All Things According to His Will
Lesson 2 - 1 Nephi 1-7
Imagine that you have just learned that the city where you live is going to be destroyed and you must leave immediately. Think about how you would feel about this news. Think about what you would do. Would it make a difference in how you felt and what you did if you knew that this information had come through a prophet of God? This lesson is about Lehi and his family, who left their home in Jerusalem because the city was soon to be destroyed. The lesson will discuss where they went and what they did after departing from Jerusalem.
Lehi left Jerusalem and took his family into the wilderness.
One of the first events described in the Book of Mormon is the departure from Jerusalem of Lehi and his family.
1 Nephi 1:4-15,18-20 and 1 Nephi 2:1-3 record the circumstances that led to this departure.
1 Nephi 1:19-20; 1 Nephi 2:12-13; 1 Nephi 16:1-2 reveal that the people of Jerusalem rejected the message of Lehi and other prophets because those prophets testified of the wickedness and abominations of the people. The wicked take the truth as a "hard thing" and persecute those who deliver God's message of condemnation and direction to repent.
1 Nephi 2:16,19 Some people today rebel against the Lord and His servants because of their lack of humility and lack of interest in the Lord's work.
As an example of righteousness, Nephi responded to his fatherís message with great interest and sincere prayer. We can learn from Nephi's example how to make our hearts more receptive to the teachings of the prophets by listening, pondering, and seeking heavenly confirmation of their messages.
1 Nephi 2:19-20, 22 The Lord promised Nephi that if he would obey the commandments, he would prosper, be led to a promised land, and be a ruler over his brethren.
1 Nephi 2:21, 23-24 The Lord promised Laman and Lemuel that if they rebelled, they would be cut off from his presence and cursed. Each of these promises applies to us since they are consistent with eternal laws and the associated punishments.
1 Nephi 2:2 Lehi took his family in a wilderness (uninhabited land) when they left Jerusalem.
1 Nephi 2:4 The family left almost all worldly possessions behind as they departed.
Consider how Lehiís family felt having to leave their home, possessions, and friends. Then think about what sacrifices you have made to be obedient to the Lord. Finally, consider the blessings you have received as you have made such sacrifices.
1 Nephi 2:6-7; 1 Nephi 5:9; 1 Nephi 7:22 After three days in the wilderness, Lehi built an altar and gave thanks to the Lord. Think about how you can develop feelings of gratitude even in difficult circumstances.
Important blessings resulted from Lehiís obeying the Lord and leaving Jerusalem including Lehiís and Ishmaelís families being saved from destruction; a branch of Israel was guided to the promised land; and the Book of Mormon, another witness of Jesus Christ, was provided.
Nephi and his brothers returned to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of brass.
1 Nephi 3:1-4 tells us that Lehi sent his sons back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of brass that included the record of the Jews and important genealogical records.
1 Nephi 3:5 records how Laman and Lemuel responded to being sent back by complaining.
1 Nephi 3:7 records Nephi's dramatically different response in accepting the Lord's direction with faith and confidence.
If you had been asked to make this trip, think about how you might have responded and what difference it would have made to know that the Lord had asked it of you.
1 Nephi 3:3, 19-20: 1 Nephi 4:15-16; 1 Nephi 5:21-22; Mosiah 1:3-7 Lehiís family needed to obtain the brass plates to preserve their language, religion, and law (commandments).
1 Nephi 3:9 - 4:38 records the efforts of Nephi and his brothers to obtain the plates.
1 Nephi 4:6 Some situations may occur in which we might need to be "led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which [we] should do" in both our temporal and spiritual lives.
1 Nephi 4:7 We learn the importance of faith from Nephiís words: "Nevertheless I went forth".
1 Nephi 4:10 Nephi was reluctant to kill Laban because he had never before shed human blood.
1 Nephi 4:11-18 Nephi became convinced that he should kill Laban because of the Spirit's counsel and because of the importance of obtaining the indispensible records.
1 Nephi 3:7 The Lord did "prepare a way" for Nephi to do what he had been commanded to do. Think carefully about how the Lord has prepared ways for you to keep His commandments.
