Understanding 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi

Yesterday I took the time to attend the temple. Since my local temple is being renovated, attending the temple involved leaving my home before 5 am and returning to my home at 6 pm. I suppose I could have spent less time, but it seemed silly to commute 7 hours to only perform one proxy endowment for my relatives.

During the hours of driving (and the hour waiting between sessions), I chose to listen to the Book of Mormon. I adore the Book of Mormon. And as I’ve read and listened and studied over the years, my appreciation for the Book of Mormon continues to grow. Here are a few tips that occur to me, now that I’ve had a chance to power through the content of the small plates in short order.

1 Nephi

The first book of Nephi is largely associated with the sacred history of Lehi’s call as a prophet and subsequent flight to the Promised Land. I have realized over the years that it is Lehi’s preaching of a Messiah to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant that will bless all the peoples of the earth that makes the people wish to murder him. The Book of Mormon narrative moves away from Jerusalem and the Deuteronomists in short order, but Laman and Lemuel continue to demonstrate how much the Deuteronomists reviled the idea of a Messiah who, as the son of God, would be sacrificed for the world. They also represent the idea that primogeniture should determine rule, rather than righteousness.

After Lehi leaves Jerusalem, I find it notable that he sends his sons back for two things. The first and most important was the word of God, in the form of the Brass Plates. The second and crucial “thing” was the additional persons so that Lehi’s children could have families. Note that Laman and Lemuel were far less conflicted about going back for wives. For our day, I would suggest that when faced with a choice between God and family, the Book of Mormon suggests that God is more important than family, but family is extremely important.

2 Nephi

I don’t know why 2 Nephi starts with a continuation of the sacred history. My husband shared a conjecture he read that 2 Nephi starts with the preaching of Lehi as a sort of parallelism to the way 1 Nephi starts with the preaching of Lehi.

The bulk of 2 Nephi, however, is consumed with Nephi’s record of three testimonies of the Messiah.

Nephi starts with the sermons of Nephi’s brother, Jacob. These are a delight, demonstrating perhaps most clearly the understanding of how Jesus Christ saves all mankind from the transgression of Adam and Eve.

Nephi continues with Isaiah. And this is where many people give up reading the Book of Mormon (when attempting a straight read through). Isaiah is opaque. Even Nephi admits that only someone like himself, steeped in the culture and history from the time of Isaiah to the reign of King Zedekiah, can understand these Isaiah passages. As I was driving or sitting in the temple chapel during these chapters, I couldn’t do what I recommend to you. Get a good alternate translation of the Bible to help for those (man) moments when you say “Whhaaatt?!?!?” (e.g., my husband has been reading The Open Bible, a New KJV with study helps, during our family Bible readings). More thoughts on Isaiah below.

FInally, Nephi gives us his own testimony of the redemption of Israel as a nation, the continuation of a remnant of the descendants of Lehi (despite the eventual destruction of Nephi’s descendants for their wickedness), and the power of Jesus Christ to save individuals.

Why Isaiah?

I remember the lecture I heard where Margaret Barker spoke, a lecture that revolutionized my understanding of the Book of Mormon. Professor Barker is not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. She is a British Methodist who studied theology at Cambridge University. She holds a Doctor of Divinity conferred by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

What Margaret Barker shared about temple theology and her reading of the Book of Mormon clarified to me the tension between the believers in a future Messiah (e.g., Lehi and Nephi) and those who honored Moses to the point that they rejected Abraham and any teaching of a future Messiah.

Lehi and Nephi had faced murderous anti-Messiah reactions in Jerusalem, and continued to face extreme rejection from Laman and Lemuel following their flight from Jerusalem. So I can understand why Nephi found Isaiah to be so precious.

Isaiah was still so honored that the Deuteronomists hadn’t eviscerated his words regarding a Messiah. The most clear snippets regarding Christ were selected by Handel as the libretto for his Messiah.

Second, Isaiah had foretold the attack of the Assyrians on Israel, which had subsequently come to pass. Nephi and Lehi had foretold the Babylonian captivity, but the unbelievers had no proof that this Babylonian captivity had actually happened (until Nephites encountered the people of Zarahemla generations later). 1 By quoting Isaiah, Nephi was able to reassure himself and his believers that prophets can save their people by warning them against unrighteousness, the clear reason Isaiah gave for why God allowed Assyria to prevail over the Kingdom of Judah.

