Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2012, January 30

“Book of Mormon: Theme of ‘Know’ in 1 Nephi 17” by grego

Book of Mormon: Theme of “Know” in 1 Nephi 17


There is some fun in 1 Nephi 17 regarding “knowing”.

First, Npehi talks about what the Lehites had been told they would know at a future date:
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.
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.

The Lehites would know God had led them through the wilderness, and that He had delivered them from destruction had they remained in Jerusalem.

Laman and Lemuel start off the big “know” contest:
1 Nephi 17:22 And *we know* that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, *we know* that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his words; yea, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.

So Nephi comes back with what Laman and Lemuel R E A L L Y KNOW about Egypt, the Exodus, the Israelites in the wilderness, etc.:
1 Nephi 17:23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying: Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?
24 Yea, do ye suppose that they would have been led out of bondage, if the Lord had not commanded Moses that he should lead them out of bondage?
25 Now *ye know* that the children of Israel were in bondage; and *ye know* that they were laden with tasks, which were grievous to be borne; wherefore, *ye know* that it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be brought out of bondage.
26 Now *ye know* that Moses was commanded of the Lord to do that great work; and *ye know* that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and thither, and they passed through on dry ground.
27 But ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh.
28 And *ye also know* that they were fed with manna in the wilderness.
29 Yea, and *ye also know* that Moses, by his word according to the power of God which was in him, smote the rock, and there came forth water, that the children of Israel might quench their thirst.

42 And they did harden their hearts from time to time, and they did revile against Moses, and also against God; nevertheless, *ye know* that they were led forth by his matchless power into the land of promise.
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.

Nephi scolds Laman and Lemuel and tells them what they know about God:
1 Nephi 17:45 Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder.
46 And *ye also know* that by the power of his almighty word he can cause the earth that it shall pass away; yea, and *ye know* that by his word he can cause the rough places to be made smooth, and smooth places shall be broken up. O, then, why is it, that ye can be so hard in your hearts?

The parallel between the wicked Israelites and Laman and Lemuel was not misunderstood, and they are angry. They threaten to kill him, but he tells them to back off, and they do.

Then, this happens:
1 Nephi 17:53 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that *they may know* that I am the Lord their God.

He shocks them, and:
55 And now, they said: *We know of a surety* that the Lord is with thee, for *we know* that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us. And they fell down before me, and were about to worship me, but I would not suffer them, saying: I am thy brother, yea, even thy younger brother; wherefore, worship the Lord thy God, and honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee.

Funny what they now know… But we know it won’t last long.

(I thought I had already posted this long ago, but I couldn’t find it, so…)

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