Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2012, April 23

“Book of Mormon (Mosiah 7; 12-13; 17): Why Did King Noah and His Priests Have Abinadi Killed?” by grego

Book of Mormon (Mosiah 7; 12-13; 17): Why Did King Noah and His Priests Have Abinadi Killed?

grego
(c)2012

The charge the priests bring against Abinadi is this:
Mosiah 17:7 And he said unto him: Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death.
8 For thou hast said that God himself should come down among the children of men; and now, for this cause thou shalt be put to death…

That doesn’t seem like much of a crime, especially one that would merit the death penalty.

Today in Mosiah 7 when I came across this:
Mosiah 7:27 And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—
28 And now, because he said this, they did put him to death…
a possibility clicked.

According to the first and second of the ten commandments (which Abinadi quoted for them during his trial):
Mosiah 12:35 Thou shalt have no other God before me.
36 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing in heaven above, or things which are in the earth beneath.
37 Now Abinadi said unto them, Have ye done all this? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not. And have ye taught this people that they should do all these things? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not.
Mosiah 13:1 And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests: Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad.

12 And now, ye remember that I said unto you: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are in heaven above, or which are in the earth beneath, or which are in the water under the earth.
13 And again: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;
14 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Note that one of the charges Abinadi makes against he king and his priests is that they worship idols, and teach their people to do so, too–and that gets the king really riled up.

The priests probably charged that Abinadi was teaching that God had made an actual physical image of himself in His creating of man, and worse, would later become that image in living form–a blasphemous heresy of the first and second commandments. On top of that, Abinadi taught that man himself was in the image of God.

I don’t doubt that the priests were gloating over their ironic charge as payback for Abinadi’s retorts, especially to the question they had posed to him. Perhaps this is why God’s payback to them is also ironic (found at the end of Mosiah 17).

There is also some parallelism in the answer the king gives Abinadi:
Mosiah 17:8 …for this cause thou shalt be put to death unless thou wilt recall all the words which thou hast spoken evil concerning me and my people.
King Noah could have said, “I am a jealous King, visiting the the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;
14 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.”
But Abinadi didn’t accept king Noah’s “mercy”, nor keep his and his priests’ commandments, as the rest of the king’s people had been doing.

2012, April 14

LDS/ Mormon: “Food Storage vs. the Passover in Egypt” by grego

LDS/ Mormon: Food Storage vs. the Passover in Egypt

grego
(c)2012

Some people think that food storage will never be much of a problem, especially if they can get it from their neighbor/ nearby family/ members/ etc. Think about these things, though…

The Passover was a night to remember with special food. It was a night that the faithful were to be delivered from a plague through obedience to doing something.

The Israelites were told to do a few things with food the night of the Passover, with the main thing being to put red around their door, as a sign to keep the destroying angel of God from entering:
Exodus 12:22 And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning.
23 For the Lord will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
Hebrews 11:28 Through faith [Moses] kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

What if a purpose of food storage–at least for a few?–will be “a sign” of faith? What if the consequences of having food storage aren’t just that you might not be hungry, or starve, but the Lord will prevent the destroyer from entering your house and smiting it?

If not that, what if the consequences of not having food storage will be no opportunity to get any food, from anyone?

What if those that have their food storage will have special protection, destroying angels, who will cut down/ burn up any who “try to enter”?

Just (left-field) thoughts that came to mind… ;)

2012, April 5

“Book of Mormon: Sherem and Jacob (Jacob 7)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Sherem and Jacob (Jacob 7)

grego
(c)2012

It’s interesting to note what Jacob writes about and then what really happens:
Jacob 7:5 And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for I truly had seen angels, and they had ministered unto me. And also, I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time; wherefore, I could not be shaken.

Jacob says Sherem can’t shake him from the faith because of:
–having received revelations;
–having seen angels, and their ministering to him;
–having heard the voice of the Lord.

Then:
Jacob 7:7 …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.
Jacob 7:8 But behold, the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words.
Jacob 7:11 … Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.
Jacob 7:12 And this is not all–it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.

There it is! This is the crux of Jacob’s testimony–the Holy Ghost has testified of Jesus Christ, and supports him. This is the “real” reason why he cannot be shaken.

Sherem makes a fatal Book of Mormon bad guy error:
Jacob 7:13 …Show me a sign by this power of the Holy Ghost, in the which ye know so much.

And Jacob answers:
Jacob 7:14 …What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign in the thing which thou knowest to be true? Yet thou wilt deny it, because thou art of the devil. Nevertheless, not my will be done; but if God shall smite thee, let that be a sign unto thee that he has power, both in heaven and in earth; and also, that Christ shall come. And thy will, O Lord, be done, and not mine.

“WHAT am I?” instead of “Who am I?”–interesting.
Jacob knows that Sherem is a liar and will deny a sign from the Holy Ghost, right? Hmm… What is a sign he wouldn’t be able to deny? It would no doubt have to be something clear, open, physically manifest; a taking away of Sherem’s power–to be smitten by God. And by doing so, not only would Sherem lose his power, but it would be a testimony of God’s power. But Jacob adds one more part, the most important part–the sign would prove that Christ would come. And of course, it’s God’s will, not Jacob’s.

Jacob 7:15 And it came to pass that when I, Jacob, had spoken these words, the power of the Lord came upon him, insomuch that he fell to the earth. And it came to pass that he was nourished for the space of many days.
Jacob 7:16 And it came to pass that he said unto the people: Gather together on the morrow, for I shall die; wherefore, I desire to speak unto the people before I shall die.
Jacob 7:17 And it came to pass that on the morrow the multitude were gathered together; and he spake plainly unto them and denied the things which he had taught them, and confessed the Christ, and the power of the Holy Ghost, and the ministering of angels.

Here Sherem confesses what Jacob told him: Christ, the power of the Holy Ghost (by which he was struck), and angels. Wait–angels? Jacob records nothing about having spoken about angels to Jacob. Sherem might have heard it around, or it might be from here:
2 Nephi 6:9 Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that they should return again. And he also has shown unto me that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh; and after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the angel who spake it unto me.
2 Nephi 6:11 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.
2 Nephi 10:3 Wherefore, as I said unto you, it must needs be expedient that Christ–for in the last night the angel spake unto me that this should be his name–should come among the Jews, among those who are the more wicked part of the world; and they shall crucify him–for thus it behooveth our God, and there is none other nation on earth that would crucify their God.

In other words, Sherem knows that Jacob has claimed to have had angels visit and minister to him.

Jacob 7:18 And he spake plainly unto them, that he had been deceived by the power of the devil. And he spake of hell, and of eternity, and of eternal punishment.
Jacob had preached a little about these things, from a long time ago:
2 Nephi 9:8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.
2 Nephi 9:9 And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself; yea, to that being who beguiled our first parents, who transformeth himself nigh unto an angel of light, and stirreth up the children of men unto secret combinations of murder and all manner of secret works of darkness.
2 Nephi 9:10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
2 Nephi 9:12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
2 Nephi 9:19 O the greatness of the mercy of our God, the Holy One of Israel! For he delivereth his saints from that awful monster the devil, and death, and hell, and that lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment.
2 Nephi 9:26 For the atonement satisfieth the demands of his justice upon all those who have not the law given to them, that they are delivered from that awful monster, death and hell, and the devil, and the lake of fire and brimstone, which is endless torment; and they are restored to that God who gave them breath, which is the Holy One of Israel.
Jacob 3:11 O my brethren, hearken unto my words; arouse the faculties of your souls; shake yourselves that ye may awake from the slumber of death; and loose yourselves from the pains of hell that ye may not become angels to the devil, to be cast into that lake of fire and brimstone which is the second death.

However, this is the first time “eternity” and “eternal punishment” appear in the Book of Mormon.

It’s interesting that the really bad guys in the Book of Mormon are liars–special liars–they knowingly lie unto God. Sherem is no exception:
Jacob 7:19 …I fear lest I have committed the unpardonable sin, for I have lied unto God; for I denied the Christ, and said that I believed the scriptures; and they truly testify of him. And because I have thus lied unto God I greatly fear lest my case shall be awful; but I confess unto God.

Wow, that sounds like very legal talk, eh–commit sin, lie, deny, testify; my case; confess.

Jacob 7:20 And it came to pass that when he had said these words he could say no more, and he gave up the ghost.
Jacob 7:21 And when the multitude had witnessed that he spake these things as he was about to give up the ghost, they were astonished exceedingly; insomuch that the power of God came down upon them, and they were overcome that they fell to the earth.
Jacob 7:22 Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had requested it of my Father who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer.
Jacob 7:23 And it came to pass that peace and the love of God was restored again among the people; and they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man.

Jacob didn’t will this to happen to Sherem; but he did pray that God would find a way to bring the people back from following and believing in Sherem, to the word of God. There is contention, and then there is special contention clearly manipulated by the devil. The lack of peace and love was due to the second type, and Jacob was glad to be rid of it. This return, due to the “power of God”, was … well, powerful!

2012, March 19

“Book of Mormon: Why is Chiasmus Found in Alma 36–of All Places?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Why is Chiasmus Found in Alma 36, of All Places?

grego
(c) 2012

As a continuation of my article of Alma’s use of NLP to communicate with his sons…

Absolutely!! Remember, Helaman is a reader, a thinker, a contemplater–not a doer. Alma purposefully gives Helaman a special message in a special form that will likely encourage him to study it more and appreciate it more deeply.

This includes literary elements like extremes, exaggerations (even if true), short and powerful yet subtle lines, and coloring throughout chapter 36: “I swear unto you”, “none could deliver”, “he surely did deliver”, “voice of thunder”, “the whole earth did tremble”, “Arise”, “If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.”, “fell to the earth”, “I could not open my mouth”, “struck with such great fear and amazement”, “racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins”, “tormented with the pains of hell”, “rebelled against my God”, “I had murdered many of his children”, “the very thought”, “rack my soul with inexpressible horror”, “banished and become extinct”, “racked, even with the pains of a damned soul”, “racked with torment”, “harrowed up by the memory of my many sins”, etc.

