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Dwindling in Unbelief
-Blogging the Book of Mormon
1830 Edition: 1 Nephi
BoM Seminary: 1 Nephi
1 Nephi: Absurdity
- And it came to pass
- Dwindling in unbelief
- "I, Nephi ... born of goodly parents ... highly favored of the Lord ... having ... a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God"
The first book of the Book of Mormon is the First Book of Nephi. The author is a guy named Nephi who thinks quite a lot of himself.
He had "goodly parents" was "highly favored of the Lord" and had "a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God."
- "I make a record in the language of
my father ... the language of the Egyptians." That's a strange language an Israelite around
600 BCE to write in! 1:2
- "I know that the record which I make is true."
The book of 1 Nephi is true because Nephi says it is. And if you can't believe a pompous,
Egyptian-speaking Hebrew that supposedly lived 2600 years ago, whom can you believe? 1:3
- "There came a pillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock."
Lehi prayed and pillar of fire appeared out of nowhere on a rock. 1:6
- After Lehi saw the burning pillar on a rock, he "he thought he saw" God, lots of angels, Jesus, and the 12 apostles -- which is a
strange sight for a Jew that lived 600 years before Jesus was born. 1:8-10
- God, Jesus, the apostles, and the host of angels came down from heaven to earth and God gave Lehi a book to read.
- "He read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! ... Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord
Lehi read from the book that God gave him while he quoted from Revelation -- which wasn't written for another 700 years or so.
- "I make an abridgment of the record of my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands."
Nephi's (thankfully) going to just give us the abridged version of his father's babblings, which was probably a good idea since
he was writing this stuff down on brass plates. 1:17
- God speaks to Lehi in a dream and tells him to leave Jerusalem and go "into the wilderness." 2:1-2
- So, with no further instructions, he and his family go into the wild. 2:4
- Apparently the 400+ km hike from Jerusalem to the Red Sea took only three days. 2:5-6
- Lehi named the valley after his other worthless son, Lemuel, hoping it would make him more steadfast and immovable.
- "Nephi wanted to know the mysteries of God, so he cried unto the Lord. And the Lord softened his heart (and his brain) so
he could believe the shit his dad said. 2:16
- And the dumb-as-shit Sam went along with whatever Nephi said. 2:17
- But Laman and Lemuel wouldn't listen to Nephi because they suffered from Pharaoh's syndrome: the hardening of the heart.
- God told Nephi that he would lead him to a new land, a land that God had prepared just for him (and the Mormons) that was
better than everywhere else on earth. (God made the New World just for Nephi and his family. For though it had been
occupied by the Native Americans for 15,000 years or so, God made it for Nephi, not for them.)
- "I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord." 3:1
- God commands Lehi in a dream to send his sons back to Jerusalem (800+ km roundtrip)
to get Lehi's genealogy that is written on brass plates. 3:2-4
- So the four brothers went back to Jerusalem. Now they just needed to decide how to get the brass plates back from Laban.
Luckily, they had all read the Bible so they knew the proper way of deciding such things. They cast lots. 3:10-11a
- The lot fell upon Laman, so he went in to talk to Laban about the plates. But Laban refused to give him the plates,
accused him of trying to rob him, and threatened to kill him. 3:11b-13
- After that, Laman, Lemuel, and Sam wanted to give up on the plates and return "to the wilderness." 3:14
- But Nephi talked them out of it in a long, boring speech. 3:15-21
- So Nephi and his brothers go get their father's gold, silver, and precious things (that were left behind on their wilderness trip),
brought them to Laban, and offered to trade it all for the plates. 3:22-24
- Laban wanted their gold and whatnot but he also wanted to keep the plates. (He was into genealogy, too.) So he decided to kill
them and take their stuff. 3:25
- Nephi and his brothers escaped to the wilderness and hid in "the cavity of a rock." 3:26-27
- Laman and Lemuel had had enough. They started to beat Nephi and Sam with a rod. 3:28
- Then an angel showed up and told them to stop beating Nephi. 3:29
- But Laman and Lemuel weren't convinced by the angel. 3:31
- sine the angel didn't impress Laman and Lemeul, Nephi had to make another long, boring, BoM-type speech.
