Chapter 5: Traveling in the Wilderness

Book of Mormon Stories, (1997), 13–15

brothers walking in desert

The Lord wanted Lehi’s sons to have wives who would teach their children the gospel. He told Lehi to send his sons back to Jerusalem to get Ishmael’s family.

Nephi talking to Ishmael

Nephi and his brothers returned to Jerusalem. They told Ishmael what the Lord wanted him to do. Ishmael believed them, and he and his family went with Lehi’s sons.

Laman and Lemuel angry at Nephi

While they were traveling in the wilderness, Laman and Lemuel and some of Ishmael’s family became angry. They wanted to go back to Jerusalem.

Nephi talking to Laman and Lemuel

Nephi reminded Laman and Lemuel of all the Lord had done for them. He told them to have greater faith. They were angry at Nephi but did not go back to Jerusalem.

couple getting married

Nephi, his brothers, and Zoram later married Ishmael’s daughters.

Lehi holding Liahona

The Lord told Lehi to continue his journey. The next morning Lehi found a brass ball called the Liahona outside his tent. It pointed the way to go in the wilderness.

family traveling

Lehi’s family gathered food and seeds and packed their tents. They traveled through the wilderness for many days, following the directions of the Liahona.


Nephi and his brothers used bows and arrows to hunt for food as they traveled.

broken bow

Nephi’s steel bow broke, and his brothers’ bows lost their strength. The brothers could not kill any animals, so everyone was hungry. Laman and Lemuel were angry.

wooden bow

Nephi made a wooden bow and asked his father where to hunt. Lehi received directions in the Liahona. Nephi followed the directions and found some animals.

Lehi holding Liahona

The Liahona worked only when Lehi’s family was faithful, diligent, and obedient.

Nephi returned with food

Nephi returned with the animals he had found. Everyone was happy to get food. They were sorry they had been angry, and they thanked God for blessing them.

Ishmael’s daughters

Traveling was not easy. Often Lehi’s family was tired, hungry, and thirsty. Ishmael died and his daughters were sad. They complained against Lehi.

Laman and Lemuel

Laman and Lemuel also complained. They did not believe that the Lord had spoken to Nephi. They wanted to kill Lehi and Nephi and return to Jerusalem.

Laman and Lemuel

The voice of the Lord spoke to Laman and Lemuel. It told them not to be angry with Lehi and Nephi. Laman and Lemuel repented.

Lehi’s family

Lehi’s family continued their difficult journey. God helped them and strengthened them. Children were born. Lehi and Sariah had two more sons, named Jacob and Joseph.

family traveling

After traveling in the wilderness for eight years, Lehi’s family arrived at the seashore. There they found fruit and honey. They called the place Bountiful.