Lehites in Jerusalem and Arabia

Arrival in Bountiful

1 Nephi 17:5–6

The group arrives at a lush ad fruitful coastal region that they call Bountiful.

And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish. And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which, being interpreted, is many waters.

And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.

1 Nephi 17:7

The Lord tells Nephi to go up to the mountains.

And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been in the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying:

“Arise, and get thee into the mountain.”

And it came to pass that I arose and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the Lord.

1 Nephi 17:8

The Lord tells Nephi to build a ship.

And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying:

“Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.”

1 Nephi 17:9–10

Nephi asks where to find ore to make tools to build the ship; the Lord tells him.

And I said:

“Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?”

And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.

1 Nephi 17:11

Nephi builds fires and bellows.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make a bellows wherewith to blow the fire, of the skins of beasts; and after I had made a bellows, that I might have wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones together that I might make fire.

1 Nephi 17:15–16

Nephi makes tools out of ore.

Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence. And it came to pass that I did make tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock.

1 Nephi 17:17–18

When Laman and Lemuel see Nephi working, they mock him.

And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying:

“Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship; yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.”

And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship; neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.

1 Nephi 17:19

Nephi is deeply hurt by their unbelief.

And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceedingly sorrowful because of the hardness of their hearts;

1 Nephi 17:19–22

Laman and Lemuel continue to mock and scorn Nephi for his work; they blame him for all their problems.

And now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did rejoice over me, saying:

“We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a work. And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart; yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years; and our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered these afflictions.

“Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy. And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his words; yea, and our brother is like unto him.”

And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.

1 Nephi 17:23–47

In response, Nephi lectures his brothers, recounts the history of Israel, condemns their unbelief, and calls them to repentance.

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying:

1 Nephi 17:48

Upon hearing this, Laman and Lemuel are furious, and want to throw Nephi into the ocean.

And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words, they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea;…

1 Nephi 17:48–49

Nephi speaks on behalf of God in restraining Laman and Lemuel.

…and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying:

“In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him.”

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.

1 Nephi 17:50–52

Nephi again asserts God’s power in him; Laman and Lemuel, convinced, don’t dare lay a finger on him.

And I said unto them:

“If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done. And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?”

And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were confounded and could not contend against me; neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their fingers, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me,; and thus it had wrought upon them.

1 Nephi 17:53–54

The Lord tells Nephi to stretch out his arm—Laman and Lemuel receive a powerful shock.

And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me:

“Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that they may know that I am the Lord their God.”

And it came to pass that I stretched forth my hand unto my brethren, and they did not wither before me; but the Lord did shake them, even according to the word which he had spoken.

1 Nephi 17:54–55, 18:1

Laman and Lemuel acknowledge Nephi’s divine authority; they begin to worship Nephi, but Nephi tells them to worship God instead.

And now, they said:

“We know of a surety that the Lord is with thee, for we know that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us.”

And they fell down before me, and were about to worship me, but I would not suffer them, saying:

“I am thy brother, yea, even thy younger brother; wherefore, worship the Lord thy God, and honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee.”


And it came to pass that they did worship the Lord, and did go forth with me;

1 Nephi 18:1–2

Nephi and his brothers continue construction on the boat.

…and we did work timbers of curious workmanship. And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship.

Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of men.

1 Nephi 18:3

Nephi often goes back to the mountain to receive divine guidance.

And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.

1 Nephi 18:4

The ship is complete.

And it came to pass that after I had finished the ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine; wherefore, they did humble themselves again before the Lord.

1 Nephi 18:5

The Lord commands Lehi to take everyone into the ship.

And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came unto my father, that we should arise and go down into the ship.

1 Nephi 18:6

They gather all their provisions, and board the ship.

And it came to pass that on the morrow, after we had prepared all things, much fruits and meat from the wilderness, and honey in abundance, and provisions according to that which the Lord had commanded us, we did go down into the ship, with all our loading and our seeds, and whatsoever thing we had brought with us, every one according to his age; wherefore, we did all go down into the ship, with our wives and our children.