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Book of Mormon Feast

An Artistic Tour of 2 Nephi

2 Nephi 1 – 4


“My Father, Great Lehi” - Marilyn Arnold & Maurine Ozment

Sacred Hymns of the Book of Mormon, 3

Nephi, who began the Book of Mormon record, wrote of his own experiences as a young, developing son of the prophet Lehi.  He quoted his father extensively, and particularly Lehi’s last words to his posterity, individually and collectively.

My father, great Lehi, my father - a man whom I love and revere -

He taught me by word and example of sacred things precious and dear.

The Lord spoke and Lehi consented; he gave up his wealth and his lands

To live in remote isolation, no more to see home place and friends.

2 Nephi 1:28


Lehi Blessing His Posterity

Jody Livingston

2 Nephi 2:20


Adam and Eve with Their Children

Jody Livingston

2 Nephi 2:25


“Men Are That They Might Have Joy” – J. Marinus Jensen & J.J. Keeler

LDS Hymns, 275

Book of Mormon prophet Lehi, whose life spanned a variety of problems, disappointments, and suffering, gave the world a timeless adage when he said, “Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy.”

2 Nephi 3:4


A Blessing to the Nations

Isa Tania Domínguez Herrada

Detail from quilt, by Isa Tania Domínguez Herrada, Xochimilco Ward, México City México Tlalpan Stake.

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. … The blessings of thy father … shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren” (Gen. 49:22, 26). The Nephites and Lamanites, descendants of Joseph, are beneficiaries of the blessings sealed upon the head of Joseph.

2 Nephi 3:23


Go Ye into All the World

Susana Elcira Bustos Martinez

oil on canvas

The missionaries extend the message of the Book of Mormon to all the world. The Lord said that we are to “go into all the world to preach my gospel unto every creature” (D&C 18:28). In the midst of the noise and tasks of daily life, the gospel message is transmitted through the work of the missionaries. This artwork depicts daily life in Mesoamerica. Dressed in typical Guatemalan clothing, two women read the Book of Mormon. A vendor of roasted corn takes no notice of the women, nor of the missionaries behind her giving a Book of Mormon to a tourist. A woman who tends to stay in the background observes them with curiosity. In the background, the mountains appear as a goal to be reached, symbolizing the divine, set apart from the earthly.

2 Nephi 4:4


Lehi Exhorts His Posterity to Righteousness

Philip Leaning

Oil on canvas, 1999

2 Nephi 4:11


Lehi Blessing His Posterity/Family

C.C.A. Christensen

Shortly before his death, Lehi called his posterity together and gave them final exhortations and blessings.

The contrast between this painting and the subsequent lithograph helps make clear some of Christensen's style in painting people. The lithograph, which is a redrawing of Christensen's original, shows greater drawing skill. But it also shows the weakness of the academic tradition in depicting life. Contrast the three small children closest to Lehi in the lower right. The little girl is Christensen's painting is burying her face in her grandfather's lap. In the lithograph she is primly standing in a graceful pose. The chubby little boy in the blue skirt standing flat-footed is slimmed down in the lithograph and placed in a graceful, dance-like pose. To the left of the woman in white, Christensen shows a small child bowing his neck and back as he strains to escape from his mother. In the lithograph the child has been changed into a graceful little cherub, much less childlike. What Christensen lacked in drawing skill, he more than made up in keen observation and real humility. His people are not just collections of academic types learned in art school.

2 Nephi 4:15


My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures

Patricia Welch

fabric crazy quilt

Selected patches in this quilt represent scriptures that teach gospel principles that are meaningful to me. The quilt was inspired by the testimony and example of Nephi, who made such great efforts to ensure that his people would have a record of the word of God and know His works. Nephi’s love of the scriptures and powerful testimony touch the hearts of many and inspire us to read and study the scriptures and apply God’s plan to our lives. “For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children” (2 Nephi 4:15).

2 Nephi 4:15


My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures

Carl Updike

oil on canvas, 2008

2 Nephi 4:15


The Books in the Book of Mormon” – Children’s Songbook, 119

Three different prophets named Nephi have resulted in four books in the Book of Mormon with this name.

Family Gal presents a fun, hand-clapping game with this song, set to the tune of “Ten Little Indians.”

2 Nephi 4:16-35


“Nephi’s Psalm” - Marilyn Arnold & Maurine Ozment

Sacred Hymns of the Book of Mormon, 5

The section of the Book of Mormon referred to as “Nephi’s Psalm” is a heartfelt expression of prayer, dense with life lessons and yearning.