- After the speech, Laman and Lemuel decided to follow Nephi back to Jerusalem, though they "did still continue to murmur."
- When they got to Jerusalem, Nephi's brothers waited outside the gates while Nephi was led by the Lord to Laban's house.
- The Lord lead Nephi to a drunk guy passed out on the ground -- who turned out to be Laban! 4:7-8
- The Spirit of the Lord "constrained" Nephi to murder Laban as he lay passed out on the ground. 4:10
- But the Spirit had to tell Nephi again. 4:11
- And a third time, reminding Nephi that God kills people too (so it must be OK) and besides, it's better that one person die
than a whole nation dwindle in unbelief. 4:12-13
- So Nephi (finally) obeys the Spirit by grabbing Laban by the hair and chopping off his head with his own sword.
- After Nephi smote off his head, he put on Laban's clothes (while the blood gushed from the carotid artery) and "gird on his armor
about [his] loins." (Laban always wore armor on his loins when he went out partying.)4:19
- Dressed in Laban's blood-drenched clothes and loin armor, he went to the treasury of Laban and commanded (with the voice of Laban)
Laban's servant to follow him. 4:20
- And it worked perfectly. Nephi looked and sounded just like Laban, so it completely fooled Laban's servant.
- Nephi chatted with Laban's servant for a while about all the usual things -- the wild party last night, gossip about
the elders of the "church" (the Jews had churches back then), etc. Then Nephi told him to take the brass plates to his
brothers who were waiting outside the city gates. 4:22-27
- When Nephi's brothers saw Nephi and Laban's servant coming, they were "exceedingly frightened" since they thought
Nephi was Laban, too! (It was an exceedingly good disguise.) 4:26
- "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."It must have been an exceedingly good costume! Even Nephi's brothers thought he was Laban
(because he was wearing Laban's clothes). 4:28
- But then they heard his voice (he wasn't using the voice of Laban anymore) and they knew it was Nephi "wherefore they
did cease to flee from [his] presence." 4:29
- After brothers settled down, Nephi talked Laban's servant (Zoram) into joining up with them, and they packed up the brass
plates and returned (400+ kilometers) to Lehi's tent. 4:38
- Nephi and his brothers, along with Laban's servant Zoram, return to the wilderness from Jerusalem.
The 400+ kilometer trip must have been routine by now, since Nephi says nothing at all about it. His parents, though, were filled with joy,
exceedingly glad even, to see them.5:1
- After the boys got back, the parents just couldn't stop talking about it. After this manner of language did they speak.
5:3, 6, 8
- After they were done speaking in that manner of language, Lehi took a look at the brass plates. They had all kinds of cool stuff
written on them: the five books of Moses, the history of the Jews, and the prophecies of Jeremiah. 5:10-13
- The plates had Lehi's genealogy, which showed that Lehi was a descendant of Joseph.
(Joseph is a really important name in the Book of Mormon. I'm not sure why.) 5:14
- When Lehi found out that he was a descendant of Joseph, he was filled up with the Spirit and started to
prophesy about his seed, saying the plates would never perish or dim with time. (No one has seen them since.) 5:17-19
- "And he prophesied many things concerning his seed." 5:19
- Nephi is not going to say anything about the plates that he murdered Laban for,
except that he and his family are descendants of Joseph. 6:1-2
- Nephi is trying to use as few words as possible, since he is writing on metal plates. So it mattereth not to him that he give a
full account of all the things, etc., etc. 6:3
- So he's not going to write pleasing things; he's going to give commandment unto his seed. 6:5-6
- God tells Lehi to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get some women. 7:1-2
- So Lehi's sons went back to Jerusalem one more time. 7:3
- It was just another quick, uneventful, 400+ km trip. After they arrived, the Lord softened up Ishmael's heart enough so that he
agreed to leave Jerusalem with his family and go into the wilderness so that Lehi's sons could have sex with his daughters.