As a side note, Isaiah 5 is a short, grape-centric, and vengeful-God version of the parable we find in Jacob 5. I’ll just say that I love the clarity of plainness the Book of Mormon prophets bring to doctrines, because sometimes the Old Testament and other ancient texts can be super-opaque even to those of us with access to google and decades of learning on the topic.

If you are having insights I neglected to mention, please comment!

Notes:

  1. Orson Scott Card suggests the people of Zarahemla might not have been Mulekites, but some other group. Upon learning the language of the people of Mosiah, Card suggests they were trying to establish primacy over the people of Mosiah by claiming, “That fellow who was the king over your ancestors… we’re his descendants.”
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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

18 thoughts on “Understanding 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi

  1. Thanks Meg for the insights. It didn’t occur to me that Laman and Lemuel were anti- Messiah, but makes perfect sense. And that primogeniture did bring so much trouble to this group of people that it seems to me that it wasn’t such a good idea to begin with. One of those traditions or laws that brings more pain to a family and stirs hate and jealousy among siblings. I was just reading Mosiah and Abinadi quotes Isaiah also, including the famous chapter 53 to prove to the wicked priests of King Noah that the Messiah would come not too far away in their future.

  2. Thanks for your insights Meg. I had not really thought of Laman and Lemuel in an anti-Messianic light before. That is an interesting and informative take on their situation.
    That anti-Messiah theme appears a couple of more times in the Book of Mormon also. But the teaching by Jacob in 2 Nephi of one of the most powerful testimonies of Christ I have ever read.

    Glenn

  3. My husband and I were having a great discussion about Abinadi’s sermon this morning. Abinadi was so excellent, explaining clearly why the priests of Noah weren’t following even the Mosaic law they pretended was so important, and then pointing out that their belief that all would be saved without any righteousness or repentance was wrong (citing Isaiah 53, as I recall).

    Then in conversation with my sister, she mentioned her conjecture that Abinadi was a relative of Amaleki (son of Abinadom). Amaleki was the final author writing in the small plates of Nephi, whose brother went with Zeniff when the “considerable number” returned to the land of Nephi following the first messed up attempt. Given Amaleki’s firm testimony of Christ, it makes sense that his brother would have been similarly firm in his knowledge of the gospel and the scriptures. So whether Abinadi was the brother of Amaleki or the son of the brother of Amaleki, it’s cool to imagine that connection. Not to mention the similarity between the name Abinadi and the name of Amaleki’s father, Abinadom.

  4. Joseph Spencer has suggested that Abinadi offered a unique interpretation of Isaiah’s teachings, contrasting that of Nephi’s teachings. Nephi taught a community covenant, which was focused on baptism.

    King Noah’s priests asked Abinadi about the verses discussing “how beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of him who publishes peace.” This, for them, was already fulfilled in Zeniff, who returned the people back to the land of promise (the Land of Nephi, likely in the mountains), and continued in Zeniff’s son, Noah.

    Abinadi had to reinterpret the community covenant involved in Isaiah’s writings, to create an individualized covenant that Alma would incorporate at the waters of Mormon. There wasn’t just one person who would fulfill the promise, but there would be many, including the Messiah, whose feet would be beautiful on the mountains anywhere they accepted God.

    Later, the resurrected Jesus would reaffirm Nephi’s interpretation of a covenant community for baptism.

    Also, prior to Jacob being a witness of Christ, Nephi uses his father, Lehi, as one of the three witnesses of the Messiah in 1 Nephi. Lehi’s involvement is primarily placed between bookends of “my father dwelt in a tent.”

  5. I kind of wish the Book of Mormon had rendered that verse “My father dwelt in an holy tabernacle.” It appears to me that Lehi may have created a tabernacle based on the information in the brass plates regarding how the tabernacle of the Lord was constructed in the days of Moses.

    At the very least, such conjecture has transformed that short verse from an amusing snippet into something that provokes thought about how I might make of my own dwelling a sacred space. Now that I expect to have extra time on my hand for dwelling on the sacred come January 2019…

  6. One of the sisters I minister to was reading the Book of Mormon and although she was the daughter of a seminary teacher in her youth she still had some important questions that she asked of me and my companion via email. One of the questions she asked was about the sequence of events when Lehi left Jerusalem. Would it not have been easier for Lehi to visit his relative, the military governor of Jerusalem, Laban, and offer a gift in exchange for the records? However Lehi had been warned that the people of Jerusalem sought to take away his life, and as we learn from Nephi’s conversation with Zoram when he entered Laban’s home to get the records, Laban was pretty familiar with the leaders of Jerusalem who would be those who sought to take away his father’s life.
    It is likely that Lehi was the particular focus of enmity from the leaders therefore he had to stay safe in the wilderness while his sons returned to take care of other items. For those who struggle with the need that Nephi had to take the life of Laban who was lying there in a drunken stupor and would not have offered up much resistance, it should become evident that important issues hinged on Laban’s death. First, as soon as Laban sobered he would recognize that it was Lehi’s sons who took the records. The idea that Laban was Jerusalem’s military governor is based on the number of men he had in his command, fifty, which has been determined as the number of men commanded by the military governors of other biblical era cities, as well as Nephi’s suggestion (Nephi 4:1) that Laban had ultimate recourse to 10,000.
    A sober, living Laban would be relentless and likely successful in tracking down Lehi and his family. With Laban out of the picture it is likely that few would think of Lehi or his sons as responsible for the missing records as well as a valuable servant. This made it possible for the sons to return to the land of Jerusalem and secure a posterity in the form of Ishmael and his family.

  7. So what did you think of the Philadelphia temple? I worked there starting when it opened, for about a year and a half.

  8. I remember touring the Philadelphia temple during the open house, the same month that we’d toured the Fort Collins temple. I think the Philadelphia temple is particularly exquisite, incorporating as it does so many details that reflect the unique heritage of this great colonial city. One painting I particularly love is on the wall women see as they leave the women’s dressing room. The painting depicts a lovely young woman kneeling in devotion, her hair in intricate braids, her dark skin contrasting with the white of her dress. It’s a perfect homage to the long history of abolitionists in Philadelphia and the original inclusive stance of the Church of Jesus Christ. And for any who might not have gotten the message that all children of God are precious to Him, it’s a visceral reminder that the temple is a fit place for all of God’s righteous children.

  9. The anti-Messiah thing fits, but I think a major point is that the leadership of the Jews were murderous child-sacrificers. They were killing children in sacrifice to Baal. So, of course they were anti-Messiah-ites.

    Ritualiized officially-sanctioned child killing seems to be the “final straw” indicating full ripeness. It was why the Canaanites had to be totally wiped out post-Exodus. And the failure to do that completely allowed the infection of Baal worship to creep back into the two kingdoms.

    It wasn’t just “plain” idolatry that was the downfall of the Northern Kingdom, it was child-sacrifice as part and parcel of that idolatry. And the same thing for Judah.

    Remember that the Assyrians and the Babylonians executed all the _leadership_. Historians say it was a big deal, a big showy production doing that. And I surmise from the scriptures that the Lord allowed that because the leadership class was totally corrupt and murderous.

    The rank-and-file Israelites of the Northern kingdom were bad enough to lose their cohesive group identity as Israelites, but many individuals survived by being “merely” captives. (We’re told their descendents are still out there, unknown and “lost.”)

    The rank-and-file Jews of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, collectively, were bad enough to be taken into captivity, but not so bad as to lose their identity as Jews/Israelites. The Jews still existed in an identifiable collective sense, whereas the 10 tribes are not identifiable (other than by revelation, on an individual level) as a group.

    So to say that L&L were “anti Messiah” is about the same as saying they were at least “Leaning” towards the child-sacrificer nature of the leadership.

    And Nephi makes clear they tried or intended to kill him on three occasions: Leaving him tied up in the desert, tied up on the ship (i think that implies they were going to throw him overboard) , and the intent to kill him in the new world which cause Nephi’s group to flee for their lives.

    L&L clearly had murder in their hearts, much like the child-sacrificers, even if they didn’t actually carry it out.

    In a way, Nephi’s execution of Laban played into L&L’s bad attitude. I can easily envision them asking “What, are you going to kill us too, if you don’t get your way?”

    Pat is right, Laban had to die to ensure the group’s safety. But his death also totally removed the possibility for L&L sneaking back and taking up their old life at the family estate. lehi’s boys were the prime suspects in the death. That had to have really p-ed off L&L. And now they had to fear that Nephi would kill them too, because in their eyes “Nephi killed a man to get his way,”

    A clandestine trip back to get Ishmael and his family could have confirmed that Lehi’s boys were considered the prime suspects, but no one was going to chase them down, because (maybe) no one liked Laban anyway.

