THE FIRST BOOK OF NEPHI
HIS REIGN AND MINISTRY
An account of Lehi and his wife, Sariah, and his four sons being called,
beginning at the eldest, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord
warns Lehi to depart out of the Land of Jerusalem because he
prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek
to destroy his life. He taketh three days journey into the wilderness
with his family. Nephi taketh his brethren and returns to the land of
Jerusalem after the record of the Jews. The account of their
sufferings. They take the daughters of Ishmael to wife. They take
their families and depart into the wilderness. Their sufferings and
afflictions in the wilderness. The course of their travels. They come
to the large waters. Nephi's brethren rebelleth against him. He
confoundeth them and buildeth a ship. They call the name of the place
Bountiful. They cross the large waters into the promised land, etc.
This is according to the account of Nephi; or, in other words, I,
Nephi, wrote this record.
I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was
taught somewhat in all the learning of my father.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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.
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
8 And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at
9 And he cast himself upon his bed, being overcome with the
spirit and the things which he had seen; and being thus overcome with
the spirit he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the
10 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.
11 And 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.
12 And he also saw twelve others
following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in
the firmament, and they came down and went forth upon the face of the
13 And the first came and stood before my father and gave unto
him a book and bade him that he should read.
14 And it came to pass that
as he read he was filled with the spirit of the Lord, and he read
saying, Wo, wo unto Jerusalem for I have seen thine abominations.
15 Yea, 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.
16 And it came to pass that when my father had read and saw 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.
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
18 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 shewn unto him.
19 And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my
father had written for he hath written many things which he saw in
visions and in dreams.
20 And he also hath written many things which he
prophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a
full account; but I shall make an account of my proceedings in my
21 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
22 Therefore I would that ye should know that after the Lord had shewn 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.
23 And 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.
24 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 a
Messiah and also the redemption of the world.
25 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.
26 But behold I, Nephi,
will shew 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.
27 For behold it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even
in a dream, and said unto him, Blessed art thou Lehi because of the
things which thou hast done.
28 And because thou hast been faithful and
declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold
they seek to take away thy life.
29 And it came to pass that the Lord
commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family
and depart into the wilderness.
30 And it came to pass that he was
obedient unto the word of the Lord, Wherefore, he did as the Lord
31 And it came to pass that he departed into the wilderness.
32 And he left his
house and the land of his inheritance and his gold and his silver and
his precious things and took nothing with him save it were his family
and provisions and tents and departed into the wilderness.
33 And he
came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea, and he
traveled in the wilderness in the borders which are nearer the Red
34 And he did travel in the wilderness with his family, which
consisted of my mother, Sariah, and my elder brothers, who were
Laman, Lemuel, and Sam.
35 And it came to pass that when he had traveled
three days in the wilderness, he pitched his tent in a valley by the
side of a river of water.
36 And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones and made an offering
unto the Lord and gave thanks unto the Lord our God.
37 And it came to
pass that he called the name of the river, Laman, and it emptied into
the Red Sea; and the valley was in the borders near the mouth
38 And when my father saw that the waters of the river emptied
into the fountain of the Red Sea he spake unto Laman saying, O that
thou mightest be like unto this river continually running into the
fountain of all righteousness.
39 And he also spake unto Lemuel, O that
thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast and
immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord.
40 Now this he spake
because of the stiffneckedness of Laman and Lemuel, for behold they
did murmur in many things against their father because he was a
visionary man and had led them out of the land of Jerusalem to leave
the land of their inheritance and their gold and their silver and
their precious things, to perish in the wilderness.
41 And this they
said he had done because of the foolish imaginations of his heart.
42 And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their
43 And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of
that God who had created them.
44 Neither did they believe that
Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed according to the words
of the prophets.
45 And they were like unto the Jews who were at
Jerusalem who sought to take away the life of my father.
46 And it came
to pass that my father did speak unto them in the valley of Lemuel
with power, being filled with the spirit until their frames did shake
47 And he did confound them that they durst not utter
against him; wherefore, they did as he commanded them.
48 And my father
dwelt in a tent.
49 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless
being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the
mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord.
50 And behold he
did visit me and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words
which had been spoken by my father; Wherefore, I did not rebel
against him like unto my brothers.
51 And I spake unto Sam, making known
unto him the things which the Lord had manifested unto me by his Holy
52 And it came to pass that he believed in my words, but behold
Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words.
53 And being grieved
because of the hardness of their hearts, I cried unto the Lord for
54 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me saying, Blessed
art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, for thou hast sought me
diligently with lowliness of heart.
55 And inasmuch as ye shall keep my
commandments ye shall prosper and shall be led to a land of promise;
yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is
choice above all other lands.
56 And inasmuch as thy brethren shall
rebel against thee they shall be cut off from the presence of the
57 And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments thou shalt be
made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren.
58 For behold in that day
that they shall rebel against me I will curse them even with a sore
curse and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall
rebel against me also.
59 And if it so be that they rebel against me
they shall be a scourge unto thy seed to stir them up in the ways of
60 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord,
to the tent of my father.
61 And it came to pass that he spake unto me,
saying, Behold I have dreamed a dream in which the Lord hath
commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem.
62 For behold Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of
my forefathers and they are engraven upon plates of brass.
the Lord, hath commanded me that thou and thy brothers should go unto
the house of Laban and seek the records and bring them down hither
into the wilderness.
64 And now, behold, thy brothers murmur, saying it
is a hard thing which I have required of them; but behold I have not
required it of them, but it is a commandment of the Lord.
go my son and thou shalt be favored of the Lord because thou hast not
66 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father, I
will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know
that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men save he
shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which
he commandeth them.
67 And it came to pass that when my father had heard
these words he was exceeding glad, for he knew that I had been
blessed of the Lord.
68 And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness with our
tents to go up to the land of Jerusalem.
69 And it came to pass that
when we had come up to the land of Jerusalem, I and my brethren did
consult one with another; and we cast lots who of us should go in
unto the house of Laban.
70 And it came to pass that the lot fell upon
Laman, and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, and he talked with
him as he sat in his house.
71 And he desired of Laban the records which
were engraven upon the plates of brass which contained the genealogy
of my father.
72 And behold it came to pass that Laban was angry and
thrust him out from his presence, and he would not that he should
have the records.
73 Wherefore, he said unto him, Behold thou art a
robber and I will slay thee.
74 But Laman fled out of his presence and
told the things which Laban had done unto us.
75 And we began to be
exceeding sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my
father in the wilderness.
76 But behold I said unto them that as the Lord liveth and as we live we
will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have
accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.
let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore
let us go down to the land of our father's inheritance, for behold he
left gold and silver and all manner of riches.
78 And all this he hath
done because of the commandments of the Lord; for he knew that
Jerusalem must be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people.
79 For behold they have rejected the words of the prophets.
if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to
flee out of the land, behold he would also perish.
81 Wherefore, it must
needs be that he flee out of the land.
82 And behold it is wisdom in God
that we should obtain these records that we may preserve unto our
children the language of our fathers; and also that we may preserve
unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the
holy prophets which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and
power of God since the world began, even down unto this present time.
83 And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I persuade
my brethren that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments
84 And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and
we did gather together our gold and our silver and our precious
85 And after we had gathered these things together we went up
again unto the house of Laban.
86 And it came to pass that we went in
unto Laban and desired him that he would give unto us the records
which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give
unto him our gold and our silver and all our precious things.
87 And it
came to pass that when Laban saw our property and that it was
exceeding great he did lust after it insomuch that he thrust us out
and sent his servants to slay us that he might obtain our property.
88 And it came to pass that we did flee before the servants of Laban,
and we were obliged to leave behind our property, and it fell into
the hands of Laban.
89 And it came to pass that we fled into the wilderness, and the servants of
Laban did not overtake us, and we hid ourselves in the cavity of a
90 And it came to pass that Laman was angry with me and also with
my father; and also was Lemuel, for he hearkened unto the words of
91 Wherefore, Laman, and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto
us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod.
92 And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold an angel of
the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying,
Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod?
93 Know ye not that the
Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you and this because of your
94 Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord
will deliver Laban into your hands.
95 And after the angel had spoken
unto us he departed.
96 And after the angel had departed, Laman and
Lemuel again began to murmur, saying, How is it possible that the
Lord will deliver Laban into our hands?
97 Behold, he is a mighty man,
and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not
98 And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying, Let us go up
again unto Jerusalem and let us be faithful in keeping the
commandments of the Lord.
99 For behold, he is mightier than all the
earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even
than his tens of thousands.
100 Therefore let us go up; let us be strong
like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea
and they divided hither and thither and our fathers came through out
of captivity on dry ground and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and
were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
101 Now behold, ye know that
this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you,
wherefore, can ye doubt?
102 Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver
us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.
103 Now when I had spoken these words they were yet wroth and did still
continue to murmur; nevertheless they did follow me up until we came
without the walls of Jerusalem.
104 And it was by night, and I caused
that they should hide themselves without the walls.
105 And after they
had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth
towards the house of Laban.
106 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing
beforehand the things which I should do.
107 Nevertheless, I went forth,
and as I came near unto the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had
fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine.
108 And when
I came to him, I found that it was Laban.
109 And I beheld his sword, and
I drew it forth from the sheath thereof, and the hilt thereof was of
pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine, and I saw
that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
110 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should
kill Laban, but I said in my heart, Never at any time have I shed the
blood of man, and I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.
the Spirit said unto me again, Behold the Lord hath delivered him
into thy hands.
112 Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away
mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of
the Lord and he also had taken away our property.
113 And it came to pass
that the Spirit said unto me again, Slay him, for the Lord hath
delivered him into thy hands.
114 Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to
bring forth his righteous purposes.
115 It is better that one man should
perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
now when I, Nephi, had heard these words I remembered the words of
the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that
inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper
in the land of promise.
