Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, December 31

“Book of Mormon: Who Was Leading the Fighting against the Gadianton Robbers?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Who Was Leading the Fighting against the Gadianton Robbers?

grego
(c) 2009

Interesting, that at this time (3 Nephi 3:12), after many problems with the Gadianton robbers, it seems that there was still not a real “military force” nor military leaders (“chief captains”) appointed.

Also, I find it interesting that Lachoneus makes military decisions at the beginning (like “everyone move to this land”), and then afterwards he appoints military leaders–it just seems backwards…

Perhaps military leaders were selected and appointed per campaign or war, not just in general?

3 Nephi 3:12 Now behold, this Lachoneus, the governor, was a just man, and could not be frightened by the demands and the threatenings of a robber; therefore he did not hearken to the epistle of Giddianhi, the governor of the robbers, but he did cause that his people should cry unto the Lord for strength against the time that the robbers should come down against them.
13 Yea, he sent a proclamation among all the people, that they should gather together their women, and their children, their flocks and their herds, and all their substance, save it were their land, unto one place.
14 And he caused that fortifications should be built round about them, and the strength thereof should be exceedingly great. And he caused that armies, both of the Nephites and of the Lamanites, or of all them who were numbered among the Nephites, should be placed as guards round about to watch them, and to guard them from the robbers day and night.
15 Yea, he said unto them: As the Lord liveth, except ye repent of all your iniquities, and cry unto the Lord, ye will in nowise be delivered out of the hands of those Gadianton robbers.
16 And so great and marvelous were the words and prophecies of Lachoneus that they did cause fear to come upon all the people; and they did exert themselves in their might to do according to the words of Lachoneus.
17 And it came to pass that Lachoneus did appoint chief captains over all the armies of the Nephites, to command them at the time that the robbers should come down out of the wilderness against them.
18 Now the chiefest among all the chief captains and the great commander of all the armies of the Nephites was appointed, and his name was Gidgiddoni.
19 Now it was the custom among all the Nephites to appoint for their chief captains, (save it were in their times of wickedness) some one that had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy; therefore, this Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them, as also was the chief judge.

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“Book of Mormon: Alma 46:40 and ‘The Cause of Diseases'” by grego

Book of Mormon: Alma 46:40 and ‘The Cause of Diseases’

grego
(c) 2009

Something in the Book of Mormon has intrigued me for a few years:

Alma 46:40 And there were some who died with fevers, which at some seasons of the year were very frequent in the land—but not so much so with fevers, because of the excellent qualities of the many plants and roots which God had prepared to remove *the cause* of diseases, to which men were subject by the nature of the climate–

Does this mean that there was one cause of all the diseases they suffered due to the climate? What would that cause be?

“Book of Mormon: A Key to Victory in 3 Nephi 3?” by grego

Book of Mormon: A Key to Victory in 3 Nephi 3?

grego
(c) 2009

Notwithstanding the Nephites wanted to destroy the robbers (3 Nephi 3:20) and their preparations to defend themselves and slay their enemies, I think there is a key here to help us understand the depth of their repentance, the difference between what they desired to do and what the Gadianton robbers wanted to do to them, and assurance that all would be ok for the Nephites: “and they were exceedingly sorrowful because of their enemies” (3 Nephi 3:26).

3 Nephi 3:20 Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
21 But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.
22 And it came to pass in the *seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle, and all their flocks, and their herds, and their grain, and all their substance, and did march forth by thousands and by tens of thousands, until they had all gone forth to the place which had been appointed that they should gather themselves together, to defend themselves against their enemies.
23 And the land which was appointed was the land of Zarahemla, and the land which was between the land Zarahemla and the land Bountiful, yea, to the line which was between the land Bountiful and the land Desolation.
24 And there were a great many thousand people who were called Nephites, who did gather themselves together in this land. Now Lachoneus did cause that they should gather themselves together in the land southward, because of the great curse which was upon the land northward.
25 And they did fortify themselves against their enemies; and they did dwell in one land, and in one body, and they did fear the words which had been spoken by Lachoneus, insomuch that they did repent of all their sins; and they did put up their prayers unto the Lord their God, that he would deliver them in the time that their enemies should come down against them to battle.
26 And they were exceedingly sorrowful because of their enemies. And Gidgiddoni did cause that they should make weapons of war of every kind, and they should be strong with armor, and with shields, and with bucklers, after the manner of his instruction.

“Book of Mormon | Poetic Justice: Poor Giddianhi” by grego

“Book of Mormon | Poetic Justice: Poor Giddianhi”

(c) grego

In 3 Nephi 3 and 4 we have read a little about Giddianhi, the leader of the Gadianton robbers. He writes:
3 Nephi 3:9 And behold, *I am Giddianhi; and I am the governor* of this the secret society of Gadianton; *which society and the works thereof I know to be good*; and they are of ancient date and they have been handed down unto us.
10 And I write this epistle unto you, Lachoneus, and I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions, without the shedding of blood, that *this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government, and except ye do this, I will avenge their wrongs*. I am Giddianhi.

Like Ammoron, he (Giddianhi) claims that he fights this war at the head of good people for the rights and benefits of others, out of the goodness of his heart (or something, eh).

This is what happens to him:
3 Nephi 4:14 And it came to pass that Giddianhi, who had stood and fought with boldness, was pursued as he fled; and being weary because of his much fighting he was overtaken and slain. And thus was the end of Giddianhi the robber.

Whoops! Where are all the good people he was fighting for? In their path to safety, they leave their advocate, their hero and leader, in the dust!! One for all, and all for themself!!

“Book of Mormon: Ambiguity in 3 Nephi 4: ‘the Appearance of the Army'” by grego

Book of Mormon: Ambiguity in 3 Nephi 4: ‘the Appearance of the Army’

grego
(c) 2009

There is an ambiguity in 3 Nephi 4 (shown by **):
3 Nephi 4:7 And it came to pass that they did come up to battle; and it was in the sixth month; and behold, great and terrible was the day that they did come up to battle; and they were girded about after the manner of robbers; and they had a lamb-skin about their loins, and they were dyed in blood, and their heads were shorn, and they had head-plates upon them; and *great and terrible was the appearance of the armies of Giddianhi*, because of their armor, and because of their being dyed in blood.
8 And it came to pass that **the armies of the Nephites, when they saw the appearance of the army of Giddianhi**, had all fallen to the earth, and did lift their cries to the Lord their God, that he would spare them and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.
9 And it came to pass that when the armies of Giddianhi saw this they began to shout with a loud voice, because of their joy, for they had supposed that the Nephites had fallen with fear because of the terror of their armies.
10 But in this thing they were disappointed, for the Nephites did not fear them; but they did fear their God and did supplicate him for protection; therefore, when the armies of Giddianhi did rush upon them they were prepared to meet them; yea, in the strength of the Lord they did receive them.
11 And the battle commenced…
12 And notwithstanding the threatenings and the oaths which Giddianhi had made, behold, the Nephites did beat them, insomuch that they did fall back from before them.

Does “appearance” mean their “outward aspect”, or does it mean “showing up, coming into view”? Or… I’m seeing it meaning “showing up” to the Nephites, but as “outward aspect” to the army of Giddianhi/ the Gadianton robbers! Not just ambiguity, but ambiguity with meaning!

2009, December 25

“Book of Mormon: First Transgression?” by grego

What was the “first transgression” Mormon writes about in 3 Nephi 5:12?

12 And behold, I am called Mormon, being called after the land of Mormon, the land in which Alma did establish the church among the people, yea, the first church which was established among them after their transgression.

2009, December 24

“Book of Mormon: Correction to Chapter Heading for 3 Nephi 2 (Regarding White Lamanites)” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Correction to Chapter Heading for 3 Nephi 2 (Regarding White Lamanites)”

grego
(c) 2009

The chapter heading for 3 Nephi 2 reads, in part:

“Converted Lamanites become white and are called Nephites”.

In 3 Nephi 2:12, 14-16, we see that the converted Lamanites unite with the Nephites, are also “numbered among the Nephites”, and then the curse is taken from them, and their skin “became white like unto the Nephites”–a little more and a little bit different order from the chapter heading order; and though it might seem trite, it probably has continued to lead to misunderstandings about what “must” happen when Lamanites are converted, etc.

2009, December 23

“Book of Mormon: Correction to Chapter heading (regarding Jacob) for 3 Nephi 7” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Correction to Chapter heading (regarding Jacob) for 3 Nephi 7”

grego
(c) 2009

A short one this time; it has to do with the chapter heading for 3 Nephi 7, which reads in the Book of Mormon as:

“Jacob, an antichrist, becomes king of a league of tribes”

Actually, he becomes king of band/ ONE tribe out of the many tribes that rose up.

2009, December 22

“Book of Mormon: What to Do with the Robbers?” by grego

Book of Mormon: What to Do with the Robbers?

grego
(c) 2009

The Book of Mormon says:
3 Nephi 7:3 And they granted unto those robbers who had entered into a covenant to keep the peace of the land, who were desirous to remain Lamanites, lands, according to their numbers, that they might have, with their labors, wherewith to subsist upon; and thus they did establish peace in all the land.

The robbers had given up in their war and were captives; some repented of all their sins, but others, like these, didn’t want to. Still, they were granted (was that “given” or “loaned”?) land so that they could live by their labors; essentially, they were granted a place to live and work to do, but no further government handouts.

No slaves; no prison. Result? Peace.

There is nothing later in the record that denotes any type of returning to their robbing or unrighteousness at all; in fact, the next Gadianton robbers are a very different set of people (judges, lawyers, ex-high priests).

Joseph Smith, while running for President of the United States of America, http://reason.com/blog/2007/12/06/the-single-weirdest-fact-about :
“opposed incarceration for all crimes but murder. Instead, miscreants ought to work on the roads or ‘any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue.’ Smith reminded those hardhearts who doubted that criminals might be reformed that ‘Love conquers all.'” Also, “Petition your state legislatures to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries,” Smith urged, “blessing them as they go, and saying to them in the name of the Lord, go thy way and sin no more!”

If much of the growth of the robbers occurred during the reign of the Gadianton robbers in the judgment seat (Helaman 7-11) and perhaps the government had contributed to their problem, and only the less-convinced and less-opposed and less-wicked robbers surrendered while the harcore ones died fighting or received capital punishment for their unrepentant ways, and thus left out capital punishment even for the robbers?

I imagine it was a little more complicated than that; could some form of this idea work?

“Book of Mormon: Is Knowing the Truth Enough?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Is Knowing the Truth Enough?”

grego
(c) 2009

There are a few scriptures in 3 Nephi especially that stress the importance of doing after knowing. Here are some:

3 Nephi 4:33 And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction.
3 Nephi 5:1 And now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets who had spoken; for they knew that it must needs be that they must be fulfilled.
2 And they knew that it must be expedient that Christ had come, because of the many signs which had been given, according to the words of the prophets; and because of the things which had come to pass already they knew that it must needs be that all things should come to pass according to that which had been spoken.

3 Nephi 6:1 And now it came to pass that the people of the Nephites did all return to their own lands in the *twenty and sixth year…
10 But it came to pass in the *twenty and ninth year there began to be some disputings among the people; and some were lifted up unto pride and boastings because of their exceedingly great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions;
11 For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers.
12 And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.
13 Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God.
14 And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the *thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord.
15 Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world.
16 And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people to do all manner of iniquity; therefore they had enjoyed peace but a few years.
17 And thus, in the commencement of the thirtieth year—the people having been delivered up for the space of a long time to be carried about by the temptations of the devil whithersoever he desired to carry them, and to do whatsoever iniquity he desired they should—and thus in the commencement of this, the thirtieth year, they were in a state of awful wickedness.
18 Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God.

3 Nephi 7:7  And they did cause a great contention in the land, insomuch that the more righteous part of the people had nearly all become wicked; yea, there were but few righteous men among them.  
8 And thus six years had not passed away since the more part of the people had turned from their righteousness, like the dog to his vomit, or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire.
14 And it came to pass in the *thirty and first year … nevertheless, their hearts were turned from the Lord their God, and they did stone the prophets and did cast them out from among them.
15 And it came to pass that Nephi—having been visited by angels and also the voice of the Lord, therefore having seen angels, and being eye-witness, and having had power given unto him that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ, and also being eye-witness to their quick return from righteousness unto their wickedness and abominations;
16 Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds—went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
17 … And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.
18 And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily.
19 And in the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits; and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people.
20 And the people saw it, and did witness of it, and were angry with him because of his power; and he did also do many more miracles, in the sight of the people, in the name of Jesus.
21 And it came to pass that the thirty and first year did pass away, and there were but few who were converted unto the Lord…

It only took three-four years for the Nephites to go from complete knowledge of the truth of, and acceptance of the gospel, and obedience to the gospel; to becoming so wicked that the church was broken up, leaving mainly individuals. 

