1 Nephi 1-5 

Questions for Review:

1. What did the Lord promise to Nephi and his posterity if they would be obedient?  (1 Nephi 2:20)

2. What happened to Laban when he tried to hinder the Lord's plan?  (1 Nephi 4:13,18)

3. What specific writings--among many others--did Father Lehi find in the Brass Plates? (1 Nephi 5:11-14)

4. Lehi and Laban, the keeper of the Brass Plates, were members of which tribe or family of Israel?  (1 Nephi 5:14,16)


1 Nephi 1

. Nephi's "résumé": (1)

  • Goodly parents (i.e. pleasing appearance, character, or quality; excellent)
  • Knowledgeable on the things of the world
  • Experienced in afflictions
  • Favored of the Lord (i.e. endowed w/ special advantages, good qualities, or gifts; provided w/ preferential treatment)
  • Had knowledge of God

  •           . With so many things Nephi could have said to describe himself, why do you think he chose these items?
    . Insights on Lehi's character (5; see also 2:1)
    . On learning of the possible destruction of his people, he prays in their behalf, and not in behalf of himself and his family alone
    "Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God.

    A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race."  (October 19, 1840)  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.174)

    . On receiving the commandment to leave Jerusalem, Lehi immediately left behind all his possessions, which were so great that Laban himself coveted them (see 3:25; and also Matthew 4:18-22)
    . One characteristic of Lehi's prayer: "... with all his heart ..." (5)
    Heart: the whole personality, including intellectual as well as emotional functions or traits; conscience, character, spirit; goodwill, sincerity, zeal
    . Lehi: a prophet, seer, and revelator (16,18)
            . However, a full account of the his visions, revelations, and teachings is yet to be given

    . Persecution: a common inheritance shared by many of the prophets (20; see also Jeremiah 37:6-10,13-15; 38:1-6)

    1 Nephi 2

    . The basics--the most important things (4; see also 8:1)

    . Family, provisions (sustenance), and tents (housing)

    . Conditions by which Nephi received the Lord's favor (19)

    1 Nephi 3

    . Why didn't the Lord command Lehi to get the plates of brass before leaving Jerusalem? (3)

    . How does the Lord prepare a way for us to accomplish His commands? (7)

    . Some of us will do things that may appear to be meaningless (e.g. clean a room, grow a garden, pay an extra visit, bear our testimony to a stranger, etc.); but these things will be the preparation (or the foundation) for other works

    . All work is important in the kingdom of God. Keep in mind that the Lord works through the principle of "delegation of authority." When He prepares the way it is usually both through His angels and His mortal servants

    . How can we do the things the Lord commands us? (11; see also 4:6)

    . What is the effect of visions and miracles on unbelievers? (31)

    "When a man has the manifestation from the Holy Ghost, it leaves an indelible impression on his soul, one that is not easily erased. It is Spirit speaking to spirit, and it comes with convincing force. A manifestation of an angel, or even of the Son of God himself, would impress the eye and mind, and eventually become dimmed, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost sink deeper into the soul and are more difficult to erase."   (Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol.2, p.151)

    1 Nephi 4

    . Nephi slays Laban (12-13)

    . We don't know details about Laban. However, the fact that he had the brass plates in his possession indicates that he might have been an official record keeper, since the plates were being updated to include the teachings of Jeremiah (see 5:12-13). Maybe he had become a greedy record keeper (see 3:25) who were willing to cast a stumbling block before the Lord's people in order to make a lot of money, just like Balaam (see Numbers 22-24) centuries earlier. Like Balaam, Laban's fate and punishment was decreed by direct revelation through a living prophet (see Numbers 31:8; 2 Peter 2:15; Revelation 2:14)

    1 Nephi 5

    . Contents of the Brass Plates: (11-14)

  • Original version of the Pentateuch
  • History of Israel all the way to king Zedekiah
  • Prophecies of the holy prophets, including many of Jeremiah's prophecies
  • It seems that the plates of brass were more comprehensive (i.e. extensive, detailed) than our current Old Testament (see 13:23)
    . Lehi's prophecy regarding the plates of brass (18)

    Copyright 1994-2006 - Marcus H. Martins
    This web page was published only as a support for classroom discussion.
    For more information, contact Dr. Marcus Martins at: martinsm@byuh.edu