1 My son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.
2 I would that ye should do as I have done, in remembering the captivity of our fathers; for they were in bondage, and none could deliver them except it was the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he surely did deliver them in their afflictions.
3 And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
4 And I would not that ye think that I know of myself-not of the temporal but of the spiritual, not of the carnal mind but of God.
5 Now, behold, I say unto you, if I had not been born of God I should not have known these things; but God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known unto me, not of any worthiness of myself;
6 For I went about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God; but behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way.
7 And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us.
8 But behold, the voice said unto me: Arise. And I arose and stood up, and beheld the angel.
9 And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.
10 And it came to pass that I fell to the earth; and it was for the space of three days and three nights that I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my limbs.
11 And the angel spake more things unto me, which were heard by my brethren, but I did not hear them; for when I heard the words-If thou wilt be destroyed of thyself, seek no more to destroy the church of God-I was struck with such great fear and amazement lest perhaps I should be destroyed, that I fell to the earth and I did hear no more.
12 But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.
13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
14 Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.
15 Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds.
16 And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
17 And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
18 Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death.
19 And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!
21 Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
22 Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there.
23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
25 Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors;
26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.
27 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.
28 And I know that he will raise me up at the last day, to dwell with him in glory; yea, and I will praise him forever, for he has brought our fathers out of Egypt, and he has swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea; and he led them by his power into the promised land; yea, and he has delivered them out of bondage and captivity from time to time.
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.
30 But behold, my son, this is not all; for ye ought to know as I do know, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land; and ye ought to know also, that inasmuch as ye will not keep the commandments of God ye shall be cut off from his presence. Now this is according to his word.

2012, March 6

“Book of Mormon: The Law of War (Doctrine and Covenants 98) and the Law of Witnesses–Two Keys to Understanding the Structure and Content of Nephi’s Writings (1 Nephi–2 Nephi 5) and the Nephite-Lamanite Conflict” by grego

Book of Mormon: The Law of War (Doctrine and Covenants 98) and the Law of Witnesses–Two Keys to Understanding the Structure and Content of Nephi’s Writings (1 Nephi–2 Nephi 5) and the Nephite-Lamanite Conflict

grego
(c)2012

Two laws underlie the whole textual structure of 1 Nephi and the beginning of 2 Nephi: the law of witnesses and the law of war (which is an extension of the law of witnesses). These two laws set up the promises of the Lord to Nephi and their fulfillment through legitimate and lawful means, and set up the future of Nephite-Lamanite relations (which makes up much of the Book of Mormon). In addition, Nephi writes so that future Nephites and Lamanites will be sure of the true history of their forefathers.

Similar to how the last part of 1 Nephi 1 is the thesis statement for Lehi and his posterity and the whole Book of Mormon, the last part of the first writing that is about Nephi tells about the promise the Lord makes to him and is the thesis for the life of Nephi (much like a patriarchal blessing):
1 Nephi 2:20 And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.
21 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
22 And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren.
23 For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also.
24 And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.

Laman and Lemuel learn at least a little about this promise:
1 Nephi 3:29 And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.

So, here the challenge to their inheritance has been thrown down; will they prove it wrong, or will it go unchallenged in the proper ways? We will see that after the promise and reason have been given them, more witnesses will be given.

This challenge is the problem Laman and Lemuel repeatedly use to fight against Nephi:
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.

1 Nephi 16:38 Now, he says that the Lord has talked with him, and also that angels have ministered unto him. But behold, we know that he lies unto us; and he tells us these things, and he worketh many things by his cunning arts, that he may deceive our eyes, thinking, perhaps, that he may lead us away into some strange wilderness; and after he has led us away, he has thought to make himself a king and a ruler over us, that he may do with us according to his will and pleasure. And after this manner did my brother Laman stir up their hearts to anger.

1 Nephi 18:10 And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us.

2 Nephi 5:3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to rule over this people.

Mosiah 10:15 And again, they were wroth with him when they had arrived in the promised land, because they said that he had taken the ruling of the people out of their hands; and they sought to kill him.
16 And again, they were wroth with him because he departed into the wilderness as the Lord had commanded him, and took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, for they said that he robbed them.

In the end, everything happens as had been foretold in 1 Nephi 2:
2 Nephi 5:19 And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I (note: Nephi) should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the commandments of the Lord, until the time they sought to take away my life.

According to the promise, there are a few conditions that must be met before it can be fulfilled:
1) Nephi must be obedient;
2) his brothers must rebel against him;
3) his brothers must rebel against God.

However:
1. this doesn’t happen when his brothers rebel against him while Lehi is still alive–they’re not cut off, either spiritually or temporally. Why not?
2. this wouldn’t just “be” “because”; there would be reason to it. How could those promises be made, and why would they be fulfilled?

Both answers have to do with the law of witnesses and the law of war. The promises to Nephi will be fulfilled to Laman and Lemuel’s detriment, but in the proper and just ways.

The Law of Witnesses

The law of witnesses can be found in many places in the scriptures (the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants):
Deuteronomy 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.

Deuteronomy 19:15 ¶One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

2 Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

Doctrine and Covenants 5:15 And the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:28 … and in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:80 And if any man or woman shall commit adultery, he or she shall be tried before two elders of the church, or more, and every word shall be established against him or her by two witnesses of the church, and not of the enemy; but if there are more than two witnesses it is better.

Doctrine and Covenants 42:81 But he or she shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses…

Doctrine and Covenants 128:3 … naming also some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Doctrine and Covenants 128:20 … A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! …

2 Nephi 27:12 …that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.

2 Nephi 29:8 …Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. (Later, mention of the witness of the lost tribes=three witnesses:)
13 And it shall come to pass that the Jews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the lost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.

Ether 5:4 And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day.

Moroni 6:7 And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witnesses of the church did condemn them before the elders…

The Law of Witnesses is first seen in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They testify of themselves; but, especially to fulfill this law: the Father testifies of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; the Son testifies of the Father and of the Holy Ghost; and the Holy Ghost testifies of the Father and of the Son. (See 2 Nephi 31 where Nephi explains this.)

So, while two witnesses are good, three or more are definitely better! Note that in the Book of Mormon, references are to three witnesses, not two.

The Law of War

The Lord explains the law of war as follows:
Doctrine and Covenants 98:23 Now, I speak unto you concerning your families—if men will smite you, or your families, once, and ye bear it patiently and revile not against them, neither seek revenge, ye shall be rewarded;
24 But if ye bear it not patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being meted out as a just measure unto you.
25 And again, if your enemy shall smite you the second time, and you revile not against your enemy, and bear it patiently, your reward shall be an hundred fold.
26 And again, if he shall smite you the third time, and ye bear it patiently, your reward shall be doubled unto you four-fold;
27 And these three testimonies shall stand against your enemy if he repent not, and shall not be blotted out.
28 And now, verily I say unto you, if that enemy shall escape my vengeance, that he be not brought into judgment before me, then ye shall see to it that ye warn him in my name, that he come no more upon you, neither upon your family, even your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.
29 And then, if he shall come upon you or your children, or your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation, I have delivered thine enemy into thine hands;
30 And then if thou wilt spare him, thou shalt be rewarded for thy righteousness; and also thy children and thy children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.
31 Nevertheless, thine enemy is in thine hands; and if thou rewardest him according to his works thou art justified; if he has sought thy life, and thy life is endangered by him, thine enemy is in thine hands and thou art justified.

32 Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy fathers, Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine ancient prophets and apostles.

33 And again, this is the law that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.
34 And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of peace unto that people, nation, or tongue;
35 And if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord;
36 Then I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people.
37 And I, the Lord, would fight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.
38 Behold, this is an ensample unto all people, saith the Lord your God, for justification before me.
39 And again, verily I say unto you, if after thine enemy has come upon thee the first time, he repent and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness, thou shalt forgive him, and shalt hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy—
40 And so on unto the second and third time; and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt forgive him, until seventy times seven.
41 And if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.
42 And if he trespass against thee the second time, and repent not, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.
43 And if he trespass against thee the third time, and repent not, thou shalt also forgive him.
44 But if he trespass against thee the fourth time thou shalt not forgive him, but shalt bring these testimonies before the Lord; and they shall not be blotted out until he repent and reward thee four-fold in all things wherewith he has trespassed against thee.
45 And if he do this, thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart; and if he do not this, I, the Lord, will avenge thee of thine enemy an hundred-fold;
46 And upon his children, and upon his children’s children of all them that hate me, unto the third and fourth generation.
47 But if the children shall repent, or the children’s children, and turn to the Lord their God, with all their hearts and with all their might, mind, and strength, and restore four-fold for all their trespasses wherewith they have trespassed, or wherewith their fathers have trespassed, or their fathers’ fathers, then thine indignation shall be turned away;
48 And vengeance shall no more come upon them, saith the Lord thy God, and their trespasses shall never be brought any more as a testimony before the Lord against them. Amen.

I remember reading that for the first time and knowing I had received new knowledge! But I was kind of lost a little–NEPHI had that law?? I had never seen it or heard it mentioned in the Book of Mormon (and wouldn’t for many years afterward)–until today, when it all came together (at least what I’ve gotten so far)!

What Points Nephi’s Record Witnesses

Nephi writes his truthful account to show that there are at least nine categories of three or more witnesses that set up the Lord’s promises to Nephi in 1 Nephi 2 and their fulfillment, and to show the law of war is fulfilled on his part, which sets up the whole Nephite-Lamanites scenario for the rest of the Book of Mormon:
1. Nephi is obedient;
2. Nephi saves his brothers’ lives;
3. Nephi’s passing tests of wonder;
4. sacred objects/ artifacts appear in miraculous ways, and Nephi claims their ownership by test of power of use (similar to the law of jealousies in Numbers? 5)–which also signifies heavenly approval of his being chosen;
5. Jerusalem is destroyed according to the words of the Lord’s prophets, including Lehi and Nephi.
6. Nephi refuses ill-gotten leadership;
7. Laman and Lemuel try to kill Nephi;
8. they are foiled each time by heavenly witnesses which testify in Nephi’s favor and to testify of his future calling as their teacher and ruler;
9. Laman and Lemuel repent, and Nephi forgives them;
10. the warning is given;
11. Laman and Lemuel attempt to usurp Lehi’s authority and power and Nephi’s power and prophesied authority, then lie to their own children;
12. Nephi and his people receive the promises of the Lord as he fights for them.

These witnesses fulfill the law of witnesses, and the events more than fulfill the requirements for the law of war. So, let’s go through them.

Nephi and Obedience
Not only is Nephi obedient, he and Lehi often invited and persuaded Laman and Lemuel to be obedient. Nephi testifies of obedience throughout his record:
a. 1 Nephi 5:20 And it came to pass that thus far I and my father had kept the COMMANDMENTS wherewith the Lord had commanded us.

b. 1 Nephi 16:8 And thus my father had fulfilled all the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord which had been given unto him. And also, I, Nephi, had been blessed of the Lord exceedingly.

c. 1 Nephi 17:15 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.

d. 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.

