had refused—-all made it much easier.
**Laban had told Laman, “Thou art a robber, and I will slay thee”. Laban ate his words.
**Nephi was not planning to kill Laban at all. In fact, he was shocked when the Spirit told him to do it—even when no one was around, Laban was drunk, and he was holding the bare sword. Why? Nephi was thinking the Lord would take care of Laban for them, just as he had killed the Egyptians: “Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea” (1 Nephi 4:2). “Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians” (1 Nephi 4:3). So, when the plan was different, he had to first overcome his thoughts about what he thought the Lord would do/ what the Lord’s plan was. A few people say Nephi took a lot of time to slay Laban—there’s a reason. Besides, I see a very peaceful, loving, forgiving man, in whom there was no desire or thought of murder nor retaliation in his mind or heart, as evidenced by the numerous times he frankly forgives his brothers after they try to murder him. There was never any talk about doing anything bad to Laban, even though Laban was a man of violence, both by profession and in their personal experiences, and had used his power unjustly. Nevertheless, he goes one up on Moses and slays Laban personally. (More on this in another article here on the blog…)
**Notice that “kill” and “murder” are not used in the text here. It’s “shed…blood” and “slay”.
**Nephi does not give a detailed law-based defense for his actions, which suggests that he saw no need for it for those reading his words, who would be able to understand it enough with what he had given.
**In addition, there is no mention of Laman, Lemuel, Zoram, or anyone else ever accusing Nephi of being a murderer–something Laman and Lemuel would surely have used against him if it had been the case. Thus, he exceeds Moses, who slew the enemy (likely rightfully), but was chided by his own for it: “And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand (Exodus 2:12). And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? (Exodus 2:13). And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known” (Exodus 2:14).
**Some say that Zoram would have known something was wrong because of all the blood on Laban’s clothes (the neck is the worst place for gushing blood). Though it sounds like it, the text does not say that Nephi killed Laban first, then took his garments off: “Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword” (1 Nephi 4:18). “And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments OF (not OFF) Laban and put them upon mine own body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins” (1 Nephi 4:19).
**Nephi doesn’t just cut off Laban’s head with the sword. He goes one up on David–he then puts on Laban’s garments, and becomes Laban, even so much that he is mistaken by Laban’s servant. In essense, all that is Laban’s, is symbolically his–including, as his brothers put it, able to slay fifty, or even “tens of thousands” (1 Nephi 4:1). Compare this to 1 Samuel 18:7: “And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” Compare this donning of the garments with David and Jonathan, in 1 Samuel 18:4: “And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.”
**As David picked up a friend from the household of his enemy after slaying Goliath who helped him stay alive, Nephi, after slaying Laban, picks up a loyal friend, Zoram, who also covenants with him, and by so doing saves his life. Zoram, like Jonathon, chose the Lord’s choice. Remember, had Lehi’s group been found, Nephi would have been the first to go. When Jonathan makes the covenant, he gives his garments and sword to David; Zoram comes to make the covenant with Nephi because Nephi donned Laban’s garments and sword.
**Some wonder why Zoram didn’t know that Nephi was an imposter. Was Zoram a new guy, or just a lowly servant who didn’t know Laban well, or was Nephi changed by the power of God, like Brigham Young seeming to be Joseph Smith? I don’t believe any of these are the case. Zoram had the keys to the treasury, and knew where the plates were—we can conclude he was hardly a lowly servant. This was also in Laban’s house—I’m sure not just anyone could work there. Also, Zoram carried the conversation—something a lowly servant or new person would never dare do, especially with a mighty leader and warrior like Laban. So, I think the previous episode had helped enough that Nephi could do it, and he clearly says that he imitated Laban; anything “out of normal” could be blamed on drunkeness.
**Laban’s sword—just like Goliath’s sword—is kept as a token. In fact, it is the sword the Nephite king wields in battle. It is the symbol of the turning point in leadership, where the mantle was called by the Lord to be given to Nephi, and unchallenged by Laman and Lemuel—those who were in the position to do so.
**Knowing about Zoram, and that he was a free man and not a servant or bonded to them, also gives us a nice insight to the text about whether there could have been others in the group not mentioned.