- But then deja vu came to pass all over again. Laman and Lemuel revolted, along with two of Ishmael's daughters and two of his
- And then Nephi gave a speech that no one should ever have to read or listen to. 7:8-15
- After listening to Nephi's awful speech, Nephi's brothers were exceedingly wroth. So they tied him up and left him for
the animals to eat. 7:16
- But then Nephi prayed unto the Lord. (His prayers are worse than his speeches.) And, just like magic, the cords were
- Nephi's brothers tried to lay hands on him again but he was saved by a daughter, mother, and brother of Ishmael, who
softened the hearts of Nephi's younger brothers. 7:19
- Then Nephi's brothers bowed down and begged Nephi to forgive them. 7:20
- And it came to pass that Nephi forgave his brothers and they returned to their father's tent in the wilderness, where they
killed and sacrificed some animals for God and began to get to know the daughters of Ishmael. 7:21-22
- Lehii's Dream
Lehi dreams about a tree with white, sweet-tasting fruit. He wants his family to eat the fruit. Nephi, Sam, and Sariah do; Laman and
Lemuel don't. An iron rod leads people to the tree, but some are ashamed to eat its fruit after being taunted by well-dressed people
in a building that floats in the sky. Those who don't eat the fruit or who leave after eating it are lost, drowned, or destroyed.
(Lehi's dream was nearly identical to Joseph Smith, Sr.'s dream 2400
years later, before Joseph Smith, Jr. "translated" the Book of Mormon.) 8:2-38
- Lehi thinks his dream assures the salvation of Nephi, Sam, and "their seed" and the damnation of Laman and Lemuel.
(Because the former ate the magic fruit and the latter didn't.) 8:3-4
- Lehi dreamed about tree with fruit that could make you happy if you ate it (or smoked it?). 8:10
- Lehi partook of the fruit thereof, and it was the sweetest thing he'd ever tasted, and was whiter than anything he'd
ever seen before. (Being white is the best thing a thing can be in the Book of Mormon.) 8:11
- And it made him exceedingly happy, happier than he'd ever been before. He was so darned happy he could hardly stand it.
So he wanted his family to eat from the happy tree, too. 8:12
- So Lehi cast his eyes round about until he discovered his family. 8:13
- Lehi told his family to eat the happy fruit, and the good members of his family (Nephi, Sariah, and Sam) ate it.
- After the good guys ate the good fruit, Lehi cast his eyes about again until he saw Laman and Lemuel. He told
them to eat the fruit, but they wouldn't do it (because they were bad). 8:17-18
- Lehi saw an iron rod along the side of the river that people clung to as they traveled towards the happy tree.
- In the background there was a mist of darkness that lots of people got lost in. 8:23
- But some managed to find the happy-fruit tree by hanging on to the rod of iron. 8:24
- But after partaking of the happy fruit, the people cast their eyes about like they were ashamed or something.
- Then Lehi cast his eyes about again and saw a big building floating in the air. 8:26
- The building was filled with people that were looking down and pointing and laughing at the people eating the happy fruit.
- Then the people who were ashamed after eating the happy fruit crawled off into the darkness and got lost.
- Some of the ashamed fruit-eaters made it to the big sky building, but others drowned. 8:31-32
- Those that made it into the big building in the sky began pointing the finger of scorn at the happy fruit eaters below.
- Nephi left out a lot of shit his dad said in the valley of Lemuel. He just didn't have room for it on his plates.
- "The plates ... I have given the name of Nephi; wherefore, they are called
the plates of Nephi, after mine own name; and these plates also are called the plates
of Nephi." Okay, I guess we'll call them the plates of Nephi. 9:2
- God told Nephi to make two sets of plates: one for "for the more part of the ministry" and the other set "
for the more part of the reign of the kings and the wars and contentions." 9:4
- "The Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not." 9:5
- "And thus is is, Amen." 9:6
- "I, Nephi, proceed to give an account ... of my proceedings ... wherefore, to proceed with mine account, I must speak somewhat...."
- Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet, but Lehi
proves him wrong by prophesying the details of Jesus' life, death,
and resurrection 600 years before he was born. Lehi even knew the Elizabethan English words that the King James
Version would ascribe to John the Baptist 2200 years before that translation existed! 10:3-11
- A spirit takes Nephi up to the top of an exceedingly high mountain and shows him all the shit his dad saw: Jesus, Mary, John the
Baptist, the twelve apostles, Lehi's magic tree and iron rod, the large and spacious building, angels, devils, the condescension of God,
and the wisdom of the world. 11:1-36
- The first thing that comes to pass is that Nephi ponders his dad's imaginary tree, gets caught up in the spirit of the Lord,
and is transported to an exceedingly high mountain. 11:1
- And then he has a conversation with his new-found spirit friend. The spirit asked him what he wanted. 11:2
- Nephi said he'd like to see some of the shit his dad saw. 11:3
- The spirit asked Nephi if he believed that his dad saw the tree? 11:4
- Nephi said that he believed all the crazy shit his dad said. 11:5
- When the spirit heard Nephi's words, it started screaming. 11:6-7
- The spirit shouted that because Nephi believes in his dad's cool tree, Jesus would come down from heaven to visit him.
(Jesus believes in Lehi's tree, too.) 11:7
- And then it came to pass that the spirit showed Nephi his dad's magic fruit tree. It was exceedingly white, too. It was
like the whitest thing he'd ever seen. 11:8
- Nephi sees an exceedingly white virgin. (Being white is exceedingly good in the Book of Mormon.) But how the hell would
Nephi know that the exceedingly white woman was a virgin? I guess Nephi could spot a virgin from 400 kilometers away.
- After the spirit showed Nephi the exceedingly white tree and virgin, it blathered on a bit about "the condescension of God"
and whatnot. Then it told Nephi that the white virgin "is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh."
(Does this mean that God the Father had sex with Mary "after the manner of the flesh?") 11:18
- Then the spirit (or its angel sidekick) showed Nephi all the shit his dad saw and more. Jesus, Mary, John the Baptist,
the twelve apostles, the crucifixion, a bunch of angels, Lehi's magic tree, fountain of living waters, iron rod, the large and
spacious building, angels, devils, the condescension of God, the lamb of God, the Holy Ghost, devils, unclean spirits, the wisdom
of the world -- the works. 11:19-35
- In this chapter, the angel shows Nephi his seed. He'll have tons of seed, as many as the sand of the sea. 12:1
- Nephi's seed will live in many cities, more cities than can be counted. 12:3
- But bad times are coming. Mountains will disintegrate and cities sink and burn. 12:4
- Then the heavens will open up and Jesus, the Holy Ghost, and the apostles (with their robes made white from being
washed in Jesus' blood) will come down to minster to Nephi's seed. 12:6-10
- But Nephi's seed will fight his brethren's seed. And it will be awful to look at. Seed fighting seed everywhere.
I doubt if there has been so much contending seed in a single paragraph since time began. 12:19-20
- Finally, the chapter comes to a thrilling conclusion with the angel showing Nephi what will happen to the seed of his
brethren that dwindle in unbelief: they will become a dark, loathsome, filthy, idle, and abominable people. (Which, according to
the BoM, is the origin of the Native Americans.) 12:22-23
- Nephi sees the "great and abominable church" and its founder, the devil.
- The angel shows Nephi a Google Earth view of the Atlantic Ocean (the "many waters") that divides the old and new worlds.
