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 Jews. (600 BCE)
And it came to pass exceedingly
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.
My name is Nephi .
I'm knowledgeable and highly favored by God.
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.
Though I am a Jew, I'm writing this in my father's language (Egyptian) .
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.
This is a true story. 
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.
In the first year of King Zedekiah of Judah many prophets told the people to repent, or the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed.
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.
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.
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.
My father, Lehi , prayed, and a pillar of fire came out of a rock.
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.
He thought he saw God sitting on a throne surrounded by countless singing angels.
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.
10 And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.
One person came down from heaven who was brighter than the sun, followed by twelve others who were brighter than stars.
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.
1:12And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.
They gave my father a book and told him to read it.
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.
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!
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 him.
Woe to Jerusalem, for I've seen your abominations!
Many of you will die and many will be carried away to Babylon.
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.
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.
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.
(Since I'm writing on plates, I'm only writing an abridgement of the things my father wrote about and saw.)
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 world.
After my father saw these things, he told the wicked Jews what he had seen and that a Messiah was coming.
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.
They mocked him and tried to kill him.
- I Nephi (v.1)
Joseph Smith may have taken the name "Nephi" from the apocrypha, with which he was probably familiar.
And Nehemias called this place Nephthar, which is interpreted purification. But many call it Nephi. 2 Maccabees 1:36
- The language of the Egyptians. (v.2)
>Egyptian is a strange language for an Israelite of 600 BCE to write in. Especially since according to v.4, Lehi spent his entire life in Jerusalem.
- The record which I make is true (v.3)
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?
- My father, Lehi (v.5)
The name "Lehi" may have been taken from a place name in Judges.
Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. Judges 15:9
And it came to pass 1:4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14, 19
Behold: 17, 18, 20
Yea: 1:1, 2, 5, 13, 15, 18, 20
1:1 The mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 1:1)
1:14 Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty (Revelation 15:3)
LDS.org Cartoon Version - Chapter 1: How We Got the Book of Mormon
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- 1 Nephi 1: And it came to pass exceedingly
- The Annotated Book of Mormon
- 1 Nephi
- Linquistics and the Book of Mormon
- Reformed Egyptian