**When the brothers came home victorious, particular mention is made of Sariah rejoicing, in 1 Nephi 5:7-8: “And when we had returned to the tent of my father, behold their joy was full, and my mother was comforted.” “And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. And after this manner of language did she speak.” (The next project, after the sacrifice and rejoicing, was the getting of women for wives.)
Compare this to Exodus 15:20-21: “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.” “And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.”
And also what’s recorded in 1 Samuel 18:6-7: “And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of musick.” “And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”
*Saul should have been the one fighting Goliath, but he stayed in the camp as David went forth on his own. The victory was David’s.
Laman and Lemuel and Sam should have been the ones fighting Goliath, but they stayed outside the walls of Jerusalem as Nephi went forth on his own.
*Saul tells David: “Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”
Laman and Lemuel tell Nephi that Laban was way too much for them, he being a great man of war. Nephi was a youth, and described himself as such (up to that point).
*David says “This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel”.
Nephi, on the other hand, didn’t want *anyone* to know—outside of his brothers; but I believe he wanted to give them a reason to know there was a God, and to believe in God. (Remember that he had just had his experience with their unbelief before receiving the command from his father to go back and get the plates.) Yet Nephi, by writing this on the plates, also makes known to “all the earth” that there is “a God in Israel”.
*David ran to meet Goliath.
Nephi did not wait for Laban to come to him; he himself went back into the city, towards Laban’s house.
*David’s youth had prepared him for this; his skill with the sling knocked Goliath down and put him in a state of unconsciousness, which allowed David to pull Goliath’s sword and cut his head off.
I believe Nephi’s previous hard work (evidenced by the fact that he knew how to smelt and work metal) had added to his father’s treasury, which was originally traded to get the plates. Thus, Nephi actually *had* had a hand in Laban’s final situation of being in a state of unconsciousness, which allowed Nephi to pull Laban’s sword and cut his head off.
*”And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.”
When Laman and Lemuel and Sam thought they saw that Nephi—their champion—was dead (or so they had imagined, when they saw “Laban” (really Nephi) and imagined he had slain Nephi), they fled.
*The relationship between David and Jonathan was strong and good. Jonathan left his father, the ruler who had been chosen of the Lord but had fallen because he failed to heed the commandments, to covenant with David. When covenanting, Jonathan took off all his clothes and articles, which had come from Saul, and gave them to David.
Lehi later says that Zoram was a true friend to Nephi for years. Zoram left Laban (when exactly did he know that Laban was dead? even at the point of the covenant he might not know that Laban had been slain), Laban had failed to follow the Lord’s commands and therefore fell, and Zoram covenanted with Nephi. Nephi was wearing the clothes and articles of Zoram’s master, Laban.
*Saul became jealous of David for his victory and Saul’s lack in the story, and tried to kill him on more than one occasion—notwithstanding he knew that David had faced and killed Goliath, who was a much bigger and scarier opponent, even by Saul’s admission.
Laman and Lemuel became jealous of Nephi for his victory and their lack in the story, and tried to kill him on numerous occasions—notwithstanding they knew that Nephi had faced and killed Laban, who was a much bigger and scarier opponent, even by their admission.
*Saul eventually lost the kingship, and David took his place.
Laman and Lemuel eventually lost the right to rule, and Nephi took their place.
All in all, Nephi does sound like Moses and David, but is it because he purposefully and forcefully wanted to, or because circumstances brought it into being? While I admit the similarity and possible crafting (not making up) of the story, and the realization of an exodus likely similar to the earlier one led by Moses, Nephi is not Moses, and is not David; he is Nephi, and perhaps he writes his story to stand above them.
1 Nephi 2:16
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.
1 Nephi 2:17
And I spake unto Sam, making known unto him the things which the Lord had manifested unto me by his Holy Spirit. And it came to pass that he believed in my words.
1 Nephi 2:18
But, behold, Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words; and being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts I cried unto the Lord for them.
1 Nephi 2:19
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me diligently, with lowliness of heart.
1 Nephi 2:20
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.
1 Nephi 2:21
And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
1 Nephi 2:22
And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren.
1 Nephi 2:23
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.
1 Nephi 2:24
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.
1 Nephi 3:1
AND it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father.
1 Nephi 3:2
And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a dream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem.
1 Nephi 3:3
For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.
1 Nephi 3:4
Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto the house of Laban, and seek the records, and bring them down hither into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 3:5
And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.