- The angel shows Nephi
Christopher Columbus crossing the "many waters" in 1492 to visit the native Americans. 13:12
- These "other Gentiles" were the Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock in 1620. 13:13
- The Nephites were "white and exceedingly fair." 13:15
- "The Gentiles ... did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them." 13:16
- The "mother Gentiles" are the English and the "battle" is the Revolutionary War. 13:17
- God helped the American colonists win the Revolutionary War. 13:18
- God helped the Americans win all their other wars too. (Except maybe the Vietnam war.) 13:19
- The angel shows Nephi a book that "procedeth out of the mouth of a Jew"
(the Bible, which was a lot like the brass plates). The good American white people that God liked so much carried this
book around with them. 13:20-24
- Good news for "gentiles" in "the promised land." ("Gentiles" are non-Mormons and "the promised land" is
the United States in Mormon-speak). All you have to do is become a Mormon and then you will be blessed by God
(otherwise you're going to hell). 14:1-2
- The Catholic church was founded by the devil to lead souls to hell. 14:3
- f you're a gentile, you've only got two choices: become a Mormon or fall into the Catholic pit that leads to hell.
- The angel tells Nephi that the lamb of God (Jesus) says that the time will come (2423 years later) when a 17 year old treasure
digger from New York (Joseph Smith) will find some golden plates and translate them by staring into his hat at some magic rocks and
thereby produce the "great and marvelous work" that we now know as the Book of Mormon. This book is, according to the angel, the best
and most important book by far that you, me, or anyone else will ever read. And we'll be tortured forever after we die unless
we believe it. 14:7
- There are only two churches: the church of the Lamb of God, and the church of the devil. You either
belong to the good church or the bad church (the mother of abominations, the whore of all the earth,
whose founder is the devil). 14:10
- The angel showed Nephi the Mormon church (the church of the Lamb of God). There weren't many Mormons, though, because of that
fucking whore that sat on many waters (the Catholic Church). 14:12
- God hated pretty much everyone on earth (they were all just a bunch of Catholics to him) until the Mormons showed up.
- The angel told Nephi to look over there. You see that guy in the white robe? That's the apostle John who will write the Book of
Revelation about 700 years from now. (Which doesn't make a lot of sense since the apostle John didn't write Revelation, but oh well.)
- The white-robed guy will write things that are just and true just like everything else that is written in
"the book that proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew." ("The book that prceeded out of the mouth of the Jew"
is BoM-speak for the Bible.) 14:23
- That's all Nephi is going to say about that. The angel won't let him say any more. So don't ask. But the angel showed Nephi lots of other
cool stuff that he can't tell you about right now. 14:28
- Finally the angel stopped talking and Nephi quit writing down the things that he saw while he got all carried away. But it's all true.
And thus it is. Amen. 10-4 good buddy. Over and out. 14:29
- Remember back in chapter 8 when Lehi had a dream about a tree? Yeah, well, it's back again. And this time it's causing trouble
for Nephi's brothers. You see, they just couldn't figure it all out. What was it, anyway? And who cares? A crazy old man dreams about
a tree and they're supposed to believe it has some cosmic significance, some deep spiritual meaning? Well, yes they are. This is the
Book of Mormon after all. 15:1-7
- Of course the main problem with Nephi's brothers was that they didn't inquire of the Lord enough. It's nearly impossible to believe complete and obvious
bullshit without God's help. 15:8-9
- Another reason they didn't believe the stuff about the tree is that they were such evil bastards. They didn't follow the commandments and their
hearts were way too hard. 15:10-11
- So Nephi explained it all to them again. The grafting of the branches thing is all about Joseph Smith who will (2423 years later)
find and translate the golden plates and thereby produce the Book of Mormon that will bring "the fulness of the gospel" to the
Gentiles. (And if that isn't perfectly obvious to you, you are an evil bastard that hasn't inquired of the Lord.)