These scriptures make it clear:  even *knowing* the gospel is true, beyond the ability to doubt in the least, is not enough; doing–along with faith and hope–is essential!  So many times we hope and concentrate on helping someone gain a testimony, as if that would solve all their problems of conversion; it won’t. True conversion takes more than a testimony or knowledge. In fact, even when the Nephites couldn’t disbelieve Nephi, they only got angry with all his preaching!

This account also supports another interesting concept: when people are not “forced” to be righteous, many won’t be (Helaman 12:3).

2009, December 18

“Book of Mormon: The Destruction at Christ’s Coming–The Significance of the Date” by grego

“Book of Mormon: The Destruction at Christ’s Coming–The Significance of the Date”

grego
(c) 2009

I found one more interesting point about the destruction at Christ’s coming in 3 Nephi:8 in the Book of Mormon. It has to do with the date.

2 And now it came to pass, if there was no mistake made by this man in the reckoning of our time, the *thirty and third year had passed away;
3 And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land.
4 And there began to be great doubtings and disputations among the people, notwithstanding so many signs had been given.
5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.

It seems people were looking forward to this sign of darkness in the 33rd year, a time that must have been more or less given in the prophecy Samuel made but which didn’t make it into Mormon’s summary of Samuel’s prophecy (see the signs but not the time in Helaman 14:14, 20-27).

The sign didn’t come.

I imagine the majority (the wicked) were overjoyed at this failure of the sign to manifest.

Obviously the lesson from 33 or so years ago had been forgotten.

It was now the fourth day of the 34th year (3 Nephi 8:5). If the Mesoamerican New Year ceremony/ ritual of gods sitting on their thrones in triumph has any significance, the gods were in place for the year–or so the wicked might have imagined.
From http://feastuponthewordblog.org/2008/09/08/book-of-mormon-lesson-31-alma-43-52-another-take/ : “The general ritual practice is something like this: a dummy king is put on the throne on New Year’s Eve, and then, through some kind of combat drama, he is killed, after which the real king appears on the throne as if resurrected, and everyone celebrates the king’s power over death and chaos, etc. Notice, though, what happens here: the Lamanites wake up, and, sure enough, the king has died. But they can’t rouse him, and he doesn’t bring himself back to life. On the very morning when he should have died and also risen, he simply dies. To any pagan society, this would have had one meaning: your gods have been conquered by the gods of your enemies.”
Also, was there anything in any Nephite religious culture that had to do with three days of death and then the spirit is gone, as in Jewish thought at the time of Jesus?

Suddenly, on the fourth day of the new year, all nature broke loose.

Once more, it was a surprising and strong testimony that Jesus Christ WAS God.

2009, December 16

“Lessons from the Book of Mormon: Tradition, Pride, Hypocrisy, and the Downfall of Peoples” by grego

“Lessons from the Book of Mormon: Tradition, Pride, Hypocrisy, and the Downfall of Peoples”

grego
(c) 2009

How does it work?

We’ve recently changed YSA leaders about three or four times over the past year. Interestingly, each time I interview the new one, I inevitably hear something like this:
“I will be better than the last leader, who wasn’t that good.”
The reason we keep switching? After about one month, that new leader starts… going… downhill… FAST. Hmmm… Soon, they are at the same level, if not lower, than the previous leaders they had criticized and resented…

When a bishop was released, he had problems. One of his main things to talk about was the mistakes and problems the branch president/ bishop who had served before him had made–all the while ignoring any mistakes he himself had made (which might have also led to his release). Would it surprise you to know that the former leader was now a counselor in the stake presidency, who had counseled with him about the ward and agreed with the stake president to his release as bishop–perhaps even bringing it up?
Of course, the ex-bishop claimed he was released for only one reason, which he felt was right (and probably was) in holding on to his course for; however, he ignored the many other possible reasons (claiming that the stake presidency counselor’s wife was not worthy to hold a calling, for releasing the Relief Society president for disagreeing with him and questioning him against the Church Handbook of Instruction as to why the sisters didn’t get home teachers, for causing disunity in the ward, etc.–which basically boiled down to, he wasn’t leading the ward by the Spirit).
By the way, after being released, his second main focus was on the lack of leadership provided by the new bishop, who of course wasn’t like him…

Another brother has continually borne testimony of the priesthood since his release from a calling where he worked with a bishop, then has continually critiqued/ criticized/ “reminded” the new bishop for over a year. Recently he answered questions during Sunday School as if he and his family were perfect, and the light to look up to.
Well… Sunday night, his sons got in a fight, and one ran away from home. Gone, overnight. His cries and pleas for help were heard and answered by the bishopric; and the lesson about the dangers of pride and hypocrisy were also seen by the bishopric.

And last but not least for this post… Just after writing that while feeling negative emotions, I went outside in the courtyard to watch my children ride bikes. A guy came out of a home, spit on the ground twice right where they were riding. What a jerk! So I walked by his home, and spit on the pavement outside his door. Wow! I haven’t done something like that for a very, very long time, even in much worse situations. Then I started thinking…
Mormon 3: 15 Vengeance is mine, and I will repay…
Mormon 8:20 Behold what the scripture says—man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord, and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.
I saw his parents inside. Perhaps the man didn’t even live there, it was his older parents’ house. Perhaps they didn’t approve of his behavior, either. Perhaps they would “pay” for what he did instead of him.
Maybe he wasn’t feeling good, had had a rough day, had family problems, etc. Maybe he had even been the recipient of injustice, too.
Maybe he had mental problems.
Maybe my bad example would be seen or felt by others, and influence them negatively.
Come to think about it, maybe I even got the wrong house!
Perhaps someone walking by would step in it/ slip–maybe even an old person.
Finally, the irony of it all came into mind: my hypocrisy!!

I’ve noticed a pattern in the Book of Mormon.

The apostates in the Book of Mormon almost always start out with this criticizing of church leaders, and this pride is also a form of hypocrisy. There’s one word in particular that is often used that shows this pride while criticizing: “foolish”, which often goes along with “traditions”. Let’s look at some of the examples of apostates/ apostate groups in the Book of Mormon.

Laman and Lemuel:
1 Ne. 2:11 Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.

1 Nephi 17:17 And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying: Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.

20 And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart; yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.

Sherem:
Jacob 7:6 And it came to pass that he came unto me, and on this wise did he speak unto me, saying: Brother Jacob, I have sought much opportunity that I might speak unto you; for I have heard and also know that thou goest about much, preaching that which ye call the gospel, or the doctrine of Christ.
7 And ye have led away much of this people that they pervert the right way of God, and keep not the law of Moses which is the right way; and convert the law of Moses into the worship of a being which ye say shall come many hundred years hence. And now behold, I, Sherem, declare unto you that this is blasphemy; for no man knoweth of such things; for he cannot tell of things to come. And after this manner did Sherem contend against me.

Nehor:
Alma 1:3 And he had gone about among the people, preaching to them that which he termed to be the word of God, bearing down against the church; declaring unto the people that every priest and teacher ought to become popular; and they ought not to labor with their hands, but that they ought to be supported by the people.
4 And he also testified unto the people that all mankind should be saved at the last day, and that they need not fear nor tremble, but that they might lift up their heads and rejoice; for the Lord had created all men, and had also redeemed all men; and, in the end, all men should have eternal life.
6 And he began to be lifted up in the pride of his heart, and to wear very costly apparel, yea, and even began to establish a church after the manner of his preaching.
7 And it came to pass as he was going, to preach to those who believed on his word, he met a man who belonged to the church of God, yea, even one of their teachers; and he began to contend with him sharply, that he might lead away the people of the church; but the man withstood him, admonishing him with the words of God.
9 Now, because Gideon withstood him with the words of God he was wroth with Gideon, and drew his sword and began to smite him.

Ammonihahites:
Alma 8:11 Nevertheless, they hardened their hearts, saying unto him: Behold, we know that thou art Alma; and we know that thou art high priest over the church which thou hast established in many parts of the land, according to your tradition; and we are not of thy church, and we do not believe in such foolish traditions.

Amalekites:
Alma 21:8 And the man said unto him: We do not believe that thou knowest any such thing. We do not believe in these foolish traditions. We do not believe that thou knowest of things to come, neither do we believe that thy fathers and also that our fathers did know concerning the things which they spake, of that which is to come.

Korihor:
Alma 30:13-14, 23, 27
13 O ye that are bound down under a foolish and a vain hope, why do ye yoke yourselves with such foolish things? Why do ye look for a Christ? For no man can know of anything which is to come.
14 Behold, these things which ye call prophecies, which ye say are handed down by holy prophets, behold, they are foolish traditions of your fathers.

23 Now the high priest’s name was Giddonah. And Korihor said unto him: Because I do not teach the foolish traditions of your fathers, and because I do not teach this people to bind themselves down under the foolish ordinances and performances which are laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance, that they may not lift up their heads, but be brought down according to thy words.

27 And thus ye lead away this people after the foolish traditions of your fathers, and according to your own desires; and ye keep them down, even as it were in bondage, that ye may glut yourselves with the labors of their hands, that they durst not look up with boldness, and that they durst not enjoy their rights and privileges.

Zoramites:
Alma 31:16 Holy God, we believe that thou hast separated us from our brethren; and we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers; but we believe that thou hast elected us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ.
17 But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.

22 Now, from this stand they did offer up, every man, the selfsame prayer unto God, thanking their God that they were chosen of him, and that he did not lead them away after the tradition of their brethren, and that their hearts were not stolen away to believe in things to come, which they knew nothing about.

Amalickiah:
Alma 45:23 And now it came to pass that after Helaman and his brethren had appointed priests and teachers over the churches that there arose a dissension among them, and they would not give heed to the words of Helaman and his brethren;
24 But they grew proud, being lifted up in their hearts, because of their exceedingly great riches; therefore they grew rich in their own eyes, and would not give heed to their words, to walk uprightly before God.
Alma 46:1 And it came to pass that as many as would not hearken to the words of Helaman and his brethren were gathered together against their brethren.
2 And now behold, they were exceedingly wroth, insomuch that they were determined to slay them.
3 Now the leader of those who were wroth against their brethren was a large and a strong man; and his name was Amalickiah.
4 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
5 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.
6 Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church.
7 And there were many in the church who believed in the flattering words of Amalickiah, therefore they dissented even from the church; and thus were the affairs of the people of Nephi exceedingly precarious and dangerous, notwithstanding their great victory which they had had over the Lamanites, and their great rejoicings which they had had because of their deliverance by the hand of the Lord.

Nephites:
3 Nephi 2: 2 Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.

Giddianhi, Gadianton robber:
3 Nephi 3:3 And it seemeth a pity unto me, most noble Lachoneus, that ye should be so foolish and vain as to suppose that ye can stand against so many brave men who are at my command, who do now at this time stand in their arms, and do await with great anxiety for the word—Go down upon the Nephites and destroy them.

There is much more, but that’s a good start, I think.

Lessons:
don’t criticize the teachings of the prophets.
don’t criticize and hate your leaders, even if they aren’t the best.
receive instruction from your leaders.
don’t believe the words of the prophets are “foolish traditions”.
don’t prophesy foolishness.

On the other hand, it is God who tells us who the true fools are:

2 Nephi 9:28 O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

2 Nephi 9:42 And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.

2 Nephi 26: 10 And when these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my peo ple; for, notwithstanding the pains of my soul, I have seen it; wherefore, I know that it shall come to pass; and they sell themselves for naught; for, for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; for because they yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light, therefore they must go down to hell.

2 Nephi 28:9 Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.

2 Nephi 29:4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?

2 Nephi 29:6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

Alma 37:6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

Alma 39:11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.

Helaman 9:21 But Nephi said unto them: O ye fools, ye uncircumcised of heart, ye blind, and ye stiffnecked people, do ye know how long the Lord your God will suffer you that ye shall go on in this your way of sin?

Helaman 12:4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!

Helaman 13:29 O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?

Helaman 16:22 And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come.

3 Nephi 12:22 But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

3 Nephi 14:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand—

Ether 12:26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

2009, December 15

“A Critique of S. Kent Brown’s Book of Mormon Article: ‘A Case for Lehi’s Bondage in Arabia'” by grego

“A Critique of S. Kent Brown’s Book of Mormon Article: ‘A Case for Lehi’s Bondage in Arabia'”

(Original article information: A Case for Lehi’s Bondage in Arabia S. Kent Brown
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Volume – 6, Issue – 2, Pages: 205-217
Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute, 1997 The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
http://mi.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=6&num=2&id=151&cat_id=529 )

grego
(c) 2009; 2011 (updates)

S. Kent Brown wrote an article making a case for Lehi’s family being in bondage/ being slaves while in the desert, and that’s a big part of why it took them eight years to get through it. I will comment on that article here.

