First Chapter of The Book of Mormon Book Club: First Nephi Series
Nephi, Chapter 1: Nephi Introduces Himself
I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents…
they are; the famous first words of The
Book of Mormon. Raise your hand if you’ve read these words more times that
you can count. I know I have. In fact, I’ve found that these words are so
deeply etched in folds of my brain that reading them switches my brain over to
auto-read while my mind wanders to things like the mountainous pile of laundry
that needs folding, and the meat that needs taken out of the freezer.
mention this because if I do this, there are probably at least a few of you who
do this too. It’s okay. It happens. We’re human. Some of us are more Martha
than Mary. This time through, I’m determined to stay focused. I hope you are
Let’s read: 1 Nephi 1:1-3
What do we know about Nephi from
these first three verses?
Do you have anything in common with
Nephi? If so, what?
Let’s continue onto verses 4-15.
What do we know about Lehi from
Let’s go back to verse 5 for one
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.
Have you ever prayed with all your
heart for someone? For yourself? Take a few minutes to reflect and record your
Now let’s look more closely at
vision Lehi sees Jerusalem, his birthplace, the “great city” in which he had
“dwelt all his days” destroyed and the inhabitants carried away captive into
Babylon. I don’t know about you, but if I saw my hometown destroyed and its
people carried away to be slaves, I’d be devastated. Yet, Lehi comes away
rejoicing with a full heart. In 14 he exclaims, “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
Somehow I have a bit of a hard time
wrapping my mind around his reaction. The only thing that makes sense to me is
the statement he makes at the end of verse 14: thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!
The scripture says he saw “many great and marvelous” things –perhaps he saw
much more than just the destruction of his city. Perhaps he came away knowing what
we with lesser faith must only believe: That the promises of the Lord are sure,
that those who come unto him shall not perish.
Am I “coming” towards
Him? Is my heart turned towards him? Is my face on His? Am I moving towards Him
in thought and action?
Let’s continue, read verses 16-20.
goes about prophesying and declaring the things he saw and heard and he is met
with mockery. In verse 20 they become angry, they cast him out, stone him, and
seek to take his life. In our day I imagine this would look a little
prophet and apostles having rocks lobbed at them during General Conference.
When I think of this scene in this way, I really get just how hardened this
community had become. They were members of the church after all.
I have to wonder, in our own small ways, do we do this too? Not with literal
rocks of course, but with criticisms? What about with deliberate disobedience? Just
something to think about.
Let’s move onto my very favorite
part of the chapter, the end of verse 20.
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.
Tender mercies are brought on by
faith and deliver us. Deliver us from what?
What have been some “tender mercies”
in your life?