- Nephi says that someday the Native Americans (who centuries later will become a dark, loathsome, filthy, idle, and
abominable people for dwindling in unbelief) will all become Mormons and be saved. (I suppose God will then make them fair ,
white, and delightsome like good Mormons are today.) 15:14
- Nephi goes on to explain the tree, iron rod, and river to his hard-hearted evil brothers. 15:20
- There's an "awful gulf" that separates the wicked from the saints. 15:28
- If your works are filthy, then you are filthy. And if you're filthy, you can't go to heaven because you'd make God's
kingdom filthy. 15:33
- But, you see, the kingdom of God isn't filthy, so God had to make a filthy place to put filthy people after they die.
- And thus it is and so on and so forth. Amen. 15:36
- Nephi, his brothers, and Zoram (Laban's servant) all got married to Ishmael's nameless daughters. It was a group wedding
with Lehi serving as the Reverend Moon, saying stuff like, "Do you [Nephi, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Zoram] take what's her name here
to be your lawfully wedded wife?" 16:7
- After getting that all taken care of, God showed Lehi something really interesting. A magic brass ball of curious
workmanship that was designed and made by God himself! God's magic ball had two spindles on it, one pointing the way to go
and the other pointing in some other direction. 16:10
- So now that they had their magic ball, they packed up camp, gathered seeds of every kind, crossed the River Laman, and
took off in whatever direction God's brass ball pointed. After traveling for four days in a SSE direction, they set up camp at
a place they called Shazer. (Notice how Joseph Smith Nephi gives names to pretty much every place they pass by, but didn't
bother to tell us the name of his wife.) 16:11-13
- They followed God's magic ball around for "the space of many days" in "the more fertile parts of the wilderness,"
killing stuff for food with their bows and arrows and slings. 16:15-16
- And then it came to pass that Nephi broke his steel bow. Of course steel didn't exist at the time, wouldn't work
well for a bow anyway, and would be hard to break. But, oh well. This is the Book of Mormon. 16:18
- Apparently none of the other bows worked either, because after Nephi broke his no one else could kill a
- So everyone "began to murmur exceedingly." Heck even Nephi's dad, Lehi, "began to murmur against the Lord."
- So Nephi made another bow and arrow out of wood and a straight stick. But Nephi didn't know where to hunt
with his new bow. So he asked his dad (when he had stopped murmuring). 16:23
- Lehi inquired of the Lord (Hey God. Where should Nephi go to kill some animals?) Then voice of the Lord
came to Lehi telling him to look on the magic ball where he'd find a text message from God. 16:25-26
- And it came to pass that when they saw the text message from God they did fear and tremble exceedingly. 16:27
- Now the magic brass ball didn't work like a magic 8 ball. Magic 8 balls work all of the time for everyone, whereas the brass ball
only works if you believe it will work. And, of course, Nephi believed anything and everything, the crazier the better. So the pointers
pointed in just the right directions if you believed that they pointed in just the right directions. (That's the way dousing works too.)
- But the coolest thing of all was the text messages. They "changed from time to time" according to the faith of the person
reading the message. 16:29
- The message on the brass ball told Nephi to go to the top of the mountain. 16:30
- So Nephi went to the mountain top to kill wild beasts. 16:31
- After eating the wild beasts, they traveled for the space of many days. 16:33
- Then Ishmael dies, his daughters mourn exceedingly, and Nephi's brothers and Ishmael's sons decide to kill Nephi and
- But then the voice of God stopped by to talk for a while. He gave them some food so they decided not to kill Nephi and
- A round brass ball "of curious workmanship" leads Lehi through the wilderness. A
compass, perhaps? But compasses
didn't exist in 600 BCE 16:10,
- Nephi breaks his bow, "which was made of fine steel." But the technology for making
steel did not exist in 600 BCE. 16:18
- God told Lehi to look at the brass ball and read the words written upon it. And when
he read the words "he did fear and tremble exceedingly." 16:26
- The pointers on the ball work according to the faith of its user.
- And the words written on the ball change according to the faith of its user.
