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A Library Tour of 2 Nephi 5-8
2 Nephi 5
1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because
of the anger of my brethren.
2 But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to
take away my life.
3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to rule over
us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that
we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him
to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to rule over
4 Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against
me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.
5 And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from
them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.
6 Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also Zoram and
his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my
younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all
those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations
of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.
7 And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey
in the wilderness for the space of many days. And after we had journeyed for the
space of many days we did pitch our tents.
8 And my people would that we should call the name of the place Nephi; wherefore,
we did call it Nephi.
9 And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the people
10 And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments
of the Lord in all things according to the law of Moses.
11 And the Lord was with us; and we did prosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed,
and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and
animals of every kind.
12 And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the plates
of brass; and also the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by the
hand of the Lord, according to that which is written.
13 And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the
14 And I, Nephi, did take the sword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make
many swords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come
upon us and destroy us; for I knew their hatred towards me and my children and those
who were called my people.
15 And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood,
and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver,
and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
16 And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the
temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were
not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon's
temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and
the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.
17 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be industrious, and
to labor with their hands.
18 And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king. But I, Nephi,
was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according
to that which was in my power.
19 And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he
spake concerning them, that I should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore,
I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the commandments of the Lord,
until the time they sought to take away my life.
20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that:
Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence
of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.
21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because
of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they
had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair
and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did
cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
Wain Myers and his wife are black people, and he shares much of his story of confronting
the fact of the previous priesthood racial selectivity. His (not-yet) wife joined
the Church before he did. He explained her reaction and experience with that information:
“During the lesson they read a passage that the elders weren’t sure she understood.
[2 Nephi 5:21] . . .
“When asked if she understood the scripture, Sebrina confidently said she did. She
noticed the elders’ countenances change and sadness come over them. They explained
that there was a time in the Church’s history when blacks could not hold the priesthood.
“In the face of this news, her thought turned immediately to Proverbs 3:5: “Trust
in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’
“What the missionaries had taught her up to this point had pricked her heart, and
she believed strongly in their words. She didn’t understand why the priesthood had
been withheld from black men, but she was willing to put all of her trust in the
feelings of the Spirit that had touched her so strongly. She suggested they stay
away from the topic for the time being until God would help her understand.
“The elders agreed and proceeded to teach her about other truths found in the Book
of Mormon. . . .
“She continued praying about the things she learned from the missionaries, and each
time she prayed, she received a witness that this was the Lord’s Church.”
22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy
people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.
23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall
be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.
24 And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people,
full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.
25 And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir
them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken
unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.
26 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they
should be priests and teachers over the land of my people.
27 And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.
28 And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem.
29 And I, Nephi, had kept the records upon my plates, which I had made, of my people
30 And it came to pass that the Lord God said unto me: Make other plates; and thou
shalt engraven many things upon them which are good in my sight, for the profit of
Chapter 20: “Why Nephi Wrote the Small Plates: Serving Practical Needs. Research
by John W. Welch, original published as a FARMS Update in Insights (April 1999):
Welch presents six thoughtful considerations answering the question, “What was missing
with the large plates? Why did the Lord direct Nephi to make the small plates, and
what additional purposes guided Nephi in that undertaking?”
Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon: The FARMS Updates of the 1990s. Edited
by John W. Welch & Melvin J. Thorne.
Chapter 21 – “Why Nephi Wrote the Small Plates: The Political Dimension. Research
by John W. Welch, originally published as a FARMS Update in Insights (May 1999):2.
Welch insightfully explains three political aspects of the Small Plates (as compared
to the Large Plates): A post-fallout document, a selective, thematic presentation,
and a separator of religious and political power.
“In the end, Mormon included [the Small Plates] in his final compilation of the Nephite
records for a reason yet unknown to him (Words of Mormon 1:7), but in their own day
these plates served many choice and crucial purposes for the immediate “profit” of
the “people” of Nephi.”
31 Wherefore, I, Nephi, to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord, went and
made these plates upon which I have engraven these things.
32 And I engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with
the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these
33 And if my people desire to know the more particular part of the history of my
people they must search mine other plates.
34 And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away, and we had already
had wars and contentions with our brethren.
2 Nephi 6
1 The words of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, which he spake unto the people of Nephi:
2 Behold, my beloved brethren, I, Jacob, having been called of God, and ordained
after the manner of his holy order, and having been consecrated by my brother Nephi,
unto whom ye look as a king or a protector, and on whom ye depend for safety, behold
ye know that I have spoken unto you exceedingly many things.
3 Nevertheless, I speak unto you again; for I am desirous for the welfare of your
souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you; and ye yourselves know that it ever has
been. For I have exhorted you with all diligence; and I have taught you the words
of my father; and I have spoken unto you concerning all things which are written,
from the creation of the world.
4 And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things which are, and which
are to come; wherefore, I will read you the words of Isaiah. And they are the words
which my brother has desired that I should speak unto you. And I speak unto you for
your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your God.
5 And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake concerning all
the house of Israel; wherefore, they may be likened unto you, for ye are of the house
of Israel. And there are many things which have been spoken by Isaiah which may be
likened unto you, because ye are of the house of Israel.
6 And now these are the words: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine
hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring
thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
7 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they
shall bow down to thee with their faces towards the earth, and lick up the dust of
thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that
wait for me.
8 And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words.
For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem, from whence we
came, have been slain and carried away captive.