1 Nephi 3:6
Therefore go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord, because thou hast not murmured.
1 Nephi 3:7
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: 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.
1 Nephi 3:8
And it came to pass that when my father had heard these words he was exceedingly glad, for he knew that I had been blessed of the Lord.
1 Nephi 3:9
And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness, with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem.
1 Nephi 3:9
And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness, with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem.
1 Nephi 3:10
And it came to pass that when we had gone up to the land of Jerusalem, I and my brethren did consult one with another.
1 Nephi 3:11
And we cast lots–who of us should go in unto the house of Laban. And it came to pass that the lot fell upon Laman; and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, and he talked with him as he sat in his house.
1 Nephi 3:12
And he desired of Laban the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, which contained the genealogy of my father.
1 Nephi 3:13
And behold, it came to pass that Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.
1 Nephi 3:14
But Laman fled out of his presence, and told the things which Laban had done, unto us. And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.
1 Nephi 3:15
But behold I said unto them that: 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.
1 Nephi 3:16
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.
1 Nephi 3:17
For he knew that Jerusalem must be destroyed, because of the wickedness of the people.
1 Nephi 3:18
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.
1 Nephi 3:19
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;
1 Nephi 3:20
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.
1 Nephi 3:21
And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I persuade my brethren, that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments of God.
1 Nephi 3:22
And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things.
1 Nephi 3:23
And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.
1 Nephi 3:24
And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.
1 Nephi 3:25
And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.
1 Nephi 3:26
And it came to pass that we did flee before the servants of Laban, and we were obliged to leave behind our property, and it fell into the hands of Laban.
1 Nephi 3:27
And it came to pass that we fled into the wilderness, and the servants of Laban did not overtake us, and we hid ourselves in the cavity of a rock.
1 Nephi 3:28
And it came to pass that Laman was angry with me, and also with my father; and also was Lemuel, for he hearkened unto the words of Laman. Wherefore Laman and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod.
1 Nephi 3:29
And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: 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.
1 Nephi 3:30
And after the angel had spoken unto us, he departed.
1 Nephi 3:31
And after the angel had departed, Laman and Lemuel again began to murmur, saying: How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?
1 Nephi 4:1
AND it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and 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 and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?
1 Nephi 4:2
Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
1 Nephi 4:3
Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.
1 Nephi 4:4
Now when I had spoken these words, they were yet wroth, and did still continue to murmur; nevertheless they did follow me up until we came without the walls of Jerusalem.
1 Nephi 4:5
And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.
1 Nephi 4:6
And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
1 Nephi 4:7
Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine.
1 Nephi 4:8
And when I came to him I found that it was Laban.
1 Nephi 4:9
And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
1 Nephi 4:10
And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.
1 Nephi 4:11
And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.
1 Nephi 4:12
And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;
1 Nephi 4:13
Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
1 Nephi 4:14
And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.
1 Nephi 4:15
Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.
1 Nephi 4:16
And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.
1 Nephi 4:17
And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause–that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
1 Nephi 4:18
Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.
1 Nephi 4:19
And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins.
1 Nephi 4:20
And after I had done this, I went forth unto the treasury of Laban. And as I went forth towards the treasury of Laban, behold, I saw the servant of Laban who had the keys of the treasury. And I commanded him in the voice of Laban, that he should go with me into the treasury.
1 Nephi 4:21
And he supposed me to be his master, Laban, for he beheld the garments and also the sword girded about my loins.
1 Nephi 4:22
And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night among them.
1 Nephi 4:23
And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.
1 Nephi 4:24
And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.
1 Nephi 4:25
And I also bade him that he should follow me.
1 Nephi 4:26
And he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church, and that I was truly that Laban whom I had slain, wherefore he did follow me.
1 Nephi 4:27
And he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews, as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without the walls.
1 Nephi 4:28
And it came to pass that when Laman saw me he was exceedingly frightened, and also Lemuel and Sam. And they fled from before my presence; for they supposed it was Laban, and that he had slain me and had sought to take away their lives also.
1 Nephi 4:29
And it came to pass that I called after them, and they did hear me; wherefore they did cease to flee from my presence.
1 Nephi 4:30
And it came to pass that when the servant of Laban beheld my brethren he began to tremble, and was about to flee from before me and return to the city of Jerusalem.
1 Nephi 4:31
And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee.