- So Nephi found his way to the top of the mountain by following the instructions
that were written on the ball. 16:30
- In the last chapter, God gave Nephi a magic ball that pointed in the direction that God wanted him to go and even told
Nephi where to kill wild beasts. All this happened within in single year: 600 BCE. Now it was time for some serious traveling.
- They waded through much affliction and their nameless women bore children in the wilderness. 17:1b
- God fed them raw meat, their women gave plenty of suck, and the children grew up quickly, becoming as strong as men during
the eight year journey. 17:2-4
- After eight years of wading through affliction, eating raw meat, and getting plenty of suck, they arrived at a land they
called Bountiful (because of its much fruit and also wild honey). And they saw the sea which they called Irreantum, which, being
interpreted, means nothing at all. 17:5
- Then it came to pass after a space of many days that he, Nephi, heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Arise, get thee into
the mountain." So Nephi got into the mountain and cried unto the Lord. 17:7
- While Nephi was crying on the mountain top, God told him to build a ship. 17:8
- Nephi asked God where he would find the ore to make the metal to make the tools to make the ship. 17:9
- But it was no big deal. God showed Nephi where to find the ore to make the tools. 17:10
- Nephi made a bellows from the skin of beasts so he could blow on a fire, which he made by striking two stones together.
- Up to this time, you see, Nephi et al had no fire as they journeyed through the wilderness. They ate raw meat, which God
sweetened for them. 17:12
- So Nephi was pretty much all set. God showed Nephi where to mine the ore, from which he made ship-building tools using
his trusty beast-skin bellows and striking stones. 17:16
- But when Nephi's brothers saw what he was doing they began to murmur against him. 17:17
- Whereupon Nephi began a long, boring 1000-word sermon. 17:19-47
- Among many other things, Nephi told his brothers that God
straitens murmurers by sending fiery flying serpents to bite and kill them. (See Numbers 21:6)
- Then Nephi reminded them about stuff they'd already seen on the trip: talking angels from time to time that sometimes
whispered and sometimes screamed so loudly that the earth shook. 17:45
- But Nephi's brothers were tired of Nephi and his screaming angels. So they tried to throw him into the sea. It didn't
work, though, because Nephi he was filled with the power of God even to the consuming of his flesh and whoever touched him would
wither like a dried reed. 17:48
- Nephi kept talking on and on about many things to his brothers. Finally Nephi's brothers gave up and durst not touch
Nephi with their fingers for the space of many days. 17:52
- Still, God wasn't completely satisfied. He decided not to wither Nephi's brothers like dried reeds, but to shock
the hell out of them instead. Just to show off a bit. 17:53
- And it came to pass that Nephi stretched forth his hand to his brethren and they didn't wither, but the Lord did shake them,
just like he said that he would. 17:54
- And that did the trick. After God shocked Nephi's brothers they knew of a surety that God was with Nephi. They even wanted to
worship Nephi, but Nephi told them not to, saying, "Oh My Heck, you guys, I'm just your younger brother." 17:55
- Lehi and company didn't have to cook their food because God made it taste
good raw. 17:12
- God "sent fiery flying serpents" to bite people. 17:41
- God shows Nephi how to work timbers of curious workmanship. 18:1
- Nephi explains (several times in the same verse) that he didn't work the timbers after the
manner of men, but in the manner that God showed him. 18:2
- The ship took less than two verses to build, but by all accounts it turned out exceedingly fine. 18:4
- When it was finished, they gathered up their stuff and boarded their unnamed ship, every one according to his age.
- After they all got on board, they sailed off toward the promised land (America in BoM-speak). 18:8
- And then, after the space of many days, there was mutiny on the nameless ship. (Nephi didn't keep much of a log. Everything
happens "after a space of many days.") Nephi's brothers, Ishmael's sons, and all their wives began to merrily dance, sing, and speak
with exceeding rudeness. 18:9
- So he, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly that God would smite them for dancing, singing, and carrying on like that. So he
spoke to them with much soberness. But they all said unto him in unison, "Fuck off, little brother." 18:10
- Finally, Laman and Lemuel got so sick of Nephi's pompous ass that they tied him up again (See 1 Nephi 7:16).