(And hey, while I’m at it, let me add: “The views expressed in this article are the views of grego and do not necessarily represent the position of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”)

First, I really like the thinking that brought this article to existence! Much has been discovered in the Book of Mormon like this, and I am certain more will be. Congratulations!

Overall, it’s possible—especially in light of the Lihayanites, possibly “Lehi” and “Nephi” in the ruins in Arabia, and with Nephi’s preaching in the wilderness (as in Doctrine and Covenants). But even if so, I don’t see it in the Book of Mormon like Brown sees it.

Unlike most of my previous article/ response critiques, I will first comment up front, then put the original article and my responses afterwards.

I think there are a few things to think about:
1. The Book of Mormon is about deliverance (see my article on deliverance), and there is story after story with this theme; yet, a deliverance of Lehi’s group from bondage and captivity, which would be a strong story, is missing.

2. Like Laman and Lemuel wouldn’t have complained about or mentioned this in 1 Nephi 17 or elsewhere??! Note the following:
1 Nephi 17:20 And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart; yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.
1 Nephi 17:21 Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy.

Compare “we have wandered”–what Laman and Lemuel actually said–to what they could have said: “we have been put in chains, and fallen to the earth under the labors required of us by our task masters”… It seems Laman and Lemuel were really into the wandering part, which means living years in bondage doesn’t seem to fit.
Every time trials are mentioned during or after—by anyone—it is always hunger, thirst, wandering, afflictions, children—never slavery, bondage, captivity. Comparing them, I imagine Laman and Lemuel would have complained much more about the latter…

3. Lehi blames Jacob’s suffering on “the rudeness of [his] brethren” only—no mention of servitude, etc.:
2 Nephi 2:1: And now, Jacob, I speak unto you: Thou art my first-born in the days of my tribulation in the wilderness. And behold, in thy childhood thou hast suffered afflictions and much sorrow, because of the rudeness of thy brethren.

4. It never comes up in the future traditions: not by the Lamanites, not by any prophet such as king Benjamin or Alma or Nephi—not anyone in the Book of Mormon.
The deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt is brought up many times, Lehi’s deliverance from Jerusalem is brought up many times (even by Nephi), the deliverance of Alma from the Amulonites/ Lamanites is brought up, the deliverance of Zeniff from the Lamanites, etc.—but never the deliverance of Lehi’s group from bondage/ slavery.

5. How would the family have been able to keep the brass plates safe and secured during all that time of bondage/ captivity/ slavery, especially among a wandering group of herdsmen/ robbers/ protectors? That would have taken more miracles than Joseph Smith’s keeping the records safe.

6. How many task masters would want their slaves bearing lots of children? Especially if they are older, like Lehi and Sariah—who bore two children in the wilderness, in Lehi’s “days of my tribulation in the wilderness”.

All those are points that, like the points in the original article, add up—but on the other side.

6. About “sojourn”… Much ado is made about this word, and it might be about nothing, really. I’ll mention a few things about it. Basically, does the word mean what S. Kent Brown wants it to mean?

In one sense, we are all sojourners here on earth–we have left our heavenly home, and are kept away from it, in a wilderness/ desert, so to say. Many hymns and scriptures allude to this (Redeemer of Israel, etc.). Though “sojourn” might not be the word to describe this situation, stranger, pilgrim, wanderer, etc. are other synonyms.

Lehi’s group left home, and was kept from their promised land destination, sojourning in the wilderness. This was truly a feeling for most in the group. Can “to sojourn” can also mean “to remain temporarily, to live in a termporary dwelling”, especially if it were in a lower state of environment compared to what one was used to or in a nomadic state(not just freedom/ slavery)? Nephi writes a whole lot about tents, his father dwelling in a tent, living in a tent, etc. People who live in tents are naturally wanderers.

Looking at the word sojourn in the Bible, I really have a heard time believing it
1. “often refers to servile relationships”;
2. “a biblical sense of a stranger or refugee living under the protection of another person”;
3. “placing oneself under the care of another by selling one’s services. In the best of situations, one became an employee, a day-laborer as it were. In the worst of cases, one became a slave, or the property of another, so that one’s freedom had to be obtained by purchase”;
instead of
4. “a refugee enjoying the protection of God”.
I also note that Brown changes the meaning when he summarizes, from “a stranger… living under the protection of another person” to an “[i]n the best of situations… an employee, a day laborer”. That’s a big leap that I do not see the scriptures supporting.

The question that Brown most deals with is the slavery part of the definition. I believe his article would have been more success had he dealt with the complete fullness of the definition, including slavery or servitude as one possibility.

Abraham sojourned in Egypt:
Abraham 2:21 And I, Abraham, journeyed, going on still towards the south; and there was a continuation of a famine in the land; and I, Abraham, concluded to go down into Egypt, to *sojourn* there, for the famine became very grievous.
Was he an employee? A servant? A slave? Or other?

And there are many more similar situations from the Bible…

I personally find that the uses of “sojourn” fit more:
2. “a biblical sense of a stranger or refugee living under the protection of another person”; and the
4. “a refugee enjoying the protection of God” definitions.
However, I would change #2 to say, “a stranger or refugee living in a foreign, temporary land”, and #4 to read, “a refugee, wanderer, or stranger enjoying the protection of someone”. I believe that is closer to the Biblical meanings.

At the end of this, I will list the uses of “sojourn” in the scriptures, and leave it up to the reader to see what connotations the word may have.

About the uses of sojourn in the Book of Mormon, here is the context in which they occur:
1 Nephi 17:1-5:
1 Nephi 17:1 AND it came to pass that *we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth*. And we did *travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness*.
1 Nephi 17:2 And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that *while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their *journeyings* without murmurings.
1 Nephi 17:3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God *he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them*; wherefore, *he did provide means for us while we did SOJOURN in the wilderness*.
1 Nephi 17:4 And *we did SOJOURN for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness*.
1 Nephi 17:5 And *we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish*…

In these verses, consider that:
–Nephi continually alludes to this as a “journey”, “travel”, “wade”, “journeyings” (1 Nephi 17:1, 2).
–Nephi stresses it is the Lord that provides for them (not others) (1 Nephi 17:3).
–the nourishing and strengthening is for the journey (not for being slaves and bearing their tasks) (1 Nephi 17:3).
–the sojourning itself was eight years, but that it includes the time in the wilderness before this section.
–the sojourning ends when they come to the land of Bountiful, not when they escape from their captors (1 Nephi 17:5).

Consider also these verses, just a short distance away:
1 Nephi 17:12-14:
1 Nephi 17:12 For the Lord had not hitherto suffered that we should make much fire, as we *journeyed* in the wilderness; for he said: I will make thy food become sweet, that ye cook it not;
1 Nephi 17:13 And *I will also be your light in the wilderness*; and *I will prepare the way before you*, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and *ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led*.
1 Nephi 17:14 Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall know that *I, the Lord, am God; and that I, the Lord, did deliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem*.

Not “much fire”—but if they were slaves, why not? Or why not, “our masters had not hitherto suffered that we should make much fire”?
Not that other men or tribes delivered them, but the Lord. Yes, it would still be possible to fit them together; but I believe that if there was some sort of exchange, it was that—-an exchange–not slavery, bondage, or captivity.


Of course, when these types of topics are brought up, there is always the question, “Well then, if it wasn’t A, then what was it?” This is not a valid line of countering for any topic in any way—it’s substituting the “how” for the “what” (oranges for apples)—but discussing it can shed light on the topic.

When considering what some other reasons might have led to a long journey, it’s best, when possible, to see what problems they might have already had. So, here they are: returning for something (plates and Ishmael’s family), rebellion and indecision (Laman, lemuel, sons of Ishmael want to go back to Jerusalem), repentance and discussion (Nephi talking about the group wanting to go back), worship (building an altar, sacrificing), gathering seeds (1 Nephi 8:1), teaching and preaching (Lehi’s vision, Nephi’s vision, and the discussion in Laman and Lemuel’s tent), getting provisions together, and customs and life events (marriages, and later the death and mourning of Ishmael)—all which occurred before the “real” journey into the wilderness; searching for and killing food (the broken bow incident), etc.

Then, consider other groups and journeys, and just other possibilities: resting for children and more children (and I doubt all the couples were all on the same bearing schedule!), the endless search for food and water, sicknesses and injuries to party members or possibly animals, dust storms, staying out of physical trouble (dangerous animals, robbers), impassable mountains/ gullies/ rivers, etc. (During this time of eight years in the desert, would the war against and the destruction of Jerusalem, the carrying away of captives, etc. which might have possibly influenced the wilderness situation; could it have? I suggest not much, because of this verse and other similar later verses in the Book of Mormon: 1 Nephi 17:43 And now, after all these things, the time has come that they have become wicked, yea, nearly unto ripeness; and I know not but they are at this day about to be destroyed; for I know that the day must surely come that they must be destroyed, save a few only, who shall be led away into captivity. The Lehites didn’t know about the destruction of Jerusalem, and wouldn’t for a while.)

So why all those problems? Lehi’s group was to use the Liahona to travel:
1 Nephi 16:9 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord spake unto my father by night, and commanded him that on the morrow he should take his journey into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:10 And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:16 And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.

Here’s more about the Liahona:
1 Nephi 16:26 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord said unto him: Look upon the ball, and behold the things which are written.
1 Nephi 16:27 And it came to pass that when my father beheld the things which were written upon the ball, he did fear and tremble exceedingly, and also my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and our wives.
1 Nephi 16:28 And it came to pass that 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.
1 Nephi 16:29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be 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.
1 Nephi 16:33 And it came to pass that we did again take our journey, traveling nearly the same course as in the beginning; and after we had traveled for the space of many days we did pitch our tents again, that we might tarry for the space of a time.
Mosiah 1:16 And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass; and also the plates of Nephi; and also, the sword of Laban, and the ball or director, which led our fathers through the wilderness, which was prepared by the hand of the Lord that thereby they might be led, every one according to the heed and diligence which they gave unto him.
Mosiah 1:17 Therefore, as they were unfaithful they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them; and therefore they were smitten with famine and sore afflictions, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty.

I believe the Lord allowed it/ made it such that not using it would cause unforeseen and unseen problems for the group. Can you imagine taking a route all the way to the end, only to find the only exit has robbers camping there for an extended stay? Or finding a dead end, and having to go all the way back? Or the well is dry, and you have to backtrack to your last camp, then go another direction? Can you imagine thinking you could get a boat ride at the docks, only to show up and find they wanted cash only? Etc.

In fact, Alma 37:41-42 says:
Alma 37:38 And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.
Alma 37:39 And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.
Alma 37:40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
Alma 37:41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
Alma 37:42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.
Alma 37:43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.

Nephi says, after it all:
2 Nephi 4:20 My God hath been my support; *he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness*; and *he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep*.


If Lehi’s group were in bondage, Alma could have taught his son, “If you don’t do the things to have the Spirit, you can easily be brought into bondage”—which fits in nicely with what he was trying to get his son to understand—but he didn’t.


While S. Kent Brown concludes: “[text in the Book of Mormon] most likely points to a period of servitude and conflict during the desert journey”, I conclude that while this idea is possible, there really is very little in the Book of Mormon text that supports his conclusion.

-=-=-=

A Case for Lehi’s Bondage in Arabia
S. Kent Brown
Abstract: The lengthy sojourn of Lehi’s family in the Arabian desert invites the almost inevitable question whether circumstances forced family members to live in the service of tribesmen either for protection or for food. In my view, enough clues exist in the Book of Mormon—they have to be assembled—to bring one to conclude that the family lived for a time in a servile condition, a situation that apparently entailed suffering and conflict.1

“Eight Years in the Wilderness”
The extended family of Lehi and Sariah required eight years to travel from Jerusalem to the seacoast of southeastern Arabia (1 Nephi 17:4). This span of time suggests that the party spent a considerable period in at least one location.

Possibly.

-=-=-=
As travelers, they took far more time than caravans did in that era. To illustrate, a loaded caravan of several hundred camels could travel from the coast of the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea—approximately the assumed route traveled by Lehi and his family, though in reverse—in a matter of weeks, not years.2

That would be four months, or 120 days for a business caravan, which I imagine was well-stocked and well-protected, with no women or children, no babies, clear and direct path, deadline to meet.

