1 Nephi, Chapter 4: Nephi’s Courage
This chapter, to me, is about Nephi’s courage, which is propped up by his faith and unflinching obedience.
Let’s begin with the first three verses.
Who and what does Nephi reference in verse 2?
Like Nephi do you look to the scriptures for faith, courage, and strength?
Clearly Nephi’s faith is deeply rooted and bearing fruit.
Let’s read verses 4 and 5.
See? Right off the bat we’re watching the courage of Nephi.
Now verse 6. I love verse 6.
And I was led by the Spirit not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
I know we just got started, but we need to pause here for a second because this is a verse that has powerful personal application.
When have you been led by the Spirit? Write freely, my friends. I’m sure it’s been more than once or twice.
Okay, onto verses 7-19. Ready, go!
This is an intense scene, is it not? Imagine Nephi, strong, courageous, faithful Nephi standing over Laban and receiving the commandment to take Laban’s life. I imagine his facial expression reading shock and confusion. In verse 10 he says, “I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.”
In chapters two (and three) we see that when Nephi was required to do something that maybe didn’t make sense to him, he sought the Lord for wisdom and understanding. Here the Lord is asking him to do something that doesn’t make sense to him, so in verses 14-17, he’s reviewing it in his own mind. I like that Nephi seems to be continually working to keep himself on the same page with the Lord. He’s making sure his will aligns with God’s. It’s a good practice, wouldn’t you agree?
The Lord could have taken the life of Laban and spared Nephi from the task. Why do you think he didn’t?
What “hard things” has the Lord required of you?
Verses 20-38 finish off this chapter, read them then we’ll chat.
How many miracles do you count in these verses?
What type of man do you imagine Zoram to be?
In verse 22 we learn that Laban, so drunk he had passed out, had been out that night partying it up with “the elders of the Jews.” Knowing the wickedness of Laban and now his friendly association with the elders gives us yet another insight into just how corrupted this people had become. No wonder they were about to be destroyed!
In verse 37 it says, “When Zoram made an oath unto us our fears did cease concerning him.” Did that stand out to anyone else? In our culture a verbal promise is pretty cheap. This is why we have contracts and signatures and notaries and lawyers. Our verbal words more or less don’t mean a thing. And here Zoram makes an oath and that’s that. They can trust him explicitly. Wow. Can we bring that kind of integrity back to this world? Please?