1 Nephi 7: Ishmael Joins Lehi in the Wilderness

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 18


Nephi and his brothers were directed to make another trip to Jerusalem. This time they were sent to bring Ishmael and his family to join them in the wilderness. Why did the Lord choose Ishmael’s family? Why would Ishmael choose to join Lehi? How did Laman and Lemuel react to this assignment? As you read 1 Nephi 7, look for possible answers to these questions.

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Nephi 7

Meet (v. 1)Proper or wise
Ceaseth (v. 14)Stops
Strive (v. 14)Work hard
Constraineth (v. 15)Commands

1 Nephi 7:2—Why Did the Lord Choose Ishmael’s Family?

The Lord commanded Lehi to send his sons to Jerusalem and bring Ishmael and his family into the wilderness. Ishmael must have been chosen, at least in part, because he was willing to follow the Lord. Nephi wrote that they “did speak unto him the words of the Lord” (1 Nephi 7:4) and the “Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael” (v. 5).

Ishmael's family

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you study 1 Nephi 7.

Activity A iconList What Happened

List the major events in 1 Nephi 7. Especially consider verses 1, 4–6, 8, 16, 18–19, and 22.

Activity B iconAnalyze and Apply What Happened

  1. 1.

    Review 1 Nephi 7:1–5 and explain why you think the Lord chose Ishmael and his family to join Lehi in the wilderness (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for additional help).

  2. 2.

    In verses 10–12, Nephi repeated the same phrase three times. What is the phrase? How could forgetting be a reason for Laman and Lemuel’s rebellion? List at least three ideas or experiences from your life that could help you be more obedient if you always remembered them.

  3. 3.

    Write a short paragraph describing how 1 Nephi 7:16–19 gives an example of the “tender mercies” Nephi promised to show us when he began his book (see 1 Nephi 1:20).