9 Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that they should return again. And he
also has shown unto me that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, should manifest
himself unto them in the flesh; and after he should manifest himself they should
scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the angel who spake it unto
10 And after they have hardened their hearts and stiffened their necks against the
Holy One of Israel, behold the judgments of the Holy One of Israel shall come upon
them. And the day cometh that they shall be smitten and afflicted.
11 Wherefore, after they are driven to and fro, for thus saith the angel, many shall
be afflicted in the flesh, and shall not be suffered to perish, because of the prayers
of the faithful; they shall be scattered, and smitten, and hated; nevertheless, the
Lord will be merciful unto them, that when they shall come to the knowledge of their
Redeemer, they shall be gathered together again to the lands of their inheritance.
12 And blessed are the Gentiles, they of whom the prophet has written; for behold,
if it so be that they shall repent and fight not against Zion, and do not unite themselves
to that great and abominable church, they shall be saved; for the Lord God will fulfil
his covenants which he has made unto his children; and for this cause the prophet
has written these things.
13 Wherefore, they that fight against Zion and the covenant people of the Lord shall
lick up the dust of their feet; and the people of the Lord shall not be ashamed.
For the people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the
coming of the Messiah.
14 And behold, according to the words of the prophet, the Messiah will set himself
again the second time to recover them; wherefore, he will manifest himself unto them
in power and great glory, unto the destruction of their enemies, when that day cometh
when they shall believe in him; and none will he destroy that believe in him.
15 And they that believe not in him shall be destroyed, both by fire, and by tempest,
and by earthquakes, and by bloodsheds, and by pestilence, and by famine. And they
shall know that the Lord is God, the Holy One of Israel.
16 For shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?
17 But thus saith the Lord: Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away,
and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for the Mighty God shall deliver
his covenant people. For thus saith the Lord: I will contend with them that contendeth
with thee --
18 And I will feed them that oppress thee, with their own flesh; and they shall be
drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine; and all flesh shall know that I
the Lord am thy Savior and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
2 Nephi 7
1 Yea, for thus saith the Lord: Have I put thee away, or have I cast thee off forever?
For thus saith the Lord: Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement? To whom
have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I sold you? Yea, to whom have
I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions
is your mother put away.
2 Wherefore, when I came, there was no man; when I called, yea, there was none to
answer. O house of Israel, is my hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem, or
have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make their rivers
a wilderness and their fish to stink because the waters are dried up, and they die
because of thirst.
3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering.
4 The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to
speak a word in season unto thee, O house of Israel. When ye are weary he waketh
morning by morning. He waketh mine ear to hear as the learned.
5 The Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away
6 I gave my back to the smiter, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair.
I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
7 For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded. Therefore have
I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.
8 And the Lord is near, and he justifieth me. Who will contend with me? Let us stand
together. Who is mine adversary? Let him come near me, and I will smite him with
the strength of my mouth.
9 For the Lord God will help me. And all they who shall condemn me, behold, all they
shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall eat them up.
10 Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant,
that walketh in darkness and hath no light?
11 Behold all ye that kindle fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks, walk
in the light of your fire and in the sparks which ye have kindled. This shall ye
have of mine hand -- ye shall lie down in sorrow.
2 Nephi 8
1 Hearken unto me, ye that follow after righteousness. Look unto the rock from whence
ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit from whence ye are digged.
2 Look unto Abraham, your father, and unto Sarah, she that bare you; for I called
him alone, and blessed him.
3 For the Lord shall comfort Zion, he will comfort all her waste places; and he will
make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and
gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
4 Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation; for a law shall
proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light for the people.
5 My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arm shall judge
the people. The isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens
shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and they
that dwell therein shall die in like manner. But my salvation shall be forever, and
my righteousness shall not be abolished.
7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written
my law, fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like
wool. But my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to
9 Awake, awake! Put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days.
Art thou not he that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?
10 Art thou not he who hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath
made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?
11 Therefore, the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion;
and everlasting joy and holiness shall be upon their heads; and they shall obtain
gladness and joy; sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
12 I am he; yea, I am he that comforteth you. Behold, who art thou, that thou shouldst
be afraid of man, who shall die, and of the son of man, who shall be made like unto
13 And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and
laid the foundations of the earth, and hast feared continually every day, because
of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury
of the oppressor?
14 The captive exile hasteneth, that he may be loosed, and that he should not die
in the pit, nor that his bread should fail.
15 But I am the Lord thy God, whose waves roared; the Lord of Hosts is my name.
16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee in the shadow of mine
hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say
unto Zion: Behold, thou art my people.
17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk at the hand of the Lord
the cup of his fury -- thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling wrung
18 And none to guide her among all the sons she hath brought forth; neither that
taketh her by the hand, of all the sons she hath brought up.
19 These two sons are come unto thee, who shall be sorry for thee -- thy desolation
and destruction, and the famine and the sword -- and by whom shall I comfort thee?
20 Thy sons have fainted, save these two; they lie at the head of all the streets;
as a wild bull in a net, they are full of the fury of the Lord, the rebuke of thy
21 Therefore hear now this, thou afflicted, and drunken, and not with wine:
22 Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord and thy God pleadeth the cause of his people; behold,
I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of my fury;
thou shalt no more drink it again.
23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; who have said to thy
soul: Bow down, that we may go over -- and thou hast laid thy body as the ground
and as the street to them that went over.
24 Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem,
the holy city; for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised
and the unclean.
25 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from
the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.