First Book of Nephi

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The First Book of Nephi (pronounced /ˈniːfaɪ/) is the first book of the Book of Mormon. Its full title is The First Book of Nephi: His Reign and Ministry. The book is usually referred to as First Nephi and abbreviated as "1 Ne.". It is a first-person narrative, beginning around 600 BC, of a prophet named Nephi. The Second Book of Nephi is a continuation of this narrative.



The book begins in Jerusalem at the time of King Zedekiah, where Nephi's father, Lehi, has a vision, wherein he sees God the Father, Christ, and the twelve apostles. Lehi is also made aware of the imminent Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. Hence as a result of this experience, Lehi begins to preach repentance to his people. As with the other prophets living at that time, such as Jeremiah, they reject his teachings and attempt to kill him by stoning him.

In a dream, God commands Lehi to leave Jerusalem with his family (which include his wife, Sariah, and his four sons Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi). Yet almost immediately upon their exile, Lehi is commanded by God to send his sons back to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates, a record similar to the Old Testament which was owned by Laban, a powerful leader in Jerusalem. Nephi returns with his brothers and after several failed attempts, where Laban even tries to steal Lehi's property and murder his sons, become frustrated. Laman and Lemuel take out their frustration by beating Nephi. An angel appears and commands Laman and Lemuel to stop beating Nephi and return to retrieve the plates. Nephi returns alone, finds Laban passed out from drunkenness, and kills him with his own sword as directed by the Spirit of God. He then disguises himself as Laban and fools Zoram, a servant of Laban, into taking the plates outside the city to his brothers. Zoram, discovering Nephi's trick, goes to flee, but is persuaded by Nephi to travel with Lehi and his family and they return together with the plates.

After receiving the brass plates, Lehi spends time studying them. He discovers it contains a genealogy of himself, and that he is a descendant of Joseph, the son of Jacob. It also the contains the five books of Moses and even some writings by the contemporary prophet Jeremiah.

Lehi's sons return to Jerusalem a second time, as directed by the Lord through the prophet Lehi, to retrieve the family of Ishmael. Meeting Ishmael, they convince him and his family to leave Jerusalem together with Lehi's family. On the journey back to camp, Laman and Lemuel and some members of Ishmael's family rebel. They want to return back to Jerusalem. After a stern lecture by Nephi, where he reminds them of the prophecies and offers them a choice, they tie him up and leave him to die in the desert. However, Nephi is able to escape from the ropes. Upon finding the group, Laman and Lemuel try again to hurt Nephi, but they are softened by the daughters of Ishmael and ask for forgiveness from Nephi.

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