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Nephi wrote this record thirty years later after they left Jerusalem for the promised land (I Nephi 19:1-5, 2 Nephi 5:22-31).. First Nephi is the doctrinal.

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Presentation on theme: "Nephi wrote this record thirty years later after they left Jerusalem for the promised land (I Nephi 19:1-5, 2 Nephi 5:22-31).. First Nephi is the doctrinal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nephi wrote this record thirty years later after they left Jerusalem for the promised land (I Nephi 19:1-5, 2 Nephi 5:22-31).. First Nephi is the doctrinal foundation of the Book of Mormon.

2 The heading to 1 Nephi is a summary of the book and is part of the original text. All headings in the Book of Mormon are part of the original record given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, including the inserts preceding individual chapters (for example Mosiah 9 and Alma 21). The brief summaries at the head of each chapter are later additions to help the reader better understand the chapter.

3 What evidence of Egyptian influence is there in Ancient America? Two Egyptian statuettes were discovered on the Pacific coast of the border of El Salvador and Guatemala, three meters below the surface. They “clearly belong to a class of ancient Egyptian funerary statuettes known as ushabti. Both are incised with hieroglyphic Egyptian texts” (John Walsh, ed., Re- exploring the Book of Mormon, 18-20). I Nephi 1:2What is the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians? There were three basic writing systems for ancient Egyptian:

4 1.Hieroglyphs that included nearly four hundred picture characters. 2. Hieratic 3. Demotic

5 Both the hieratic and demotic writing systems were used in Lehi’s time and can properly be termed “Reformed Egyptian.” (John W. Welch and Melvin J. Thorne, Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon, 241).

6 1 Nephi 1:1 Laman and Lemuel are Arabic names. Sam and Nephi are Egyptian names. Jacob and Joseph are Hebrew names. “Goodly Parents” means rich, education was expensive and they could provide it for their children.

7 I Nephi 1:2 “Language of the Egyptians” Mosiah 1:1-4 teaches that the Brass Plates were also in the “Language of the Egyptians.” Reformed Egyptian (Mormon 9:32)

8 1 Nephi 1:4 Why is the phrase “it came to pass” repeated so often in the Book of Mormon? “Instead of punctuation, the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon divides up its phrases by introducing each by an ‘and,’ ‘behold,’ ‘now,’ or ‘It came to pass…’ Simply outrageous --- as English literature, but it is standard Egyptian practice… In Egyptian these expressions were not merely adornments,… they are a grammatical necessity and may not be omitted” (Hugh Nibley, Collect Works, 7:150).

9 Reign of Zedekiah Zedekiah was 21 years old when he was made the King. He seemed to be well meaning, but was very weak. He participated in immorality and corruption. It was his first year of his reign as King of Judah. Mulek would be his only surviving son. The rest would be put to death when his kingdom was conquered. Many Prophets : Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Nahum, Habakuk, Zephaniah, Obadiah, to name a few. They typically worked alone!

10 Babylonian world domination took control of the kingdom of Judah about 605 B.C. when Jehoiakim was King of Judah. Jehoiakim attempted a revolt against Babylon. Babylonian forces put Jerusalem under siege. Jehoiakim was either killed or captured. Zedekiah, the uncle of Jehoiakim, was appointed by Babylon to the throne. It was a time of great wickedness among the people of Judah --- immorality and corruption were rampant. This was the setting of Lehi’s day. Shortly after Lehi’s departure from the area, Zedekiah attempted another revolt against Babylon, resulting in a much greater destruction of Jerusalem in about 587 B.C. Many people were killed, and most of the rest of the Jews were taken captive into Babylon for the next 70 years. This fulfilled Lehi’s prophecies to Judah that if they did not repent they would be destroyed.

11 I Nephi 1:8 How is this verse textual evidence of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon? In Alma 36:22 we read, “me thought 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.” These words are a twenty-one word quote from I Nephi 1:8. The impressive thing about these verses is that they are separated by hundreds of pages and several weeks of translating (CHFT, 58-59). “Given the fact that Joseph dictated as he went, the record’s consistency points to an inspired source for the translation’s accuracy. After all, can you quote the twenty-one words of Lehi (after having read them)…without looking?” (John Welch, ed., Re-exploring the Book of Mormon, 23).

12 1 Nephi 1:14, 20 = Abrahamic Covenant I Nephi 1:17=“Journals” “Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings” (Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1978, 77).

13 I Nephi 1:20 “Tender Mercies of the Lord” Elder Bednar testified that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Often the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them. As you and I face challenges and tests in our lives, the gift of faith and an appropriate sense of personal confidence that reaches beyond our own capacity are two examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. Repentance and forgiveness of sins and peace of conscience are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord. And the persistence and the fortitude that enable us to press forward with cheerfulness through physical limitations and spiritual difficulties are examples of the tender mercies of the Lord” (C.R., Apr. 2005, 105).

14 I Nephi 2:1Can a dream be considered a vision? “An inspired dream is a vision give to a person while he sleeps….All inspired dreams are visions” (Bruce R. McConkie, M.D., 208). I Nephi 2:7 Leviticus 1, “The Olah Offering, I Nephi 2:15 “and my Father dwelt in a tent” (total consecration)


16 The Task of Getting the Plates: Lehi asked his sons to get the plates, but did not tell them how to do it. God --- gives instruction to the Priesthood (prophets, leaders). Prophets --- give instructions to men. Men --- must rely on revelation from God to fulfill God’s instructions.

17 Getting the plates would be the equivalent of stealing the Constitution of the United States. It would have been almost impossible. Why? There was no metal in Jerusalem, and it was difficult to get. Metal was mainly used for war and eating utensils.

18 “Lehi the Man” Lehi was probably born between 650-640 B.C. This estimate is based on the fact that Lehi and Sariah had four sons of marriageable age --- Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi --- when the family departed from Jerusalem. They also had daughters who had apparently already married, but there is no mention of daughters leaving Jerusalem with the original company (I Nephi 2:5). Thus we estimate that Lehi would have been about forty or fifty years old. Lehi was an educated man who was familiar with the Egyptian language as well as his own Hebrew tongue. He was also a wealthy man.

19 I Nephi 3:7 Lehi’s teachings were reflected in Nephi’s answer. Joseph Smith said, “I made this my rule, when the Lord commands, do it!” (HC 2:170). I Nephi 4:6This was a trip of faith!

20 In 1867, President Brigham Young declared to the people of the Church: There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God’s people, he may have the Spirit of the Lord to signify to him His will, and to guide and to direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as is spiritual exercises. I am satisfied, however, that in this respect, we live far beneath our privileges (JD 12:104).

21 I Nephi 3:15 “As the Lord Liveth” Elder Bruce R. McConkie said that Nephi had made God his partner. If he failed to get the plates, it meant God had failed. And because God does not fail, it was incumbent upon Nephi to get the plates or lay down his life in the attempt” (C.R., Apr. 1982, 49-50).

22 1 Nephi 3:28 Righteousness Lead to Individuality! Joy not only helps us do our gospel duties but it also increases our individuality. It is sinners who reflect such a stale sameness. Righteousness lends itself to individuality. Think, in contrast, of poor Lemuel, who “hearkened unto the words of Laman.” He was Laman’s satellite. One wonders if poor Lemuel ever had any thoughts of his own (Neal A. Maxwell, “Brim with Joy,” 147).

23 I Nephi 4:10 The Law of Retaliation (D&C 98:28-32) The Spirit pointed out that Laban had offended the Lord three times, therefore the Lord delivered him. Examples: 1. Elijah and the wicked priest of Baal (1 Kings 18). 2. Samuel slaying Agag (1 Samuel 15).

24 The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that it is the Lord who sets the standard of right and wrong: “God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill;” at another time He said, ‘thou shalt utterly destroy,’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven in conducted -- by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire (Teachings, 256).

25 The Justified Slaying of Laban? There were three attempts to acquire the record known as the brass plates. The first two being peaceful and reasonable. Crime #1: False Accusation It is understandable that Laban might value the records and desire to not just give them away, but in his anger he violates the law by accusing Laman of robbery (an act of violent theft). Laman had not robbed or expressed any intention to rob, yet Laban sought to falsely enforce the law by attempting to murder Laman. The Law of Moses had provisions for false accusation, which Laban as a military man would have clearly understood (Deut. 19:18-19). If you falsely accused someone of a crime, then your penalty was to receive the punishment that you had intended to bring to the person you had falsely accused. Laban had falsely accused Laman of being a robber and the penalty for robbery was death.

26 Crime #2: Robbery Laban covets the property of Nephi and his brothers and turns from being a military leader to the leader of a band of robbers by forcibly taking their property and then seeking to kill them under false pretenses. Had Laban been taken to court he would most likely have been convicted and been put to death for robbery.

27 Crime #3: Attempted Murder The crime of attempted murder by Laban was committed not once, but twice. Conclusion: It is important to understand the Laban committed three grievous offenses, false accusation, robbery and attempted murder and received an appropriate punishment for his crimes according to the Law of Moses The difficult thing for us to come with terms with is the individual who was used to carry out the sentence. I sometimes think of Nephi as being in a similar situation as young David when he justly slew and beheaded Goliath. In both cases, Nephi and David were carrying out God’s justice and had his authority to do so.

28 Thou Shalt Not Kill Unless….. Exodus 21:12 He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:15And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:16And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

29 Exodus 21:17And he that curseth his Father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:19Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. Exodus 31:15Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

30 I Nephi 4:20 Can the Lord change a person’s voice to suit his purposes? “As Brigham Young rose in that assembly, his face was that of Joseph Smith --- the mantle of Joseph had fallen upon him, the power of God that was upon Joseph Smith was upon him, he had the voice of Joseph….There was a reason for this in the mind of God; it convinced the people” (Wilford Woodruff, Discourses, 92-93). I Nephi 4:32-33 So we see that the only way that Nephi could possibly have pacified the struggling Zoram in an instant was to utter the one oath that no man would dream of breaking, the most solemn of all oaths to the Semite: “As the Lord liveth, and as I live! (Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, 103-05).

31 I Nephi 4:37 The oath is the one thing that is most sacred and inviolable among the desert people and their descendants. There is nothing stronger or more sacred. I Nephi 5:5Calling and Election?

32 I Nephi 5:11 The Pentateuch. There was obviously more on them than there is in the Old Testament as we now have it. The prophecies of Zenock, Neum, Zenos, and Joseph the son of Jacob, and probably many other prophets were preserved by them, and many of those writings for told matters pertaining to the Nephites. I Nephi 5:9Sacrifice = sin offering Burnt Offering= Olah

33 I Nephi 5:16 This record was probably kept in the tribe of Ephraim, and thus Laban may well have been of that tribe. Someday the Lord will raise up a prophet, who will also be able to Seer and translate, to who he will give the brass plates that they may be translated for the benefit and blessing of those in all nations (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 103). In 722 BC the brass plates may well have been the official scripture of the 10 tribes.

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