-=-=-=
The family seems to have spent most of the eight years along the southern leg of their journey, from the point where they began to “travel nearly eastward” until they reached “the sea, which we called Irreantum” (1 Nephi 17:1, 5). Evidently, each of the two earlier stages of the journey—from Jerusalem to the first camp and from that camp to Nahom where the party buried Ishmael—took less than one year. The first stage comprised the flight to a locale “three days” south of the northeastern tip of the Red Sea, some 250 miles south of Jerusalem (1 Nephi 2:5–6), as well as the two times that Lehi’s sons returned to the city, first for the brass plates and then for the family of Ishmael (1 Nephi 3–5, 7). One must also add time for the visionary experiences of Lehi and Nephi (1 Nephi 8, 11–14) and the marriage festivities of the children of Lehi and Ishmael (1 Nephi 16:7). Under normal circumstances, all these events would have required possibly seven or eight months, certainly no more than a year. Any suggestion that Lehi’s family farmed for a season or two at the first camp does not take into account the observation that in a desert clime all arable land and all water resources have claimants.3

I don’t see the need to rush Lehi and group out of the first campsite. If one assumes that the marriages took place very soon after the bringing of Ishmael’s family out into the desert, then yes, this time frame would make sense. However, that could have also been a while. They gathered seeds of all kind (1 Nephi 8), and I imagine that there might have been seasonal plants that required… seasons.
As to whether “in a desert clime all arable land and all water resources have claimants”, I would like to ask, who else was there when Lehi and group was camping there? Someone, or no one? Either way, it seems they could have stayed longer–either they lived with others, or they were alone.
I would also like to ask, when the researchers have gone back, who claimed the land at that time, were people there, were they growing things? If not, I think it’s clear that it wasn’t necessarily the case at that time, either.

-=-=-=
The second stage of the journey covered the ground from the first camp to “the place which was called Nahom” (1 Nephi 16:34), a segment that Nephi narrates only in moderate detail (1 Nephi 16:12–39). In my view, this took less than a year. The keys lie in two notations: the marriages and the subsequent births of the first children. Evidently, the weddings took place not long before the family departed the camp (1 Nephi 16:7, 12). Then traveling in “a south-southeast direction,” the party reached Nahom, where Ishmael died (1 Nephi 16:13, 34). It is only after relating events associated with Ishmael’s burial that Nephi mentioned the first births (1 Nephi 17:1). Hence, it is reasonable to reckon that this stage of the trip required less than a year, assuming that two or three daughters of Ishmael became pregnant soon after their marriages and that they bore their first children soon after the death of their father, about the time the party turned “nearly eastward.”
It is this eastward stage of the journey that apparently took the most time. And it may well have been in this segment that, in the recollection of King Benjamin, the party “did not . . . progress in their journey, but were driven back, . . . and . . . were smitten with famine and sore afflictions” (Mosiah 1:17). While “famine and sore afflictions” occasionally characterized the family’s trip from the first camp to Nahom, their eastward route along the south edge of Arabia’s Empty Quarter would have brought more intense troubles since they were leaving areas of population and cultivation. In addition, we know of no specific instances of an extended break in the journey in the earlier two stages, except for the few days that they stopped because of Nephi’s broken bow (1 Nephi 16:17–32). Further, at no time in his narrative of the journey from the camp to Nahom did Nephi write of being “driven back.” Whatever King Benjamin had in mind, it seems not to have been a part of the trip to Nahom.

Correct. And there is a big clue:
Mosiah 1:16 And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass; and also the plates of Nephi; and also, the sword of Laban, and *the ball or director, which led our fathers through the wilderness, which was prepared by the hand of the Lord that thereby they might be led, every one according to the heed and diligence which they gave unto him*.
Mosiah 1:17 Therefore, *as they were unfaithful they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them; and therefore they were smitten with famine and sore afflictions, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty*.

“Famine and sore afflictions”–not bondage or captivity, not slavery or subjugation.

-=-=-=
In this light, the family apparently spent the bulk of the eight years between Nahom and “the sea.” Even if only a part of the difficulties listed by Benjamin occurred during this stage, it seems reasonable that this segment formed the most troublesome part of the journey. Southern Arabia has been known from antiquity to modern times as a place of inhospitable tribes and slave trafficking, including the subjugation of entire tribes.4 Moreover, the family evidently had little or no expendable property to exchange for food. For Lehi had left his moveable wealth behind in Jerusalem, and it was later lost to Laban (1 Nephi 2:4; 3:22–26). In addition, the family seems not to have taken clean animals, since they hunted regularly and ran out of food at least twice between the camp and Nahom (1 Nephi 16:14–15, 18–19, 39). Further, the fact that they twice faced starvation before starting the eastward leg of the journey hints strongly that family members were by now in no position to avoid seeking assistance from tribesmen in exchange for their services, even if such a situation led to severe difficulties either during the period of such services or when the family tried to move on.5

The fact they faced starvation had to do with situations and faithlessness and the Liahona.

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“We Did Sojourn”
A further key lies in the verb to sojourn, which appears twice in Nephi’s narrative, both occurrences coming after his notation that the party turned “nearly eastward.” This observation may be significant in light of what we have just learned. Nephi recorded that “we did travel nearly eastward . . . and wade through much affliction. . . . [God] did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness. And we did sojourn for the space of . . . eight years in the wilderness” (1 Nephi 17:1, 3–4).
In the Bible, the term to sojourn often refers to servile relationships.6 On one level, Nephi’s choice of the verb to sojourn mirrors a meaning found in the Old Testament, that of a refugee enjoying the protection of God, a point that Nephi noted. On another level, to sojourn may also reflect the biblical sense of a stranger or refugee living under the protection of another person.7 The remaining sense in which Nephi seems to use the term has to do with placing oneself under the care of another by selling one’s services. In the best of situations, one became an employee, a day-laborer as it were. In the worst of cases, one became a slave, or the property of another, so that one’s freedom had to be obtained by purchase.8
In this light, did Nephi’s parents and siblings experience subjugation to, or dependence on, desert dwellers?9 As far as I am aware, no one has suggested such a possibility.10 Instead, most interpreters have focused only on what Nephi himself recorded in his typically understated way about the severe difficulties encountered by the family.11 But hints elsewhere in the text point to a period when family members lived in contact with desert dwellers—they could not have escaped such contact—suffering troubles and conflict in the process.

Well, there it is–“THEY COULD NOT HAVE ESCAPED SUCH CONTACT–SUFFERING TROUBLES AND CONFLICT IN THE PROCESS”. And thus the need to fulfill an assumption raises its head…

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The first person to refer back to this period was Lehi. When he blessed his younger sons Jacob and Joseph, he called the years of his family’s sojourn in the wilderness both “the days of my tribulation” (2 Nephi 2:1) and especially “the wilderness of mine afflictions” and “the days of my greatest sorrow” (2 Nephi 3:1). For Lehi, it was the worst of times.12 How so? To be sure, Lehi was evidently well-equipped for desert living, for he lived on the edge of the desert that extends east and south from Jerusalem; he must have known the rigors that one encounters in such a clime.13 If Lehi, then, was equipped and reasonably experienced, there must have been an event–or series of events–that had soured him.

Yes, I agree. Here is an example:
1 Nephi 16:19 And it came to pass that we did return without food to our families, and being much fatigued, because of their journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food.
1 Nephi 16:20 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God; yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against the Lord.
1 Nephi 16:25 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came unto my father; and he was truly chastened because of his murmuring against the Lord, insomuch that he was brought down into the depths of sorrow.
1 Nephi 16:37 And Laman said unto Lemuel and also unto the sons of Ishmael: Behold, let us slay our father, and also our brother Nephi, who has taken it upon him to be our ruler and our teacher, who are his elder brethren.

There is never mention that that event or series of events had to do with bondage and captivity. However, there are some other possibilities, in addition to the above verses: Laman and Lemuel tried to kill Nephi, and plotted to kill him; Lehi felt hunger enough to speak against the Lord, which must have caused much pain and sorrow for him; their lives were in a constant state of danger; he was constantly being blamed by others, such as Laman and Lemuel, and the daughters of Ishmael; he had to try to keep the family together; Laman and Lemuel grew more and more wayward, and grew stronger and stronger in iniquity. Now, if those wouldn’t make a parent sad, I would strongly consider Brown’s argument… In fact, take a look at the ship episode:
1 Nephi 18:17 Now my father, Lehi, had said many things unto them, and also unto the sons of Ishmael; but, behold, they did breathe out much threatenings against anyone that should speak for me; and my parents being stricken in years, and having suffered much grief because of their children, they were brought down, yea, even upon their sick-beds.
1 Nephi 18:18 Because of their grief and much sorrow, and the iniquity of my brethren, they were brought near even to be carried out of this time to meet their God; yea, their grey hairs were about to be brought down to lie low in the dust; yea, even they were near to be cast with sorrow into a watery grave.
1 Nephi 18:19 And Jacob and Joseph also, being young, having need of much nourishment, were grieved because of the afflictions of their mother; and also my wife with her tears and prayers, and also my children, did not soften the hearts of my brethren that they would loose me.

This was but a continuation of the wilderness situation, and Lehi was older now and had already been through a lot.

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Turning to Alma the Younger, we note that he recalled the kindnesses of God to Lehi and his family in the desert in the following: “[God] has also brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem; and he has also . . . delivered them out of bondage and captivity, from time to time even down to the present day” (Alma 36:29). The last phrase, of course, tells us that Alma had in mind all the generations from Lehi to his own, some of whom had suffered “bondage and captivity.” In my reading, Alma is saying that Lehi’s generation had also experienced “bondage and captivity.” Besides the evident sense of the passage, one compelling point has to do with the parallelism set up by the prior verse wherein Alma notes in almost identical language that the Lord had “delivered [our fathers] out of bondage and captivity from time to time,” the reference pointing to “our fathers [in] Egypt” (Alma 36:28). Thus the phrase from time to time, which appears in both verses 28 and 29, strengthens the observation that, in common with the Hebrew slaves, the generation of Lehi had suffered “bondage and captivity.”

Here is the verse:
Alma 36:29 Yea, and *he has also brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem; and he has also, by his everlasting power, delivered them out of bondage and captivity, from time to time even down to the present day*; and I have always retained in remembrance their captivity; yea, and ye also ought to retain in remembrance, as I have done, their captivity.

There is nothing to support anything about Lehi being in bondage and captivity in the wilderness. It could be. It could also be, the Lord delivered Lehi from bondage and captivity–from the Babylonians. It could be neither.

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This comment leads to another reminiscence of Alma. In an earlier address to people in Ammonihah, Alma recounted that “our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God . . . through the wilderness.” Immediately thereafter Alma asked the question: “have ye forgotten . . . how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed?” (Alma 9:9–10). Enemies? Destroyed? Do these expressions fit into a picture of Lehi in the desert? To be sure, the phrase “our fathers” may point to an intermediate generation, nearer Alma’s time, who had suffered difficulties with “their enemies.” But the context also allows the possibility that Lehi, too, had experienced troubles with “enemies.”14

Barely, at most. Here are the verses:
Alma 9:9 Do ye not remember that our father, Lehi, was brought out of Jerusalem by the hand of God? Do ye not remember that they were all led by him through the wilderness?
Alma 9:10 And have ye forgotten so soon how many times he delivered our fathers out of the hands of their enemies, and preserved them from being destroyed, even by the hands of their own brethren?
Alma 9:11 Yea, and if it had not been for his matchless power, and his mercy, and his long-suffering towards us, we should unavoidably have been cut off from the face of the earth long before this period of time, and perhaps been consigned to a state of endless misery and woe.

It seems that Alma splits the Lehi in the wilderness part and the delivering and preservation–note especially the phrase, “even by the hands of their own brethren”–that doesn’t apply to Lehi, only Nephi on down.

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As an additional consideration, in another part of this speech Alma observed that these same Nephite ancestors, led “out of the land of Jerusalem,” had also “been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases, . . . they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed” (Alma 9:22). Certainly, Alma had in mind here more than Lehi’s party because he went on to speak of those “brought out of bondage time after time . . . until now” (Alma 9:22). But the fact that the events of Lehi’s generation had triggered such reminiscences illumines the likelihood that references to physical difficulties, such as “sickness” and “diseases,”15 as well as to “enemies” and to “battle,” point to hardships experienced in the harsh environment of Arabia, what with a lack of food, water, and fuel, and the presence of unfriendly tribesmen.16

Here are the verses:
Alma 9:18 But behold, I say unto you that if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you; and if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction; and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord.
Alma 9:19 For he will not suffer you that ye shall live in your iniquities, to destroy his people. I say unto you, Nay; he would rather suffer that the Lamanites might destroy all his people who are called the people of Nephi, if it were possible that they could fall into sins and transgressions, after having had so much light and so much knowledge given unto them of the Lord their God;
Alma 9:20 Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come;
Alma 9:21 Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation;
Alma 9:22 Yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things–
Alma 9:23 And now behold I say unto you, that if this people, who have received so many blessings from the hand of the Lord, should transgress contrary to the light and knowledge which they do have, I say unto you that if this be the case, that if they should fall into transgression, it would be far more tolerable for the Lamanites than for them.
Alma 9:24 For behold, the promises of the Lord are extended to the Lamanites, but they are not unto you if ye transgress; for has not the Lord expressly promised and firmly decreed, that if ye will rebel against him that ye shall utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth?