- hen the magic compass stopped working. 18:12
- So they didn't know which way to steer. And then a great and terrible tempest came up for the space of three days.
Everyone was exceedingly frightened. Still, they didn't untie Nephi. 18:13
- The tempest became exceedingly sore on the fourth day. 18:14
- And just when they were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea, they untied Nephi,
whose wrists and ankles had swollen exceedingly and great was the soreness thereof. 18:15
- Still, Nephi didn't murmur against the Lord but praised him all day long. 18:16
- Nephi's dad said many things to the mutineers, but they ignored him. The rude behavior of their children
sickened Lehi and his wife Sariah. (They were "stricken in years" and about to die even though they just had a
couple of baby boys a few verses ago. See 1 Nephi 18:7) 18:17-18
- Poor little Jacob and Joseph were in need of much nourishment (Was Sariah still breastfeeding them?) and
Nephi's nameless wife cried and prayed, along with Nephi's nameless children. 18:19
- Finally they untied Nephi. The magic compass magically started working again and there was a great calm.
- I guess the calm didn't last forever, though, because the ship began to sail again toward the promised land.
- And after the space of many days, they arrived in the promised land. (And they did call it the promised land.) 18:23
- After arriving, they began to plant the seeds that they brought with them. 18:24
- Nephi found cows, horses, oxen, and asses when he arrived in the New World in 590 BCE. (None of these domesticated animals
existed in North America before the Europeans brought them over 2000 years later.) 18:25a
- And they found lots of gold, silver, and copper. 18:25b
- God tells Nephi to make another set of brass plates. (This is his third set, I think -- not counting Lehi's.) I guess you just can't have too many plates.
- On his third set of plates, Nephi only included the "more plain and
precious parts," leaving out any unnecessary words, as you'd expect from someone engraving on plates of ore. 19:2-5
- Nephi didn't write anything on the plates unless it was sacred. 19:6a
- Nephi says that whatever he wrote on the plates was sacred. But he admits that he
might make some mistakes, just like they (the guys who wrote the bible) did. Not that
he's making any excuses, of course. 19:6b
- Jesus will be born 600 years after Lehi and his family left Jerusalem (and 592 years after Nephi wrote the prophecy
down in his little brass book.) 19:8
- Since these prophesies about Christ are not found in Old Testament, Joseph
Smith makes a few prophets up: Zeonock, Neum, and Zenos. These three prophets knew all about Jesus. He'd be crucified,
buried in a sepulchre, and after his death, there'd be three days of darkness. Three days of darkness? Yeah, that's what Zenos prophesied. The entire earth would be completely dark for three days after Jesus'
death (See 3 Nephi 8:20-22 and
Helaman 14:27 for the exciting details), as a sign to
Lehi's descendants in "the isles of the sea" (the Lamanites in America and Polynesia). Of course that's not what the Bible says. Matthew, Mark, and Luke say it was dark for three hours just before Jesus died. (It's one of the few things those three
guys agree on.) But that's because the
evil Catholics changed the plain and precious parts of the Bible. 19:10
- Zenos prophesied further that mountains would be carried away
after Jesus died, along with lots of other nutty stuff. (See 3 Nephi 8 where
cities sunk, mountains were moved and dumped upon cities, etc.) 19:11-12
- And finally, Nephi says he's going to swipe a couple of chapters from
the book of Isaiah as a bit of filler for his plates of brass. 19:22-23
Joseph Smith Nephi loved the phrase "and it came to pass." So why did he remove it
from Isaiah 48:3? 20:3
- And kings shall be thy nursing fathers. 21:23
- How could Nephi, supposedly writing this around 590 BCE, quote words from the book of Malachi, which
was not yet written? 22:15
- Notice that this verse (which was supposed to have been written around 600 BCE) quotes Peter's paraphrase of
Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19, rather than the Old Testament verses themselves.