    (I’ve written elsewhere that Nephi did Laban a favor by swiftly executing him while anesthetized, whereas the Babylonians would have tortured him to death, since he was a military leader, had he been captured.)

  10. Hi Bookslinger,

    You wrote:

    “The anti-Messiah thing fits, but I think a major point is that the leadership of the Jews were murderous child-sacrificers.”

    I’m going to summarize a bunch of history below to illustrate that there were many terrible things going on, such as flagrant sexual depravity and indiscriminate murder. Therefore it is insufficient to assert that the leaders of the Kingdom of Judah were cast off simply for killing children as sacrifices to the “king” (mlk or Moloch, Ba’al, or Amon) god of the Canaanites.

    On the other hand, the Deuteronomists would have seen the prophesied sacrifice of God’s own son to redeem the world as a resurgence of the Canaanite worship of Moloch.

    I have seen hundreds of intricate funerary urns that held the ashes of sacrificed infants (there’s a museum with the urns in Sant’Antioco on the Italian island of Sardinia). Therefore I reject the conjecture that the Canaanite worship was merely some sort of purification ritual involving fire.

    Manasseh was notorious for his advocacy of Moloch, which involved killing one’s firstborn children. It is less clear which evil was associated with Manasseh’s successors, though I’ll grant that it appears Amon was also one who advocated the worship of Moloch. Manasseh, who ruled for 55 years, was also notorious for killing the priests associated with the reforms of Manasseh’s father, Hezekiah.

    Think of Manasseh and Hezekiah as a badder version of Zeniff and Noah.

    Manasseh’s grandson, Josiah, was noted for being righteous. This was the time of the Deuteronomist reform. Given the reaction to Manasseh, it makes sense that the reforms under Josiah would reject the idea that God would sacrifice His son. It was thus in the name of righteousness that Josiah and his priests suppressed worship of a future Messiah and deprecated the traditional regard for Abraham, who was the covenant father most associated with prophecies of a Messiah. Moses was elevated as the man to be regarded as the main prophet of God, somewhat like the regard for Mohammed that we see in Islam (which honors Jesus Christ, but deprecates His worship from the fervor seen among Christians).

    The Kingdom of Judah was transfixed by the three-way battle between Assyria, Egypt, and Babylon. Josiah was killed when he attempted to block Egypt’s march against a nascent Babylon. Josiah’s third son ruled for only three months before being deposed. Josiah’s second son, Jehoiakim, was put on the throne by Egypt and ruled for eleven years. Jehoiakim is reputed to have committed incest with his mother (Zebidah), daughter-in-law, and stepmother (Hamautal, mother of both Josiah’s immediate successor and Zedekiah). Jehoiakim was also in the habit of murdering men, then having sex with their widows and, through this corrupted view of levirate marriage, taking possession of the dead men’s property. This is parallel to what occurred when Amalekiah killed the King of the Lamanites, then persuaded the widowed Queen of the Lamanites to accept his as her husband, and then took possession of the Kingdom of the Lamanites.

    It is not clear whether Jehoiakim advocated worship of Moloch.

    Jehoiakim switched his allegiance to Egypt (apparently political loyalty, like marital loyalty, was not a strong point). Babylon beseiged Jehoiakim’s kingdom. When Jerusalem capitulated, Nebuchadnezzar had Jehoiakim killed and thrown from the wall of Jerusalem, forbidding anyone from providing the remains proper burial. This aligned with Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding how Jehoiakim would perish.

    Jehoiakim’s son ruled for three months before Nebuchadnezzar deposed the boy in favor of his 21-year-old uncle, Zedekiah. Zedekiah ruled for 11 years. Like the fickle Jehoiakim, Zedekiah switched allegiances (from Babylon to Egypt). For this Jerusalem was again besieged. When Nebuchadnezzar captured Zedekiah, he forced him to watch as Nebuchadnezzar had Zedekiah’s sons killed. Then Zedekiah’s eyes were put out and he was bound and marched to Babylon, where he lived in captivity until the age of of about 56.

