Nephi and his Brothers
Hearken to the Truth - Lesson
1 Nephi 16-22 - The Liahona, The Ship, Rebellion, Storm, Arrival, The Plates, Words of Isaiah, Final words of Nephi
Review a bit about Nephi's vision
Points to Ponder: Summary of Nephi's vision.
- Nephi sees Father's Vision of Tree of Life (1 Nephi 11)
- He sees the Ministry of Jesus Christ the Son of god (1 Nephi 11)
- He then sees his kingdom - their wars and the Ministry of Jesus Christ among them (1 Nephi 12)
- He then sees the kingdoms of the Gentiles and the restoration of the Gospel (1 Nephi 13)
- Blessings/Cursing Pronounced upon the Gentiles (1 Nephi 14)
- He then sees the Apostle John - and that he will write the rest of the revelation - he is ordained to do so. (1 Nephi 14)
1 Nephi 15:4-5
4. I knew they must unavoidably come to pass because of the great wickedness of the children of men.
5. I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all, because of the destruction of my people, for I had beheld their fall.
Nephi's Conversation with his brothers.
1 Nephi 15:1-2 After Nephi's vision he retuns to his father's tent - brothers were disputing
How do you think Nephi felt about his brothers because of this vision?
Did it change his behavior toward them? Did he loose hope?
1 Nephi 15:20-36 Interpretation of the Tree of Life given to his brothers
- After House of Israel was restored - it should never be scattered again
- Tree - tree of life
- Rod - Word of God - Never perish - never be blinded - never destroyed
- I exhorted them with all the faculty I possessed to be obedient (25)
- River - Filthiness - awful gulf wicked and righteous - Hell
- If you die in your wickedness - they will stay in filthiness (33-36)
Should we ever give up on our loved ones?Even if we -
knowthey won't repent (as Nephi did)
What can we lean from this?
How could he have great hopes for them - after seeing his vision?
How do we treat others - even those we may consider as enemies?
The Finding of the Liahona - Director: (The Lord uses devices when dealing with man) It showed them were to go in the wildeness - provided text revelation to them that changed
Why were they given this device?
1 Nephi 16:10,16 Ball of brass two spindles one pointed where they should go
Mosiah 1:16 Prosper only as much as they pay attention and exercised diligence
Alma 37:38-46 Liahona given as a director - type and shadow - give heed to words of Christ - Rod of iron
- Not possible that it was made by man (39) (They had no idea how it worked...)
- It worked according to their faith - direct them in the way to go (40)
- small and simple means - they were slothful - tarried to long - or did not progress (41-42)
- This is a type and a Shadow for us as our fathers (43)
- Do we give head to the Word of Christ? (44-46)
What is like the Liahona to us in our day?(Scriptures, Patriarchal Blessings, Ensign, Dreams Personal Revelation)
“The Lord gave to … every person, a
consciencewhich tells him every time he starts to go on the wrong path. He is always told if he is listening; but people can, of course, become so used to hearing the messages that they
ignorethem until finally they
do not register anymore.
“You must realize that you have something like the compass, like the Liahona, in your own system. Every child is given it. … If he ignores the Liahona that he has in his own makeup, he eventually
may not have it whispering to him. … Our ship will not get on the wrong course … if we listen to the dictates of our own Liahona, which we call the conscience” (Our Own Liahona Ensign, Nov. 1976, 79).
Functions of the Liahona
One of the Spindlespointed in the direction that they would travel - on land and ocean
- There is writing that would appear on
the ballto provide direction - based upon their heed of it
- Both of these worked only based upon their diligence and heed of them
- The second spindles purpose and use is not ever described
- Given to them in preparation for sea voyage to come - something to direct them when no landmarks present!
Was the Liahona a Compass? - (74 BC) Liahona being interpreted is a compass/director
1 Nephi 18:12,21, 1 Nephi 5:12, Alma 37:38,43
- The description of how it works was not as a compass - it only worked based upon their faith not magnetics
- One spindle pointed where they should go - the other - we don't know
- Anywhere you read Compass in the old or new testament it means - to circle around or to encompass
- Joseph Smith's translation of the word - Liahona/Director was compass - closest thing to what it was to him
206BC - initial Geomancy, second use 850AD navigation - M-160 device also a possible compass
1450-1000 BC Olmec (Jaradite?)
First known documented Compass - Chinese Loadstone spoons
They then inverted a bowl and a piece of loadstone was used floating in water as shown on the right.
All compass technology known to science occurred after and was based upon these.
The Building of the Ship: (Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Travel)
1 Nephi 17:7-10 Nephi commanded to build ship - after manner Lord shows him - asks where to find ore
It's interesting to note that he doesn't question - after he has been shown but rather asks where to find ore.
1 Nephi 17:15-18 Brothers asked to help, They murmur - our brother is a fool - withheld their labor
Have you ever been asked to do something you thought was impossible? (Why did you think so?)
