People respond to revelation from God in various ways. The Lord commanded Lehi in a dream to lead his family into the wilderness. Laman and Lemuel murmured against God’s commands while Nephi sought a confirming witness. Comparing their different responses will help you decide how to use your agency when responding to the Lord’s direction.
God commands Lehi to depart into the wilderness
Imagine you were Lehi and the Lord asked you and your family to leave your home and all of your possessions. You would have to walk for days and could only take provisions to sustain your family’s needs. Think about how you would respond to such a request.
Read 1 Nephi 2:1–6, and look for the circumstances that led to Lehi and his family departing into the wilderness.
Why did the people “seek to take away [Lehi’s] life”? (see 1 Nephi 2:1). ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
What did the Lord command Lehi to do? (see 1 Nephi 2:2). ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Lehi is an example of the gospel principle that when we are faithful and obedient, the Lord will help us in times of trial.
In your scripture study journal, answer the following question about 1 Nephi 2:4: What can you learn from Lehi’s choices of what to take and what to leave behind?
To help you better understand the geography of Lehi’s journey, review the map at the end of the lesson.
Read 1 Nephi 2:7, and note what Lehi did after leaving with his family to travel in the wilderness. What word could you use to describe an important character trait Lehi showed? __________________________________________________
Laman and Lemuel murmur against their father
All four of Lehi’s sons made the same journey, but they did so with different attitudes toward God’s commandments.
Study 1 Nephi 2:8–10, and circle the words river and valley.
In your scripture study journal, write your thoughts about the following question: What do you think Lehi tried to teach Laman and Lemuel by comparing them to a river and a valley?
Read 1 Nephi 2:11–14, and find the reasons Laman and Lemuel murmured against their father. (Note: The word stiffneckedness means stubbornness and pride.)
One reason Satan encourages murmuring is to prevent people from following living prophets, inspired leaders, and parents. Elder H. Ross Workman of the Seventy spoke about murmuring. He said that “murmuring consists of three steps, each leading to the next in a descending path to disobedience.”
First, when people murmur, they use their own judgment and begin to question the teachings of the living prophets. “They [question] first in their own minds and then [plant] questions in the minds of others.”
Second, those who murmur begin “to rationalize and excuse themselves from doing what they [have] been instructed to do. … Thus, they [make] an excuse for disobedience.
“The third step inevitably follows: slothfulness in following the commandment of the Master [see D&C 58:29]. …
“I invite you to focus on the commandment from living prophets that bothers you the most. Do you question whether the commandment is applicable to you? Do you find ready excuses why you cannot now comply with the commandment? Do you feel frustrated or irritated with those who remind you of the commandment? Are you slothful in keeping it? Beware of the deception of the adversary. Beware of murmuring” (“Beware of Murmuring,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, 85–86).
Respond to the following question in your scripture study journal: What can you do if you find yourself murmuring (complaining) about a commandment or Church standard?
Nephi seeks understanding from the Lord
Read 1 Nephi 2:16, 19, and mark what Nephi wanted and what he did that led him to accept the Lord’s commandments given through his father. Although Nephi did not murmur, ponder how what he wrote in 1 Nephi 2:16 about the Lord softening his heart hints that leaving Jerusalem may have been difficult for him too.
In your scripture study journal, share an example of a time when, like Nephi, you called upon Heavenly Father and experienced a softening of your heart through the Spirit or of a time when you received a testimony of something the Lord said.
Nephi’s experience teaches us the following gospel principle: When we call upon God, He can soften our hearts to believe His words.
Read 1 Nephi 2:17–18, and identify Nephi’s desires and actions after the Lord softened his heart. Think about what you can learn from the different reactions of Nephi, Sam, Laman, and Lemuel. The following is one important truth: When we share what we have learned through the Holy Spirit, others may believe our words.
Write in your scripture study journal about a time when someone’s words led you to believe the word of God, like Sam believed Nephi.
Think about someone with whom you could share something that the Spirit has helped you learn and feel is true. It may be a friend, a member of your family, a Church leader, or a teacher. Take the opportunity this week to talk with that person and share that testimony.
The Lord assures Nephi that he will prosper through his obedience
Identify and mark the promise contained in 1 Nephi 2:20–21. This promise occurs 34 times throughout the Book of Mormon. During your study of the Book of Mormon you will see how the Lord’s words to Nephi were entirely fulfilled. End today’s lesson by reading 1 Nephi 2:22–24.
God blesses those who are obedient and faithful. Ponder your level of obedience in keeping God’s commandments. What is one way you can be more obedient? Follow through on the impressions you receive from the Spirit.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 1 Nephi 2 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: