Catching up with our beloved family, we find that after 8 years of travel, they make it to the seashore, which they name Bountiful. Nephi is able to rest for “many days” (it would be nice to know exactly or even approximately how long Nephi thinks many days are, as he uses that term a lot) and then the Lord tells him to go to a mountain and talk to him. The Lord tell Nephi to build a ship to carry he and all his family across the waters to the promised land. Dear, righteous Nephi doesn’t complain or ask how, he simply asks where to find the ore to be able to make the tools to build the ship. Oh how we wish to have the faith of Nephi!
Nephi’s brothers are back yet again to their murmuring ways and put Nephi down for thinking he can build a ship and refuse to help. With the Lord’s help, Nephi puts them back in place and they build the ship. We then find out that Sariah had 2 more sons in their travels, Jacob and Joseph. They get out in the ocean and Laman and Lemuel and others decide that they’ve yet again had enough with Nephi and tie him up. Tight. The Lord doesn’t like that so much. The Liahona stops working and a great storm arises to the point that they’re about to wreck when finally, finally they see that God was doing this because of them and let Nephi go. And instead of complaining for having “exceedingly swollen” wrists and ankles, dear, righteous Nephi praises God all day. He prays and the storm calms, the compass works and they set off again to their promised land.
After setting up camp, planting seeds and setting up an establishment, Lehi and Nephi delve into the Brass Plates in depth and talk about it to their family, which of course, Laman and Lemuel refuse to understand and has to have it explained to them.
Now we come to the chapters of this entry’s title. The journey had taken a toll on Lehi and he finds that he’s somewhat soon to die. He calls in each of his children and their families and Ishmael’s children and bestows a Patriarchal Blessing on each of them. Lehi dies and Laman and Lemuel see that this is finally their chance to be rid of their high and mighty brother once and for all. But the Lord warns Nephi so he packs up with all those going with him, Jacob, Joseph, Zoram, Sam, his mysterious sisters that nave had no mention up until this point, their families and leaves, traveling for “many days” (seriously, how many are many?!) and sets up a new land living “after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27). The families of Laman and Lemuel and all those who chose to follow him are cursed, however, they are cut off from the Lord. Sad.
I was not born in, but raised in the church. My mother converted when I was 3. I was actually baptized Episcopalian as an infant, which I still need to get the full story about from my mother. Anyway, being raised in the church, I never developed the proper reverence and appreciation for the Book of Mormon. I knew it was true, beyond a doubt. I prayed about that and received one of the strongest confirmations of my life, so that wasn’t the issue. Although I knew that this was an amazing book that testified of Jesus Christ, that it was a big deal, I never fully understood why it was so amazing and such a big deal… until now.
It wasn’t until this past week, when after several chapters of Lehi, Nephi and Jacob talking about Christ, that the dawn appeared and I am beginning to grasp what all the amazement is about. I had finished rereading the New Testament late last year, so it’s fresh in my mind. For me it was the epitome of talking about Christ, since he’s actually in it for about 30% of the book. However, now, this week at long last, my eyes have been opened and I know why. It’s the doctrine. The pure and simple doctrine of Jesus Christ and the explanations of things from the before the world was, the creation, our lives on earth, what happens after earth and what will happen in the end. Almost all of it! While the bible may talk about these things, there may be some things missing, or it’s just a shadow in verse. The Book of Mormon expounds on all these things! It truly has the fullness of the Gospel and now I can see why Joseph Smith promised what he did in the Introduction that “… a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”. ANY other book, including the Bible. I can see that now.
Through the chapters Nephi let’s us know what he delights in. Among these are the scriptures, the things of the Lord, the words of Isaiah, proving to his people the truth of the coming of Christ, the covenants of the Lord, His Grace, justice, power and mercy. He delights in proving that if Christ didn’t come, all would perish.
I too delight in the scriptures and in the things of the lord. I delight in His covenants, grace, justice, power and mercy. I am learning to delight in Isaiah 😉 and in proving to people about Christ and to believe in Him.
***Some extra musings: What happened to Sariah? There is no mention of her dying. Also, in the Brass Plates, Lehi and Nephi quote a lot from it, including writings from Joseph of Egypt. Nephi says that “the prophecies which he wrote, there are not many greater”. What did he write?! I know we’re not ready yet for further scriptures, we hardly handle the ones we have, but someday it will be wonderful to read all these other words.