Some time after Nephi and his brothers had returned to their father in the wilderness with the brass plates of Laban, Lehi told Nephi and his brothers that the Lord wanted them to go again to Jerusalem. This time they were to persuade Ishmael and his family to come with them because Ishmael had daughters who could marry the brothers.
“And it came to pass,” Nephi wrote, “that the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father.”
But Laman and Lemuel grumbled, and they and some of Ishmael’s family decided to return to Jerusalem. Grieved, Nephi counseled them, saying, “Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that … I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?
“How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord?
“How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord?
“Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record?
“Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.”
When Nephi reminded his brothers that if they returned to Jerusalem they would perish with the unrighteous people there who refused to listen to the prophets, they no longer held back their anger. They grabbed Nephi and bound him with cords, thinking that the wild animals would devour him if they left him there.
But they hadn’t reckoned on their younger brother’s great faith. Nephi prayed to the Lord to loosen the cords that bound him. And suddenly the cords were loosened, and Nephi stood before his brothers.
Laman and Lemuel became angrier than ever when they saw that Nephi was free. They wanted to tie him up again, but some of Ishmael’s family pleaded with them, and their hearts were softened. In fact, they were so sorry for their behavior toward Nephi that they bowed down before him and pleaded for his forgiveness.
Nephi loved his brothers and was happy to forgive them. He also encouraged them to ask Heavenly Father’s forgiveness, and they did so willingly. Afterward they all completed their journey to Lehi’s camp in the wilderness.