1Nephi CHAPTER 4
1 AND it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?
Moses Parts the Red Sea by the Power of God -by Unknown Artist
2 Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
3 Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.
4 Now when I had spoken these words, they were yet wroth, and did still continue to murmur; nevertheless they did follow me up until we came without the walls of Jerusalem.
5 And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.
6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
7 Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine.
8 And when I came to him I found that it was Laban.
9 And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.
11 And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.
12 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;
13 Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.
15 Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.
16 And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.
17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
18 Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.
19 And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins.
20 And after I had done this, I went forth unto the treasury of Laban. And as I went forth towards the treasury of Laban, behold, I saw the servant of Laban who had the keys of the treasury. And I commanded him in the voice of Laban, that he should go with me into the treasury.
21 And he supposed me to be his master, Laban, for he beheld the garments and also the sword girded about my loins.
22 And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night among them.
23 And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.
24 And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.
25 And I also bade him that he should follow me.
26 And he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church, and that I was truly that Laban whom I had slain, wherefore he did follow me.
27 And he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews, as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without the walls.
28 And it came to pass that when Laman saw me he was exceedingly frightened, and also Lemuel and Sam. And they fled from before my presence; for they supposed it was Laban, and that he had slain me and had sought to take away their lives also.
29 And it came to pass that I called after them, and they did hear me; wherefore they did cease to flee from my presence.
30 And it came to pass that when the servant of Laban beheld my brethren he began to tremble, and was about to flee from before me and return to the city of Jerusalem.
31 And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee.
32 And it came to pass that I spake with him, that if he would hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth, and as I live, even so that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his life.
33 And I spake unto him, even with an oath, that he need not fear; that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go down in the wilderness with us.
34 And I also spake unto him, saying: Surely the Lord hath commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord? Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father thou shalt have place with us.
35 And it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I spake. Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father. Yea, and he also made an oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
36 Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.
37 And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him. ( I suggest that Nephi's concerns about his two oldest brothers' not being inclined to serve God did not cease because of that which they would continue doing as you will soon see.)
38 And it came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the servant of Laban, and departed into the wilderness, and journeyed unto the tent of our father. (clarification and emphasis added by Neil Birch)
This is an example of Egyptian hieroglyphics which would most likely have some resemblance to the engravings on the Plates of Brass Nephi obtained from Laban's Treasury.
Now dear readers of my blog I desire to let the words of Nephi and his descendants and those of his brothers who trusted in God and in his prophet, Lehi, their father, convince you that Lehi and his fourth oldest son Nephi were guided by the Lord to do that which the Lord had them do so that they would have the guidance they needed from the Holy Scriptures that were contained on the plates of Laban in order to allow them to remain righteous and to hopefully guide the rebellious oldest two brothers, Laman and Lemuel to also seek to live righteously. My guess is that Nephi didn't have much hope for that ever happening! But I'm sure he did his best to help that happen!
Please remain patient with me while I, as briefly as possible, help you come to realize that the scriptures which were contained on the plates of Laban which Nephi had retrieved because of his great trust in the Lord as described above, were absolutely essential for the righteous among Lehi's family and of Ishmael, Lehi's close relative, and his family, to keep the blessings of the Lord continually coming to them throughout the rest of their lives and extend on into the future of their righteous descendants who would be preparing for the prophesied visit from the Lord Jesus Christ after His death and resurrection in about 600 years.
Now I will quote evidence given in the Book of Omni, one of the individual books found in the early part of the Book of Mormon, that the teachings of the prophets of God found on the Brass Plates of Laban which Nephi, the son of Lehi, through his great faith and determination to serve God had become the means of keeping a good number of the Nephites, and later on, even some of the Lamanites (descendants of Nephi's oldest brothers, Laman and Lemuel) faithful in serving God, even at times, having to go through extremly difficult circumstances over the years.
Please prayerfully and carefully read these verses from the Book of Omni mentioned above (written sometime between 279 and 130 B.C.)
12 Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness—
13 And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.
14 And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
15 Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon. (sometime between 600 and 592 B.C.)
16 And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.
17 And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous. Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them.
18 But it came to pass that Mosiah caused that they should be taught in his language. And it came to pass that after they were taught in the language of Mosiah, Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers, according to his memory; and they are written, but not in these plates.
19 And it came to pass that the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together; and Mosiah was appointed to be their king.Here again, dear blog readers is evidence that Lehi and his sons Nephi and Sam (the third oldest son of Lehi, with Nephi being the fourth oldest) were wise and inspired in choosing to trust in the Lord their God in allowing Him to guide them in obtaining the Brass Plates of Laban which contained the Books of Moses and the teachings of many of the inspired prophets of the Jews over many centuries which would guide them in righteous living and help keep them far from apostacy.
You now have been prepared to allow this Inspired Mormon Messages Video help each of you to more fully answer this very important question:
How Does the Spirit Send You Revelation?
After having just experienced this blog post which included the very touching and accurate video just above, I ask you an important question related to what you have just experienced. Was there complexity to the story which I excerpted from the Book of Mormon, and then did it all make sense after you put it all together in your mind and in your heart? I'm sure that your answer would be in the affirmative.
To make that acount even more complicated it was the history of an ancient people who were offshoots of the Jewish Nation beginning in 600 B.C. and ending in about 400 A.D.
What you read is true history although you personally may not yet be sure that is so, but even so I think you will fully disagree with the following critique that was made over PBS TV about four years ago Millions upon Millions of individuals and families viewed it over its two day showing and then a huge number reviewed it afterwards.
Now I have just prepared you to experience something I have inserted into many of my blog posts over the approximately four years I have been publishing this blog.
The criticism of the University scholar from Utah County, State of Utah is one that I think too many people accept as truth. It was because of his criticism that I named this Blog: "Have You Really Read the Book of Mormon?"
I have, at times, over the course of writing the 313 posts in this my English language version of this blog thus far (Feb. 7, 2012), quoted a statement made by a professor from a State University here in the State of Utah in the United States of America concerning his own personal theory of how the Book of Mormon was written.
Of course, it was viewed by millions of viewers. In reading the quote below which I have included in a number of my blog posts over the years, you can easily realize that this professor has never really read The Book of Mormon! I quote his statement from the text of that PBS Documentary, "The Mormons:"
Professor Alex Caldiero of Utah State University, Orem, Utah, U.S.A.
As I'm very sure that each of you will agree that the text from the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ that you have read in this blog post was not made up by an unlettered, unschooled and just plain young Joseph Smith. It is true history, but perhaps you are not yet ready to say that.
However, if you do ask the Lord in humble and sincere prayer He will assure you that it is true history! He has told me and many others I know that it is true history! I have no doubts!
This Blog is not owned by or affiliated with the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church.
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