“Need of Much Nourishment”

Brant Gardner

This verse is Nephi’s first mention of children. I estimate that the weddings in the valley of Lemuel had occurred at least seven, perhaps eight years earlier. The timing depends on how we read Nephi’s statement that “we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness” (1 Ne. 17:4). This statement comes after they have departed from Nahom. However, we cannot tell how it relates to the various parts of the journey. We have noted that the family probably spent more than a year in the valley of Lemuel. That time may or may not be part of Nephi’s “eight years in the wilderness.” Nevertheless, Nephi’s wife could have had three children in this time, assuming that each child was nursed for two years. Given the hardships, however, we might expect perhaps two. It would not be surprising if the oldest were close to six or seven (see 1 Ne. 17:8).

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1