Feast upon the Word Blog

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BoM Lesson 5

Posted by Matthew on January 27, 2008

1 Ne 16-22

This lesson covers the finding of the Liahona, the story of breaking Nephi’s bow, their journey to the sea, building a ship, crossing the waters and landing in the promised land and Nephi teaching from Isaiah 48 & 49 and commenting on it.

Here’s a quick summary of some related resources available on the Internet.

  • LDS.org’s Teacher & Student lesson notes.
  • My Dad’s Sunday School notes from last time through. His thought questions mostly concentrate on the story surrounding Nephi broken bow, Nephi’s discussion of his writings and Nephi’s teachings from Isaiah.
  • Matthew McBride’s post at Deseret Book’s site points out similarities between the story of Lehi’s family leaving Jerusalem and children of Israel leaving Egypt.
  • Brant Gardner’s site is a good place to look for a comprehensive explanation at a verse by verse level.
  • Finally, the Feast wiki provides quite a few questions related these verses. The all-in-one Sunday School lesson page is here

Reading through this lesson I was interested this time particularly in the similarities and differences with the children of Israel’s exodus.  Both groups are miraculously lea, both groups have to be chastened but ultimately make it to the promised land. Two big differences are the Lehi’s family (as far as we are told) don’t have to kick anyone out to inherit the land, and the children of Israel don’t split up into two rival groups.

I’m sort of drawn to the following verses. At face value I feel like I  understand what they are saying but I’m not sure how they fit into the way I think about peoples, nations, what it means to be chosen (as the Israelites were) etc. Thoughts?

And after they [the children of Israel] had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty unto the driving out of the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to destruction. And now, do ye suppose that the children of this land, who were in the land of promise, who were driven out by our fathers, do ye suppose that they were righteous? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. Do ye suppose that our fathers would have been more choice than they if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay. Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it. …   And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked. And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes. –(1 Ne 17:32-35, 37-38)

A couple of questions.

  • Just reading the Old Testament, we wouldn’t know that these people had rejected every word of God. Should we have been able to make this inference simply from the fact that their land is given to the Children of Israel?
  • Verse 37 tells us that the Lord “raiseth up a righteous nation.” What does this mean in light of how much the Lord seems to have to work with them as he brings them out of Egypt?

4 Responses to “BoM Lesson 5”

  1. brianj said

    “the children of Israel don’t split up into two rival groups.” At least not immediately. Give them a few hundred years, however, and you get the same thing.

    Thanks for the notes!

  2. Sounds like good PR. Isn’t this the proper attitude in war? We are the good guys, they are bad. If you win its a sin that God was on your side. If you lose; well we need to repent.

    Nephi sounds like hes trying really hard to convince either himself, people, or us.

  3. joespencer said

    Noel Reynolds’ paper, “Nephite Kingship Reconsidered,” has a very helpful discussion of the political weight of 1 Nephi 17. You can read it here: http://farms.byu.edu/publications/bookschapter.php?bookid=&chapid=93

  4. cherylem said

    Thanks for the link, Joe.

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