1 Nephi 4:32
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.
1 Nephi 4:33
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.
1 Nephi 4:34
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.
1 Nephi 4:35
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.
1 Nephi 4:36
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.
1 Nephi 4:37
And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.
1 Nephi 4:38
And it came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the servant of Laban, and departed into the wilderness, and journeyed unto the tent of our father.
1 Nephi 5:1
AND it came to pass that after we had come down into the wilderness unto our father, behold, he was filled with joy, and also my mother, Sariah, was exceedingly glad, for she truly had mourned because of us.
1 Nephi 5:2
For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness; and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying: Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.
1 Nephi 5:3
And after this manner of language had my mother complained against my father.
1 Nephi 5:4
And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.
1 Nephi 5:5
But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver my sons out of the hands of Laban, and bring them down again unto us in the wilderness.
1 Nephi 5:6
And after this manner of language did my father, Lehi, comfort my mother, Sariah, concerning us, while we journeyed in the wilderness up to the land of Jerusalem, to obtain the record of the Jews.
1 Nephi 5:7
And when we had returned to the tent of my father, behold their joy was full, and my mother was comforted.
1 Nephi 5:8
And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. And after this manner of language did she speak.
17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall
be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the
reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that
he should defy the armies of the living God?
17:32 And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him;
thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine.
17:33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this
Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man
of war from his youth.
17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a
sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the
name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou
17:46 This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will
smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the
carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the
air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know
that there is a God in Israel.
17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with
sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you
into our hands.
17:48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came, and
drew nigh to meet David, that David hastened, and ran toward the army
to meet the Philistine.
17:50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a
stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword
in the hand of David.
17:51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his
sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut
off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion
was dead, they fled.
18:1 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto
Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and
Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
18:2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to
his father’s house.
18:3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as
his own soul.
18:4 And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and
gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow,
and to his girdle.
18:7 And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul
hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.
13:21 And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to
lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them
light; to go by day and night: 13:22 He took not away the pillar of
the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the
14:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 14:2 Speak unto the
children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth,
between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall
ye encamp by the sea.
14:3 For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are
entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in.
14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after
them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that
the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.
14:5 And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the
heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people,
and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from
serving us? 14:6 And he made ready his chariot, and took his people
with him: 14:7 And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the
chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them.
14:8 And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he
pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went
out with an high hand.
14:9 But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots
of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them
encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baalzephon.
14:10 And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up
their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they
were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the LORD.
14:11 And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt,
hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou
dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?
14:12 Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone,
that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the
Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.
14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and
see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for
the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no
more for ever.
14:14 The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
14:15 And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me?
speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:
14:16 But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and
divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through
the midst of the sea.
14:17 And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and
they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and
upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen.
14:18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have
gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his
14:19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel,
removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from
before their face, and stood behind them: 14:20 And it came between
the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud
and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the
one came not near the other all the night.
14:21 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD
caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and
made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
14:22 And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon
the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right
hand, and on their left.
14:23 And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst
of the sea, even all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
14:24 And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked
unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the
cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
14:25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily:
so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the
LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
14:26 And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the
sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their
chariots, and upon their horsemen.
14:27 And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea
returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians
fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of
14:28 And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the
horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after
them; there remained not so much as one of them.
14:29 But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of
the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and
on their left.
14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the
Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
14:31 And Israel saw that great work which the LORD did upon the
Egyptians: and the people feared the LORD, and believed the LORD, and
his servant Moses.
15:1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the
LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath
triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the
15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation:
he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God,
and I will exalt him.
15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
15:4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his
chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
15:5 The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a
15:6 Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right
hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
15:7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown
them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which
consumed them as stubble.
15:8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered
together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were
congealed in the heart of the sea.
15:9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the
spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my
hand shall destroy them.
15:10 Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank
as lead in the mighty waters.
15:11 Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee,
glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 15:12 Thou
stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.
15:13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast
redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy
15:14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on
the inhabitants of Palestina.
15:15 Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab,
trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan
shall melt away.
15:16 Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine
arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O
LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.
15:17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of
thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee
to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have
15:18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
15:19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his
horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the
sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the
midst of the sea.
15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel
in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and
15:21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath
triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the
15:22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into
the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness,
and found no water.