2 Nephi 5:5


The Separation of the Nephites and Lamanites

C.C.A. Christensen

Nephi's brothers plotted to kill him, saying that he wished to rule over them. Like his father before him, Nephi was warned by the Lord to flee with his family and followers into the wilderness.

Nephi, front left, leads his people in this nighttime march. The clothing style is very similar to the classical styles that Christensen would have seen at the Royal Academy and in European religious painting.

2 Nephi 5:6


Nephi’s Sisters

Kathleen Peterson

2 Nephi 5:16


The Building of the Temple

C.C.A. Christensen  

Oil on board

2 Nephi 6:1


Jacob Teaching His People

Jody Livingston

2 Nephi 11:2


My Soul Delighteth in the Words of Isaiah

Kylie Malchus

This is my depiction of Nephi studying Isaiah out of the brass plates. In order for Nephi to have such a unique understanding of Isaiah's prophesies, he must have dedicated countless hours to studying, pondering, and praying about his words. I like to imagine he studied by night, perhaps the only free time he had in the midst of journeying in the wilderness, hunting, and ship building. I depicted Nephi reading by the light of an Iron-Age-style oil lamp, which would've been typical around 600 BC. Nephi is a personal hero of mine and it was a privilege to paint my vision of him. His love for the scriptures inspires me to search them more carefully and liken them unto myself. This oil painting was done on a 16x20 inch canvas board.

2 Nephi 11:2,3


I Will Send Their Words Forth {Jacob} - Elspeth Young

I Will Send Their Words Forth {Jacob}.”

Elspeth Young

Artist’s Comments:

The story behind I Will Send Their Words Forth

Nephi, the son of Lehi, made plates out of gold and engraved on them a record of his life and teachings.  One set of plates focused on the history of his people, the other set (which he made in about 569 BC) contained his prophecies and teachings.  (See 2 Nephi 5:28-33.)  The "large plates," containing the historical account, were kept and added to by the kings and rulers of the people for many generations.

Nephi also consecrated his younger brother, Jacob, to be a priest and a teacher to his people (2 Nephi 5:26).  Before his death, Nephi entrusted the second set of plates to Jacob, with a charge to write upon them only those "things which [Jacob] considered to be most precious…And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or prophesying, that [Jacob] should engraven…them upon these plates" (Jacob 1:1-4).

Jacob's life was devoted to the ministry to which he had been set apart.  He taught the people, kept a record of his ministry, and raised a family capable of perpetuating the tradition of devotion.  In fact, his achievement as a husband and father is probably the most momentous of his life because he and his descendants, spanning six generations, kept the "small plates" for more than 400 years.

Within this painting, Jacob is portrayed obediently fulfilling the prophetic commission he received through his older brother.  The expression in his eyes and the light upon his countenance represent what God did with the life Jacob consecrated to His service.

The composition of the painting communicates the role of prophets in relation to the word of the Lord and the people to whom a prophet ministers.  The figure appears between the viewer and a representation of the tree of life, which is where a prophet always stands in relation to the children of God.  For example, Lehi (Jacob's father) told his children of a vision he had had in which he had seen the tree of life, had gone forth to partake of its fruit, and, having done so, beckoned to his family to come and partake also (1 Nephi 8).  Such is the type, or pattern, of the prophets from the Adam to the present day.  And so it is with the writings of Jacob, which speak to us "the pleasing word of God, yea the word which healeth the wounded soul" (Jacob 2:8).

Jacob's countenance is evidence of profound spiritual sensitivity springing from a life of consecration, sacrifice, and, in his words:  "great anxiety" for the welfare of his people.  (See 2 Nephi 6:3, Jacob 1:5.)  He saw the Savior hundreds of years before His earthly ministry, was visited by angels, and "heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto [him] in very word, from time to time" (2 Nephi 11:3, Jacob 7:5). He enjoyed the spirit of prophecy, and possessed a faith so firm that he could "command in the name of Jesus and the very trees [obeyed], or the mountains, or the waves of the sea" (Jacob 4:6). Notwithstanding such strength, however, he acknowledged his own weakness, and taught the important truth that "it is by [God's] grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men" that man is given "power to do these things" (Jacob 4:7).