Once more, possible, but nothing supports that conclusion.

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One further consideration is both relevant and illuminating. It concerns the principle that the Lord orchestrates experiences for prophets so that they come to see matters as the Lord sees them, thus adding intensity and acuity to their messages. Thirty-five years ago, Abraham Heschel noted this aspect of prophetic experience, selecting the marriage of Hosea as proof.17 This said, we turn to Lehi’s prophetic messages after he had emerged from the desert.
As he speaks to his children and grandchildren just before his death, Lehi brings to view the clashing concepts of captivity and freedom. For instance, in language that recalls slavery, he pleads with his sons that they “shake off the awful chains” by which “they are carried away captive,” being “led according to the . . . captivity of the devil,” with no control over their own destiny (2 Nephi 1:13, 18). Further, he urges them to “shake off the chains . . . and arise from the dust” (2 Nephi 1:23).18 As a second example, Lehi’s whole concern with “redemption . . . through the Holy Messiah” borrows language from the freeing of slaves (2 Nephi 2:6). Thus he declares that the Messiah is “to redeem the children of men,” making them “free forever,” terminology associated with ending servitude (2 Nephi 2:27). One naturally asks, does not the force of these concepts arise at least partially from Lehi’s shared experiences with his children? In light of our review so far, the answer has to be yes.

Let’s see if the answer “*has* to be yes”.
First, it is more possible than Brown’s explanation, that Lehi and his group saw other slaves in the desert. Perhaps the scenes of slavery and perhaps the brutalness of the masters towards the slaves was imprinted in their minds.

2 Nephi 1:2317, 18
2 Nephi 1:21 And now that my soul might have joy in you, and that my heart might leave this world with gladness because of you, that I might not be brought down with grief and sorrow to the grave, arise from the dust, my sons, and be men, and be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;
2 Nephi 1:22 That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body.
2 Nephi 1:23 Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness. Shake off the chains with which ye are bound, and come forth out of obscurity, and arise from the dust.
2 Nephi 1:24 Rebel no more against your brother, whose views have been glorious, and who hath kept the commandments from the time that we left Jerusalem; and who hath been an instrument in the hands of God, in bringing us forth into the land of promise; for were it not for him, we must have perished with hunger in the wilderness; nevertheless, ye sought to take away his life; yea, and he hath suffered much sorrow because of you.

2 Nephi 1:17 My heart hath been weighed down with sorrow from time to time, for I have feared, lest for the hardness of your hearts the Lord your God should come out in the fulness of his wrath upon you, that ye be cut off and destroyed forever;
2 Nephi 1:18 Or, that a cursing should come upon you for the space of many generations; and ye are visited by sword, and by famine, and are hated, and are led according to the will and captivity of the devil.

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At this juncture, we might venture a tentative reconstruction. Lehi’s family, finding themselves without disposable wealth when they turned “nearly eastward” at Nahom, were obliged at some point thereafter to sell their services to one or more local tribesmen for food or protection, or both. The labor was hard on all, particularly the women (1 Nephi 17:20). It was after family members tried to extract themselves from this situation that severe conflict arose—”battle” in Alma’s words—with “enemies,” whether tribal members whom they served or members of a rival tribe.

That’s making a speculation of a speculation…
I have another “tentative reconstruction”: the party split at some time–typical Laman and Lemuel and group, not wanting to follow the Liahona in what seemed an easy decision–and Laman and Lemuel and group were the ones put in bondage. Lehi and his party went back to find out what happened and to help, and possibly needed the help of others or another tribe to get Laman and Lemuel free.

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Evidence from Isaiah 48–49
Nephi’s addition of Isaiah 48–49 to the end of his first book (1 Nephi 20–21) has partly to do with his conviction that Isaiah spoke of his family’s experience in the desert. To be sure, Isaiah 48–49 stands within the larger prophetic message about the scattering and gathering of Israel, of which Nephi and his family (the scattered) and their distant posterity (the gathered) were a part. But Nephi says that “the Lord “did show unto many [prophets] concerning us” (1 Nephi 19:21), a statement made after summarizing his family’s journey to the land of promise, now more than twenty years behind them, and just before introducing these chapters from Isaiah. Evidently in Nephi’s view, Isaiah’s prophesies had anticipated the family’s trip to the promised land. Nephi is thus saying, “Isaiah spoke about us.”19 As an example—and this point is important—Isaiah’s words about scattered Israelites also fit precisely the circumstances of the departure of Lehi’s family:
Hearken . . . all ye that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel. (1 Nephi 21:1 [= Isaiah 49:1])20
Obviously, Isaiah had anticipated a time when corrupt officials would rule people in the city, a situation that Lehi experienced in his day. And it seems evident that Nephi had seen the relevance of such passages to the family’s situation.21
To make a further point, we turn to a sampling of passages in Isaiah that have to do with Lehi’s departure from Jerusalem, directed as it was by the Lord and forced by public pressure.22 One must understand that only a year or so earlier the Babylonians had forced the city to surrender and had installed Zedekiah as a puppet king (2 Kings 24:10–19). In this connection, one notices expressions in Isaiah that have to do with Babylonians. For instance, for those who find themselves captive to the Babylonians, the Lord will exercise his right of seeking the release of his people who are enslaved abroad,23 —an important point for our purposes—saying to them,
Go ye forth of Babylon, flee ye from the Chaldeans, with a voice of singing declare ye . . . : The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob. (1 Nephi 20:20[= Isaiah 48:20])24
Without multiplying examples, we note compelling allusions to servitude in the desert. The reference to “these . . . children” born while one is “a captive” (1 Nephi 21:21 [= Isaiah 49:21]) could certainly be understood as pointing to Jacob and Joseph, children born to Lehi and Sariah in the wilderness.

I understand comparing, but this is pretty detailed comparing.
Jerusalem was under Babylonia; wasn’t this “captive”?

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Moreover, the remark about the one who would “deal very treacherously” but from whom the Lord would “defer mine anger . . . that I cut [him] not off” (1 Nephi 20:8–9 [= Isaiah 48:8–9]) could apply not only to Nephi’s older brothers, for whom the Lord showed abundant patience during the journey and whose posterity was to survive,25 but also to a desert tribesman to whom Lehi’s family owed temporary allegiance.26 Another strong statement on difficulties in the desert has to do with the refining process in “the furnace of affliction,” which of course can allude to the heat that one experiences either in the desert or a place of trial.27 I “do this,” the Lord says, because “I will not suffer my name to be polluted” (1 Nephi 20:10–11 [= Isaiah 48:10–11]).28

So how did those sufferings “not suffer [His] name to be polluted?

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On the side of assuring the Lord’s assistance to those who may struggle in the desert, one finds a number of examples in these chapters of Isaiah, including those that allude to the Lord guiding his people away from trouble. For instance, Nephi, if not others, must have taken courage from the Lord’s assurance that he “leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go” and that those who trust in him “thirsted not” because “he led them through the deserts” and “caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them” (1 Nephi 20:17, 21 [= Isaiah 48:17, 21]). Moreover, continuing the desert imagery:
They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor the sun smite them; for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them. (1 Nephi 21:10 [= Isaiah 49:10])
Plainly, one can identify a number of passages that naturally would have spoken to the situation of the family while traveling through Arabia,29 including several that point to servitude and God’s merciful rescue of his people from such a state.

I agree!

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Conclusion
Taken together, it seems reasonable that the years spent by Lehi and his family in crossing the desert were characterized by the not uncommon practice “in times of scarcity” of “the bargaining away of freedom—or part of it—in return for food.”30 Whether the “enemies” (Alma 9:10), the escape from destruction “in battle” ( Alma 9:22), and the “bondage and captivity” (Alma 36:29) had to do with a single experience with desert dwellers is impossible to determine. Whatever the case, Nephi’s choice of the term to sojourn—also an Old Testament term commonly denoting servanthood—when combined with Lehi’s remarks and the chapters chosen from Isaiah, most likely points to a period of servitude and conflict during the desert journey.31


The strongest I would rewrite the conclusion would be: “from Isaiah, make possible or even likely a period of servitude during the desert journey”.