(e. 2 Nephi 5:10 And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.
11 And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly…)

Extra: 1 Nephi 8:38 And after he had preached unto them, and also prophesied unto them of many things, he bade them to keep the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord; and he did cease speaking unto them.
1 Nephi 15:10 Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?
1 Nephi 15:11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my COMMANDMENTS, surely these things shall be made known unto you.
1 Nephi 15:25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his COMMANDMENTS always in all things.
1 Nephi 16:4 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord.
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 17:13 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 22:30 Wherefore, my brethren, I would that ye should consider that the things which have been written upon the plates of brass are true; and they testify that a man must be obedient to the COMMANDMENTS of God.
1 Nephi 22:31 Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the COMMANDMENTS, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen.
2 Nephi 1:20 And he hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my COMMANDMENTS ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my COMMANDMENTS ye shall be cut off from my presence.
2 Nephi 1:27 And it must needs be that the power of God must be with him, even unto his COMMANDING you that ye must obey. But behold, it was not he, but it was the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, which opened his mouth to utterance that he could not shut it.
2 Nephi 4:4 For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my COMMANDMENTS ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my COMMANDMENTS ye shall be cut off from my presence.
2 Nephi 5:19 And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord, until the time they sought to take away my life.

Even from the first episode of the brass plates, in fact, “commandments” is the key word for Nephi:
1 Nephi 3:16 Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord.
1 Nephi 3:21 And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I persuade my brethren, that they might be faithful in keeping the COMMANDMENTS of God.
1 Nephi 4:1 And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?
1 Nephi 4:14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my COMMANDMENTS, they shall prosper in the land of promise.
1 Nephi 4:15 Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.
1 Nephi 4:34 And I also spake unto him, saying: Surely the Lord hath commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord? Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father thou shalt have place with us.

Nephi exhorts Laman and Lemuel to obey another time:
1 Nephi 16:3 And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.
4 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord.
5 And it came to pass that they did humble themselves before the Lord; insomuch that I had joy and great hopes of them, that they would walk in the paths of righteousness.

Lehi fears for Laman and Lemuel and exhorts them to keep the commandments:
1 Nephi 8:14 … and at the head thereof I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go.
15 And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit.
16 And it came to pass that they did come unto me and partake of the fruit also.
17 And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also…
18 And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me and partake of the fruit.
35 And Laman and Lemuel partook not of the fruit, said my father.
36 …he exceedingly feared for Laman and Lemuel; yea, he feared lest they should be cast off from the presence of the Lord.
37 And he did exhort them then with all the feeling of a tender parent, that they would hearken to his words, that perhaps the Lord would be merciful to them, and not cast them off; yea, my father did preach unto them.
38 And after he had preached unto them, and also prophesied unto them of many things, he bade them to keep the COMMANDMENTS of the Lord; and he did cease speaking unto them.

And some of Lehi’s last main words to Laman and Lemuel:
2 Nephi 1:16 And I desire that ye should remember to OBSERVE the statutes and the judgments of the Lord; behold, this hath been the anxiety of my soul from the beginning.
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;
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.
19 O my sons, that these things might not come upon you, but that ye might be a choice and a favored people of the Lord. But behold, his will be done; for his ways are righteousness forever.

Nephi Saves Laman and Lemuel’s Lives
a. Nephi saves his brothers’ lives with Laban:
1 Nephi 4:31 And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee.
32 And it came to pass that I spake with him…
34 …if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father thou shalt have place with us.
35 And it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I spake. Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father. Yea, and he also made an oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
36 Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.

b. Nephi obtains food when everyone is starving:
1 Nephi 16:18 …after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.
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.
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… yea, and they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did murmur against the Lord.
21 … it began to be exceedingly difficult, yea, insomuch that we could obtain no food.
23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?
24 And it came to pass that he did inquire of the Lord…
30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball.
31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.
32 And it came to pass that I did return to our tents, bearing the beasts which I had slain; and now when they beheld that I had obtained food, how great was their joy! And it came to pass that they did humble themselves before the Lord, and did give thanks unto him.

c. Nephi saves the ship from sinking and takes them to the promised land:
15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities…
20 …when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me.
21 And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm.
22 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land.
23 And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land.

Nephi’s Tests of Wonder
Nephi has many tests of wonder where he overcomes an impossible task by performing impossible works.
a. When he goes back inside Jerusalem the third time to obtain the brass plates, he goes up against Laban, who Laman and Lemuel describe like this:
1 Nephi 3:31 And after the angel had departed, Laman and Lemuel again began to murmur, saying: How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?

Yet, Nephi, a non-warrior, goes by himself, without any weapon at all, against Laban and slays him; and not only that, but he obtains the plates, the sword, and his servant!

b. When everyone is literally starving, he makes a bow and one arrow to slay food for everyone in his group (around 20 adults, then more children), asks for directions, and goes by himself, and brings back enough food to save everyone.

c. Nephi will build a ship that will cross the ocean! He has likely never done this before (at least the full thing), which his brothers allude to:
1 Nephi 17:8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?
10 And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.
16 And it came to pass that I did make tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock.
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.
18 And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.
19 And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts; and now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did rejoice over me, saying: We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a work.

Yet, he starts with finding ore for the tools, then makes them, then builds the ship; everyone admits it’s good (and even under storm conditions, it holds up very well):
1 Nepih 18:4 And it came to pass that after I had finished the ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine; wherefore, they did humble themselves again before the Lord.

d. Laman and Lemuel see that they are about to be swallowed up by the sea in a great storm, and they free Nephi. Nephi prays, and the storm stops:
1 Nephi 18:11 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word which he had spoken concerning the wicked.
12 And it came to pass that after they had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work.
13 Wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest, and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly lest they should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not loose me.
14 And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceedingly sore.
15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.
16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.
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.
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.
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.
20 And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts; wherefore, when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me.
21 And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm.
22 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land.
23 And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land.

Sacred Objects/ Artifacts
Here is what Nephi obtained for the Lehites:
The brass plates, Laban’s sword, and the Liahona–three artifacts that can be felt, seen, and preserved for future generations:
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.

And a full list (including the above):
a, b, c. The sword of Laban, the brass plates, and Zoram:
1 Nephi 4:31 And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also *having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee*.
32 And it came to pass that *I spake with him*, that if he would hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth, and as I live, even so that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his life.
33 And I spake unto him, even with an oath, that he need not fear; that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go down in the wilderness with us.
34 And I also spake unto him, saying: Surely the Lord hath commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord? Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father thou shalt have place with us.
35 And it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I spake. Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father. Yea, and he also made an oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
36 Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, *that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us*.
37 And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.
38 And it came to pass that *we took the plates of brass and the servant of Laban*, and departed into the wilderness, and journeyed unto the tent of our father.

b. the brass plates (after obtaining them: understanding them):
1 Nephi 14:12-20: 20 And I did rehearse unto them the words of Isaiah… I did speak many words unto my brethren, that they were pacified and did humble themselves before the Lord.

d. their wives, and Ishmael’s family:
1 Nephi 7:1 …the Lord spake unto him again, saying that it was not meet for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife…
2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness.
3 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did again, with my brethren, go forth into the wilderness to go up to Jerusalem.
4 And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that *we did speak unto him the words of the Lord*.
5 And it came to pass that *the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father*.

Who probably led the conversation of conversion with Ishmael about going into the wilderness? Nephi, or his brothers who immediately rebelled and wanted to go back? I imagine it was Nephi!

e. the Liahona
The Liahona worked according to their faith and diligence. Alma says:
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.
Who were likely the slothful ones?
Here’s a prime example of ownership:
1 Nephi 18:12 And it came to pass that after [Laman and Lemuel] had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work.
21 And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm.

f. the ship
Laman and Lemuel believe a ship is beyond Nephi:
1 Nephi 18:19 And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts; and now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did rejoice over me, saying: We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a work.

It is beyond Nephi; but not the Lord, who told him to make it and taught him how to make it.
1 Nephi 17:8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.

Otherwise, how else could they cross the ocean?

The result:
1 Nepih 18:4 And it came to pass that after I had finished the ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine; wherefore, they did humble themselves again before the Lord.

Jerusalem
Three witnesses that Jerusalem was destroyed according to the prophecies of the prophets:
a. Nephi: 1 Nephi 19:20 For behold, I have workings in the spirit, which doth weary me even that all my joints are weak, for those who are at Jerusalem; for had not the Lord been merciful, to show unto me concerning them, even as he had prophets of old, I should have perished also.
22 Now it came to pass that I, Nephi, did teach my brethren these things; and it came to pass that I did read many things to them, which were engraven upon the plates of brass, that they might know concerning the doings of the Lord in other lands, among people of old.
2 Nephi 25:10 Wherefore, it hath been told them concerning the destruction which should come upon them, immediately after my father left Jerusalem; nevertheless, they hardened their hearts; and according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are carried away captive into Babylon.

b. Lehi: 2 Nephi 1:4 For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.

c. Jacob: 2 Nephi 6:8 And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words. For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem, from whence we came, have been slain and carried away captive.

d. King Mosiah and all the Nephites
Omni 1:15 Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
16 And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.

Nephi’s Refusal of Non-Divine Leadership
Nephi never attempts to usurp or even claim authority or power over Laman and Lemuel, even when they want to give it to him. Nephi could have claimed leadership through unrighteous means, but he only encouraged his brothers to obey God and their parents:
a. 1 Nephi 7:8 And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying, yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?

b. 1 Nephi 16:4 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the commandments of the Lord.

c. 1 Nephi 17:55 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.

Meeting the Requirements of The Law of War

Laman and Lemuel murmured and rebeled from the beginning, and receive their first heavenly witness:
1 Nephi 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.
12 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them.
13 Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words of the prophets. And they were like unto the Jews who were at Jerusalem, who sought to take away the life of my father.
14 And it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel, with power, being filled with the Spirit, until their frames did shake before him. And he did confound them, that they durst not utter against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them.

Nephi, however, prays to know the truth, and gets an answer:
1 Nephi 2:16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.

And from that point on, that’s the main thrust of the characters.

Laman and Lemuel seek/ try to kill Nephi three times; and Nephi is delivered miraculously, three times, giving them heavenly witnesses to what the angel told them; they repent; and Nephi forgives them.

The First Attempt

7. 1 Nephi 7:16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.

8. 1 Nephi 7:17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again.

9a. 1 Nephi 7:20 And it came to pass that they were sorrowful, because of their wickedness, insomuch that they did bow down before me, and did plead with me that I would forgive them of the thing that they had done against me.

9b. 1 Nephi 7:21 And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so. And after they had done praying unto the Lord we did again travel on our journey towards the tent of our father.

