Nephi cries to the Lord--Nephi's brothers try to kill him (again)--The Lord tells Nephi to flee into the wilderness--Nephi and
his followers call themselves "the people of Nephi" (Nephites)--The Nephites prosper exceedingly--The Lamanites rebel against Nephi--God
curses them with a skin of blackness, making them an idle people, full of
mischief--Whoever mixes seed with them will have their
skin blackened also--God tells Nephi to make other plates. (588-559 BCE)
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The Nephites escape to a place called Nephi
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
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 this
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.
My brothers wanted to kill me, so the Lord told me to escape to the wilderness. 
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.
Zoram and Sam went with me, along with their families, and my younger brothers Jacob and Joseph,
and my sisters. 
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
We traveled for many days and then camped at a place we called Nephi.
9 And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the people of
The people with me decided to call themselves the people of Nephi.
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.
We obeyed the law of Moses and prospered exceedingly.
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 land.
I brought the brass plates and the ball or compass, which was made by God himself. 
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.
I also brought the sword of Laban  to protect us from the people who now called themselves Lamanites.
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.
I taught my people how to build buildings and work with wood, iron, copper, brass, steel, gold, and silver,
all of 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.
I built a temple like Solomon's temple. 
God blackens the skin of the Lamanites
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.
The people wanted me to be their king. But I refused, becoming their ruler and teacher instead, until they decided to kill me.
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
The Lord said to me, "Since they won't obey you, I'll cut them off from my 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.
And he cursed them by changing their white, exceedingly fair and delightsome skin into
a skin of blackness so they would no longer appeal to my people. 
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.
The Lord God said,
I'll make them loathsome to your people.
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.
Whoever mixes their seed with them will be cursed with the same cursing. 
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.
And because of God's curse, they became an idle people, full of mischief. 
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.
God said to me,
They'll be a scourge to your seed, so that they'll remember me. And if they don't remember me, they'll kill them all.
God tells Nephi to make some more plates
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.
I consecrated Jacob and Joseph to be priests and teachers.
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.
We were happy for thirty years after leaving Jerusalem.
29 And I, Nephi, had kept the records upon my plates, which I had made, of my people
I kept the plates that I'd made.
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 thy people.
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.
Then God came to me and said,
Make some more plates.
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 plates.
So I made some more plates.
33 And if my people desire to know the more particular part of the history of my people they must search
mine other plates.
I engraved things that pleased God and everyone else seemed pleased with them too.
34 And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away,
and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren.
It suffices for me to say that forty years passed, and we already had wars and contentions with our relatives.
- It sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life. (v.4)
Chapter 5 begins with Nephi's brothers rebelling against him again.
(See 1 Nephi 3:28,
18:11 for previous rebellions.)
- And my sisters (v.6)
This is the first and only time that Nephi's sisters are mentioned in the Book of Mormon. (And nowhere are they named or
The mysterious daughters of Lehi have troubled Mormons from the start.
Here's an interesting blog post
- I, Nephi, had also brought ... the ball, or compass, which was prepared for my father by
the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written. (v.11)
Nephi brought the magic ball or compass, which was made by God.
Compasses, God-made or otherwise,
didn't exist in the 580 BCE.
- The sword of Laban (v.14)
This is the sword of the drunk man who the angel commanded Nephi to murder to get his father's plates. So Nephi
chopped off Laban's head with his own sword.
See 1 Nephi 4:10-13
- I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after
the manner of the temple of Solomon. (v.16)
Nephi built a temple like Solomon's.
According to the Bible, it took 150,000 men seven years to build the temple,
but Nephi's crew of a dozen or so men managed just fine.
- A skin of blackness (v.21)
When Nephi's rebellious brothers (the Lamanites) found out that Nephi
was the ruler, they rebelled against Nephi's rule. So God cursed the Lamanites (the ancestors of the Native Americans)
darkening their skin and making them "loathsome" to his people (the Nephites).
The official LDS summary for 2 Nephi 5 prior to December 17, 2010:
The Nephites separate themselves from the Lamanites, keep the law of Moses, and build a temple -- Because of their
unbelief, the Lamanites are cursed, receive a skin of blackness, and become a scourge unto the Nephites.
The LDS church revised the official summary for 2 Nephi 5 on
2010 to read:
The Nephites separate themselves from the Lamanites, keep the law of Moses, and build a temple--Because of their unbelief,
the Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord, are cursed, and become a scourge unto the Nephites. About 588-559 B.C.
- Cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed;
for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. (v.23)
God forbids intermarriage between the Nephites and Lamanites. Those who mix seed
with the Lamanites will be cursed by God with "the same cursing". (Their skin will be blackened.)
- Because of their cursing ... they did become an idle people, full of mischief. (v.24)
God's curse on the Lamanites (Native Americans) also caused them to "become an idle people, full of mischief."
- Forty years had passed away,
and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren. (v.34)
Nephi arrived arrived in the New World with with his five brothers and the sons of Ishmael and their families.
Forty years later, they were fighting wars against each other. How is that possible? Even large Mormon families couldn't
produce armies of offspring. Did they enlist their infants and babies as soldiers?
And it came to pass: 5:1, 5, 6, 13, 17,
18, 26, 27, 30
Exceedingly: 5:11, 13, 16, 21
Behold: 5:1, 2, 3, 19, 20,
Yea: 5:3, 21
5:25 To stir you up by putting you in remembrance -- 2 Peter 1:13
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- The Seven Wonders of the Book of Mormon
(2 Nephi 5:21-22)
- Getting a tan from the Book of
- Applying Karen
Armstrong's new ancient principle of scriptural interpretation (5:21-22)
- Glenn Beck explains how Native
Americans became the blood-thirsty savages called "Lamanites" in the Book of Mormon (5:21)
- 2 Nephi 4-5: Because of their unbelief,
the Lamanites are cursed, receive a skin of blackness
- Mitt Romney and the Curse of
- Did God curse Mitt Romney by darkening his skin? (5:21)
- The LDS church finally admits it was
wrong about race. (So it now rejects its own scriptures.) (5:21-23)
- The Annotated Book of Mormon