In 600 BCE, God tells Lehi to leave Jerusalem with his family, which includes his wife
Sariah and his four sons, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. They walk from Jerusalem to the Red Sea. God tells Lehi to
send his sons back to Jerusalem to get Lehi's brass plates. The Spirit forces Nephi to kill Laban for Lehi's plates.
Nephi and his brothers, along with Laban's servant Zoram, walk back from Jerusalem to Lehi's tent. God tells Lehi to
send his sons back again to Jerusalem to get some women for his sons to marry. Lehi's sons walk back to Jerusalem and
return with Ishmael and his family. Nephi and his brothers marry Ishmael's daughters. Lehi and his family travel east
for eight years to Bountiful on the Irreantum Sea. God helps Nephi build a boat. Lehi and his family sail
to the promised land (America). Nephi copies two chapters from the King James Version of Isaiah.
And it came to pass exceedingly Nephi writes a book in the language of the Egyptians--Everything he writes is true--A
pillar of fire appears on a rock--Lehi thought he saw God--God, Jesus,
the apostles, and a host of angels give Lehi a book that quotes from the Book of Revelation--Nephi's book is abridged--Lehi testifies of the wickedness of the
1:1I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my
father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord
in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and
the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my
proceedings in my days.
(1:1) I, Nephi The first book of the Book of Mormon is the First Book of Nephi. The author is a
guy named Nephi who thinks quite a lot of himself. He had "goodly parents" was "highly favored of the Lord" and had "a great knowledge of the
goodness and the mysteries of God."
(1:2) The language of the Egyptians Nephi wrote in "the language of his father" -- Egyptian,
a strange language for an Israelite of 600 BCE to write in. But, then, we must get used to strange things if we are to
read the Book of Mormon.
(1:3) The record which I make is true. The book of 1 Nephi is true because Nephi says it is. And if you can't believe a pompous, Egyptian-speaking Hebrew that
supposedly lived 2600 years ago, whom can you believe?
1:2 Yea, I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the
learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.
1:3 And I know that the record which I make is true; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according
to my knowledge.
1:4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah,
king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets,
prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.
1:5 Wherefore it came to pass that my
father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all
his heart, in behalf of his people.
1:6And it came to pass as he prayed unto
the Lord, there came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and
heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did
quake and tremble exceedingly.
(1:6) A pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock. Lehi (Nephi's father) prayed and pillar of fire appeared out of nowhere on a
rock and "he did quake and tremble exceedingly."
1:7And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and
he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.
1:8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens
open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude
of singing and praising their God.
(1:8-10) He thought he saw God.
After Lehi saw the burning pillar on a rock, he "he
thought he saw" God, lots of angels, Jesus, and the 12 apostles --
which is a strange sight for a Jew that lived 600 years before Jesus was born.
1:9And it came to pass that
he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster
was above that of the sun at noon-day.
1:10 And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the
1:11 And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth;
and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.
(1:11) Gave unto him a book God, Jesus, the apostles, and the host of angels
came down from heaven to earth and God gave Lehi a book to read.
1:12And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the
1:13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! Yea, and many
things did my father read concerning Jerusalem -- that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should
perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon.
(1:13-14) He read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem. Lehi read from the book that God gave him while he
quoted from Revelation -- which wasn't written for another 700 years or so.
1:14And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and
marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God
Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of
the earth, and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that
they shall perish!
1:15 And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did
rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto
1:16 And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath
written many things which he saw in visions and in dreams; and he also hath written many things which he prophesied and
spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account.
1:17 But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days.
Behold, I make an abridgment of the record
of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my
father then will I make an account of mine own life.
(1:17) Behold, I make an abridgment Nephi's (thankfully) going to just give us the
abridged version of his father's babblings, which was probably a good idea since he was writing this stuff down on brass plates.
1:18 Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my
father, Lehi, yea, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to prophesy
and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard.
1:19And it came to pass that the
Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly
testified of their wickedness and their abominations; and he
testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in
the book, manifested plainly of the coming of the Messiah, and also the redemption of the
He truly testified of their wickedness. After Lehi saw the pillar of fire, God, Jesus, the apostles, and angels, and read from the book that God gave him, he went into town
to tell the people about it. They all thought he was crazy, since they were a bunch of wicked, abominable Jews.
1:20 And when the Jews heard these things
they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they
had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might
take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord
are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.