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Book of Mormon Lesson Two

:

All Things According To His Will

Purpose: To help class members see, through the examples of
Lehi and Nephi, that safety and salvation come through obedience to the Lord.

The First Book of Nephi:

His Reign and Ministry

The entire title indicated above was
translated directly from the gold
plates. The words, “His Reign and
Ministry,” have a particular
significance. When Nephi became
the leader of the righteous branch
of the Lehi colony, the people
wanted to make him their king. He
objected, however, and asked that
he be allowed to serve them merely
as their “ruler and teacher.”1 He
therefore governed the people with
their consent and at the same time
presided over them as their
prophet and spiritual leader. It is
appropriate, therefore, to refer to
his life of administrative service as
both a “reign” and a “ministry.”

 

1 Nephi 1:1

In the Jewish culture the parents were
the chief teachers of their children and
the hoe was the only school. The moral
instruction of the children is
emphasized as one of the weightiest
obligations of the Father. The spiritual
learning of Nephi’s father would have
included the account of the creation,
the story of the great flood, the lives an
teachings of the prophets, the Law of
Moses, and the promise of the Messiah
who was to come. Additionally, Nephi’s
Father, Lehi, passed on his knowledge
of a number of secular skills as well.
This included a working knowledge of
the Egyptian language and a number of
trade skills. Nephi was proficient in
working with all kinds of metal and was
an artisan with wood. He was an
excellent hunter and acquainted with
the survival tactics employed by the
desert nomads.

Nephi states that he had many:

__________________________

In his day.

The word affliction in Hebrew is ‘kokopatheiia’. It means to experience affliction that
seems bad from an earthly perspective but in actuality is sent by God to accomplish His
eternal purposes.

What “kokopatheiia’ have you experienced in your own life—situations that seemed miserable from an
earthly perspective, but that actually were sent by God to accomplish his greater purposes? Would you
trade what you learned from these experiences? Would you give away the growth that occurred in order
to have had an easier life? If not, have you thanked your Savior for trusting you enough and loving you
enough to send you afflictions?  

In God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good. Think of the story of Joseph of Egypt. After
everything that his brothers did to him he makes this statement, “But as for you, ye thought evil against
me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive”. You see…
in God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good. Joseph tied himself to the pillar of this promise
and held on to it. Nothing in his story glosses over the presence of evil. Quite the contrary. Bloodstains,
tearstains, are everywhere. Joseph's heart was rubbed raw against the rocks of disloyalty and
miscarried justice. Yet time and time again, God redeemed the pain. The torn robe became a royal one.
The pit became a palace. The broken family grew old together. The very acts intended to destroy God’s
servant turned out to strengthen him. But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto
good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. But as for you, ye thought evil against
me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. God , the
master weaver. He stretches the yarn and intertwines the colors, the ragged twine with the velvet strings,
the pains with the pleasures. Nothing escapes his reach. He passed the shuttle back and forth across
the generations, and as he does, a design emerges. Satan weaves; God reweaves.

What situation are currently experiencing that could benefit from God’s ability to reweave? How can you
manifest more faith in this process?

“Prophets Prophesying”

“For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of
Zedekiah…and in the same year there came many prophets prophesying”

1 Nephi 1:4

What does the Lord expect of us when he sends ‘prophets prophesying’? Lehi
shows us the five things that we should do whenever we listen to and receive
counsel from the prophets.

Scripture

What Lehi did

1 Nephi 1:5

“Went forth and prayed
unto the Lord”

1 Nephi 1:12

“He was filled with the spirit
of the Lord”

1 Nephi 1:14

”He did exclaim many
things unto the Lord; such
as: Great and marvelous
are thy works, O Lord God
Almighty:

1 Nephi 1:5

”His whole soul did rejoice”

1 Nephi 1:18

“He went forth among the
people, and began to
prophesy and to declare
unto them concerning the
things which he had both
seen and heard”.