The Second Attempt
7. 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.
38 Now, he says that the Lord has talked with him, and also that angels have ministered unto him. But behold, we know that he lies unto us; and he tells us these things, and he worketh many things by his cunning arts, that he may deceive our eyes, thinking, perhaps, that he may lead us away into some strange wilderness; and after he has led us away, he has thought to make himself a king and a ruler over us, that he may do with us according to his will and pleasure. And after this manner did my brother Laman stir up their hearts to anger.

8. 1 Nephi 16:39 And it came to pass that the Lord was with us, yea, even the voice of the Lord came and did speak many words unto them, and did chasten them exceedingly; and after they were chastened by the voice of the Lord they did turn away their anger, and

9a. did repent of their sins, insomuch that the Lord did bless us again with food, that we did not perish. (Ok, no mention of Nephi forgiving them here, but context shows it’s there.)

The Third Attempt
7. 1 Nephi 17:48 And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me…

8. (1 Nephi 17:48)… I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him.
52 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were confounded and could not contend against me; neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their fingers, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the Spirit of God; and thus it had wrought upon them.
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.
54 And it came to pass that I stretched forth my hand unto my brethren, and they did not wither before me; but the Lord did shake them, even according to the word which he had spoken.
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…

9a, 9b. 1 Nephi 17:55 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.

At this time, Nephi also reminds Laman and Lemuel that their group is like the Israelites of Moses.

A Fourth Attempt
7. 1 Nephi 18: 10 And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us.
11 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word which he had spoken concerning the wicked.
12 And it came to pass that after they had bound me insomuch that I could not move, the compass, which had been prepared of the Lord, did cease to work.
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.
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.
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.

8. 1 Nephi 18:13 Wherefore, they knew not whither they should steer the ship, insomuch that there arose a great storm, yea, a great and terrible tempest, and we were driven back upon the waters for the space of three days; and they began to be frightened exceedingly lest they should be drowned in the sea; nevertheless they did not loose me.
14 And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the tempest began to be exceedingly sore.
15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.
16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.
20 And there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts;…

9a. 1 Nephi 18:20 …wherefore, when they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea they repented of the thing which they had done, insomuch that they loosed me.

9b (implied). 21 And it came to pass after they had loosed me, behold, I took the compass, and it did work whither I desired it. And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord; and after I had prayed the winds did cease, and the storm did cease, and there was a great calm.

10. The Warning
Then, Lehi testifies that:
1) the Lord was good to bring them out of Jerusalem, which had already been detroyed, and had they stayed they would have died;
2) the Lord was good to not destroy them on the seas;
3) the Lord was good to give them the promised land:
 1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of teaching my brethren, our father, Lehi, also spake many things unto them, and rehearsed unto them, how great things the Lord had done for them in bringing them out of the land of Jerusalem.
 2 And he spake unto them concerning their rebellions upon the waters, and the mercies of God in sparing their lives, that they were not swallowed up in the sea.
 3 And he also spake unto them concerning the land of promise, which they had obtained—how merciful the Lord had been in warning us that we should flee out of the land of Jerusalem.
 4 For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.
 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.

Then, Lehi testifies of Nephi as:
1) being righteous;
2) being instrumental and having saved their lives in the wilderness;
3) having suffered from Laman and Lemuel;
4) not desiring to have power and authority over them;
5) speaking the words of the Lord, even to making them obey; and,
6) Lehi warns Laman and Lemuel about Nephi:
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.
25 And I exceedingly fear and tremble because of you, lest he shall suffer again; for behold, ye have accused him that he sought power and authority over you; but I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare.
26 And ye have murmured because he hath been plain unto you. Ye say that he hath used sharpness; ye say that he hath been angry with you; but behold, his sharpness was the sharpness of the power of the word of God, which was in him; and that which ye call anger was the truth, according to that which is in God, which he could not restrain, manifesting boldly concerning your iniquities.
27 And it must needs be that the power of God must be with him, even unto his commanding you that ye must obey. But behold, it was not he, but it was the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, which opened his mouth to utterance that he could not shut it.
28 And now my son, Laman, and also Lemuel and Sam, and also my sons who are the sons of Ishmael, behold, if ye will hearken unto the voice of Nephi ye shall not perish. And if ye will hearken unto him I leave unto you a blessing, yea, even my first blessing.
29 But if ye will not hearken unto him I take away my first blessing, yea, even my blessing, and it shall rest upon him.

The Fifth (and Last) Attempt before the Break-away
7. 2 Nephi 5:3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to rule over this people.
4 Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.

8. 2 Nephi 5:5 And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.

There is no 9, though there is likely a 10. From this point on, the law of war has been fulfilled for Nephi and his people.

Heavenly Intervention and Witnesses
a. 1 Nephi 3:29 And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.

b. 1 Nephi 16:39 And it came to pass that the Lord was with us, yea, even the voice of the Lord came and did speak many words unto them, and did chasten them exceedingly; and after they were chastened by the voice of the Lord they did turn away their anger, and did repent of their sins, insomuch that the Lord did bless us again with food, that we did not perish.

c. 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.
54 And it came to pass that I stretched forth my hand unto my brethren, and they did not wither before me; but the Lord did shake them, even according to the word which he had spoken.
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…

Result
So, Nephi leaves, taking his rightful sacred possessions with him:
2 Nephi 5:12 And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written.
14 And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people.

Note that in addition that earning the right to the sacred possessions, it could be argued that he is also given them by right of the first blessing and inheritance from his father, Lehi, especially since he gave up the land under duress, which should have been his inheritance. Later, the Lamanites also take over the land of Nephi, yet they don’t enter that into their “money books”/ “retaliation/ revenge records”.
Mosiah 9:1 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…
Mosiah 10: 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.

Moroni later speaks of this in his letter to the Lamanite king, Amalickiah:
Alma 54:12 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.

And from that time on, only the Nephites’ unrighteousness will stop them from beating the Lamanites when the Lamanites come to fight them.

More about Laman and Lemuel’s rebellion and disbelief:
Laman and Lemuel receive a heavenly witness as they exercise unrighteous authority and power over Nephi and Sam:
1 Nephi 3:28 And it came to pass that Laman was angry with me, and also with my father; and also was Lemuel, for he hearkened unto the words of Laman. Wherefore Laman and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod.
29 And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.

More about Laman and Lemuel’s disbelief and rebellion:
1 Nephi 3:5 And now, behold thy brothers murmur, saying it is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.

1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

1 Nephi 3:18 For behold, they have rejected the words of the prophets. Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish. Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land.

1 Nephi 3:28 And it came to pass that Laman was angry with me, and also with my father; and also was Lemuel, for he hearkened unto the words of Laman. Wherefore Laman and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod.

1 Nephi 4:2 Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
3 Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.

1 Nephi 7:6 And it came to pass that as we journeyed in the wilderness, behold Laman and Lemuel, and two of the daughters of Ishmael, and the two sons of Ishmael and their families, did rebel against us; yea, against me, Nephi, and Sam, and their father, Ishmael, and his wife, and his three other daughters.
7 And it came to pass in the which rebellion, they were desirous to return unto the land of Jerusalem.
22 And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father. And after *I and my brethren and all the house of Ishmael had come down unto the tent of my father*, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him.

1 Nephi 7:14 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison. And they have sought to take away the life of my father, insomuch that they have driven him out of the land.

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.

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 17:44 Wherefore, the Lord commanded my father that he should depart into the wilderness; and the Jews also sought to take away his life; yea, and ye also have sought to take away his life; wherefore, ye are murderers in your hearts and ye are like unto them.

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.

2 Nephi 4:12 And it came to pass after my father, Lehi, had spoken unto all his household, according to the feelings of his heart and the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, he waxed old. And it came to pass that he died, and was buried.
13 And it came to pass that not many days after his death, Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael were angry with me because of the admonitions of the Lord.
14 For I, Nephi, was constrained to speak unto them, according to his word; for I had spoken many things unto them, and also my father, before his death; many of which sayings are written upon mine other plates; for a more history part are written upon mine other plates.

2 Nephi 5:1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the anger of my brethren.
2 But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life.
3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, torule over this people.
4 Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.
5 And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.
6 Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in thewarnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.
7 And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness for the space of many days. And after we had journeyed for the space of many days we did pitch our tents.
8 And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore, we did call it Nephi.
9 And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the people of Nephi.
10 And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.

11. The Traditions of Laman and Lemuel’s Descendants

Why is it important for Nehi to show all this? First, rememer the prophecy and blessing that Lehi gave Laman and Lemuel’s children:
2 Nephi 4:3 Wherefore, after my father had made an end of speaking concerning the prophecies of Joseph, he called the children of Laman, his sons, and his daughters, and said unto them: Behold, my sons, and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my first-born, I would that ye should give ear unto my words.
5 But behold, my sons and my daughters, I cannot go down to my grave save I should leave a blessing upon you; for behold, I know that if ye are brought up in the way ye should go ye will not depart from it.
6 Wherefore, if ye are cursed, behold, I leave my blessing upon you, that the cursing may be taken from you and be answered upon the heads of your parents.
7 Wherefore, because of my blessing the Lord God will not suffer that ye shall perish; wherefore, he will be merciful unto you and unto your seed forever.
8 And it came to pass that after my father had made an end of speaking to the sons and daughters of Laman, he caused the sons and daughters of Lemuel to be brought before him.
9 And he spake unto them, saying: Behold, my sons and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my second son; behold I leave unto you the same blessing which I left unto the sons and daughters of Laman; wherefore, thou shalt not utterly be destroyed; but in the end thy seed shall be blessed.

Let’s look at some of the Lamanites’ traditions, a few hundred years later:
1) they were driven out of righteous Jerusalem because Lehi was wicked;
2) they had been wronged in the wilderness;
3) they had been wronged on the sea;
4) they had been wronged in the promised land;
5) that whatever they did was ok
–in exact contrast to what Lehi had told them right before he died!!

It’s clear that Laman and Lemuel had lied to and taught their posterity that:
Mosiah 10:12 They were a wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, believing in the tradition of their fathers, which is this—Believing that they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem because of the iniquities of their fathers, and that they were wronged in the wilderness by their brethren, and they were also wronged while crossing the sea;
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.
14 And his brethren were wroth with him because they understood not the dealings of the Lord; they were also wroth with him upon the waters because they hardened their hearts against the Lord.
15 And again, they were wroth with him when they had arrived in the promised land, because they said that he had taken the ruling of the people out of their hands; and they sought to kill him.
16 And again, they were wroth with him because he departed into the wilderness as the Lord had commanded him, and took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, for they said that he robbed them.
17 And thus they have taught their children that they should hate them, and that they should murder them, and that they should rob and plunder them, and do all they could to destroy them; therefore they have an eternal hatred towards the children of Nephi.