1 Nephi 4:35-36 Nephi and his brothers wanted Zoram to return to the wilderness with them so that the Jews would not know where they had gone and pursue them.
1 Nephi 4:31-34 Zoram was persuaded to accompany Nephi and his brothers by Nephi's pledge that Zoram would be free and that they were doing the Lord's work. Among the people in Lehiís time, an oath was sacred, so Zoram knew that Nephi would never break his oath. Consider how important it is that we be known as people who keep our word.
Although Laman and Lemuel obeyed their father by going into the wilderness and then returning to Jerusalem for the brass plates, they murmured and rebelled repeatedly during the familyís journeyings. Nephi and Sam, on the other hand, were faithful and obedient throughout their experiences.
1 Nephi 2:17; 1 Nephi 8:3 While Sam is not often mentioned, the scriptures indicate that he was faithful and obedient, as Nephi was.
In the following scriptures, look for words or phrases that characterize Nephi.
1 Nephi 1:1 Knew he had "goodly parents"
1 Nephi 2:16 Believed all the words spoken by his father
1 Nephi 2:16, 1 Nephi 2:19 Went to the Lord for understanding
1 Nephi 3:7 Was willing to go and do what the Lord commanded
1 Nephi 3:15 Refused to return without records
1 Nephi 4:1, 1 Nephi 4:3 Knew that the Lord was "mightier than Laban"
Note that Nephi demonstrated strong and abiding faith. It is an example we should follow.
In these scriptures, look for words or phrases that characterize Laman and Lemuel.
LAMAN AND LEMUEL
1 Nephi 2:11 Murmured against their father
1 Nephi 2:13 Did not believe all Lehiís words
1 Nephi 2:12 "Knew not the dealings of God"
1 Nephi 3:5 Complained that the Lord had asked "a hard thing"
1 Nephi 3:14 Wanted to give up after one try
1 Nephi 3:31 Doubted that the Lord could deliver Laban to them
1 Nephi 2:11-12 Laman and Lemuel murmurred and rebelled.
1 Nephi 2:18 Laman and Lemuel were unable to know the dealings of God.
Nephi and his brothers brought the brass plates to their family.
1 Nephi 5:1-9 Lehi and Sariah reacted with great joy when their four sons finally returned with the brass plates.
1 Nephi 5:8 Their return strengthened Sariahís testimony as she realized that her husband was indeed called as a prophet and that her sons had been given power to do the work of the Lord.
1 Nephi 5:10-16; 1 Nephi 13:23 records that the brass plates contained the five books of Moses, a record of the Jews down to King Zedekiah [about 600 B.C.], prophecies of the holy prophets, and the genealogy of Lehiís family.
1 Nephi 5:17-19 Lehi prophesied that the brass plates would go forth to every nation, kindred, and tongue, and that they would never perish. These prophecies are being fulfilled as the gospel's missionary work is spreading across the entire face of the earth in our day.
Nephi and his brothers returned to Jerusalem for Ishmael and his family.
1 Nephi 7:1-2 Nephi and his brothers returned again to Jerusalem soon after bringing back the brass plates so that the sons might have wives and raise up posterity.
1 Nephi 7:4-5 Ishmael and his family were persuaded to join Lehiís family by the influence of the Spirit.
1 Nephi 7:6-7 Laman and Lemuel and some of the children of Ishmael rebelled during their journey in the wilderness because they wanted to return to Jerusalem. Think about why they may have wanted to return to Jerusalem in spite of what their fathers advised.
1 Nephi 7:13 Nephi said that if they continued in the wilderness and were faithful to the Lord, they would obtain a land of promise and that they would know that Jerusalem had indeed been destroyed.
1 Nephi 7:13-15 Nephi said that if they returned to stay in Jerusalem, they would perish with the Jews.
1 Nephi 2:17-18 and 1 Nephi 7:21 Qualities Nephi exhibited in his dealings with his brothers included compassion in his prayers concerning their welfare and forgiveness for their actions against him.
Think about how you can demonstrate these qualities in your relationships with your family members and others.
Because of Lehiís and Nephiís willing obedience, millions of people have been blessed. Always "go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded" (1 Nephi 3:7).
These lessons are posted on the Internet at http://www.neumanninstitute.org