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Notes
1. To my knowledge, no one has explained why the family spent this extended stay in the desert. Commentators have only attempted to outline how Lehi and his family coped in the desert, including the Lord’s requirement that they not “make much fire” (1 Nephi 17:12). For example, George Reynolds and Janne M. Sjodahl, Commentary on the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1955), 1:166–67, 173, portray the family as successfully avoiding contact with desert peoples because of the aid of the Liahona. Hugh Nibley similarly observes that the desert was a dangerous place and that Lehi’s family did their best to avoid contact with its inhabitants, Lehi in the Desert, The World of the Jaredites, There Were Jaredites (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1988), 47–49, 63–67.
2. According to Nigel Groom, the usual time for a caravan to travel from Zofar (or Dhofar) on the Indian Ocean to Gaza on the Mediterranean coast was 120 days, a distance of 2,100 miles, Frankincense and Myrrh (London: Longman, 1981), chart on 213.
3. Such a suggestion would rest on Nephi’s statement that “we did gather . . . all the remainder of our provisions which the Lord had given unto us” (1 Nephi 16:11). These “provisions” could have been brought by Ishmael’s family. Nibley points out that all desert land that can grow crops is claimed, Lehi in the Desert, 66.
4. The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, an anonymous work dated to about AD 150, describes places and peoples of Arabia, chiefly those near the coastline, and calls the people of the northwest coastal area, where Lehi’s family first camped, “rascally men” who “plundered” ships and took “for slaves” those who survived shipwrecks. The south coast was characterized by traffic in “slaves,” including “female slaves,” and its “inhabitants are a treacherous lot, very little civilized,” Groom, Frankincense, 90, 94, quoting the translation of W. H. Schoff. From the Islamic period, the Koran refers often to slaves, both in terms of booty (Sûrah 33:50) and in terms of manumission (e.g., Sûrah 4:92; 5:89). In modern times, Bertram Thomas spoke of slaves in the south of Oman in the 1920s and 1930s, noting the remarkable, continuing phenomenon that the entire Shahara tribe lived “in groups among their Qara overlords, hewing their wood and drawing their water.” Referring to tribes of south Arabia, Thomas observed that “Instability is the chief characteristic of any regime in tribal Arabia,” Arabia Felix (New York: Scribner’s Sons, 1932), 47, 15, 22–35. Thirty years later, Wendell Phillips wrote of the extreme difficulties of moving from one tribal area to another in southern Arabia, some tribes living in a state of perpetual war with others, Unknown Oman (New York: McKay, 1966), 230–31.
5. The complaints of the two older sons, which Nephi kept in his account, speaks of the general suffering of all members of the party: “we have suffered in the wilderness” (1 Nephi 17:21; compare the complaints of Ishmael’s daughers in 16:35).
6. Although one cannot consult the original ancient text of the Book of Mormon from which Joseph Smith translated, one has to assume—correctly, in my view—that the English text represents a reasonably accurate translation. For the biblical text, David Daube sets out servile connections for the verb to sojourn in The Exodus Pattern in the Bible (London: Faber and Faber, 1963), 24–26.
7. Nephi’s meaning would not be that of one sense of the biblical noun sojourner (Hebrew ger), which in the later books means “protected citizen,” because the family seems not to have sought citizenship during their journey. See the discussion of Diether Kellermann, “gûr,” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringren (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975), 2:448; and Robert Martin-Achard, “gûr,” in Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament, ed. Ernst Jenni and Claus Westermann (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1977), 1:309.
8. The full discussions of gûr are instructive in Theological Dictionary, 2:439–49, and Theological Lexicon, 1:307–10. The sense that I am suggesting for the term in the Book of Mormon is that, in preexilic Israel, the sojourner “is usually the servant of an Israelite, who is lord and patron,” Theological Lexicon, 1:308. On this point, see Daube, Exodus Pattern, 24–26. Kellermann’s rendition of the term sojourners as “protected citizens” while enslaved in Egypt (Leviticus 19:34) is naïve at best, Theological Dictionary, 2:449.
9. Dependency should not surprise us because one would need protection in the desert. Even along the “incense trail” in areas inland from the Red Sea, as Nigel Groom reminds us, caravaneers “moved through harsh tribal areas inhabited by nomads, where unpredictable squabbles could put both their profits and, perhaps, their lives at risk.” Away from major centers of civilization, he notes, “in the absence of strong rule, law and order must have been precarious,” Frankincense, 197–98. Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79), in his Natural History, observed that “of these innumerable tribes an equal part are engaged in trade or live by brigandage,” 6.32 (§162).
10. Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton, “In Search Lehi’s Trail, Part 2,” Ensign (October 1976): 38, suggest that the family may have sought “asylum” with a desert tribesman. The hint that Nephi preached while “in the wilderness” (D&C 33:8) does not alter this possibility.
11. Reynolds and Sjodahl, Commentary, 1:173–74; Nibley, Lehi in the Desert, 63–65; Robert L. Millet and Joseph F. McConkie, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987), 1:131–32. Nephi seems to speak rather blandly about the severity of the problems that faced family members by noting generally “much affliction” (1 Nephi 17:1) and “many afflictions and much difficulty” (1 Nephi 17:6).
12. As one gauge of the severe impact of the desert experience, Jacob, who had been born in the desert to Lehi and Sariah, seems to have remained a sober, serious person all his life (see Jacob 7:26).
13. Lehi was equipped with “tents” and other means for desert living and was apparently able to leave his home without delay (1 Nephi 2:4; 3:9; 16:12; etc.). See Nibley’s discussion in Lehi in the Desert, 46–49.
14. The notation that immediately follows—”even by the hands of their own brethren” (Alma 9:10)—opens further the possibility that the reference is to Lehi and his children since the older sons sought at least once to kill Lehi (1 Nephi 16:37; 17:44) and three times to kill the younger son Nephi (1 Nephi 7:16; 16:37; 2 Nephi 5:3–4; cf. 2 Nephi 1:24), even though the word “brethren” can refer to unfriendly Lamanites (e.g., Mosiah 28:1; Alma 17:9; 48:21).
15. The Roman geographer Strabo, writing of an ill-fated military expedition to western Arabia in 25-24 BC, said that a majority of the original army of 10,000 died from “hunger and fatigue and diseases,” a tragedy that he attributed to “the water and herbs” of the region, Geography 16.4.23–24. Referring to the area inland and along the southern coast of Arabia, almost two hundred years later the author of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea recorded that “these places are very unhealthy, and pestilential even to those sailing along the coast; but almost always fatal to those working there, who also perish often from want of food,” cited in Groom, Frankincense, 92.
16. For other summaries in the Book of Mormon of Lehi’s journey through Arabia, as well as aspects of their experiences there, see 1 Nephi 17:1–2, 12; 2 Nephi 1:24; 2:2; 3:3; Alma 18:37–38; 36:29; 37:38–42. King Benjamin characterized this era as one of “sore afflictions” (Mosiah 1:17), an expression linked elsewhere to “bondage” (Mosiah 7:28; 12:2–4), though not in all its other occurrences (Mosiah 9:3; Alma 61:4; 62:37).
17. Abraham J. Heschel, The Prophets (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1962), 56, wrote that Hosea’s strange marriage “was a lesson” instead of “a symbol.” Further, its “purpose was not to demonstrate divine attitudes to the people, but to educate Hosea himself in the understanding of divine sensibility.”
18. It is also important to note how he speaks of the promised land, calling it “a land of liberty,” whose inhabitants “shall never be brought down into captivity” and “shall dwell safely forever,” except for the cause “of iniquity” (2 Nephi 1:7, 9).
19. Nephi’s assertion that the Lord “did show unto many [prophets] concerning us” (1 Nephi 19:21) must also have included Zenock, Neum, and Zenos, whose words he had just quoted (1 Nephi 19:10–17; cf. 10:12–13). Nephi then immediately introduces Isaiah 48–49 by instructing his people not only to “hear. . . the words of the prophet [Isaiah]” but also to “liken [Isaiah’s words] unto yourselves” (1 Nephi 19:24; cf. Jacob’s observation in 2 Nephi 6:5).
20. The passage quoted here stands neither in the Hebrew nor in the Greek text of Isaiah 49:1.
21. One finds further reference to the corruption and iniquity in the city when Lehi began his preaching. Of that day, Isaiah holds that the citizens of Jerusalem will “swear by the name of the Lord, and make mention of the God of Israel, yet they swear not in truth nor in righteousness. Nevertheless, they call themselves of the holy city, but they do not stay themselves upon the God of Israel” (1 Nephi 20:1–2 [= Isaiah 48:1–2]). Of such wickedness among persons in Jerusalem, Nephi later said that “their works were works of darkness, and their doings were doings of abominations” (2 Nephi 25:2). Incidentally, the Book of Mormon text of Isaiah 48:1–2 differs in important ways from that of the underlying Hebrew text of the King James Version.
22. See 1 Nephi 2:2, “the Lord commanded my father . . . that he should . . . depart”; and 7:14, “they have driven him [Lehi] out of the land.”
23. This legal right undergirds the entire exodus saga of the Hebrew slaves. See David Daube, Exodus Pattern, 39–41. In addition, I have set out the meaning of this legal right for the visit of the risen Jesus to the Nephites and Lamanites in “Moses and Jesus: The Old Adorns the New,” in The Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 9–30: This Is My Gospel, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1993), 89–100, especially 94–99.
24. In a further reference to Babylonians, affirming that the Lord is in charge, Isaiah says that the Lord “will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall come upon the Chaldeans” (1 Nephi 20:14 [= Isaiah 48:14]). Incidentally, these verses (1 Nephi 20:14; Isaiah 48:14) are not the same. The Book of Mormon text adds an entire sentence in the middle of the verse that concerns the fulfillment of prophecy and does not appear in the Hebrew or Greek texts of Isaiah.
25. For Nephi, the future survival of the posterity of his older and younger brothers was beyond question (1 Nephi 12:19–20; 2 Nephi 3:3, 23). Even though Nephi knew—and this knowledge brought him deep pain (1 Nephi 15:5; 2 Nephi 26:7, 10)—that his own descendants would eventually be destroyed, indisputable hints point to the survival of a remnant as well as descendants from the other members of the family. See 1 Nephi 13:30; 15:13–14, 18; 22:7–8; 2 Nephi 10:2; cf. 2 Nephi 3:3, 23; 4:7; 9:53; 25:8, 21; 3 Nephi 21:7; Ether 13:7.
26. One can also include reference to those whom the Lord looses from prison and darkness, whom he “shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places” because the Lord “will . . . not forget thee” since “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands” (1 Nephi 21:9, 15–16 [= Isaiah 49:9, 15–16]). On darkness and prison, see also Lehi’s appeal to his older sons to “awake from a deep sleep” in order to “shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound” that make them “captive” (2 Nephi 1:13; see also 1:21, 23). One is left to wonder whether Lehi’s vivid language arises from personal experience, including his words about the latter-day release from “captivity unto freedom” (2 Nephi 3:5).
27. As in the portrayal of Egypt in Deuteronomy 4:20; 1 Kings 8:51; Jeremiah 11:4.
28. I follow the reading of 1 Nephi, not that of the King James Version.
29. In addition, it is the Lord “who leadeth thee by the way thou shouldst go” (1 Nephi 20:17 [= Isaiah 48:17]). On feeding and pasturing “in all high places” (1 Nephi 21:9), as well as the Lord’s promise to “make all my mountains a way” (1 Nephi 21:11 [= Isaiah 49:11]), compare the function of the brass ball that “led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness” (1 Nephi 16:16). Moreover, the expression “those who are in the east” (1 Nephi 21:13 [= Isaiah 49:13])—certainly tied to “these . . . from afar” who are “from the north and from the west” (1 Nephi 21:12 [= Isaiah 49:12]), which matches the directions the family had traveled from Jerusalem—could be seen as referring not only to the extended family who traveled east through Arabia to reach the shore of the sea, but possibly even to the direction that they traveled on the sea in order to reach the Americas.
30. Daube, Exodus Pattern, 25. For the fleeing family of Lehi, food was crucial, “provisions” (1 Nephi 2:4; 16:11) and “seed,” (1 Nephi 16:11).
31. Whether it was to save fuel, along with the efforts that one expends to find fuel, or whether it was to avoid drawing attention to themselves that the Lord “suffered [not] that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness,” or both, is not clear from the account (1 Nephi 17:12). Reynolds and Sjodahl, Commentary, 1:173, and Nibley, Lehi in the Desert, 63–67, opt for the latter explanation.

-=-=-=
All forms of the word SOJOURN in the Text of the Scriptures.
Gen. 12: 10
  10 ¶ And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
Gen. 19: 9
  9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
Gen. 20: 1
  1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
Gen. 21: 23, 34
  23 Now therefore swear unto me here by God that thou wilt not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son’s son: but according to the kindness that I have done unto thee, thou shalt do unto me, and to the land wherein thou hast sojourned.
      •  •  •
  34 And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines’ land many days.
Gen. 23: 4
  4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.
Gen. 26: 3
  3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
Gen. 32: 4
  4 And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob saith thus, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now:
Gen. 35: 27
  27 ¶ And Jacob came unto Isaac his father unto Mamre, unto the city of Arbah, which is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac sojourned.
Gen. 47: 4
  4 They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.
Ex. 12: 40, 48
  40 ¶ Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years.
      •  •  •
  48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
Lev. 17: 8, 10, 13
  8 ¶ And thou shalt say unto them, Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice,
      •  •  •
  10 ¶ And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
      •  •  •
  13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.
Lev. 19: 33
  33 ¶ And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.
Lev. 20: 2
  2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones.
Lev. 22: 10
  10 There shall no stranger eat of the holy thing: a sojourner of the priest, or an hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.
Lev. 25: 23, 35, 40, 45, 47
  23 ¶ The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me.
      •  •  •
  35 ¶ And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
      •  •  •
  40 But as an hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee unto the year of jubile:
      •  •  •
  45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
      •  •  •
  47 ¶ And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family:
Num. 9: 14
  14 And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the passover unto the Lord; according to the ordinance of the passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.
Num. 15: 14
  14 And if a stranger sojourn with you, or whosoever be among you in your generations, and will offer an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord; as ye do, so he shall do.
Num. 35: 15
  15 These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither.
Deut. 18: 6
  6 ¶ And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the Lord shall choose;
Deut. 26: 5
  5 And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:
Judg. 17: 7-9
  7 ¶ And there was a young man out of Beth-lehem-judah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.
  8 And the man departed out of the city from Beth-lehem-judah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.
  9 And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Beth-lehem-judah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place.
Judg. 19: 1, 16
  1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Beth-lehem-judah.
      •  •  •
  16 ¶ And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.
Ruth 1: 1
  1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Beth-lehem-judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
2 Sam. 4: 3
  3 And the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and were sojourners there until this day.)
1 Kgs. 17: 20
  20 And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
2 Kgs. 8: 1-2
  1 Then spake Elisha unto the woman, whose son he had restored to life, saying, Arise, and go thou and thine household, and sojourn wheresoever thou canst sojourn: for the Lord hath called for a famine; and it shall also come upon the land seven years.
  2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
1 Chr. 29: 15
  15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
Ps. 39: 12
  12 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.
Ps. 105: 23
  23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
Ps. 120: 5
  5 Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!
Isa. 23: 7
  7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn.
Isa. 52: 4
  4 For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
Jer. 42: 15, 17, 22
  15 And now therefore hear the word of the Lord, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there;
      •  •  •
  17 So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.
      •  •  •
  22 Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.
Jer. 43: 2
  2 Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:
Jer. 44: 12, 14, 28
  12 And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.
      •  •  •
  14 So that none of the remnant of Judah, which are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall escape or remain, that they should return into the land of Judah, to the which they have a desire to return to dwell there: for none shall return but such as shall escape.
      •  •  •
  28 Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.
Lam. 4: 15
  15 They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.
Ezek. 20: 38
  38 And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
Ezek. 47: 22
  22 ¶ And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.
Acts 7: 6
  6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.
Heb. 11: 9
  9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
1 Pet. 1: 17
  17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1 Ne. 17: 3-4
  3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
  4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, *even eight years in the wilderness.
D&C 138: 36
  36 Thus was it made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of spirits, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the prophets who had testified of him in the flesh;
Abr. 2: 21
  21 And I, Abraham, journeyed, going on still towards the south; and there was a continuation of a famine in the land; and I, Abraham, concluded to go down into Egypt, to sojourn there, for the famine became very grievous.