    The Book of Mormon abounds with folks having elements of mlk (Biblical Hebrew מלך (mlk) usually stands for מֶלֶךְ‎ melek “king.”) in their names, many of whom are associated with seeking kingship. I don’t recall seeing any mlk names prior to the merging of the Nephites with the so-called Mulekites, self-reported followers of a surviving son of Zedekiah.

  11. — I’m going to summarize a bunch of history below to illustrate that there were many terrible things going on, such as flagrant sexual depravity and indiscriminate murder. Therefore it is insufficient to assert that the leaders of the Kingdom of Judah were cast off simply for killing children as sacrifices to the “king” (mlk or Moloch, Ba’al, or Amon) god of the Canaanites.—

    Well, yeah. Almost a “Lesser included charge” kind of thing. Of the three, sexual depravity, adult murder, and child murder, I think child murder would be the worst, “the final straw” so to speak. Stealing from orphans, widows, and the poor was among the charges too.

    I think we’re still on the same page. The rot had gotten a strong hold by the time of Josiah. And I think it possible that Josiah and the priestly class of his time were merely relatively more righteous.

    Lehi and whatever other righteous prophets/priests there were at the time were likely outsiders. The “insiders” in the political, military, and priestly classes had to have been all corrupt, all “in on” the abominations for which Moses promised they would be scourged. In effect, the political/military/priestly classes of Lehi’s day had become as bad as the Canaanites during the Exodus period.

    IE, after Lehi and whatever other prophets/groups left, there were no good guys among the ruling class in Judah. Jerusalem was conquered during Nephi’s lifetime.

    I guess my point is that messianic -doctrinal- disagreements between the anti-Messiah-ites/Deuteronomists versus the Lehi-ites is insufficient for the murderous persecution of Lehi. I think they wanted to kill him primarily because they were adulterers, murderers and child sacrificers first, and Lehi (Like Isaiah and Jeremiah) was preaching against adultery, murder and child sacrifice. It wasn’t just that Lehi was pro-Messiah… Lehi was trying to end the things they enjoyed most. IOW, I think you’re giving the Deuteronomists of Lehi’s day too much credit by supposing they were anti-Moloch and therefore anti-Messiah.

    Your connection of L&L to the “Deuteronomists” then opened my mind to the possibility/likelihood that L&L were angry at Lehi and Nephi not -only- because a) they were losing their comfy life in Jerusalem, and b) Nephi’s killing of Laban precluded them from ditching the group and sneaking back and picking up life where they left off… but ALSO they were angry that they were going to be losing out on the depraved so-called “fun” the cool crowd were having at all those orgies/etc.

    someone in our Gospel Doctrine class thought L&L were still righteous because they saw an angel. I disagreed; I think they were wicked enough to see an angel.

    In one sense, modern day Rev Jeremiah Wright was correct. The US, and most all of Western Civ, is now so sexually depraved, and morally corrupt, and killing babies in the womb or just as they come out (partial birth abortion) that, according to Moses, God is going to have to damn us. Taken in that context, Wright was merely echoing Moses and the BoM prophets.

  12. I love you, Bookslinger, but you’re so engrossed with your point that it must have been child sacrifice that you’ve not notice my main point.

    I’ve written enough about why the Deuteronomists saw the Messianic message as conflated with the horrific practice of child sacrifice, so I’ll just ask you to review what I’ve said above.

    The people of Jerusalem didn’t try to kill Lehi until after he began speaking about the Messiah. The call to repent of sin had merely provoked laughter.

    People are truly dedicated to a path when they think it is right, even holy. Self-indulgence is not a powerful enough magic to consistently produce the apostasies we see in the BC portions of the Book of Mormon. But a thread of belief that Moses was sufficient and belief in a Messiah was actively wrong (because of how it was perceived to align with child sacrifice as nearly practiced by Abraham) is sufficient to explain how children of God could continue to insist that the believers in a Christ were dangerously wrong.

    Only once Christ appears in the New World do we see apostasies that involve heresies other than simple rejection of a future Messiah in favor of the sufficiency of the Law of Moses.

  13. Meg, my understanding from reading Exodus through Deuteronomy, and then Isaiah/Jeremiah, is that the Lord did not wipe out the Northern Kingdom of Israel and cause the decimation and captivity of the Southern Kingdom of Judah due to their _doctrinal_ errors, but rather their _abominations_. They were scourged for their acts (and, agreed, not just child sacrifice, though that was the nadir), not their beliefs.

