Nephi discovers America. God shows Nephi how to build a boat--They sail off toward the promised land--The crew begin to sing and dance--Nephi fears God's wrath--Laman
and Lemuel bind Nephi with cords--The magic compass stops working--A great tempest hits--Lehi and Sariah get sick--Nephi is untied, the
magic compass begins working again, and the storm passes--They arrive in the promised land--All kinds of European crops are planted--They find cows, horses,
oxen, and asses, and all kinds of ore.
18:1And it came to pass that they did worship the
Lord, and did go forth with me; and we did work timbers of curious
workmanship. And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the
(18:1-6) The Lord did show me from time to time.
God shows Nephi how to work timbers of curious workmanship. (Where did Nephi find the timbers? There are very
few trees in the Arabian desert.) Nephi explains (several times in the same verse) that he didn't work the timbers
after the manner of men, but in the manner that God showed him.
The ship took less than two verses to build, but by all accounts it turned out exceedingly fine.
When it was finished, they gathered up their stuff and boarded their unnamed ship, every
one according to his age, and they sailed off toward the promised land (America in BoM-speak).
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
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.
18:4And 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.
18:5And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord
came unto my father, that we should arise and go down into the ship.
18:6And it came to pass that on the morrow, after we
had prepared all things, much fruits and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance,
and provisions according to that which the Lord had commanded us, we did go down into the
ship, with all our loading and our seeds, and whatsoever thing we had brought with us,
every one according to his age; wherefore, we did all go down into the ship, with our
wives and our children.
18:7 And now, my father had begat two sons
in the wilderness; the elder was called Jacob and the younger Joseph.
18:8And it came to pass after we had all gone down
into the ship, and had taken with us our provisions and things which had been commanded
us, we did put forth into the sea and were driven forth before the wind towards the
18:9 And after we had been driven forth before the wind
for the space of many days, behold, my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and also their wives
began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to
speak with much rudeness, yea, even that they did forget by what power they had been
brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness.
(18:9-10) Yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness.
After the space of many days, there was mutiny on the nameless ship. (Nephi
didn't keep much of a log. Everything happens "after a space of many days.") Nephi's brothers, Ishmael's sons, and all their wives
began to merrily dance, sing, and speak with exceeding rudeness.
So he, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly that God would smite them for dancing, singing,
and carrying on like that. So he spoke to them with much soberness. But they all said unto him in unison, "Fuck off, little brother."
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.
18:11And 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.
(18:11-16) Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords.
Finally, Laman and Lemuel got so sick of Nephi's pompous ass that they tied him up again
(See 1 Nephi 7:16).
Then the magic compass stopped working. So they didn't know which way to steer. And then a great and terrible tempest came up
for the space of three days. Everyone was exceedingly frightened. Still, they didn't untie Nephi.
The tempest became exceedingly sore on the fourth day. And just when they were about to be swallowed up in the depths
of the sea, they untied Nephi, whose wrists and ankles had swollen exceedingly and great was the soreness thereof.
Still, Nephi didn't murmur against the Lord but praised him all day long.
18:12And 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.
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.
18:14 And on the fourth day, which we had been driven back, the
tempest began to be exceedingly sore.
18:15And 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 wrist, and behold
they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much
swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.
18:16 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.
17Now 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
(18:17-23) Now my father, Lehi, had said many things unto them.
Nephi's dad said many things to the mutineers, but they ignored him. The rude behavior
of their children sickened Lehi and his wife Sariah. (They were "stricken in years" and about to die even though they just had a couple
of baby boys a few verses ago. See 1 Nephi 18:7)
Poor little Jacob and Joseph were in need of much nourishment (Was Sariah still
breastfeeding them?) and Nephi's nameless wife cried and prayed, along with Nephi's nameless children.
Finally they untied Nephi. The magic compass magically started working again and there
was a great calm.
I guess the calm didn't last forever, though, because the ship began to sail again
toward the promised land. And after the space of many days, they arrived in the promised land. (And they did
call it the promised land.)
18:18 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.
18:19 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.
18:20 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.
18:21And 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.
18:22And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did guide
the ship, that we sailed again towards the promised land.
18:23And 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.
(18:24) We did put all our seeds into the earth.
After arriving in the New World, Nephi and company planted all of the seeds that
they brought from "the land of Jerusalem" and "they did grow exceedingly." Yet there is no evidence that Near Eastern crops
ever grew in the New World in pre-Columbian times.
(18:25) There were beasts in the forests of every kind.
Nephi found cows, horses, oxen, and asses when he arrived in the New World in 590 BCE.
(None of these domesticated animals existed in North America before the Europeans brought them more than 2000 years later.)
And they found lots of gold, silver, and copper.
18:24And it came to pass that we did begin to till
the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth,
which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were
blessed in abundance.
18:25And it came to pass that we did find upon the
land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests
of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the
wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did
find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.