Alma 18: 5 Now this was the tradition of Lamoni, which he had received from his father, that there was a Great Spirit. Notwithstanding they believed in a Great Spirit, they supposed that whatsoever they did was right…

Alma 20:13 …his father was angry with him, and said: Lamoni, thou art going to deliver these Nephites, who are sons of a liar. Behold, he robbed our fathers; and now his children are also come amongst us that they may, by their cunning and their lyings, deceive us, that they again may rob us of our property.

Enos 1:14 For at the present our strugglings were vain in restoring them to the true faith. And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would destroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.

Mormon 2:17 And now, the city of Jashon was near the land where Ammaron had deposited the records unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed. And behold I had gone according to the word of Ammaron, and taken the plates of Nephi, and did make a record according to the words of Ammaron.

Mormon 6:6 … and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni.

Mormon sums it up like this:
Alma 3:11 And it came to pass that whosoever would not believe in the tradition of the Lamanites, but believed those records which were brought out of the land of Jerusalem, and also in the tradition of their fathers, which were correct, who believed in the commandments of God and kept them, were called the Nephites, or the people of Nephi, from that time forth—
12 And it is they who have kept the records which are true of their people, and also of the people of the Lamanites.

And in fact, it is the records that teach the Lamanites so much about the truth, at later periods of time; the truth about the incorrect traditions of their fathers, and their rebellion:

Alma 18:36 …even down to the time that their father, Lehi, left Jerusalem.
37 And he also rehearsed unto them (for it was unto the king and to his servants) all the journeyings of their fathers in the wilderness, and all their sufferings with hunger and thirst, and their travail, and so forth.
38 And he also rehearsed unto them concerning the rebellions of Laman and Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael, yea, all their rebellions did he relate unto them; and he expounded unto them all the records and scriptures from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem down to the present time.
Alma 23:3 And thus they might go forth and preach the word according to their desires, for the king had been converted unto the Lord, and all his household; therefore he sent his proclamation throughout the land unto his people, that the word of God might have no obstruction, but that it might go forth throughout all the land, that his people might be convinced concerning the wicked traditions of their fathers, and that they might be convinced that they were all brethren, and that they ought not to murder, nor to plunder, nor to steal, nor to commit adultery, nor to commit any manner of wickedness.
Alma 23:5 And thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, yea, thousands were brought to believe in the traditions of the Nephites; and they were taught the records and prophecies which were handed down even to the present time.
Alma 37:9 Yea, I say unto you, were it not for these things that these records do contain, which are on these plates, Ammon and his brethren could not have convinced so many thousands of the Lamanites of the incorrect tradition of their fathers; yea, these records and their words brought them unto repentance; that is, they brought them to the knowledge of the Lord their God, and to rejoice in Jesus Christ their Redeemer.

Alma 23:13 And these are the names of the cities of the Lamanites which were converted unto the Lord; and these are they that laid down the weapons of their rebellion, yea, all their weapons of war; and they were all Lamanites.

Alma 25:6 For many of them, after having suffered much loss and so many afflictions, began to be stirred up in remembrance of the words which Aaron and his brethren had preached to them in their land; therefore they began to disbelieve the traditions of their fathers, and to believe in the Lord, and that he gave great power unto the Nephites; and thus there were many of them converted in the wilderness.

Helaman 5:50 And it came to pass that they did go forth, and did minister unto the people, declaring throughout all the regions round about all the things which they had heard and seen, insomuch that the more part of the Lamanites were convinced of them, because of the greatness of the evidences which they had received.
51 And as many as were convinced did lay down their weapons of war, and also their hatred and the tradition of their fathers.

12. Fulfillment of the Lord’s Promises to Nephi because of the Law of War

Here are just a few examples of the numerous times in the Book of Mormon that the Lord helps and delivers the Nephites under the benefit of his law:
Omni 1:7 Wherefore, the Lord did visit them in great judgment; nevertheless, he did spare the righteous that they should not perish, but did deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.

Alma 19: 27 And there were some who said that Ammon was sent by the Great Spirit to afflict them because of their iniquities; and that it was the Great Spirit that had always attended the Nephites, who had ever delivered them out of their hands; and they said that it was this Great Spirit who had destroyed so many of their brethren, the Lamanites.

Alma 25:6 For many of them, after having suffered much loss and so many afflictions, began to be stirred up in remembrance of the words which Aaron and his brethren had preached to them in their land; therefore they began to disbelieve the traditions of their fathers, and to believe in the Lord, and that he gave great power unto the Nephites; and thus there were many of them converted in the wilderness.

-=
Words of Mormon 1: 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.

Mosiah 1:13 Yea, and moreover I say unto you, that if this highly favored people of the Lord should fall into transgression, and become a wicked and an adulterous people, that the Lord will deliver them up, that thereby they become weak like unto their brethren; and he will no more preserve them by his matchless and marvelous power, as he has hitherto preserved our fathers.

Mosiah 2:4 And also that they might give thanks to the Lord their God, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers, and also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men.

Mosiah 9: 17 Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers.

Mosiah 10:10 And it came to pass that we did go up to battle against the Lamanites; and I, even I, in my old age, did go up to battle against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that we did go up in the strength of the Lord to battle.
11 Now, the Lamanites knew nothing concerning the Lord, nor the strength of the Lord, therefore they depended upon their own strength. Yet they were a strong people, as to the strength of men.

Alma 20: 4 Now Lamoni said unto Ammon: I know, in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things…

Alma 60: 16 … yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word.

3 Ne. 4: 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.

Morm. 2: 26 And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.

There really is a strong purpose in the structure and inclusion of events in Nephi’s record which sets the stage for the whole Nephite-Lamanite struggle.

2012, February 7

Book of Mormon | “1 Nephi 17: We Are Moses; We Are Israel; We Are the Canaanites–The Cycle Continues” by grego

Book of Mormon | 1 Nephi 17: We Are Moses; We Are Israel; We Are the Canaanites–The Cycle Continues

grego
(c)2012

In 1 Nephi 17, Nephi tells about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt to the promised land. Some fall along the way due to their unrighteousness and unbelief. Because the inhabitants of Canaan are unrighteous and have rejected the Lord, the Lord destroys them, and builds up Israel in their place.

Now, the Jews of Israel in Jerusalem have become unrighteous and unbelieving, and they will be destroyed by the Lord, and Babylon will be built up. The Lord has led the Lehites out of Jerusalem and is leading them to their promised land, and has given them trials along the way, just as he gave the Israelites.

What is the condition in the promised land they are being led to? If I recall correctly, the Jaredites either have been or are being destroyed by the Lord, and the Lehites will later take over their land. (They will discover this much later.)

Interestingly, soon after the Lehites arrive in the promised land, Nephi will be led out of the land of their first inheritance, and a few hundred years later Mosiah will be led the righteous out of the land of Nephi to the land of Zarahemla, while the unrighteous Nephites who remain in the land will be destroyed by the Lord, and the Lamanites will take over their land.

2012, January 30

“Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants: Which is the Greatest Gift of God? (1 Nephi 15:36; Mosiah 8:16; 1 Nephi 26:30; Ether 12:34; Moroni 10:21; DC 6:13; DC14:7; DC 12:8)” by grego

“Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants: Which is the Greatest Gift of God?” by grego

grego
(c)2012

When it is asked, “Which is the greatest gift of God?”, some wise soul will usually quote this:
Doctrine and Covenants 14:7 And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

But, what about this?
Doctrine and Covenants 6:13 If thou wilt do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, thou shalt be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.

Or this?
1 Nephi 15:36 Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that tree of life, whose fruit is most precious and most desirable above all other fruits; yea, and it is the greatest of all the gifts of God. And thus I spake unto my brethren. Amen.

Then there’s this:
Mosiah 8:16 And Ammon said that a seer is a revelator and a prophet also; and a gift which is greater can no man have, except he should possess the power of God, which no man can; yet a man may have great power given him from God.

And this:
1 Nephi 26:30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.

Ether 12:34 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.

Moroni 10:21 And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.

And even this:
Doctrine and Covenants 12:8 And no one can assist in this work except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, and charity, being temperate in all things, whatsoever shall be entrusted to his care.

More than one right answer?? I guess it has to do with context, timing, and sequence. So next time that happens, have fun!

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

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

grego
(c)2012

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…)

“Book of Mormon: Bountiful Prepared of the Lord–Maybe not What We’re Looking for? (1 Nephi 17:5)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Bountiful Prepared of the Lord–Maybe not What We’re Looking for? (1 Nephi 17:5)

grego
(c)2012

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*. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.

Bountiful might or might not have been a “normal” oasis that every Book of Mormon researcher is looking for in the Arabian peninsula–Nephi makes it clear that it was prepared of the Lord” to specifically preserve the Lehites.

On the other hand, there’s no need to limit Bountiful to a place that only existed for the Lehites, not before or after. It could have been a once-in-a-while oasis, or one that hand’t been used up yet/ that was passed over by other people, etc.

“Book of Mormon Language: Nephi’s Phrase ‘Touch Me with Their Fingers'” by grego

Book of Mormon Language: Nephi’s Phrase “Touch Me with Their Fingers” by grego

grego
(c)2012

1 Nephi 17:52 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were confounded and could not contend against me; *neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their fingers*, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the Spirit of God; and thus it had wrought upon them.

I find that phrase interesting: “touch me with their fingers”. I wonder if that is an expression of speech in their language that Nephi is using, or is it an interesting translation?

2012, January 27

LDS/ Mormon Men: Please Share Your Personal Experiences about Problems (Pornography/ Cheating on your wife/ Drugs/ Video games/ etc.) Stemming from Negative Treatment from Your Wife (Nagging/ Complaining/ Withholding sex/ Overspending/ Anger/ Looking down on you/ other)

LDS/ Mormon Men: Please Share Your Personal Experiences about Problems (Pornography/ Cheating on your wife/ Drugs/ Video games/ etc.) Stemming from Negative Treatment from Your Wife (Nagging/ Complaining/ Withholding sex/ Overspending/ Anger/ Looking down on you/ other)

grego
(c)2012

From General Conference talks and conversations, it seems most LDS/ Mormons see these issues as completely unrelated, but in a few conversations with non-members, these issues can, at the least, be related.

I’m wondering if there’s any relevance for LDS men.

So, please share personal experiences (or at least clearly confirmed second-hand experiences) where there was a relationship between treatment from your wife and bad results.

