The account of Nephi’s vision, which begins in 1 Nephi 11, continues in 1 Nephi 12–14. In his vision Nephi saw terrible tragedies, including the eventual destruction of his posterity. He saw the wicked remove plain and precious truths from the Bible, causing many to stumble spiritually. However, Nephi’s vision also gave him reason for great hope in the future. He saw Columbus and the colonizing of America. He saw that the Lord would prepare the way for the Restoration of the gospel, including restoring many of the plain and precious truths that had been lost. Nephi witnessed how in the last days the Lord would help and protect those who live righteously. As you study 1 Nephi 12–14, ponder the importance in your life of the plain and precious truths taught in the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures. As you strive to live righteously and honor your covenants with God, you too can triumph over evil.
Nephi sees the future of the Nephite and Lamanite nations
In 1 Nephi 12, Nephi described what he saw for the future of his posterity and how they would be affected by influences represented by the mist of darkness and the large and spacious building. He used the word seed to refer to descendants.
Nephi saw that some of his descendants would accept all of the blessings of the Atonement. However, he also saw that his descendants would eventually be destroyed by the Lamanites. Read 1 Nephi 12:19, and underline the reasons why the Nephites were destroyed. Think about how you can guard against pride and avoid the temptations of the devil.
Nephi sees the great and abominable church
In professional sports, teams often study their opponents’ past games and strategies before they compete. Understanding an opponent’s purpose, methods, and strategies can help us prepare to defend ourselves against them.
In 1 Nephi 13, Nephi described what he saw about those who would oppose the Church of God in the latter-days. Read 1 Nephi 13:1–6, and identify what Nephi saw that would be formed among the Gentiles and what the angel said about it.
This “great and abominable church” that Nephi saw does not represent one particular group, denomination, or church. Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles defined it as “all … organizations of whatever name or nature … which are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 137–38). You may want to write Elder McConkie’s definition next to 1 Nephi 13:4–6.
Read 1 Nephi 13:8–9, and identify the desires and motivation of the great and abominable church.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: Why do you think it is important to know that Satan organizes his forces to lead us away from God and His laws?
As you study 1 Nephi 13 further, you will see one way the great and abominable church has tried to block those seeking the Savior.
Nephi sees future Gentiles with the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other latter-day scriptures
To combat the effects of the great and abominable church, the Lord prepared the way for the Restoration of His gospel. In 1 Nephi 13, Nephi foresaw such events as Columbus and the pilgrims coming to the land of promise because “the Spirit of God … wrought [rested or worked] upon [them]” (see 1 Nephi 13:12–13). He also foresaw the American War of Independence—when “the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity” fought against “their mother Gentiles [who] were gathered together … against them,” but they were “delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations” (see 1 Nephi 13:16–19).
Read 1 Nephi 13:20–23, and identify the book that Nephi saw early gentile colonizers in the land of promise would carry among them.
Write “the Bible” in your scriptures by 1 Nephi 13:20. Nephi explained that the Bible would be “of great worth” to us (1 Nephi 13:23) and that when it was originally written “it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord” (1 Nephi 13:24). Use 1 Nephi 13:26–27, 29 to fill in the blanks to the following summary:
The great and abominable church removed “many parts which are ____________________ and most ____________________; and also many ____________________ of the Lord have they taken away” from the Bible (1 Nephi 13:26). They removed these things to “____________________ the right ways of the Lord, that they might ____________________ the eyes and ____________________ the hearts of the children of men” (1 Nephi 13:27). Because these things are missing, “an exceedingly great many do ____________________” (1 Nephi 13:29).
Reread the above summary after you have filled in the blanks.
One of the purposes of the great and abominable church is to “pervert the right ways of the Lord” (1 Nephi 13:27) by taking away many of the plain and precious truths. To “pervert” is to cause to turn aside or away from something that is right. Think about the negative consequences of turning aside or turning away from the “right ways of the Lord.”
According to 1 Nephi 13:34, what will the Lord bring forth because of his mercy? (It may be helpful to know that the title “the Lamb” refers to the Savior, Jesus Christ.) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
In 1 Nephi 13:35–36, what did the Savior say would be hid up to come forth to the Gentiles? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
In 1 Nephi 13:36, what did the angel say was written in the record that was hidden—the Book of Mormon? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
In addition to the Book of Mormon, what “other books” might 1 Nephi 13:39 refer to? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Read 1 Nephi 13:40–41, and underline what the Book of Mormon and these “other books” will make known unto all people. It is important to notice that we must come to the Savior “according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb” (1 Nephi 13:41)—the scriptures.
Through this portion of Nephi’s vision, we learn that the Book of Mormon and latter-day scriptures restore plain and precious truths that help us know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and help us know how to come unto Him.
Write the answer to the following questions in your scripture study journal:
How have the plain and precious truths in the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scriptures influenced your testimony of Jesus Christ?
How have they helped you understand and live His gospel?
Take a moment to evaluate how well your scripture study is helping you come closer to the Savior.
Nephi sees the battle between the great and abominable church and the Church of the Lamb of God
In 1 Nephi 14 we read about a battle between the great and abominable church and the Church of the Lamb of God. Read 1 Nephi 14:10–13, and identify which side would have more people. Notice in 1 Nephi 14:12 why the number of people supporting the Church of the Lamb would be few and why the great and abominable church was able to gather together multitudes.
How would you feel if you were outnumbered and fighting in a war? Read 1 Nephi 14:14, and underline phrases that identify the help “the saints of the church of the Lamb” and “the covenant people of the Lord” will receive as they fight against evil.
An important gospel principle taught in 1 Nephi 14:1–17 is as we live righteously and keep our covenants, the power of God will help us triumph over evil.
Write a short paragraph in your scripture study journal explaining how being one of “the covenant people of the Lord” and being “armed with righteousness” (living righteously) have helped you triumph over temptations that could lead you away from God and His laws.
Nephi saw that in the last days those who support the great and abominable church will meet “their utter destruction” (1 Nephi 14:3). You can have confidence that God’s kingdom will triumph in the last days.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 1 Nephi 12–14 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: