Lehites in Jerusalem and Arabia

Trip Back to Jerusalem to Retrieve the Plates of Brass

1 Nephi 3:9

Nephi and his brothers leave the valley of Lemuel, and return to Jerusalem, where Laban’s house is located.

And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness, with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem.

1 Nephi 3:10

The brothers consult before entering.

And it came to pass that when we had gone up to the land of Jerusalem, I and my brethren did consult one with another.

1 Nephi 3:11

They randomly select Laman to go into Laban’s house.

And we cast lots— who of us should go in unto the house of Laban. And it came to pass that the lot fell upon Laman; and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, …

1 Nephi 3:11–12

Laman goes in, and asks Laban for the records.

…and he talked with him as he sat in his house. And he desired of Laban the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, which contained the genealogy of my father.

1 Nephi 3:13

Laban gets angry, accuses Laman of being a robber, and threatens to kill him.

And behold, it came to pass that Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him:

“Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.”

1 Nephi 3:14

Laman runs out, meets his disappointed brothers; they get ready to leave Jerusalem.

But Laman fled out of his presence, and told the things which Laban had done, unto us. And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.

1 Nephi 3:15–21

Nephi persuades them not to leave, and suggests they go to their old house in Jerusalem, collect all their valuables, and present them to Laban in exchange for the brass plates.

But behold I said unto them that:

“As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us. Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches.

“And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord. For he knew that Jerusalem must be destroyed, because of the wickedness of the people. For behold, they have rejected the words of the prophets. Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish.

“Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land. And behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers; And also that we may preserve unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and power of God, since the world began, even down unto this present time.”

And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I persuade my brethren, that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments of God.

1 Nephi 5:6,1–3

Meanwhile, back in the valley of Lemuel, Lehi’s wife Sariah complains about their sons’ likely deaths and their grim situation in the desert.

…while we journeyed in the wilderness up to the land of Jerusalem, to obtain the record of the Jews. …my mother, Sariah, …truly had mourned because of us. For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying:

“Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.”

And after this manner of language had my mother complained against my father.

1 Nephi 5:4–6

Lehi comforts Sariah, reassuring her they are following the Lord’s instructions.

And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying:

“I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren. But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver my sons out of the hands of Laban, and bring them down again unto us in the wilderness.”

And after this manner of language did my father, Lehi, comfort my mother, Sariah, concerning us,…