117 Yea, and I also thought that they could not
keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses save
they should have the law.
118 And I also knew that the law was engraven
upon the plates of brass.
119 And again, I knew that the Lord had
delivered Laban into my hands for this cause, that I might obtain the
records according to his commandments; therefore I did obey the voice
of the spirit and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off
his head with his own sword.
120 And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the
garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body, yea, even every
whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins.
121 And after I had
done this I went forth unto the treasury of Laban.
122 And as I went
forth towards the treasury of Laban, behold I saw the servant of
Laban, who had the keys of the treasury.
123 And I commanded him in the
voice of Laban that he should go with me into the treasury; and he
supposed me to be his master, Laban, for he beheld the garments and
also the sword girded about my loins.
124 And he spake unto me concerning
the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master Laban had been out
by night among them.
125 And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.
126 And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings which
were upon the plates of brass to my elder brethren who were without
127 And I also bade him that he should follow me.
128 And he,
supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church and that I was
truly that Laban whom I had slain, Wherefore, he did follow me.
he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews as I
went forth unto my brethren who were without the walls.
130 And it came to pass that when Laman saw me, he was exceedingly frightened
and also Lemuel and Sam.
131 And they fled from before my presence for
they supposed it was Laban and that he had slain me and had sought to
take away their lives also.
132 And it came to pass that I called after
them, and they did hear me; wherefore, they did cease to flee from my
133 And it came to pass that when the servant of Laban beheld
my brethren, he began to tremble and was about to flee from before me
and return to the city of Jerusalem.
134 And now I, Nephi, being a man
large in stature and also having received much strength of the Lord,
therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban and held him that he
should not flee.
135 And it came to pass that I spake with him, that if
he would hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth and as I live,
even so, that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his
136 And I spake unto him even with an oath that he need not fear,
that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go down in the
wilderness with us.
137 And I also spake unto him, saying, Surely the
Lord hath commanded us to do this thing and shall we not be diligent
in keeping the commandments of the Lord?
138 Therefore if thou wilt go
down into the wilderness to my father, thou shalt have place with us.
139 And it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I
140 Now Zoram was the name of the servant, and he promised that he
would go down into the wilderness unto my father.
141 And he also made an
oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
142 Now we
were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the
Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness lest
they should pursue us and destroy us.
143 And it came to pass that when
Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.
144 And it came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the servant
of Laban and departed into the wilderness and journeyed unto the tent
of our father.
145 And it came to pass that after we had came down into the wilderness unto
our father, behold he was filled with joy.
146 And also my mother,
Sariah, was exceeding glad, for she truly had mourned because of us;
for she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness.
147 And she
also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a
visionary man, saying, Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of
our inheritance and my sons are no more, and we perish in the
148 And after this manner of language had my mother
complained against my father.
149 And it had came to pass that my father
spake unto her saying, I know that I am a visionary man, for if I had
not seen the things of God in a vision, I should not have known the
goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem and had perished with
150 But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the
which things I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver
my sons out of the hands of Laban and bring them down again unto us
in the wilderness.
151 And after this manner of language did my father
Lehi comfort my mother Sariah concerning us while we journeyed in the
wilderness up to the land of Jerusalem to obtain the record of the
152 And when we had returned to the tent of my father, behold their
joy was full, and my mother was comforted; and she spake, saying, Now
I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee
into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord
hath protected my sons and delivered them out of the hands of Laban
and gave them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the
Lord hath commanded them.
153 And after this manner of language did she
154 And it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly and did offer
sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord, and they gave thanks
unto the God of Israel.
155 And after they had given thanks unto the God
of Israel my father Lehi took the records which were engraven upon
the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning.
he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses which gave an
account of the creation of the world and also of Adam and Eve who
were our first parents, and also a record of the Jews from the
beginning even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah,
king of Judah, and also the prophecies of the holy prophets from the
beginning even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, and
also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah.
157 And it came to pass that my father Lehi also found upon the plates of
brass a genealogy of his fathers.
158 Wherefore, he knew that he was a
descendant of Joseph, yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob
who was sold into Egypt and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord
that he might preserve his father Jacob and all his household from
perishing with famine.
159 And they were also led out of captivity and
out of the land of Egypt by that same God who had preserved them.
thus my father Lehi did discover the genealogy of his fathers.
Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore, he and his fathers
had kept the records.
162 And now when my father saw all these things he
was filled with the Spirit and began to prophesy concerning his seed:
that these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations,
kindreds, tongues, and people who were of his seed.
163 Wherefore, he
said that these plates of brass should never perish neither should
they be dimmed any more by time.
164 And he prophesied many things
concerning his seed.
165 And it came to pass that thus far I and my father had kept the
commandments wherewith the Lord had commanded us.
166 And we had obtained
the record which the Lord had commanded us and searched them and
found that they were desirable, yea, even of great worth unto us,
insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our
167 Wherefore, it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry
them with us as we journeyed in the wilderness towards the land of