1 Nephi 2:3

”And it came to pass that
he was obedient unto the
word of the Lord,
wherefore he did as the
Lord commanded him”

What I can do

2 Nephi 2:7

“And it came to pass that he built an altar of stones, and made an offering unto the Lord, and gave

thanks unto the Lord our God”

“Note that he did not build a “stone altar” but an “altar of stones.” The former would imply an altar of
cut stones mortared together, but this was not allowed. Exodus 20:25 says the stones had to be
separate, natural, or uncut stones which were piled together without mortar. This is typical of many
technicalities in the Book of Mormon which an unschooled youth like Joseph Smith would not have
known. He could not have helped but betray his ignorance had he been writing this book on his own”.

Cleon Skousen, 2011

As you read 1 Nephi 2, did you identify yourself with Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Nephi, or
Lehi? Why?

An attitude of gratitude

Even though Lehi had just left all of his world possessions behind, even though his life had been
threatened and his sons were murmuring against him, Lehi took the time to express his gratitude to
the Lord. A grateful heart sees each day as a gift. Thankful people focus less on what they lack
and more on the privileges they have. If Lehi could find things to be grateful for in his time of
tribulation, shouldn’t we be equally grateful? For the jam on our toast and the milk on our cereal.
For the blanket that calms us and the joke that delights us and the warm sun that reminds us of
God’s love. For the thousands of planes that did not crash today. For the men who didn’t cheat on
their wives, and the wives who didn’t turn from their men, and the kids who, in spite of unspeakable
pressure to dishonor their parents, decided not to do so. Thank you, Lord. The grateful heart is
like a magnet sweeping over the day, collecting reasons for gratitude. A zillion diamonds sparkle
against the velvet of your sky every night. Thank you, God. A miracle of muscles enables your eyes
to read these words and your brain to process them. Thank you, God. Your lungs inhale and exhale
eleven thousand liters of air every day. Your heart will beat about three billion times in your lifetime.
Your brain is a veritable electric generator of power. Thank you, God. Gratitude gets us through
the hard stuff. To reflect on your blessings is to rehearse God’s accomplishments. To rehearse
God’s accomplishments is to discover his heart. To discover his heart is to discover not just good
gifts but the Good Giver. Gratitude always leaves us looking at God and away from dread. It does
to anxiety what the morning sun does to valley mist. It burns it up. Join the ranks of the ten percent
who give God a standing ovation.

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”

Ephesian 5:20

1 Nephi 3:7

“The happiness of the Latter-day Saints, the peace of the Latter-day Saints,
the progress of the Latter-day Saints, the prosperity of the Latterday Saints, and the eternal salvation and
exaltation of this people lie in walking in obedience to the counsels of … God.”
Gordon B Hinckley

My brothers and sisters, the great test of this life is
obedience. “We will prove them herewith,” said the
Lord, “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the
Lord their God shall command them.” Thomas S Monson

God gives us commandments to bless us. The devil would have us break these
commandments to curse us. President Ezra Taft Benson

How have you been blessed as you have kept the commandments of the Lord?

1 Nephi 5

Since it had taken Nephi and his brethren two or three weeks to make the journey each way to
Jerusalem and back and they had no doubt spent considerable time in hiding after the slaying of
Laban, it is likely that Nephi and his brethren had been gone for several months. No wonder Sariah
had given up hope!

The Brass Plates

As the first opportunity Lehi took the precious brass plates and read them. They contained the
five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers. They also included
the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The books of Samuel, the books of First and Second kings,
The Chronicles, and Isaiah. There were also other books which are known to have been in the
brass pates but are not in our current Old Testament (Zenos, Zenoch, Neum, Ezias) and the
words of the prophet Jeremiah.

Lehi’s prophecies regarding the brass plates (v.17-19)

“And (Lehi) began to prophesy concerning his seed– that these plates of brass should go
__________ unto all _____________, kindreds, ____________ and people who _____________
_______ _________ _____________. Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never
____________; neither should they be dimmed any more by _________.

Great Worth

“We had obtained the records…and found that they were of…great worth unto us”…

“ I would like to speak about one of
the most significant gifts given to the world in modern times. The gift I  am
thinking of is more important than any of the inventions that have come
out of the industrial and technological revolutions. This is a gift of greater
value to mankind than even the many wonderful advances we have seen
in modern medicine. It is of greater worth to mankind than the
development of flight or space travel. I speak of the gift of The Book of
Mormon, given to mankind 156 years ago” Ezra Taft Benson, 1985

Have you personally succeeded in reading the scriptures enough to

“make them of great worth unto you”?