“Nephi Beholds His Seed and the Seed of His Brethren”

Monte S. Nyman

The scene changes, Nephi is shown his seed and the seed of his brethren in the land of promise (the Americas), where they were destined to go. There are actually three scenes, each one covering a different time period, that are shown to Nephi in this chapter. The first scene covers the period from after their arrival in the promised land, through their multiplying exceedingly, until the visit of the Savior in A.D. 34 (vv. 1–10). Many generations represent several hundreds of years. Forty years after leaving Jerusalem they “had already had wars and contentions with [their] brethren” (2 Nephi 5:34). Wars continued periodically throughout the next nearly six hundred years. Nephi’s brief summary is appropriate for the time period.

Nephi saw the terrible three-hour storm in the beginning of A.D. 34, followed by three days of darkness (3 Nephi 8:4). The mist of darkness was literal, not the symbolic temptations of the devil in Lehi’s dream as later interpreted by the angel (v. 17). However, the darkness over the land just prior to the Savior’s visit was brought about by the people previously having yielded to Satan’s temptations. Those who survived “the great and terrible destructions of the Lord” were the more righteous. Nephi then gives us a brief but great overview of the Savior’s visit.

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record