Feeling the power of Nephi’s words, his brothers humbled themselves before the Lord. As the family traveled in the wilderness, the Lord gave them the Liahona to guide them in their journey. The family experienced many hardships as they traveled, including their bows losing their spring and the breaking of Nephi’s bow, which limited obtaining food. While most of the family murmured as a result of this loss, Nephi made a new bow and sought the Lord’s counsel about where to hunt. Studying 1 Nephi 16 provides an opportunity for you to consider how you might respond to both correction and affliction. Just as the Lord guided Lehi’s family through their hardships, He will guide you through challenges in your life if you humbly seek and follow His counsel.
Nephi responds to the murmuring of his brethren
Have you ever seen someone being corrected or rebuked for misbehavior? How did that person react?
Laman and Lemuel felt rebuked by Nephi when he taught them that the wicked would be rejected and not allowed to partake of the tree of life (see 1 Nephi 15:36–16:1). Read 1 Nephi 16:1–2, and underline how Nephi said some people react to hearing truth when they are not living it.
The phrase “cutteth them to the very center” means that it exposes their guilt. What do you think “the guilty taketh the truth to be hard” means? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
In your scripture study journal, list a few things you could do to be obedient even when a truth is hard to hear and “cutteth [you] to the very center” (1 Nephi 16:2). Why do you think some youth find it hard to be obedient to certain truths? Compare your list to what Nephi told Laman and Lemuel in 1 Nephi 16:3–4.
According to 1 Nephi 16:5, how did Laman and Lemuel chose to respond to Nephi’s instruction? What word or phrase in this verse describes what we should do when a truth cuts us to the very center? Mark the answers to these questions in your scriptures.
Lehi’s family is guided by the Liahona
Nephi married Ishmael’s oldest daughter.
Lehi was given a compass-like ball called the Liahona.
The round ball had four spindles that gave direction to Lehi and his family.
After Lehi’s family received the ball, their journey in the wilderness was easy.
As you study 1 Nephi 16:7–10 and the chapter summary, review your answers to the first three questions (see also Alma 37:38). Read 1 Nephi 16:17–19 to determine if you answered the fourth question correctly. (The correct answers are at the end of this lesson.)
Even when we are obedient, we will still experience trials. Many of the trials we face are not the consequences of making wrong choices. Rather they come to us as a natural result of mortal life, but they give us the opportunity to learn and grow during our mortal journey, just as the Savior did (see D&C 122:7–8). One of our tests in life is how we respond to these trials.
Based on Nephi’s description of the ball in 1 Nephi 16:10, how might such a gift be helpful to Lehi and his family as they journeyed to the promised land? Find and mark how the Liahona benefited Lehi’s family in 1 Nephi 16:16.
Search 1 Nephi 16:20–22, and identify how some of Lehi’s family reacted when Nephi broke his bow. Study 1 Nephi 16:23–25, 30–32, looking for Nephi’s reaction to this trial. How did his reaction affect his family?
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What are some things you have learned by comparing the different reactions of Nephi and his family to the same trial?
Rather than complaining, Nephi made a new bow and then sought guidance to know where to find food. Nephi’s example demonstrates that if we do all we can and also seek the Lord’s direction, then He will help us through our difficulties.
During these events, the Lord explained to Lehi how the Liahona worked. In 1 Nephi 16:26–29, look for what was required for the Lord to guide Lehi’s family through the Liahona.
Imagine you are teaching a young child about the Liahona. In your scripture study journal, explain in simple terms how the Liahona guided Lehi’s family and what they had to do in order for it to continue guiding them.
Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How does the Liahona show us that “by small means the Lord can bring about great things”? (1 Nephi 16:29).
Like Lehi’s people, the Lord has provided you with many gifts to help you receive personal guidance. Read the following three statements concerning some of these gifts, and ponder how each of these gifts from the Lord is similar to the Liahona.
President Thomas S. Monson referred to patriarchal blessings as a personal Liahona:
“The same Lord who provided a Liahona to Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way, even safe passage—not to a promised land, but to our heavenly home. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing. Every worthy member of the Church is entitled to receive such a precious and priceless treasure. …
“… Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers. … Your patriarchal blessing is to you a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way” (“Your Patriarchal Blessing: A Liahona of Light,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 65–66).
The Scriptures and the Words of the Prophets
Elder W. Rolfe Kerr, who was then serving as a member of the Seventy, confirmed that the words of Christ and His servants are a spiritual Liahona: “The words of Christ can be a personal Liahona for each of us, showing us the way. Let us not be slothful because of the easiness of the way. Let us in faith take the words of Christ into our minds and into our hearts as they are recorded in sacred scripture and as they are uttered by living prophets, seers, and revelators. Let us with faith and diligence feast upon the words of Christ, for the words of Christ will be our spiritual Liahona telling us all things what we should do” (“The Words of Christ—Our Spiritual Liahona,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2004, 37).
The Holy Ghost
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles compared the Holy Ghost and the Liahona: “As we strive to align our attitudes and actions with righteousness, then the Holy Ghost becomes for us today what the Liahona was for Lehi and his family in their day. The very factors that caused the Liahona to work for Lehi will likewise invite the Holy Ghost into our lives. And the very factors that caused the Liahona not to work anciently will likewise cause us to withdraw ourselves from the Holy Ghost today” (“That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 30).
Write in your scripture study journal two or three ways that a patriarchal blessing, the scriptures and the words of the prophets, or the Holy Ghost is like the Liahona.
In your scripture study journal, describe a time when following the direction from one of the sources listed above led to your receiving guidance from the Lord?
Ishmael’s daughters mourn his death, and Laman plots to kill Lehi and Nephi
In 1 Nephi 16:34–38 we learn that Ishmael died after traveling many days in the wilderness. His daughters mourned the loss of their father exceedingly, and some of his family murmured against Lehi and Nephi and wanted to return to Jerusalem. Laman even conspired to murder Nephi and Lehi. Once again Nephi’s brothers showed their weakness and faithlessness because they did not seek the will of the Lord. They had rejected the Holy Ghost and the help He would have given them.
Read 1 Nephi 16:39, and discover what the Lord did in this situation. From what you learn in this verse, why does the Lord chasten us? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________
The Lord guides and chastens us for our benefit. If we act on the guidance or chastening we receive from the Lord, He will bless us.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 1 Nephi 16 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: