Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, August 29

“Book of Mormon: Even More about Getting the Brass Plates (1 Nephi 3-4)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Even More about Getting the Brass Plates (1 Nephi 3-4)


In addition to these two previous posts:

there are just a few more things about this part of the Book of Mormon…

Why Did They Take Tents?
After reading this:
“1 Nephi 3:9 And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness, with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem.”,
I realized that Nephi and his brothers were likely living outside the walls of Jerusalem. It was only a two-three-day trip, and tents would only have slowed them down, otherwise. But why wouldn’t they live in their house? Perhaps they were worried that it was “being staked out”? Why didn’t they live with Ishmael or someone else? I don’t know…

Losing Treasure

1 Nephi 3:15 But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.
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.
17 For he knew that Jerusalem must be destroyed, because of the wickedness of the people.
18 For behold, they have rejected the words of the prophets. Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish. Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land.
19 And behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers;
20 And also that we may preserve unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and power of God, since the world began, even down unto this present time.
21 And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I persuade my brethren, that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments of God.
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*.
23 And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.
24 And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban, and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him *our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things*.
25 And it came to pass that when Laban saw *our property*, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain *our property*.
26 And it came to pass that we did flee before the servants of Laban, and we were obliged to leave behind *our property*, and it fell into the hands of Laban.
27 And it came to pass that we fled into the wilderness, and the servants of Laban did not overtake us, and we hid ourselves in the cavity of a rock.
28 And it came to pass that Laman was angry with me, and also with my father; and also was Lemuel, for he hearkened unto the words of Laman. Wherefore Laman and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod.

I used to think that Laman and Lemuel were beating Nephi because they had almost gotten killed. This time, I could only see one reason: the loss of the already lost riches. (Even with that big explanation from Nephi ahead of time about the need for Lehi to leave it behind, the coming destruction and death in Jerusalem, etc.)
And Nephi is clear—it’s *our* family property, not Laman and Lemuel’s property; and it seems everyone was in agreement about the plan.
Even though it was Nephi’s plan, he was no more responsible for the loss of their property than anyone else; who could have known that Laban would have done that?
I’m sure this had to do with future stories to their children about Nephi stealing the brass plates from them–without compensation!
In verse 28, I still see that Laman (and Lemuel) think the request for the plates is from their father. “It’s always the prophet’s fault when obeying commandments is hard!” That goes along well with, “It’s always the prophet’s fault when the commandments is impossible!” Well, yes, it often is—when you rely completely on your own wisdom, without heavenly help. The big lesson: Commandments are always spiritual, and must be fulfilled by the Spirit.

Note the following vocabulary words and where they occur:
1 Nephi 3:3 For behold, Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a *genealogy of my forefathers*, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.
12 And he desired of Laban the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, which contained the *genealogy of my father*.

1 Nephi 5:14 And it came to pass that my father, Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a *genealogy of his fathers*; wherefore he knew that he was *a descendant of Joseph*; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine.
15 And they were also led out of captivity and out of the land of Egypt, by that same God who had preserved them.
16 And thus my father, Lehi, did discover the *genealogy of his fathers*. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records.

Just a small thing, but Joseph Smith keeps it in order—genealogy of forefathers-)descendant of Joseph; from unknown to known.

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