WANDER
1 Ne. 8: 23, 32
23 And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.
•  •  •
32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.
1 Ne. 16: 35
35 And it came to pass that the daughters of Ishmael did mourn exceedingly, because of the loss of their father, and because of their afflictions in the wilderness; and they did murmur against my father, because he had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, saying: Our father is dead; yea, and we have wandered much in the wilderness, and we have suffered much affliction, hunger, thirst, and fatigue; and after all these sufferings we must perish in the wilderness with hunger.
1 Ne. 17: 20
20 And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart; yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.
1 Ne. 19: 14
14 And because they turn their hearts aside, saith the prophet, and have despised the Holy One of Israel, they shall wander in the flesh, and perish, and become a hiss and a byword, and be hated among all nations.
Jacob 7: 26
26 And it came to pass that I, Jacob, began to be old; and the record of this people being kept on the other plates of Nephi, wherefore, I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days.
Enos 1: 20
20 And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God. But our labors were vain; their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax. And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
Mosiah 7: 4-5
4 And now, they knew not the course they should travel in the wilderness to go up to the land of Lehi-Nephi; therefore they wandered many days in the wilderness, even forty days did they wander.
5 And when they had wandered forty days they came to a hill, which is north of the land of Shilom, and there they pitched their tents.
Mosiah 9: 4
4 Nevertheless, after many days’ wandering in the wilderness we pitched our tents in the place where our brethren were slain, which was near to the land of our fathers.
Alma 13: 23
23 And they are made known unto us in plain terms, that we may understand, that we cannot err; and this because of our being wanderers in a strange land; therefore, we are thus highly favored, for we have these glad tidings declared unto us in all parts of our vineyard.
Alma 26: 36
36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.
Alma 31: 17
17 But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell; for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee; and we also thank thee that thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren, which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.
Moro. 1: 3
3 And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.
Moro. 9: 16
16 And again, my son, there are many widows and their daughters who remain in Sherrizah; and that part of the provisions which the Lamanites did not carry away, behold, the army of Zenephi has carried away, and left them to wander whithersoever they can for food; and many old women do faint by the way and die.

2009, December 8

“Book of Mormon: ‘I Don’t Have Time to Read’ Usually Means ‘I Don’t Have Faith to Read'” by grego

“Book of Mormon: ‘I Don’t Have Time to Read’ Usually Means ‘I Don’t Have Faith to Read'”

grego
(c) 2004-9

In the Book of Mormon, there is an instrument called the Liahona. Nephi says:
(1 Nephi 16: 10, 16, 28, 29)
1 Nephi 16:9 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord spake unto my father by night, and commanded him that on the morrow he should take his journey into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:10 And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:16 And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:28 And it came to pass that 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.
1 Nephi 16:29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be 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.

What is like the Liahona for us? The Book of Mormon, or even clearer, the word of God! In what ways? Let’s look at Alma 37:38-46 to see:
–Lord prepared it.
–Man does not have the ability to imitate it.
–Shows the way straight to the promised land.
–Works according to user’s faith in God—faith to believe, and it worked.
–Allows miracles.
–Very simple.
–Shows marvelous works.
–When don’t look, marvelous works stop.
–When don’t look, progress ceases–you stop, wander, suffer.

The key point with the Liahona: IF THEY LOOKED, THEY HAD THE LORD’S HELP AND PROSPERED.

Like the Liahona, the Book of Mormon will help us by giving us special instruction for our day, along with the path that the Lord wants us to walk. Simply put, we show our faith in Jesus Christ by reading the Book of Mormon and believing that it will help us, that God will speak to us because we believe and read.

When we read the Book of Mormon, we can find answers to our many questions and problems. We also get the Spirit. When we get the Spirit, we can get revelation–for ourselves, our families, and our callings. The scriptures are ‘like a light unto our feet’ (Psalms). They will show us the path, teach us, and help us along the right way. As it says in Helaman 3:29-30:
Helaman 3:29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked–
Helaman 3:30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.

When Moses was in the wilderness, the Lord sent poisonous serpents to bite the Israelites. Then, there was a stick with a serpent on it, that was lifted up. All the bitten people had to do was look at the serpent and believe that they could be healed, and they were. Likewise, the word of God will heal us, if we will look and believe. (See Alma 33:19-20.)

Moses said that the Lord would raise up a prophet, and that those who would hear his voice will be saved, and those who won’t hear his voice will be cut off. Jesus later says that this prophet is Him (3 Nephi 20:23). When we don’t read the Book of Mormon, we choose to not hear His voice, and when we continue to fight against the spirit that says, among other things, to read the Book of Mormon, until this good spirit has no more place in us (see 1 Nephi 7:14, 2 Nephi 26:11, Mormon 5:16, ETHER 2:15, Moroni 8:28), then we will be cut off from His presence, both in this life and in the next (3 Nephi 21:11, Doctrine and Covenants 1:14, 133:63). Until that point, we will feel a continuing dark, murky feeling (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:54-58).

So, we see that the Book of Mormon can: heal us; lead us to eternal life; keep us safe; keep us close to the Lord; help our faith in Jesus Christ to increase; etc.–IF we will look, and believe.

There is a story about a wonderful, special magic ring. It was given to a boy to help him. If he did something wrong, it would make him hurt a little; when he did something really wrong, it would really hurt him. At first, he thought it was a good gift, because it would help him remember to be good; but, as time passed, he felt that the ring was becoming more and more annoying and painful, so he finally took it off. Ah, what relief and comfort! But, through more painful experiences that resulted in humility, he learned the great gift that the ring was, and put it back on again. This ring is like the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon will continually prick our heart and tell us to repent. When we stop reading, we feel such a relief! But what humbling and painful lessons await us if we do…

There are two great principles of the gospel: faith and repentance. This is even in our fourth Article of Faith. Jesus says that we should preach faith and repentance in church. The Book of Mormon is a wonderful tool that teaches and helps us to have faith in Jesus Christ and to repent.

God prepared the Book of Mormon for us for many reasons, such as:
–Testify of Christ
–Confirm other scripture
–Convince all that Jesus is the Christ
–Believe in Christ
–Believe in Christ
–Witness that Lord is God
–Teach all men to do good
–Help us repent
–Eternal life
–Instruction
–Confound false doctrine
–Lay down contention
–Establish peace
–Learn Lord’s covenants

I had a friend who flip-flopped every few months between churches. He said that he hadn’t read the Book of Mormon. When asked why, he said that he didn’t like to read the Book of Mormon because he felt that there was something that was trying to control him. My mother asked him, “Have you ever thought that it might be the Holy Ghost?” What a new thought! He committed to read it, he read it, and while his family left the church, he stopped the flip-flopping because of the testimony.

In Jacob 7, Alma 14:1, Alma 33:2, 3 Nephi 1:24 we read that saints were led astray by false doctrines. When the man who taught them died, the people returned to reading the scriptures, and all was much better.

There is one more very important story about the Liahona in the scriptures. It is when the Lehites are on the ship (see 1 Nephi 18:12, 21, 22). When Laman and Lemuel bind Nephi, the Liahona stops working. Who was Nephi? He was the chosen by the Lord to lead them. Laman and Lemuel obviously objected, having their own reasons. They expected they could bind Nephi and still sail the straight course to the promised land, by the direction of the Liahona. Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, if we also bind the Lord’s servants—especially those who we are called to sustain—the scriptures will stop working as a Liahona for us, and we will be as a ship in a storm, without a course.

Is it important to read daily? If the Lehites said that they had faith, and had a testimony that the Liahona was from God, and that it could help them; but, they never looked at it; would it have been of any use to them? Would all their faith and belief have helped them, if they had never looked? What if they had only looked on Sunday—what would have been their situation? Progress for one day, wander for six days; progress for one day, wander for six days; etc. How long would that journey take?

The Lehites could probably have made the journey in one-two years; but it took them eight years (1 Nephi 17:4). Can we check the math? Let’s assume it would have taken them four years, just to be on the safe side. So, they could have made it in four years, but because they didn’t look and follow, it took eight–double the time. Now, if they had looked at and studied the Liahona for half an hour/ day for those four years, that would have only taken 30 DAYS of their time to read!! Hey, do you want to exchange four years for 30 days??

ARE YOU CHOOSING 30 DAYS WITH READING THE BOOK OF MORMON, OR FOUR YEARS BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT READING IT?

Don’t have time, did you say? Would you like to get to *your* Bountiful in four years or eight years? Or how about like with the people Moses led–got 40 years, anyone?

“Book of Mormon: What is the Iron Rod to You? How Do You Use It?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: What is the Iron Rod to You? How Do You Use It?”

grego
(c) 2003

I want to talk a little about the iron rod.

In their visions in the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 8, 1 Nephi 11), Lehi and Nephi saw the iron rod, which was the word of God, leading people to the tree of life.

Some of us walk along the path, thinking, “What is this big thing doing in the way?”

Others of us know what it is, but feel that it might cause blisters, or be too hot to touch in the sun, or bothersome to hold on to, or too hard to get used to holding on to.

Others hold it, but when the mists of darkness come, we get scared and immediately let go and wander off to find something that allows us to actually see the path… only to have lost the path!

Others of us feel that it is inconvenient, or even unnecessary to hold on to it. “Why bother? I can see my path so clearly and easily.” And in the bright sunshine, it just doesn’t seem much of a necessity. So we let go and wander left and right, thinking that since it is still near us, we can get to it in time if we ever need to–only to find out that all of a sudden, it’s dark/ we can’t see/ the mist surrounds us, and we can’t get back; we were wrong, and are lost.

Many of us try to walk the path without holding the rod, only to find that it is impossible–we get stuck and sink in the mud, we stumble, we slip and can’t get up, we slide off to the side and close to the caprice–asking all the while, “Why is this path so difficult to walk?! I hate this!”

Some of us try to figure out other uses for it, and try to bend it and twist it with our bare hands and bang our heads against it… only to find out that it hurts.

And some of us… ah, some of us–hold it, and follow it, and it brings us to the Jesus and His atonement and the love of God.

How do *you* use the iron rod?

-=-=-=
Book of Mormon Iron Rod verses:
1 Nephi 8:19 And I beheld a rod of iron, and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood.

1 Nephi 8:20 And I also beheld a strait and narrow path, which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world.

1 Nephi 8:21 And I saw numberless concourses of people, many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which I stood.

1 Nephi 8:22 And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree.

1 Nephi 8:23 And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.

1 Nephi 8:24 And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward, and they came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.

1 Nephi 8:25 And after they had partaken of the fruit of the tree they did cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.

1 Nephi 8:26 And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth.

1 Nephi 8:27 And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.

1 Nephi 8:28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

1 Nephi 8:29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.

1 Nephi 8:30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; 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.

1 Nephi 8:31 And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.

1 Nephi 8:32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.

1 Nephi 11:25 And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.

1 Nephi 15:23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?

1 Nephi 15:24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.

2009, December 7

“Book of Mormon/ Isaiah: Future Polygamy in the LDS Church?: ‘Seven women will take hold of one man'” by grego

“Book of Mormon/ Isaiah: Future Polygamy in the LDS Church?: ‘Seven women will take hold of one man'”

grego
(c) 2009

Looking at the chapter introduction:
“Zion and her daughters shall be redeemed and cleansed in the millennial day”

, and reading this:
2 Nephi 14: 1 And in that day, seven women shall take hold of one man, saying: We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel; only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach.
(Isaiah 4:1 reads the same, other than punctuation: And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.)

in front of this verse:
2 Nephi 14:2 In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the earth excellent and comely to them that are escaped of Israel.

many LDS assume polygamy will come back at that time, and every man will have seven wives.

I seriously doubt it.

The preceding chapter, 2 Nephi 13, has this chapter introduction:
“The daughters of Zion are cursed and tormented for their worldliness”

and reads:
2 Nephi 13:16 Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet—
17 Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.
18 In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon;
19 The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers;
20 The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings;
21 The rings, and nose jewels;
22 The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins;
23 The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.
24 And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty.
25 Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war.
26 And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she shall be desolate, and shall sit upon the ground.

It seems to me to be talking about the sorry condition the women will be in, and the lack of (good?) men.

Particularly interesting is that not long ago, the LDS Church was prepared to pass a US law saying that marriage was between one man and one woman, which likely meant none of the prophets were seeing polygamy for the USA members for as long as the USA existed, which seems to be *at least* until the coming of Christ (and perhaps longer).

2009, December 3

“Historicity of the Book of Mormon: Is the Book of Mormon Historical?” by grego

“Historicity of the Book of Mormon: Is the Book of Mormon Historical?”

grego
(c) 2009

Is the Book of Mormon “real”, “based on a true story”, “inspired”, or “made up”?

Real. That’s the simple answer.

Some argue otherwise. Not much evidence, though, just a lot of “theory”.

Some feel that since we don’t know quite how, it’s all open to speculation.

Not really.

Some things are–the use of the KJV of the Bible, how much of the record exactly was translated word-for-word vs. how much was slightly commented on for clarity, etc. (I wonder about how complicated, long sentence structure could hold up in translating straightforward, unless it was written exactly as in English (hard to believe), or if unless there were easy and clear markers that Joseph Smith quickly caught on to, similar to Japanese (and since we don’t have the first translation pages, that makes it much more difficult).)

That the Book of Mormon plates were real, and that prophets and others wrote real history and events on them (though strongly chosen and crafted), that Moroni was who he said he was and that other Book of Mormon prophets visited Joseph Smith and taught him; well, they are not.

Other than the typical and simple (but should have been sufficient) “God doesn’t lie”, etc., there are also a few things I wanted to point out (though others might have already done so).

One that particularly impressed me this morning was Doctrine and Covenants 10. In it, the Lord testifies of the reality of the Nephite prophets and disciples, their writings, and their faith.

It wasn’t just moving, or inspiring.

The Holy Ghost witnessed to me that it was true.

I guess everyone will have their own pet theories; they can keep them.

2009, December 2

“Ye Have Stolen My Inheritance” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Ye Have Stolen My Inheritance”

grego
(c) 2009

Thinking the other night about a close relative that “shortchanged” a bunch of his brothers and sisters out of their parents’ meek inheritance, I thought about the love of money, the desire for revenge, and how an unrighteous inheritance has ruined many people’s lives.

Knowing how much this has happened in my extended mostly-LDS/ Mormon family and my almost family, I imagine it has happened in many other families, too–both LDS and non-LDS.

I know that there will be many “righteous” LDS who will suffer and pay a price for stealing their relatives’ inheritances, not to mention then lying about their honesty, gospel-living, covenants, and family treatment during temple recommend interviews.

Inheritance (and justice) is a very important concept and principle in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Believe me, there is no unrighteous inheritance with the Lord.

Repent–you are selling your true inheritance for a pot of mess.

The Bible talks about inheritance a lot, including polluting your inheritance, which is what these people have done.

Here are some verses on it from the Book of Mormon:
http://scriptures.lds.org/en/search?type=words&last=inheritance&help=&wo=checked&search=inheritance&iw=bm&tx=checked&af=checked&hw=checked&bw=1

Notice that most all the references refer either to earthly land or heavenly land as an inheritance. Those are representative of all that goes with them.

All forms of the word INHERITANCE in the Text of the Book of Mormon.

1.
1 Ne. 2: 4, 11
4 And it came to pass that he *departed into the wilderness. And he left his house, and the land of his inheritance, and his gold, and his silver, and his precious things, and took nothing with him, save it were his family, and provisions, and tents, and departed into the wilderness.
• • •
11 Now this he spake because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel; for behold they did murmur in many things against their father, because he was a visionary man, and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem, to leave the land of their inheritance, and their gold, and their silver, and their precious things, to perish in the wilderness. And this they said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
2.
1 Ne. 3: 16, 22
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.
• • •
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.
3.
1 Ne. 5: 2
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.
4.
1 Ne. 10: 3
3 That after they should be destroyed, even that great city Jerusalem, and many be carried away captive into Babylon, according to the own due time of the Lord, they should return again, yea, even be brought back out of captivity; and after they should be brought back out of captivity they should possess again the land of their inheritance.
5.
1 Ne. 13: 15, 30
15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.
• • •
30 Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren.
6.
1 Ne. 17: 21
21 Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy.
7.
1 Ne. 21: 8
8 Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time have I heard thee, O isles of the sea, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee; and I will preserve thee, and give thee my servant for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
8.
1 Ne. 22: 12
12 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.
9.
2 Ne. 1: 5, 8-9
5 But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.
• • •
8 And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.
9 Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever.
10.
2 Ne. 3: 2
2 And may the Lord consecrate also unto thee this land, which is a most precious land, for thine inheritance and the inheritance of thy seed with thy brethren, for thy security forever, if it so be that ye shall keep the commandments of the Holy One of Israel.
11.
2 Ne. 4: 11
11 And after he had made an end of speaking unto them, he spake unto Sam, saying: Blessed art thou, and thy seed; for thou shalt inherit the land like unto thy brother Nephi. And thy seed shall be numbered with his seed; and thou shalt be even like unto thy brother, and thy seed like unto his seed; and thou shalt be blessed in all thy days.
12.
2 Ne. 6: 11
11 Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro, for thus saith the angel, many shall be afflicted in the flesh, and shall not be suffered to perish, because of the prayers of the faithful; they shall be scattered, and smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the Lord will be merciful unto them, that when they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer, they shall be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance.
13.
2 Ne. 9: 2, 18
2 That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be restored to the true church and fold of God; when they shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.
• • •
18 But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.
14.
2 Ne. 10: 7-8, 10, 19-20
7 But behold, thus saith the Lord God: When the day cometh that they shall believe in me, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh, upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.
8 And it shall come to pass that they shall be gathered in from their long dispersion, from the isles of the sea, and from the four parts of the earth; and the nations of the Gentiles shall be great in the eyes of me, saith God, in carrying them forth to the lands of their inheritance.
• • •
10 But behold, this land, said God, shall be a land of thine inheritance, and the Gentiles shall be blessed upon the land.
• • •
19 Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed, and them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me, saith God.
20 And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea.
15.
2 Ne. 25: 11
11 And now this I speak because of the spirit which is in me. And notwithstanding they have been carried away they shall return again, and possess the land of Jerusalem; wherefore, they shall be restored again to the land of their inheritance.
16.
Jacob 3: 4
4 And the time speedily cometh, that except ye repent they shall possess the land of your inheritance, and the Lord God will lead away the righteous out from among you.
17.
Jarom 1: 7
7 And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle. But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance.
18.
Omni 1: 27
27 And now I would speak somewhat concerning a certain number who went up into the wilderness to return to the land of Nephi; for there was a large number who were desirous to possess the land of their inheritance.
19.
W of M 1: 14
14 And in the strength of the Lord they did contend against their enemies, until they had slain many thousands of the Lamanites. And it came to pass that they did contend against the Lamanites until they had driven them out of all the lands of their inheritance.
20.
Mosiah 7: 9, 21
9 And he said unto them: Behold, I am Limhi, the son of Noah, who was the son of Zeniff, who came up out of the land of Zarahemla to inherit this land, which was the land of their fathers, who was made a king by the voice of the people.
• • •
21 And ye all are witnesses this day, that Zeniff, who was made king over this people, he being over-zealous to inherit the land of his fathers, therefore being deceived by the cunning and craftiness of king Laman, who having entered into a treaty with king Zeniff, and having yielded up into his hands the possessions of a part of the land, or even the city of Lehi-Nephi, and the city of Shilom; and the land round about—
21.
Mosiah 9: 1, 3
1 I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance, *and having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites that I might spy out their forces, that our army might come upon them and destroy them—but when I saw that which was good among them I was desirous that they should not be destroyed.
• • •
3 And yet, I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as many as were desirous to go up to possess the land, and started again on our journey into the wilderness to go up to the land; but we were smitten with famine and sore afflictions; for we were slow to remember the Lord our God.
22.
Mosiah 10: 3, 13
3 And it came to pass that we did inherit the land of our fathers for many years, yea, *for the space of twenty and two years.
• • •
13 And again, that they were wronged while in the land of their first inheritance, after they had crossed the sea, and all this because that Nephi was more faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord—therefore he was favored of the Lord, for the Lord heard his prayers and answered them, and he took the lead of their journey in the wilderness.
23.
Mosiah 27: 26
26 And thus they become new creatures; and unless they do this, they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
24.
Mosiah 29: 32
32 And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.
25.
Alma 5: 51, 58
51 And also the Spirit saith unto me, yea, crieth unto me with a mighty voice, saying: Go forth and say unto this people—Repent, for except ye repent ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of heaven.
• • •
58 For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand. And now, my brethren, what have ye to say against this? I say unto you, if ye speak against it, it matters not, for the word of God must be fulfilled.
26.
Alma 7: 14
14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.
27.
Alma 9: 12
12 Behold, now I say unto you that he commandeth you to repent; and except ye repent, ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. But behold, this is not all—he has commanded you to repent, or he will utterly destroy you from off the face of the earth; yea, he will visit you in his anger, and in his fierce anger he will not turn away.
28.
Alma 11: 37
37 And I say unto you again that he cannot save them in their sins; for I cannot deny his word, and he hath said that no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore, how can ye be saved, except ye inherit the kingdom of heaven? Therefore, ye cannot be saved in your sins.
29.
Alma 21: 18
18 And it came to pass that Ammon and Lamoni returned from the land of Middoni to the land of Ishmael, which was the land of their inheritance.
30.
Alma 22: 28
28 Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers’ first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore.
31.
Alma 27: 22, 24
22 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: Behold, we will give up the land of Jershon, which is on the east by the sea, which joins the land Bountiful, which is on the south of the land Bountiful; and this land Jershon is the land which we will give unto our brethren for an inheritance.
• • •
24 And now behold, this will we do unto our brethren, that they may inherit the land Jershon; and we will guard them from their enemies with our armies, on condition that they will give us a portion of their substance to assist us that we may maintain our armies.
32.
Alma 35: 9, 14
9 And he breathed out many threatenings against them. And now the people of Ammon did not fear their words; therefore they did not cast them out, but they did receive all the poor of the Zoramites that came over unto them; and they did nourish them, and did clothe them, and did give unto them lands for their inheritance; and they did administer unto them according to their wants.
• • •
14 And Alma, and Ammon, and their brethren, and also the two sons of Alma returned to the land of Zarahemla, after having been instruments in the hands of God of bringing many of the Zoramites to repentance; and as many as were brought to repentance were driven out of their land; but they have lands for their inheritance in the land of Jershon, and they have taken up arms to defend themselves, and their wives, and children, and their lands.
33.
Alma 39: 9
9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things.
34.
Alma 40: 26
26 But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God; but they are cast out, and consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.
35.
Alma 41: 4
4 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—
36.
Alma 43: 12
12 And the Nephites would not suffer that they should be destroyed; therefore they gave them lands for their inheritance.
37.
Alma 54: 12-13
12 And behold, if ye do not this, I will come against you with my armies; yea, even I will arm my women and my children, and I will come against you, and I will follow you even into your own land, which is the land of our first inheritance; yea, and it shall be blood for blood, yea, life for life; and I will give you battle even until you are destroyed from off the face of the earth.
13 Behold, I am in my anger, and also my people; ye have sought to murder us, and we have only sought to defend ourselves. But behold, if ye seek to destroy us more we will seek to destroy you; yea, and we will seek our land, the land of our first inheritance.
38.
Alma 62: 42
42 And it came to pass that after Moroni had fortified those parts of the land which were most exposed to the Lamanites, until they were sufficiently strong, he returned to the city of Zarahemla; and also Helaman returned to the place of his inheritance; and there was once more peace established among the people of Nephi.
39.
Hel. 3: 3, 5
3 And it came to pass in the *forty and sixth, yea, there was much contention and many dissensions; in the which there were an exceedingly great many who departed out of the land of Zarahemla, and went forth unto the land northward to inherit the land.
• • •
5 Yea, and even they did spread forth into all parts of the land, into whatever parts it had not been rendered desolate and without timber, because of the many inhabitants who had before inherited the land.
40.
3 Ne. 11: 33, 38
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
• • •
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
41.
3 Ne. 12: 5
5 And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
42.
3 Ne. 15: 13
13 And behold, this is the land of your inheritance; and the Father hath given it unto you.
43.
3 Ne. 16: 16
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, thus hath the Father commanded me—that I should give unto this people this land for their inheritance.
44.
3 Ne. 20: 14, 29, 33, 46
14 And the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land, for your inheritance.
• • •
29 And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.
• • •
33 Then will the Father gather them together again, and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance.
• • •
46 Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance.
45.
3 Ne. 21: 22, 28
22 But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;
• • •
28 Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.
46.
3 Ne. 22: 3
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
47.
3 Ne. 29: 1
1 And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.
48.
Morm. 2: 27-28
27 And my heart did sorrow because of this the great calamity of my people, because of their wickedness and their abominations. But behold, we did go forth against the Lamanites and the robbers of Gadianton, until we had again taken possession of the lands of our inheritance.
28 And the *three hundred and forty and ninth year had passed away. And in the three hundred and fiftieth year we made a treaty with the Lamanites and the robbers of Gadianton, in which we did get the lands of our inheritance divided.
49.
Morm. 3: 17
17 Therefore I write unto you, Gentiles, and also unto you, house of Israel, when the work shall commence, that ye shall be about to prepare to return to the land of your inheritance;
50.
Morm. 5: 14
14 And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant;
51.
Ether 1: 38
38 And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.
52.
Ether 2: 15
15 And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And these are my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice above all other lands.
53.
Ether 7: 16
16 And he gave battle unto Shule, the king, in which he did obtain the land of their first inheritance; and he became a king over that part of the land.
54.
Ether 9: 13
13 Wherefore, Omer was restored again to the land of his inheritance.
55.
Ether 12: 32, 34
32 And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared.
• • •
34 And now I know that this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father.
56.
Ether 13: 8, 21
8 Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.
• • •
21 Otherwise they should be destroyed, and all his household save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr.


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