Symbolism in I Will Send Their Words Forth

Jacob's father, Lehi, taught his children about the tree of life and the word of God that leads to it; that the tree and its fruit represent "the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things…and the most joyous to the soul" (1 Nephi 11:22-23).  Also, Jacob's brother, Nephi, taught that in order to stay in the straight and narrow path leading to the tree of life, it is necessary to hold fast to the word of God, revealed to His servants, the prophets.  (See 1 Nephi 15:23-24). Jacob's recorded teachings also add an important insight about partaking of the fruit of the tree of life.  He teaches that those desirous of applying the Savior's Atonement in their own lives must, "Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith," and "lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever" (Jacob 3:1-2).  It was just this kind of spiritual "firmness" of faith and courage which enabled Jacob to withstand the temptations of Sherem, the antichrist, by whose cunning flattery Jacob "could not be shaken" (Jacob 7:5).

Jacob believed the teachings of his father and his older brother, and was faithful throughout his life.  Thus, the image of the painting places Jacob in the midst of that straight and narrow path leading to salvation.  By obedience and endurance to the end, Jacob placed himself in the vision that his father and brother had; a vision that is an allegory of mortality, of the earth and all its inhabitants.

An important part of Jacob's writings upon the small plates included the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees, written anciently among the Israelites by a prophet named Zenos.  The allegory presents the scattering and the gathering of the House of Israel.  Thus, another level of meaning or symbolism in the painting is that of the tame olive tree.  In this light, Jacob reaches out to all the House of Israel, inviting them to "repent, and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you. And while his arm of mercy is extended towards you in the light of the day, harden not your hearts" (Jacob 6:5).

A simple decorative border surrounds the wall painting of the tree.  Loosely based on ancient Hittite and Egyptian border motifs, the border behind the figure suggests ocean waves and abundant harvests, reminding the viewer of the waters that carried Jacob's family across the great deep to the Promised Land, and the Lord's promise to Lehi and his posterity that "inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments…they shall prosper upon the face of this land" (2 Nephi 1:9).

Jacob's people were taught by Nephi to be "industrious, and to labor with their hands" to create "exceedingly fine" workmanship (see 2 Nephi 5:16-17).  The table covering and the wall mural depicted demonstrate the kind of developed and intricate material culture such highly trained and gifted people could have created.

The figure is draped in the majesty and sumptuousness of a scarlet robe edged with gold.  This mantle represents a robe of righteousness, symbolic of the authority and power of the priesthood with which God's prophets are endowed.  Jacob taught the people about the resurrection of the dead, and, in describing the condition of the righteous at that day, declared that they "shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness" (2 Nephi 9:14).

2 Nephi 13:10


Fruit of Life

Megan Rieker

2 Nephi 19:6


For Unto Us A Child Is Born

Lynne Millman Weidinger

Oil on panel

The subject depicts Mary holding the baby Jesus. They are looking into each other's eyes while Joseph stands behind and looks down over them. The message of this painting shows the importance of the Savior's birth and the unconditional love and affection between a mother and her baby with the loving support of her husband.

2 Nephi 26:16


To Joseph, from Moroni

Lo Helaman Partsch

Depicts the hands of Moroni, delivering the plates directly into the hands of Joseph.

2 Nephi 27:6-11,13,29


“From the Dust Shall They Come” - Marilyn Arnold & Maurine Ozment

Sacred Hymns of the Book of Mormon. 1

Nephi, the young man whose writing begin the Book of Mormon, knew by heavenly vision that his words, and the words of the prophets who would follow him, which were written on the gold plates, would be preserved.  He knew that they would be hidden, and one day revealed, as if from the dust.  

Out of earth shall they come, by the hand of the Lord,

The words of dead saints gone before us.

They shall burst into light as they cry from the dust,

The words ever true, ever glorious!

2 Nephi 29:8


The Bible and the Book of Mormon Testify

That Jesus Christ Is the Savior of the World

Greg Olsen

acrylic on paper, 1989

2 Nephi 29:9


Yesterday, Today, and Forever

David Marshall Habben

mixed media 2008

This artwork depicts the fulfillment of prophecies given through the Lord’s prophets. There are four prophets: Isaiah with his prophetic writings, Ezekiel with scrolls of scripture from two nations, Moroni humbly kneeling over the plates he diligently kept, and Joseph Smith retrieving the record and fulfilling a long-awaited promise. Framing the prophets are motifs from the scriptures—golden wheat woven with tares as described in the parables of Christ, as well as vines and branches, further connecting the Lord to his messengers. I have made an effort to progress from the color and texture of the area surrounding the ancient prophets to a modern style and palette used beneath the modern prophet, Joseph Smith. Each element, color, and figure testifies of the continuation of the Lord’s pattern of calling prophets to lead His people.

2 Nephi 29:11


Book of Mormon and Bible, Side by Side

Jody Livingston

Jacob 1 Nephi