Following the Lord’s directions, Nephi and his family finished building the ship and set sail for the promised land. During their voyage, many on the ship, led by Laman and Lemuel, rebelled. As a result, the Liahona ceased to work and a great storm threatened the lives of everyone onboard. After the rebellious repented and Nephi prayed in faith, the Liahona began to work and the Lord calmed the storm and again directed their journey. After arriving in the promised land, Nephi exhorted his family to remember the Savior and to liken the scriptures to themselves. As you study 1 Nephi 18–19, liken Nephi’s experience of facing trials to the challenges of facing your own trials. Seek to follow Nephi’s example.
Why is it important to both work diligently and seek direction from the Lord? How did Nephi demonstrate both of these qualities when building the ship? Read 1 Nephi 18:1–8.
In your scripture study journal, list all of the words and phrases in 1 Nephi 18:1–8 that describe the effort put forth by Nephi and his family. Then identify all the words and phrases that show how the Lord directed and helped them. What relationship do you see between Nephi’s effort and the help he received from the Lord?
Nephi’s experience shows us that in order to accomplish what the Lord commands, we need to seek His help and put forth our own effort.
Think of a situation you are in now where you need God’s help. Write in your scripture study journal what you can do to seek the Lord’s direction and what effort you may need to make.
When we experience trials or hardships in life, it is common to wonder why we are facing such difficulties. Perhaps you or someone you know has asked “Why?” during a difficult time.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy identified three sources for the hardships we experience. As you read, underline the sources he describes.
“In a general sense, our burdens come from three sources. Some burdens are the natural product of the conditions of the world in which we live. Illness, physical disability, hurricanes, and earthquakes come from time to time through no fault of our own. …
“Other burdens are imposed on us by the misconduct of others. Abuse and addictions can make home anything but a heaven on earth for innocent family members. Sin, incorrect traditions, repression, and crime scatter burdened victims along the pathways of life. Even less-serious misdeeds such as gossip and unkindness can cause others genuine suffering.
“Our own mistakes and shortcomings produce many of our problems and can place heavy burdens on our own shoulders. The most onerous [difficult] burden we impose upon ourselves is the burden of sin. We have all known the remorse and pain which inevitably follow our failure to keep the commandments” (“That Your Burdens May Be Light,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2009, 12–13).
After Nephi and his family began to sail to the promised land, they experienced many difficulties. As you study 1 Nephi 18, look for one of the types of suffering Elder Clayton discussed. Read 1 Nephi 18:9–11, and identify examples of wrong choices made by some of the people on the ship.
While it is not wrong to dance, listen to music, or have fun, 1 Nephi 18:9 indicates that they did these things “with much rudeness.” The word rude means to be harsh, vulgar, or coarse. Satan can use dancing, music, or the way we speak to corrupt our hearts and minds, causing us to lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
According to 1 Nephi 18:10, what did Nephi fear would happen if those who were rebelling did not repent? .
What did Nephi do about it? How would you respond if a parent or Church leader asked you to change the music you listen to, the way you dance, or to refrain from using foul language? Would you be willing to listen and to change?
Read 1 Nephi 18:12–14, 17–19, and look for the consequences of their rebellion. How did Nephi and other family members suffer as a result of the actions of others? Notice how the rebellious actions of some affected the entire group’s ability to receive guidance from God.
The actions of those who rebelled show us that sin leads to suffering for ourselves and sometimes for others as well.
Some common temptations teenagers face today include being disrespectful to parents and leaders, cheating in school, gossiping, dressing immodestly, breaking the law of chastity, breaking the Word of Wisdom (tobacco, alcohol, and drugs), and viewing pornography. Select two or more of those temptations, and write in your scripture study journal how each might affect the family and friends of someone who gives in to the temptation.
The rest of 1 Nephi 18 teaches us how to respond when hardships come, whether they come from making bad choices or through no fault of our own. Read 1 Nephi 18:15–16, 20–23, and mark phrases that teach what to do in either situation.
There are several doctrines and principles illustrated in these verses. After each of the following statements, write the number of the verse or verses from 1 Nephi 18:15–16, 20–23 that you feel show an example of that truth:
We can look to God and remain faithful during our trials.
Prayer can help us find peace during our trials.
Choose one of the verses you used in the preceding exercise that is especially meaningful to you, and explain in your scripture study journal why you like it. Include what you learned from the verse and what it taught you about responding to afflictions. If you have seen an example of what this verse teaches in your own or someone else’s life, write about that as well.
In spite of the hardships they faced, Nephi and his family eventually reached the promised land. As you seek the Lord’s direction and work diligently to follow it, you too can successfully complete the journey the Lord sent you to earth to fulfill.
Elder L. Whitney Clayton offered this testimony:
“No matter the burdens we face in life as a consequence of natural conditions, the misconduct of others, or our own mistakes and shortcomings, we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent us to earth as part of His eternal plan for our growth and progress. Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him. The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear, last, from heaven’s perspective, for ‘but a small moment; and then, if [we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high’ [D&C 121:7–8]. We must do everything we can to bear our burdens ‘well’ for however long our ‘small moment’ carrying them lasts. …
“… I know that as we keep the commandments of God and our covenants, He helps us with our burdens. He strengthens us. When we repent, He forgives us and blesses us with peace of conscience and joy” (“That Your Burdens May Be Light,” 13–14).
After arriving in the promised land, Nephi prophesied concerning the coming of the Savior and how He would be received by His people. Read 1 Nephi 19:8–10, and identify phrases that teach about the nature and character of Jesus Christ.
Record in your scripture study journal how what you learned in 1 Nephi 19:8–10 increases your love for the Savior.
Conclude today’s lesson by reading 1 Nephi 19:18–19, 23 and underlining what Nephi desired to persuade his people and all those who read the Book of Mormon to do. Look for an opportunity today to share your testimony of the Savior with a friend or family member, or bear your testimony in a Church setting. In doing so, you might help them remember and believe in their Redeemer.
Record in your scripture study journal ways in which you could follow Nephi’s example in your own life.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 1 Nephi 18–19 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: