What are we?

This blog is devoted to people like us who need a daily spiritual outlet and motivation to keep up with our personal scripture study.
Join us as we begin and discuss the Book of Mormon daily--an online Institute class of sorts!

We welcome your comments, your experiences, and your thoughts.

Monday, March 9, 2009

1 Nephi Chapter 1--by Elise

(Go here to read the discussed chapter)

FYI: The headnote preceding this chapter is part of the original text and was given to the prophet Joseph Smith when he translated the book. It was not added by modern writers (note last sentence).


(as stated in the chapter heading)

Nephi begins the record of his people--Lehi sees in vision a pillar of fire and reads from a book of prophecy--he praises God, foretells the coming of the Messiah, and prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem--He is persecuted by the Jews.

In the first verse, Nephi states a few key reasons he has for making this record:
1) He has been born of goodly parents and was taught by them
2) He has seen much affliction
3) He has been favored of the Lord
4) He has a great knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God

I think this is important to remember in our reading of this book. Nephi had a strong testimony, had experienced some powerful things, and wanted to share them with all of us. This makes me think about how it is important to remember to bear testimony of our experiences. It will not only strengthen us, but it might strengthen others.


1) The plates were written in reformed Egyptian. Moroni explains that if the plates had been written in Hebrew they would have been much larger, but they would also have been without imperfections. The Hebrew language is more compact than the English language. What would take us a sentence of 15 words would only take 7 or 8 in the Hebrew language, so this shows how efficient reformed Egyptian must have been.

2) Political Conditions:
The king at the time was the weak Zedekiah, appointed by Nebuchadnezzar after king Jehoiachin surrendered to Babylon. This happened after the Babylonians defeated the Pharoah and took the Jewish nation out of Egypt's grasp. This was a time of great, great wickedness. It was at this time that the prophet Jeremiah was preaching that Jerusalem and the temple would be destroyed. This was considered an outrage; the priests considered it blasphemy and ordered Jeremiah's arrest and imprisonment. If Lehi had remained in Jerusalem, he likely would have received the same or worse.

3) Nephi began this record about thirty years after Lehi's colony left Jerusalem and journeyed to the promised land (1 Ne 19:1-5, 2 Ne 5:28-31).

4) Lehi had some experiences in this chapter that seem similar to what Joseph Smith went through. They both prayed and recieved answers (heavenly visitations), and both saw God and Jesus Christ. Lehi was given a book in his vision, and Joseph was led to translate the plates.

(information taken from the student manual for the BYU Book of Mormon class)


verse 11-12: ". . .and [the apostles] gave him a book, and bade him that he should read. And it came to pass that as he read, he was fileld with the Spirit of the Lord"

verse 20: "But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over allo those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

I love this book and the teachings it has. I love that I can read it and re-read it, and that every time I do I learn something new because the Spirit manifests itself. I love the Nephi talks about the tender mercies of the Lord. Heavenly Father truly has a plan for each and every one of us, and is waiting eagerly to welcome us home to Him. He does not give us challenges without being able to succor us when we are in need of deliverance.


Have any of you had an experience you felt compelled to record, not knowing why, and did it bring you or someone else strength at a later time?

And, maybe to kick things off, does anyone want to share how they first knew the Book of Mormon was true? I will in the comments.

Has anyone had any impressions while reading this chapter? What does this chapter mean to you? What things stuck out to you in this chapter?


Natalie Sue said...

Elise, what a wonderful first post about the first chapter! I love it! I am planning on reading the first chapter later on tonight. But I did start reading the Book of Mormon a couple of weeks ago, and read the first chapter then. I have probably read the first chapter 30 times during my life, yet when I read it this last time, I learned so many things! And I realized that I had not paid attention to some interesting details. So I really appreciate your written thoughts and I want to read the chapter again tonight.
I think that I knew at a young age that the Book of Mormon was true. We always read it as a family. So by high school, we had already read it through, a couple of times. In high school, when we were studying the book, we were challenged to find out for ourselves that it was true. I sincerely prayed about it and my answer was, "Yes, you have known all your life that it is true." And thank the heavens that Nephi and the other prophets recorded their life experiences, and that we have them today, to teach us, and to bring the spirit of the Lord into our lives.
(Now, I'm a little behind, but I will go ahead and post a little bio on last Friday's date.)

Elise said...

I am behind on posting my experience. . .but good thoughts, Natalie! Thanks so much for sharing them.

I knew the Book of Mormon was true all my life, at least as far back as I can remember. But I had a very strong experience about it when I was about 14 years old. I was reading in Alma chapter 5 (Do you have Christ's image in your countenance?), and I felt an overwhelming feeling that it was indeed true. All of a sudden my love for that book and for the prophets mushroomed and I knew without a doubt that these people lived so many years ago and recorded those words for me (us) to read. It was an experience that I couldn't put words to, as I'm sure you all understand.

As far as the answer to the first question goes, I have written some powerful spiritual experiences I have had in my journal over time. . .but one that really helped me was an email I pasted in there. I wrote it to my Dad when I told him I knew I was going to marry Joel, and I recounted the experience that I had (it, too, was very powerful). Later when I had doubts, I was able to read it and know that what I felt was true.