    (Doctrinal error and abomination are a cycle, one leading to the other: Loss of correct faith leads to sin, and sin leads to loss of faith.)

    I even see a parallel to the persecution of Joseph Smith. As you illustrated, the prime movers of those who wanted him dead, not the rank-and-file of the mobbers, were those in the adultery ring. The useful idiots in the mob were just duped by their leaders into thinking Joseph was a dangerous religious heretic.

    The charge of heresy against Lehi would have been merely the cover story for the masses. The leadership and upper classes at the time had to have almost totally been into the abominations, otherwise the Lord would not have triggered the consequences that Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah had warned about.

    Moses was pretty clear why the Canaanites deserved to be wiped out, and how that would apply to Israel if Israel ever picked up the same behavior.

    One can then reason backwards… if the Lord triggered those consequences, then Israel/Judah must have met the conditions.

    “Self-indulgence is not a powerful enough magic to consistently produce the apostasies we see in the BC portions of the Book of Mormon. But a thread of belief that Moses was sufficient…. ”

    I have a more cynical view of human nature, and therefore think you got it backwards. Self-indulgence is powerful enough to produce apostasy, and the claim that Moses was sufficient is the after-the-fact justification/cover story. This played out in the BC portion of the BoM, and in ancient Judah, and among the apostates of 1840’s Nauvoo. Though in Nauvoo, Moses wasn’t the cover story, but the predominantly Protestant twisting of Paul, and “just believe, and we’ll all be saved.”

    You made a good case in your book for “it was all/mainly about the illicit sex” for the Nauvoo apostates conspiring to kill Joseph. Bennet and Law didn’t misunderstand Joseph on eternal marriage. They twisted it and used it as a cover story to seduce women, perhaps even deceiving some other men to join in. (Inveterate sinners want there to be more people joining in, so they can use “Hey, everyone’s doing it” as another excuse.)

    And I’m saying it was most likely the same (and worse, because they were killing children too) back in the old days of Judah circa 600 BC.

  14. Another example where the “stated/public issue” that the bad guys used to persecute the good guys was in the Missouri persecutions. The stated/public issue was the “dangerous” religious beliefs of the saints (though Sidney’s “Salt Speech” was also used, but mob persecutions had preceeded that). But the underlying reason was political, as the Saints were becoming the new majority, and were becoming a new political force that was anti-slavery, whereas the pre-existing inhabitants were pro-slavery.

  15. Today we sacrifice children to the god of prosperity, but we don’t honor the ashes of our dead with beautiful carved containers. Here I’m speaking of society at large, not you when I personally.

    I also wanted to remind you that Bennett did not know Joseph‘s teachings about plural marriage until October 1843. By that point, he was no longer attempting to twist Joseph‘s teachings. Sidney Rigdon and William Law, on the other hand were presented with Joseph’s teachings regarding the sanctity of marriage, even if the mother of future children wasn’t the first wife. It appears William Law’s reason for is apostasy was convolved with greed. Sidney Rigdon‘s reason for apostasy was apparently pride. I don’t think that Sidney Rigdon himself was involved in illicit sexual behavior, though it’s possible his love ones were.

  16. Correction: “Another example where the “stated/public” issue, that the bad guys used to persecute the good guys, was not the _real_ issue … was in the Missouri persecutions.”

  17. For the last 3 years I’ve been doing a “deep” study of the Book of Mormon, analyzing each verse, trying to understand nuances of wording, evaluating historical information available (mostly the 1 and 2 Nephi parts), and studying what various apostles and prophets have taught about what I study. That has been extremely valuable. But as I have gone back to follow President Nelson’s counsel and call to “speed read” in a sense, I am overwhelmed with the recognition of the witness of the centrality of the Saviors role in our divine destiny as Celestial children in mortality and the eagerness and determination of Lehi, Nephi, Isaiah and Jacob to make that known. I initially was somewhat irritated by the idea of a quick read taking me away from my study, but am seeing it now as a gift to shore up my covenant connection with Jesus Christ.

    I’ve been using Grant Hardy’s “A Reader’s Edition” of The Book of Mormon, and the format has been very helpful in that recognition of the testimony of the Savior in the first 2 books.

  18. Hi Winona,

    I completely get what you are saying.

    It’s like this quick read gives us a chance to see the power and might that a slower and more deliberate study might allow us to miss.

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