Particularly nice would be comments where men were non-viewing/ non-participating/ non-addicted UNTIL those spousal situations, and then turned to it as a release or escape mechanism.

Thanks,
grego

2012, January 26

“Book of Mormon: The Lord’s Promise to Nephi (1 Nephi 2)” by grego

“Book of Mormon: The Lord’s Promise to Nephi (1 Nephi 2)” by grego

grego
(c)2012

What were the Lord’s promises to Nephi? I think we mess this up just a little, forgetting a part or two:

1 Nephi 2:20 And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.
 21 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
 22 And *inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren*.
 23 For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also.
 24 And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.

We usually forget that it wasn’t about Laman and Lemuel, but about Nephi: if he kept the Lord’s commandments, he would be “made a ruler and a teacher”.

While likely connected, the part about his brothers not being righteous had to do with being cut off from the presence of the Lord, not about Nephi being their ruler.

2012, January 18

“Book of Mormon: Nephi’s Concrete Claim to Leadership Angers Laman and Lemuel; They Lead a Coup to Counter (1 Nephi 16)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Nephi’s Concrete Claim to Leadership Angers Laman and Lemuel; They Lead a Coup to Counter (1 Nephi 16)

grego
(c)2012

Let’s take a look at a few things in 1 Nephi 16 today.

They are commanded to start out, and all is going ok until this:
1 Nephi 16:18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.
 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.
 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.
 21 Now it came to pass that I, Nephi, having been afflicted with my brethren because of the loss of my bow, and their bows having lost their springs, it began to be exceedingly difficult, yea, insomuch that we could obtain no food.
 22 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did speak much unto my brethren, because they had hardened their hearts again, even unto complaining against the Lord their God.
 23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto myfather: Whither shall I go to obtain food?
 24 And it came to pass that he did inquire of the Lord, for they had humbled themselves because of my words; for I did say many things unto them in the energy of my soul.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 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.
 30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball.
 31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.
 32 And it came to pass that I did return to our tents, bearing the beasts which I had slain; and now when they beheld that I had obtained food, how great was their joy! And it came to pass that they did humble themselves before the Lord, and did give thanks unto him.
 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.

Everyone is starving. Laman and Lemuel’s bows have been ruined, so they are relying on Nephi’s bow; but it breaks. Oh, Nephi! Now we don’t have food! (Reminds me of how players on basketball teams blame the last person throwing the free throw wh misses for their loss, when in fact he was the one who had the highest field goal percentage throughout the game!) Did Laman and Lemuel get any food? Nope. For such cool guys, that kind of stinks, huh? I guess they weren’t very proficient with the sling. But Nephi doesn’t quit, as his brothers already did when their bows lost their spring and just relied on him. He makes a new bow, and a new arrow. Others long ago have explained he needs to make a new arrow because of the difference in the bows.) Today, it hit me : ONE arrow!! Wow, forget David and his FIVE stones.
With one arrow, Nephi was going to provide food for the entire family (at least 18 adults)–Laman and Lemuel must have been laughing and ridiculing him!–had it not been that they themselves were starving and hoping it would work. Contrast this with the ridicule and scorn they heap on Nephi when they are in Bountiful, the land of plenty, and Nephi starts building a ship. Why? They had it good, they weren’t interested in the promised land or a boat. They just follow the supposition that most people only hope others succeed when it means their own survival and betterment.
So Nephi gets directions of where to go, goes, and brings back food for the entire family; no one is hungry.
This time, Nephi does not just get the plates that seem to have nothing to do with their immediate temporal welfare; he actually saves his brothers and their families, and his father’s entire family, from starvation. I believe this is a claim to “ownership”/ dominion over his brothers and family that has been overlooked. Right, notice that Laman and Lemuel were nowhere to be found on Nephi’s hunting trip, just like they were nowhere around when Nephi slew Laban and got the plates. Yes, another fulfillment of the prophecy about his ruling over and teaching his brothers:
1 Nephi 2:21 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall rebel against thee, they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord.
 22 And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren.
and 1 Nephi 3:29 And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.

1 Nephi 16:34 And it came to pass that Ishmael died, and was buried in the place which was called Nahom.
 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.
 36 And thus they did murmur against my father, and also against me; and they were desirous to return again to Jerusalem.
 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.

After Ishmael dies and is buried, where is the leadership in his family–with his (old) wife, or the oldest son? Or, more likely: with Ishmael gone, were Lehi and Nephi the only ones standing in the way of Laman and Lemuel taking over the leadership of both families; and they figured that with the help of Ishmael’s sons, the coup would be easier to pull off, and would even build unity among them? I wonder if Laman and Lemuel were feeling the weight of the forthcoming change in family leadership, and try to take this opportunity to strengthen Ishmael’s sons’ ties/ bonds with them instead of Lehi and Nephi.
Do you think Laman and Lemuel would have been able to remember how to get back across the desert to arrive safely back in Jerusalem, as Ishmaels’ daughters hoped? Nahom was a long way away from Jerusalem. Or had they forgotten that the Liahona had led them? Did they think it would work for them, after they had killed Lehi and Nephi? Didn’t Nephi speak against them, and the Liahona (not in his possession, so he couldn’t have pulled a fraud) more or less confirm his words to them, and they trembled because of them (1 Nephi 16:27)? (Frankly, I think they would think that…)
So even though this has happened:
1 Nephi 3:29 And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.

they lie to the sons of Ishmael and say:
 38 Now, he says that the Lord has talked with him, and also that angels have ministered unto him. But behold, we know that he lies unto us; and he tells us these things, and he worketh many things by his cunning arts, that he may deceive our eyes, thinking, perhaps, that he may lead us away into some strange wilderness; and after he has led us away, he has thought to make himself a king and a ruler over us, that he may do with us according to his will and pleasure. And after this manner did my brother Laman stir up their hearts to anger.

So, in irony, the voice of the Lord comes–now everyone hears it openly; but instead of telling them they will be rulers and teachers, it tells them to repent!:
 39 And it came to pass that the Lord was with us, yea, even the voice of the Lord came and did speak many words unto them, and did chasten them exceedingly; and after they were chastened by the voice of the Lord they did turn away their anger, and did repent of their sins, insomuch that the Lord did bless us again with food, that we did not perish.

2012, January 17

“Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants: How Great Shall Be Your Joy (1 Nephi 16:32; Doctrine and Covenants 18:10-16)” by grego

Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants: How Great Shall Be Your Joy (1 Nephi 16:32; Doctrine and Covenants 18:10-16)

grego
(c)2012

I was reading today in 1 Nephi 16:

 18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.
 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.
 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.
 21 … it began to be exceedingly difficult, yea, insomuch that we could obtain no food.
 23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto myfather: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

 30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball.
 31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.

and then this scripture:

1 Nephi 16:32 And it came to pass that I did return to our tents, bearing the beasts which I had slain; and now when they beheld that I had obtained food, *how great was their joy!* And it came to pass that they did humble themselves before the Lord, and did give thanks unto him.

“How great was their joy!” reminded me of these verses:

Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 Remember *the worth of souls is great in the sight of God*;
 11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
 12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
 13 And *how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!*
 14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
 15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, *how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!*
 16 And now, if *your joy will be great with one soul* that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, *how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!*

How great is the worth of souls? How great is Jesus’ joy in the soul that repents? How great will be your joy?

Well, think of walking long distances in the desert. You are tired and sore. You have been thirsty for hours, and on food rations for days. You are hungry; your spouse is hungry; your children are crying from hunger. It’s time to find food and end it! But suddenly the best means of catching the only available food is gone. The hunger is almost unbearable.
Then, a while later, lying in your tent from fatigue and depression and wondering how long before you die, you hear someone call out: “I have brought food; come eat!” Everyone feasts.
How do you feel? How did you feel when someone called out? How did you feel about the meal? How do you feel about the person that brought you the food?

2012, January 13

“Interesting Language Use of ‘I, [Name]’ throughout the Book of Mormon” by grego

“Interesting Language Use of ‘I, [Name]’ throughout the Book of Mormon”

grego
(c)2012

From the very first verse in the Book of Mormon, we have the use of the phrase, “I,[Name]”. In fact, Nephi writes “I, Nephi” around fifty times, just up to 1 Nephi 18! Is it to remind the reader that I=Nephi, or that Nephi is writing?

While that does happen in a few instances, a quick look shows us that this phrase is used much as “And it came to pass”–as a literary marker to show the start of a new idea, action, or topic, especially if it’s one that is critical or a turning point in the story.

Here are a few examples:
Nephi has been talking with his brothers; he stops, and leaves.
1 Nephi 3:1 AND it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father.

His father talks to him, explaining the situation, and:
1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

His father is happy and replies, and then they leave:
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.

The brothers make two attempts at getting the plates as a group, and then:
1 Nephi 4:5 And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.

The Spirit tells Nephi to slay Laban; he contemplates, and then the critical forward motion:
1 Nephi 4:14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.

Nephi gets the plates and goes with Zoram to his brothers, and Zoram flees:
1 Nephi 4:31 And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee.

Note that in these instances that when others are spoken of, the name or group or “we” is used.

-=-=-=
A very incomplete list of some instances throughout the Book of Mormon (there were so many, I got tired of making it!!).

1 Nephi 1:1 I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.

4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi (THIS IS THE INTRODUCTION/ FIRST TIME), having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.

5 Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi (THIS AND ALL OTHERS ARE REPEATS), as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people.

16 And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he also hath written many things which he prophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account.

18 Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my father, Lehi, yea, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to prophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard.

20 And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.

1 Nephi 2:16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.

1 Nephi 3:1 AND it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father.

1 Nephi 3:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

1 Nephi 3:9 And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness, with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem.

1 Nephi 4:5 And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.

1 Nephi 4:14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.

1 Nephi 4:31 And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee.

1 Nephi 6:1 AND now I, Nephi, do not give the genealogy of my fathers in this part of my record; neither at any time shall I give it after upon these plates which I am writing; for it is given in the record which has been kept by my father; wherefore, I do not write it in this work.

1 Nephi 7:2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness.

1 Nephi 7:3 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did again, with my brethren, go forth into the wilderness to go up to Jerusalem.

1 Nephi 7:8 And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying, yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?

1 Nephi 7:16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.

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

1 Nephi 10:1 AND now I, Nephi, proceed to give an account upon these plates of my proceedings, and my reign and ministry; wherefore, to proceed with mine account, I must speak somewhat of the things of my father, and also of my brethren.

