Sunday, February 3, 2008

Blogging the Book of Mormon 1 Ne. 5-7

Apparently, Leni's sons took longer than expected going back to Jerusalem to get the plates, because Sariah became convinced that they had perished in the wilderness. Lehi assured her that it was not so, and seems to have been more concerned with their encounters with Laban.
Nephi's account mentions that he had been told they would be let to a land of Promise, but this is the first time Lehi is recorded as mentioning it.

Lehi searched the brass plates, and summarized their content: The five books of Moses, a record of the Jews from the beginning down to Zekeiah's reign, and a genealogy of Lehi's ancestors. Although Lehi lived in Jerusalem, he was actually a descencent of Joseph. Nephi records a prophecy by his father that the brass plates would never perish nor be dimmed any more by time, but that they would go to all the "nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples" of his posterity.

Nephi then stops to explain that he is not giving an account of his father's ancestry, but his purpose in writing this particular record is to persuade men to come to God and be saved.

After examining the brass plates, Lehi then told his sons that the Lord had said it was not expedient for them to go into the promised land alone, but that his sons should marry first. Accordingly, Lehi's sons went back to Jerusalem to persuade one Ishmael with his five umarried daughters and two married sons to come out of Jerusalem with Lehi. Ishmael agreed, and they set out for Lehi's wilderness camp. On the return journey there was a division in the party: Laman and Lemuel, Ishamel's two sons, and two of the daughters wanted to go back to Jerisalem, while their parents and other three daughters, Nephi, and Sam wished to continue.
Nephi told them that if they did, they would die with the rest of Jerusalem. He throws in a reference to Jeremiah's imprisonment (Jer 32:2, Evidently Jerusalem had not yet been besieged). Laman and Lemuel took offense and tied Nephi up to leave him to die in the desert. Nephi escaped his bonds in a miraculous fashion (though not the impressive display of strength he had asked for), and again intefered. This time, he persuaded one of the rebellious sons and a daughter to side with him, and they in turn pursuaded Laman and Lemuel. All was forgiven (though not forgotten), and the party returned to Lehi's wilderness camp. Nephi records that they offered sacrifices and burnt offferings. This was the third time they had done so: First when they arrived, second on their return with the brass plates.

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