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He may have been his father Lehi's fourth oldest son, but Nephi showed by his faithfulness that he was determined and able to take the lead in doing that which God had commanded his father to accomplish.
1. When it seemed that getting the brass plates from Laban was impossible, Nephi humbly followed the Lord's guidance and through dangerous and difficult circumstances obtained those sacred records which were to keep the righteous part of their family on the right track. (1 Nephi 4:6-26)
2. When they were at the point of starvation on their trek across the Arabian Peninsula, while even Father Lehi complained to the Lord, Nephi humbled himself and through the Lord's guidance was able to replace his broken bow and kill the wild animals needed to sustain them. (1 Nephi 16:18-32)
3. When his two eldest brothers, Laman and Lemuel rebelled against their father and him in their task of building a ship to cross the great ocean, Nephi stood firm. The brothers finally worked together with him and the very serviceable ship was built. 1 Nephi 18:1-25
While the two oldest brothers complained about what the Lord had commanded their father to do, Nephi humbled himself and sought to find out from the Lord His purposes for them. He was therefore blessed with mighty visions and through the spirit of prophecy and revelation and was able to foretell their and their descendants future and as it turned out, to prophesy of others (the Gentiles) future coming to their promised land to which they had already been guided.Painting: Arnold Friberg
In Chapter 13 of 1Nephi Nephi is told by an angel of God about the future of the Americas.
At first Nephi is shown something which was to happen in what we now know as Europe:
Medieval Churches in Southern Europe
1 AND it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.
2 And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou? And I said: I behold many nations and kingdoms.
3 And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.
4 And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.
5 And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.
6 And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.
7 And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.
8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.
9 And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.
10 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren.
11 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren.
12 And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land. (emphasis added)
Photo of Columbus' Replica Ships
The Aztec Indians, Later conquered by Hernando Cortéz
Continuing by the power of the Spirit of Prophecy and Revelation the Angel of the Lord in Chapter 13 of I Nephi informs Nephi of a significant set of happenings which was to bring about eventually a free nation: the United States of America.
It was just today, July 4th (2011) that nation celebrated its Fourth of July annual Holiday which has been celebrated annually since 1776 when Declaration of Independence (from Great Britain) was announced allowing this free nation to eventually be formed in which I, and many of you (but not all of you) readers of this blog post live!
We who live in this nation cherish our freedom. We know that many of you readers of this blog live in free nations too. However, back in 1776 there were really no nations that really had much freedom to celebrate.
Nephi, son of Lehi, whose words as recorded in I Nephi, Chapter 13 of the Book of Mormon, by the Spirit of Prophecy and Revelation which originates with the Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost, tells us:
I Nephi 13:13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.
14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren (the American Indians); and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.
15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain (The Nephites of the Prophets Mormon and Moroni's day).
16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.
17 And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.
18 And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.
19 And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations. (emphasis and clarification added)
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