“Out of Captivity”

Church Educational System
There are expressions in this part of the prophecy that on the surface seem to have little importance but that are of great significance. For example, Nephi says these colonists fled ‘out of captivity’ as they came to the New World. Did they really ‘flee out of captivity’? How did Nephi know that?

When it is realized how despotic the European kings were at this period, it is easily understood that the colonists did indeed flee from captivity and oppression. Under such kings as James I of England, there was hardly a semblance of freedom. He was the supreme dictator in government, in economics, in education (what there was of it), and in the state religion. He controlled the detailed lives of his people.

France, Spain, England, and Portugal were the principal powers involved in the discovery and exploration of America, and this is significant, as we shall point out later. All were ruled by despots, and when immigrants finally were allowed to leave the ‘mother countries, ’ they indeed fled from captivity. The history of the Pilgrims and Puritans gives ample evidence of this fact

(Mark E. Petersen, The Great Prologue, pp. 32–33)

Book of Mormon Student Manual (1996 Edition)