Often times we lack faith - and these difficult things are possible - through the Lord's help
What is impossible to the Lord? Hebrews 11:17-35
1 Nephi 17:19 Nephi Sorrows for them
1 Nephi 17:19-22 Brothers are happy he is sad, and complain about travels in wildeness,(21)
we might have been happy
1 Nephi 17:23-24 Would our fathers have been lead from Egypt if they wouldn't have listened to the Lord/Moses?
1 Nephi 17:34-38 Righteous are blessed, Wicked are destroyed (theme of Book of Mormon)
1 Nephi 17:44-47
Ye are swift to do iniquity (45)
Ye have seen an angel (45)
Ye have heard his voice (45)
past feeling- you could not
feel his words- he spoke to you as thunder (45)
He is all powerful - why are you so hard in your hearts (46)
I fear you will be cast off Forever! (47)
What do you think it means that they could not "Feel" his words?
Remember the story of Elijah and the cave? 1 Kings 19:11-13 (the word of the lord was in the still small voice)
What can we lean about "Feeling" the word of the Lord and being "Past Feeling"?
There comes a point where an individual does not even feel the prompting of conscience or holy ghost.
The spirit of Revelation is described as:
D&C 8:2-3 I will tell you in your heart, and in your mind - this is the spirit of Revelation
“A person may profit by noticing the first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same day or soon; (i.e.) those things that were presented unto your minds by the Spirit of God, will come to pass; and thus by leaning the Spirit of God and understanding it, you may grow into the principle of revelation, until you become perfect in Christ Jesus.”
(History of the Church)
1 Nephi 18:1-4 Nephi builds the ship - not after the manner of men - but the Lord showed him how - His brothren beheld it was good!
Notice what was not said:
No one complained about going into the ship and leaving to go onto the
ocean. Evidently they weren't afraid of the ship sinking.
Notice that they
don't speak of the difficulty in travel via the ship. (More than likely sailing vessel since oars weren't described)
Troubles during the Ocean Jouney
1 Nephi 18:9-10 After many days brothers make themselves merry, sing and dance and speak with rudeness
Notice that when they have
time on their hands- they become rude, and sing and dance.
What can we lean from this story?(Ponography, Gambling, etc.)
How does it relate to other sins - often caused by idleness?
1 Nephi 18:11-13 They bound me, Liahono stopped working (evidently they were using it to steer), terrible storm
1 Nephi 18:15-16 They were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea, I did praise God all the day long
1 Nephi 18:20-23 Nothing save it were the power of God - death that could soften their hearts.
Why do you think there was nothing save their death that would change their mind?
Can people become more, and more hardened over time?
How can we resist this tendancy?
Nephi Quotes Isaiah - Allegory of his family/jouney through wildeness etc.
Likening the scriptures unto ourselves: When Lehi and Nephi taught Laman and Lemuel they would liken the scriptures unto themselves.
Nephi when teaching his brothers read to them from the words of Isaiah that he might "
more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer"
1 Nephi 19:23-24 Nephi Quotes the words of Isaiah to his brothers - likening them unto themselves
(Write the following up on the board for a quick review of how Nephi "
Likened the Scriptures" unto themselves
1 Nephi 20 - as we read each verse how did this verse/verses relate to Nephi and his brothers - how does it relate to us.
House of Israel - Called his name - Baptised - Yet not in truth (allusion to his brothers vs 1-3
Compare to Isaiah 48:2)
What does it mean to swear but not in truth?
How does one make a covenant in vain?Notice the clarification - Waters of Judah - are Waters of Baptism
Clarification of Doctrine:One makes a Covenant when one is baptised!
Do we make our covenants in vain - if so how?
They call themselves of the holy city - but they do not stay themselves upon the god of Israel
What does it mean to stay oneself? Isaiah 3:1Stay and the staff - whole stay of bread, whole stay of water
How did Laman/Lemuel not rely on the Lord, how do we not rely on the Lord?1 Nephi 15:8-10
Thou art obstinate - Pride in own heart (mine idol has done this) (allusion to his brothers vs 4-6)
Why does he use the word Obstinate - and neck like sinew, brow like brass?
How do we say - mine idol hath done this etc. Did Laman and Lemuel do this?
Thou heardest not, thou knowest not (allusion to brothers not asking etc vs 7-8)
Thou has dealt treacherously - transgressor from the womb (allusion to his brothers vs 8)
I have refined thee - in the funace of affliction (allusion to the desert travails of Nephi's family vs 10)
The Lord will fulfill his words (allusion to destruction of Jerusalem vs 14)
Thy peace as a river - thy righteousness as sea (allusion to river of Laman, etc. vs 18)
He led them through the deserts - and gave them water -yet there is no peace to the wicked (allusion to travel and brothers vs 20-22)
How does this exercies help us more fully understand Nephi's point of view concening his brothers?
Did his Brothers trust in the Lord? Did Nephi?
How do these same scriptures relate to us? or do they?
1 Nephi 22:30-31 Nephi and Lehi are not the only ones to preach this - a man must be obedient to the commandments of God
the things written on the Brass Plates are true!
I hope we can lean to be more like Nephi in our relationships with others. He never gave up on them even though they were even considered his enemies and had tried to kill him multiple times. He had great "Joy" and "Hopes" for them that they would repent, and be righteous even until the time he had to flee for his life from them.
I also would hope that we can do as Lehi and his family by Clinging to the Word of God as they paid attention to the Liahona. It truly is a type and a shadow of the simple revelations given to us that can make a huge difference in our lives.