1 Nephi 10:17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God–and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come–I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

1 Nephi 11:33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

1 Nephi 12:12 And I, Nephi, also saw many of the fourth generation who passed away in righteousness.

1 Nephi 13:16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.

1 Nephi 13:19 And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.

1 Nephi 13:20 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.

1 Nephi 13:23 And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.

1 Nephi 14:14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

1 Nephi 14:27 And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was John, according to the word of the angel.

1 Nephi 14:28 And behold, I, Nephi, am forbidden that I should write the remainder of the things which I saw and heard; wherefore the things which I have written sufficeth me; and I have written but a small part of the things which I saw.

1 Nephi 15:1 AND it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been carried away in the spirit, and seen all these things, I returned to the tent of my father.

1 Nephi 15:4 And now I, Nephi, was grieved because of the hardness of their hearts, and also, because of the things which I had seen, and knew they must unavoidably come to pass because of the great wickedness of the children of men.

1 Nephi 15:19 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake much unto them concerning these things; yea, I spake unto them concerning the restoration of the Jews in the latter days.

1 Nephi 15:25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.

1 Nephi 16:1 AND now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.

1 Nephi 16:4 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the commandments of the Lord.

1 Nephi 16:7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife.

1 Nephi 16:8 And thus my father had fulfilled all the commandments of the Lord which had been given unto him. And also, I, Nephi, had been blessed of the Lord exceedingly.

1 Nephi 16:18 And it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.

1 Nephi 16:21 Now it came to pass that I, Nephi, having been afflicted with my brethren because of the loss of my bow, and their bows having lost their springs, it began to be exceedingly difficult, yea, insomuch that we could obtain no food.

1 Nephi 16:22 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did speak much unto my brethren, because they had hardened their hearts again, even unto complaining against the Lord their God.

1 Nephi 16:23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?

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 16:30 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball.

1 Nephi 17:7 And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been in the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: Arise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord.

1 Nephi 17:11 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make a bellows wherewith to blow the fire, of the skins of beasts; and after I had made a bellows, that I might have wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones together that I might make fire.

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.

1 Nephi 17:15
Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.

1 Nephi 17:19 And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts; and now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did rejoice over me, saying: We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a work.

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?

1 Nephi 17:49 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.

1 Nephi 17:52 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were confounded and could not contend against me; neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their fingers, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the Spirit of God; and thus it had wrought upon them.

1 Nephi 18:2 Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.

51. 1 Nephi 18:3 And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.

-=-=-=

Jacob 1:1 For behold, it came to pass that fifty and five years had passed away from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; wherefore, Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven.

2 And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi.

8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.

14 But I, Jacob, shall not hereafter distinguish them by these names, but I shall call them Lamanites that seek to destroy the people of Nephi, and those who are friendly to Nephi I shall call Nephites, or the people of Nephi, according to the reigns of the kings.

17 Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord.

18 For I, Jacob, and my brother Joseph had been consecrated priests and teachers of this people, by the hand of Nephi.

Jacob 2:2 Now, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, according to the responsibility which I am under to God, to magnify mine office with soberness, and that I might rid my garments of your sins, I come up into the temple this day that I might declare unto you the word of God.

Jacob 3:1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.

12 And now I, Jacob, spake many more things unto the people of Nephi, warning them against fornication and lasciviousness, and every kind of sin, telling them the awful consequences of them.

Jacob 4:1 Now behold, it came to pass that I, Jacob, having ministered much unto my people in word, (and I cannot write but a little of my words, because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates) and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain;

15 And now I, Jacob, am led on by the Spirit unto prophesying; for I perceive by the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that by the stumbling of the Jews they will reject the stone upon which they might build and have safe foundation.

Jacob 7:3 And he labored diligently that he might lead away the hearts of the people, insomuch that he did lead away many hearts; and he knowing that I, Jacob, had faith in Christ who should come, he sought much opportunity that he might come unto me.

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.

15 And it came to pass that when I, Jacob, had spoken these words, the power of the Lord came upon him, insomuch that he fell to the earth. And it came to pass that he was nourished for the space of many days.

22 Now, this thing was pleasing unto me, Jacob, for I had requested it of my Father who was in heaven; for he had heard my cry and answered my prayer.

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.

27 And I, Jacob, saw that I must soon go down to my grave; wherefore, I said unto my son Enos: Take these plates. And I told him the things which my brother Nephi had commanded me, and he promised obedience unto the commands. And I make an end of my writing upon these plates, which writing has been small; and to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words. Brethren, adieu.

-=-=-=

Enos 1:1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—

5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.

6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.

11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.

17 And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest.

-=-=-=

Jarom 1:1 Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.

14 And I, Jarom, do not write more, for the plates are small. But behold, my brethren, ye can go to the other plates of Nephi; for behold, upon them the records of our wars are engraven, according to the writings of the kings, or those which they caused to be written.

Omni 1:12 Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness—

23 Behold, I, Amaleki, was born in the days of Mosiah; and I have lived to see his death; and Benjamin, his son, reigneth in his stead.

30 And I, Amaleki, had a brother, who also went with them; and I have not since known concerning them. And I am about to lie down in my grave; and these plates are full. And I make an end of my speaking.

Words of Mormon 1:1 And now I, Mormon, being about to deliver up the record which I have been making into the hands of my son Moroni, behold I have witnessed almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites.

9 And now I, Mormon, proceed to finish out my record, which I take from the plates of Nephi; and I make it according to the knowledge and the understanding which God has given me.

11 And they were handed down from king Benjamin, from generation to generation until they have fallen into my hands. And I, Mormon, pray to God that they may be preserved from this time henceforth. And I know that they will be preserved; for there are great things written upon them, out of which my people and their brethren shall be judged at the great and last day, according to the word of God which is written.

Ether 5:1, 6:1 I, Moroni…

2012, January 12

“Book of Mormon/ Pearl of Great Price/ Doctrine and Covenants/ Holy Bible: ‘Stand in Holy Places'” by grego

Book of Mormon/ Pearl of Great Price/ Doctrine and Covenants/ Holy Bible: “Stand in Holy Places”

grego
(c)2011

I was reading this in the Pearl of Great Price:

Joseph Smith—Matthew 1:12 When you, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, then you shall stand in the holy place; whoso readeth let him understand.

–when it occurred to me that the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in this abomination of desolation, and in fact that people who had run into the temple to be saved were massacred inside; so it seems that “holy place” =/= temple, here.

But in many General Authority talks, that relationship is shown. Here are some verses that support that interpretation:

Doctrine and Covenants 96:2 Therefore, let my servant Newel K. Whitney take charge of the place which is named among you, upon which I design to build mine holy house.

Doctrine and Covenants 124:39 Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn semblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.

Exodus contains many references to the tabernacle/ temple as the holy place. Paul speaks about this in Hebrews 9 (and also says that heaven is a holy place).

Is there more to this?

Here are some similar verses, that might be interpreted that way, or perhaps in other ways I’ll discuss afterward:
Doctrine and Covenants 45:32 But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die.

Doctrine and Covenants 87:8 Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly, saith the Lord. Amen.

I think “holy place” is where we are told to be by the Holy Ghost and our priesthood leaders (who hopefully pass it along, NOT a la Haun’s Mill…). So, while it could mean the temple, and often does mean it currently, it seems to me that there really is more to the meaning. To stand in holy places to me connects in this sense with the talk given by President Uchtdorf.

Here are some examples:
Doctrine and Covenants 60:7 And in this place let them lift up their voice and declare my word with loud voices, without wrath or doubting, lifting up holy hands upon them. For I am able to make you holy, and your sins are forgiven you.

Doctrine and Covenants 101:22 Behold, it is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places;

Doctrine and Covenants 101:64 That the work of the gathering together of my saints may continue, that I may build them up unto my name upon holy places; for the time of harvest is come, and my word must needs be fulfilled.

A holy place could be anywhere that you worship God (in a literal sense or by your actions) with the Holy Ghost:
Alma 34:38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

In fact, it could be anywhere you give place to the Holy Ghost in your heart:
Moroni 7:32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.

New Jerusalem:
Ether 13:3 And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.

It could also mean Zion, the holy place prepared for the Saints that will avoid the destructions sent forth across the world:
Moses 7:62 And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

Doctrine and Covenants 76:66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.

Well, wherever it might be, it surely isn’t here!:
Alma 31:21 Now the place was called by them Rameumptom, which, being interpreted, is the holy stand.

I believe that a holy place is a place where demons and destroying angels won’/ can’t go. If you are there, you are under the Lord’s protection. It reminds me of Nephi’s “robe of righteousness”:
2 Nephi 4:33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies!…

2012, January 11

“Book of Mormon: Nephi’s Interesting Language Use of the Possessives ‘Our’ and ‘My’ in 1 Nephi” by grego

Book of Mormon: Nephi’s Interesting Language Use of the Possessives ‘Our’ and ‘My’ in 1 Nephi

grego
(c)2012

Ok, here’s some really interesting language use. There’s a lot of switching back and forth between “our” and “my”, when “our” would be used most of the time in (American) English. Also, Nephi adds the names of his father and mother—he has already given his father’s name many times, and he finishes the short account with his mother’s name at the beginning and end.

1 Nephi 5:1 And it came to pass that after we had come down into the wilderness unto *our father*, behold, he was filled with joy, and also *my mother*, *Sariah*, was exceedingly glad, for she truly had mourned because of us.

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.

3 And after this manner of language had *my mother* complained against *my father*.

4 And it had come to pass that *my father* spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.

5 But behold, *I* have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver *my sons* out of the hands of Laban, and bring them down again unto *us* in the wilderness.

6 And after this manner of language did *my father*, *Lehi*, comfort *my mother*, *Sariah*, concerning us, while we journeyed in the wilderness up to the land of Jerusalem, to obtain the record of the Jews.

7 And when *we* had returned to the tent of *my father*, behold their joy was full, and *my mother* was comforted.

8 And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected *my sons*, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. And after this manner of language did she speak.

2012, January 4

“Holy Bible | Book of Mormon: Why Having a King Would Be the Death of America” by grego

Holy Bible | Book of Mormon: Why Having a King Would Be the Death of America

grego
(c)2012

It’s without a doubt that some people would love to put a king in charge of America. As one man said, “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier” and “[The Constitution]’s just a g.d.mned piece of paper!” I believe that an attempt will be made to do this in the future.

I’d like to remind people now, before it happens, about a few things concerning kings, from the Bible:

1 Samuel 8:5 And said unto him…now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
6 ¶But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
7 And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
9 Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
10 ¶And Samuel told all the words of the Lord unto the people that asked of him a king.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17 He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
18 And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day.

