Meet Nephi | Come Follow Me Week #2 | 1 Nephi Chapter One


Nephi the ProphetAs you first meet Nephi, when he introduces himself here in chapter one, you might be like many readers who tend to think of him as probably in his teens as he is writing this. He probably was in his teens as these events took place—in other words, when his father, Lehi, took his family and fled from Jerusalem, about 600 years before the birth of Christ. But Nephi is probably actually in his fifties as he is writing this now. If you were to check his writings in 2 Nephi 5:28–33, you would find that it has already been thirty years since they landed in America. Also, since it was eight years from the time the family left Jerusalem before they even got on their ship to sail to America (2 Nephi 17:4), Nephi has to be somewhere in his fifties at the time he is writing what we see here in chapter one.

This is an excerpt from The Book of Mormon Made Easier for Teens

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The point is, Nephi is a mature adult at the time he is writing this to us, and he is looking back at what took place many years ago, in his young life, as he shares with us his thoughts. He is picking out things he feels would be important to teach us from his own life’s experiences. For example, look at verse one, next, and see if you can pick out important messages he wants you to learn from what he is writing.

Book of Mormon Map

Also, just a reminder that Jerusalem, at the time in history referred to here, is a very wicked city located in the country of Israel at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, north of Egypt, in the tops of the mountains.

Let’s join Nephi now as he introduces himself to us.

1 I, NEPHI, having been born of goodly parents [“goodly” is an Old Testament word meaning praiseworthy, noble, or morally good, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible], therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions [troubles] in the course of my days [during my life so far], nevertheless, having been highly favored [greatly blessed] of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries [basic doctrines of the gospel] of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.

For perspective, we might just take a quick look at a few of the “many afflictions” in Nephi’s life up to this point. He was nearly murdered four times by his own brothers (1 Nephi 7:16, 1 Nephi 16:37, 1 Nephi 17:45, 2 Nephi 5:4). Laban tried to kill him and his brothers (1 Nephi 3:25). They spent eight difficult years in the wilderness. He had much opposition in building the ship (1 Nephi 17), plus being tied up on the ship (1 Nephi 18). And after they arrived in America, his brothers again tried to kill him (2 Nephi 5:2–4).

By the way, don’t forget that the Holy Ghost is THE teacher for us as we study and apply the Book of Mormon to our lives. He will prompt and teach you constantly as you study this sacred volume of scripture. And remember, experience has shown that it really helps to start each session of your study of the Book of Mormon with a prayer, asking Heavenly Father for help in understanding and applying the Book of Mormon to your personal life.

You may also wish to end your study session with a prayer, expressing gratitude for what you have learned and the feelings you have had.

Next, Nephi tells us what language he uses as he engraves his history on the metal plates and also bears testimony to us of the truthfulness of what he writes. One of the wonderful and important things here is that the Holy Ghost can also bear testimony to us of the truthfulness of Nephi’s testimony. This witness can come to us in many ways, including as feelings in our hearts, impressions and emphases in our minds, peace, clarity of thinking—for example, a simple clear impression that Nephi is right! 

This is an excerpt from The Book of Mormon Made Easier for Teens

 View all Book of Mormon Study Materials