1 Nephi 17
The Trip to Bountiful
Nephi and his family travel nearly eastward--Their women bore them children--God fed them raw meat and their women gave
plenty of suck--After 8 years they arrive at Bountiful on the Irreantum Sea--God told Nephi to build a ship on a mountain top--God
showed Nephi where to find ore to make tools--Nephi's brothers begin to murmur--Nephi's sermon warns of God's fiery serpents--Nephi's
brothers try to throw Nephi in the sea--God saves Nephi from his brothers by shaking them.
Version - Chapter 5: Traveling in the Wilderness
Chapter 7: Building the Ship
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.
|17:1 And it came to pass that we did again take our
journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward from that time forth. And we
did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear
children in the wilderness. ||
We did travel nearly eastward from that time forth.
They began by heading east into the wilderness, across the Arabian peninsula. They waded through much affliction
and their nameless women bore children in the wilderness.
(17:2-4) We did live upon raw meat ... our women did give plenty of suck.
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 And so great were the blessings of the
Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give
plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they
began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
|17:3 And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if
it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and
strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has
commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the
|17:4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years
in the wilderness. ||
|17:5 And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful,
because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the
Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which,
being interpreted, is many waters. ||
We beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum.
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. (The Arabian coastline doesn't abound in fruit or honey, and hasn't for many thousands of years.)
|17:6 And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents
by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions and much difficulty,
yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly
rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its
|17:7 And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had
been in the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the voice of the Lord came unto
me, saying: Arise, and get thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that
I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord. ||
(17:7-16) Arise, and get thee into the mountain.|
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.
While Nephi was crying on the mountain top, God told him to build a ship.
Nephi asked God where he would find the ore to make the metal to make the tools to make the ship.
God said it was no big deal. He showed Nephi where to find the ore to make the tools.
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, Nephi et al had no fire as they journeyed through the wilderness.
They ate raw meat, which God sweetened for them.
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.
|17:8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto
me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I
may carry thy people across these waters.
|17:9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten,
that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto
|17:10 And it came to pass that the Lord told me
whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.
|17:11 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make a
bellows wherewith to blow the fire, of the skins of beasts; and after I had made a
bellows, that I might have wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones together
that I might make fire.
|17:12 For the Lord had not hitherto suffered
that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness; for
he said: I will make thy food become sweet, that ye cook it not;
|17:13 And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare
the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch
as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall
know that it is by me that ye are led.
|17:14 Yea, and the Lord said
also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall know that I, the Lord, am
God; and that I, the Lord, did deliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out
of the land of Jerusalem.
|17:15 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the commandments of the
Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.
|17:16 And it came to pass that I did make tools of
the ore which I did molten out of the rock. ||
|17:17 And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship,
they began to murmur against me, saying: Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a
ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters. ||
(17:17-22) They began to murmur against me.|
But when Nephi's brothers saw what he was doing they began to murmur against him.
|17:18 And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that
they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would
they believe that I was instructed of the Lord. ||
|17:19 And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was
exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts; and
now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful they were glad in their hearts, insomuch
that they did rejoice over me, saying: We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we
knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a
|17:20 And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish
imaginations of his heart; yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have
wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with
child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were
death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem
than to have suffered these afflictions. ||
|17:21 Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which
time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we
might have been happy. ||
|17:22 And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a
righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his
commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous
people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto
his words; yea, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my
brethren murmur and complain against us. ||
|17:23 And it came to pass that
I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying: Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have
been led away out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of
the Lord? ||
(17:23-47) I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying....|
Whereupon Nephi began a long, boring 1000-word sermon.