1 Samuel 10:18 And said unto the children of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I brought up Israel out of Egypt, and delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all kingdoms, and of them that oppressed you:
19 And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us…

1 Samuel 12:11 And the Lord sent [others] and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.
12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king…
17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king.

From the Book of Mormon, King Mosiah teaches his people as they transform from a kingship to judges (see my other article for more depth and context of this):

Mosiah 29:5 Behold, O ye my people, or my brethren, for I esteem you as such, I desire that ye should consider the cause which ye are called to consider—for ye are desirous to have a king.
6 Now I declare unto you that he to whom the kingdom doth rightly belong has declined, and will not take upon him the kingdom.
7 And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people.
8 Now I say unto you let us be wise and consider these things, for we have no right to destroy my son, neither should we have any right to destroy another if he should be appointed in his stead.
9 And if my son should turn again to his pride and vain things he would recall the things which he had said, and claim his right to the kingdom, which would cause him and also this people to commit much sin.
10 And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.
11 Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days; nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.
12 Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.
13 Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people—I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.
14 And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity;
15 And whosoever has committed iniquity, him have I punished according to the crime which he has committed, according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers.
16 Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you.
17 For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction!
18 Yea, remember king Noah, his wickedness and his abominations, and also the wickedness and abominations of his people. Behold what great destruction did come upon them; and also because of their iniquities they were brought into bondage.
19 And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator, and this because of their sincere repentance, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now.
20 But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.
21 And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.
22 For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God;
23 And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.
24 And now behold I say unto you, it is not expedient that such abominations should come upon you.

King Mosiah then comes up with another plan, that at least has some balance of power in it; it sounds like a democracy, but there were no doubt rights and laws:
25 Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
28 And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.
29 If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.
30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.
31 For behold I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings.
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.
33 And many more things did king Mosiah write unto them, unfolding unto them all the trials and troubles of a righteous king, yea, all the travails of soul for their people, and also all the murmurings of the people to their king; and he explained it all unto them.
34 And he told them that these things ought not to be; but that the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part.
35 And he also unfolded unto them all the disadvantages they labored under, by having an unrighteous king to rule over them;
36 Yea, all his iniquities and abominations, and all the wars, and contentions, and bloodshed, and the stealing, and the plundering, and the committing of whoredoms, and all manner of iniquities which cannot be enumerated—telling them that these things ought not to be, that they were expressly repugnant to the commandments of God.

The people accept his thoughts and will:
37 And now it came to pass, after king Mosiah had sent these things forth among the people they were convinced of the truth of his words.
38 Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.
39 Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given them; and they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them.

Interestingly, there is an important point in the last part: people want a king because liberty requires hard work, time, and responsibility; and its fruits are fairness!

There was one other time in USA history when a US president acted as a dictator, and it resulted in the WORST time in the history of the country. The Constitution was disregarded, the courts were ignored, rights expressly set forth in the Bill of Rights were violently violated; people were dragged off in the middle of the night never to be seen again, and more…

(By the way, the president was Abraham Lincoln, the time was the War of Secession (the “Civil War”), and it was pretty much de facto martial law (see more about this and links here: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/critique-of-abraham-lincoln-or-why-abraham-lincoln-might-still-be-in-hell-by-grego/ , especially the long list about halfway down).)

IF A KING RULES OVER THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in the future, IT WILL BE WORSE THIS TIME than it was with Lincoln. Perhaps comparable to or even much worse than the conditions right before and during the Revolutionary War. There will be no rights, only privileges extended to his friends; no justice, only judgments based on his will (and the will of those that control him).

Lastly, there is one great and final reason why America CANNOT have a king: America is a chosen land, and always has been.
2 Nephi 10:11 And this land shall be a land of liberty unto the Gentiles, and there shall be no kings upon the land, who shall raise up unto the Gentiles.
12 And I will fortify this land against all other nations.
13 And he that fighteth against Zion shall perish, saith God.
14 For he that raiseth up a king against me shall perish, for I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words.
15 Wherefore, for this cause, that my covenants may be fulfilled which I have made unto the children of men, that I will do unto them while they are in the flesh, I must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations.

To want a king is to be like Israel of old—it’s truly to reject the true king of America, Jesus Christ. If that day comes, it will not go well for America and those that try to raise up a king! And who that is, is also clear: those that work “secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations”.

2012, January 2

Book of Mormon: Resource Page for Nephi-Laban-Brass Plates; Nephi; Laman and Lemuel; Lehi

Book of Mormon: Resource Page for Nephi-Laban-Brass Plates; Nephi; Laman and Lemuel; Lehi

grego
(c)2012

Here’s a convenient list of site articles mostly about 1 Nephi:

-=-=-=
Getting the Brass Plates from Laban:

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/10/book-of-mormon-lessons-from-the-three-episodes-of-getting-the-brass-plates-nephi-vs-moses-nephi-and-laban-vs-david-and-goliath-laman-and-lemuel-vs-saul-zoram-vs-jonathan-sariah-vs-miriam/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/book-of-mormon-the-symbolism-in-nephi-meeting-labans-sword-more-about-the-brass-plates-why-did-nephi-kill-laban-reasons-for-the-nephites-to-have-the-brass-plates-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/book-of-mormon-the-holy-ghost-persuades-nephi-to-slay-laban-1-nephi-3-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/book-of-mormon-even-more-about-getting-the-brass-plates-1-nephi-3-4-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/were-lehis-house-and-land-of-inheritance-separate/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/book-of-mormon-the-unseen-lord-is-above-all-to-nephi-even-present-angels-1-nephi-3-1-nephi-4-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/book-of-mormon-nephis-early-spirituality-by-grego/

-=-=-=
More about Nephi:

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/book-of-mormon-nephis-odd-language-when-speaking-to-his-brothers-my-father-instead-of-our-father-1-nephi-318-1-nephi-714-1-nephi-1744-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/book-of-mormon-the-tent-of-my-father-as-figurative-speech-meaning-destination-in-1-nephi-3-1-nephi-7-and-its-discontinuation-of-use-afterward-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/persuasion-in-the-book-of-mormon-and-other-things/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/what-was-up-with-sam/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/06/20/one-more-thing-about-sam-no-samites/

-=-=-=
Laman and Lemuel:

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/book-of-mormon-laman-and-lemuel-foolish-imaginations-of-the-heart-1-nephi-211-1-nephi-1720-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/book-of-mormon-the-real-reason-the-lehites-left-jerusalem/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/book-of-mormon-contrasting-results-of-jacobs-versus-laman-and-lemuels-heavenly-witnesses-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/laman-lemuel-and-responsibility-or-lack-thereof/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/examples-of-irony-parallelism-and-imagery-in-the-book-of-mormon-part-1-version-2-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/book-of-mormon-lessons-from-1-nephi-18-binding-the-prophets-by-grego/

-=-=-=
Lehi:

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/book-of-mormon-lehis-faith-among-trials-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/book-of-mormon-the-prayers-of-the-righteous-save-the-wicked-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/book-of-mormon-lehi-prophets-dont-hoard-to-prosper-but-share-to-help-1-nephi-1-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/book-of-mormon-lehi-faithfulness-changes-the-path-to-death-into-the-path-to-safety-1-nephi-21-2-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/father-and-son-revelation-and-revelation/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/25/my-critique-of-did-father-lehi-have-daughters-who-married-the-sons-of-ishmael/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/01/26/seed-fruit-seed-fruit-and-seed/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/lds-mormon-book-of-mormon-origins-of-lehis-600-year-prophecy-of-the-coming-of-the-messiah-savior-jesus-christ-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/book-of-mormon-1-nephi-514-joseph-being-preserved-and-preserving-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/who-saw-jesus-in-the-book-of-mormon-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/book-of-mormon-what-is-the-iron-rod-to-you-how-do-you-use-it-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/a-critique-of-s-kent-browns-book-of-mormon-article-a-case-for-lehis-bondage-in-arabia-by-grego/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/05/14/book-of-mormon-a-fallen-angel-becomes-the-devil-lehis-supposition-jacobs-doctrine/

https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/book-of-mormon-others-in-the-land-the-ox-argument-by-grego/

“Book of Mormon: Nephi’s “Utter” from Hebrew–Not English (1 Nephi 2:14)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Nephi’s “Utter” from Hebrew, Not English (1 Nephi 2:14)

grego
(c)2012

I found the use of “utter” in 1 Nephi 2:14 to be interesting:

1 Nephi 2:14 And it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel, with power, being filled with the Spirit, until their frames did shake before him. And he did confound them, that they durst not utter against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them.

Here’s the 1828 Webster’s definition:
UT’TER, v.t.
1. To speak; to pronounce; to express; as, to utter words; to utter sounds.
2. To disclose; to discover; to divulge; to publish. He never utters a syllable of what I suppose to be intended as a secret.
3. To sell; to vend; as, to utter wares. [This is obsolete, unless in the law style.]
4. To put or send into circulation; to put off, as currency, or cause to pass in commerce; as, to utter coin or notes. A man utters a false note, who gives it in payment, knowing it to be false.

None of those definitions fit…

Are these definitions better?:

From the Hebrew “hagah” (from the Hebrew lexicon at http://www.searchgodsword.org):
to moan, growl, utter, muse, mutter, meditate, devise, plot, speak
1. (Qal)
1. to roar, growl, groan
2. to utter, speak
3. to meditate, devise, muse, imagine
2. (Poal) to utter
3. (Hiphil) to mutter

KJV (25) – imagine, 2; meditate, 6; mourn, 4; mutter, 2; roaring, 1; sore, 1; speak, 4; study, 2; talk, 1; utter, 2;
NAS (24) – declare, 1; devise, 2; devising, 1; growls, 1; make a sound, 1; meditate, 5; meditates, 1; moan, 3; moan sadly, 1; mutter, 2; mutters, 1; ponders, 1; utter, 2; uttering, 1; utters, 1;

From Brown-Driver-Briggs (Old Testament Hebrew-English Lexicon) (http://lexiconcordance.com/hebrew/1897.html):
“hagal” A primitive root (compare H1901); to murmur (in pleasure or anger); by implication to ponder:—imagine, meditate, mourn, mutter, roar, X sore, speak, study, talk, utter.

From Strong’s (Hebrew & Chaldee Dictionary of the Old Testament)
* #1897.
* הָגָה
* hagah (211c); a prim. root; to moan, growl, utter, speak, muse:—
* NASB – declare(1), devise(2), devising(1), growls(1), make a sound(1), meditate(5), meditates(1), moan(3), moan sadly(1), mutter(2), mutters(1), ponders(1), utter(2), uttering(1), utters(1).

Now, what about “confound”? :)

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