|17:24 Yea, do ye suppose that they would have been led out of bondage, if
the Lord had not commanded Moses that he should lead them out of bondage? ||
|17:25 Now ye know that the children of Israel were in bondage; and ye know
that they were laden with tasks, which were grievous to be borne; wherefore, ye know that
it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be brought out of bondage. ||
|17:26 Now ye know that Moses was commanded of the Lord to do that great
work; and ye know that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and
thither, and they passed through on dry ground. ||
|17:27 But ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were
the armies of Pharaoh. ||
|17:28 And ye also know that they were fed with manna in the
|17:29 Yea, and ye also know that Moses, by his word according to the power
of God which was in him, smote the rock, and there came forth water, that the children of
Israel might quench their thirst. ||
|17:30 And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their
Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and
doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their
hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living
|17:31 And it came to pass that according to his word
he did destroy them; and according to his word he did lead them; and according to his word
he did do all things for them; and there was not any thing done save it were by his
|17:32 And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty
unto the driving out of the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to
|17:33 And now, do ye suppose that the children of this land, who were in
the land of promise, who were driven out by our fathers, do ye suppose that they were
righteous? Behold, I say unto you, Nay. ||
|17:34 Do ye suppose that our fathers would have been more choice than they
if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay. ||
|17:35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is
favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were
ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did
curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against
them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining
power over it. ||
|17:36 Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited;
and he hath created his children that they should possess it. ||
|17:37 And he raiseth up a righteous
nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked. ||
(17:37-38) The wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.|
God destroys entire nations of "wicked" people and curses the land for their sakes.
|17:38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands,
and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.
|17:39 He ruleth high in the heavens, for it
is his throne, and this earth is his footstool.
|17:40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he
loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and
he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the
land of Egypt. ||
|17:41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his
rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because
of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he
prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to
look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who
(17:41) The Lord straitened them ... He sent fiery flying serpents among them.|
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)
|17:42 And they did harden their hearts from time to time, and they did
revile against Moses, and also against God; nevertheless, ye know that they were led forth
by his matchless power into the land of promise. ||
|17:43 And now, after
all these things, the time has come that they have become wicked, yea, nearly unto
ripeness; and I know not but they are at this day about to be destroyed; for I know that
the day must surely come that they must be destroyed, save a few only, who shall be led
away into captivity. ||
|17:44 Wherefore, the Lord commanded my father that he should depart into the
wilderness; and the Jews also sought to take away his life; yea, and ye also have sought to
take away his life; wherefore, ye are murderers in your hearts and ye are like unto
|17:45 Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God.
Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard his voice from time to
time; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that
ye could not feel his words; wherefore, he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of
thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder. ||
Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you.
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.
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 was filled with the power of God even to the consuming of his flesh and whoever
touched him would wither like a dried reed.
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.
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.
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.
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."
|17:46 And ye also know that by the power of his almighty word he can cause
the earth that it shall pass away; yea, and ye know that by his word he can cause the
rough places to be made smooth, and smooth places shall be broken up. O, then, why is it,
that ye can be so hard in your hearts?
|17:47 Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is
pained; I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am full of the Spirit of
God, insomuch that my frame has no strength.
|17:48 And now it came to pass that when I had spoken
these words, they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the
sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the
name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the
power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me
shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for
God shall smite him.
|17:49 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto
them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold
their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.
|17:50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could
do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it
should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
|17:51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many
miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should
build a ship? ||
|17:52 And it came to pass that I,
Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were confounded and could not
contend against me; neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their
fingers, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the Spirit
of God; and thus it had wrought upon them. ||
|17:53 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me:
Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee,
but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that they may know that I am
the Lord their God. ||
|17:54 And it came to pass that I stretched forth my
hand unto my brethren, and they did not wither before me; but the Lord did shake them,
even according to the word which he had spoken. ||
|17:55 And now, they said: We know of a surety that the Lord is with thee,
for we know that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us. And they fell down
before me, and were about to worship me, but I would not suffer them, saying: I am thy
brother, yea, even thy younger brother; wherefore, worship the Lord thy God, and
honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land
which the Lord thy God shall give thee. ||
And it came to pass [17:1, 6, 7(2), 8, 10, 11, 16, 19, 23, 31, 48, 49, 52, 53, 54]
(17:6, 19) Exceedingly
(17:39) Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.
-- Isaiah 66:1
(17:55) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the
land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. -- Exodus 20:12