Unit 2: Day 4, 1 Nephi 5–6; 9

Book of Mormon Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students, (2012), 20–22


The prophet Lehi’s wife, Sariah, feared that her sons would not return from Jerusalem. Lehi comforted her by expressing his faith in the Lord. When her sons returned safely with the brass plates, Sariah gained a stronger witness of God’s hand in directing and preserving her family. As Lehi studied the brass plates, he “was filled with the Spirit, and began to prophesy concerning his seed” (1 Nephi 5:17). As you study this lesson, think about your personal scripture study and what you can do to receive the power that comes from searching the word of God.

1 Nephi 5:1–9

Lehi’s sons safely return to their family in the wilderness

The journey to Jerusalem and back probably took Nephi and his brothers several weeks. Reflect upon a time when a brother, sister, parent, or someone else you know left home for a long period of time—such as for a mission, school, or military service. What concerns or worries did you have (or what concerns do you think a parent might have) when separated from loved ones for a long time? Read 1 Nephi 5:1–3, and identify the concerns Sariah expressed to Lehi concerning her sons’ journey back to Jerusalem.

Study 1 Nephi 5:4–6, and look for how Lehi responded to Sariah’s concerns.

  1. journal icon1.

    In your scripture study journal, restate in your own words Lehi’s response to his wife.

Reflect on the following questions:

  • What impresses you about how Lehi responded to Sariah’s concerns?

  • How do Lehi’s words show the faith and courage gained from the revelations God had given him?

According to 1 Nephi 5:6, what effect did Lehi’s testimony have on Sariah? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Two truths we can learn from this experience of Lehi and Sariah are that the Lord can bless us with assurances as we follow His inspiration and we can comfort and strengthen others when we express our faith in God.

  1. journal icon2.

    In your scripture study journal, describe a time when you felt God’s comforting assurance during a difficult time, shared your testimony to comfort and strengthen someone else, or were comforted and strengthened by someone else’s words of faith.

Read 1 Nephi 5:7–9, looking for the effect this experience had on Sariah’s faith.

  • What did Sariah learn from this experience? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

  1. journal icon3.

    Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How is Sariah’s testimony in 1 Nephi 5:8 like Nephi’s testimony in 1 Nephi 3:7?

1 Nephi 5:10–22

Lehi searches the brass plates

Nephi and his brothers had risked their lives, sacrificed their family riches, traveled far, and been divinely protected in their journey to obtain the brass plates. If you were a member of Lehi’s family, how would their efforts have influenced your attitude about studying what was on the brass plates?

After his sons returned safely, Lehi began to search the contents of the brass plates. Read 1 Nephi 5:11–14, and underline what the brass plates contained.

Read 1 Nephi 5:17–20, looking for how studying the brass plates affected Lehi. Based on what you learn in these verses, how would you finish stating the following principle? (see 1 Nephi 5:17): As we search the scriptures, we can be ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles confirmed this truth:

“When we want to speak to God, we pray. And when we want Him to speak to us, we search the scriptures; for His words are spoken through His prophets. He will then teach us as we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

“If you have not heard His voice speaking to you lately, return with new eyes and new ears to the scriptures. They are our spiritual lifeline” (“Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 26–27).

  1. journal icon4.

    Write in your scripture study journal about a time when you searched the scriptures and felt the Spirit of the Lord.

Read 1 Nephi 5:21–22, and look for why the plates were “of great worth” to Lehi and his family.

Turn to the hymn “As I Search the Holy Scriptures” (Hymns, no. 277), and notice the blessings that can come through searching the scriptures. Reflect upon your daily reading of the scriptures. How might you improve in your study of the scriptures? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________

There is wisdom in studying the scriptures as we journey through mortality—our wilderness. Remember that the brass plates were obtained through faith and sacrifice and that without the brass plates Lehi and his family would not have received needed blessings in their journey (see 1 Nephi 5:22). As you search the scriptures, you can be filled with the Spirit of the Lord and receive the strength and faith to keep His commandments.

1 Nephi 6:1–6

Nephi writes to persuade all to come unto Jesus Christ

Choose a book in your home or think of a book you are familiar with. What do you think the author’s purpose was in writing that book? How does knowing the author’s purpose help you as you read?

Read 1 Nephi 6:3–6, and underline Nephi’s purpose in writing his record. The phrase “the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (verse 4) refers to Jehovah, who is Jesus Christ. Nephi’s purpose was continued by all those whose writings are found in the Book of Mormon: One purpose of the Book of Mormon is to persuade all people to come unto Jesus Christ.

  1. journal icon5.

    In your scripture study journal, describe how understanding Nephi’s purpose in writing his record will affect the way you study the Book of Mormon.

Nephi making plates

1 Nephi 9

Nephi makes two sets of plates

In 1 Nephi 9 (see also chapter 6), Nephi explained that he was commanded to make two sets of records—these are known as the small plates and the large plates of Nephi. The small plates were to contain the sacred history of his people—the ministry of the prophets and the revelations of the Lord—and the large plates were to contain the secular history (see 1 Nephi 9:2–4). Nephi used the phrases “these plates” and “other plates” to refer to the two sets of plates the Lord commanded him to make. In the margin of your scriptures by 1 Nephi 9, write a note like the following to help you remember which set of plates Nephi was referring to: “these plates” = small plates (sacred); “other plates” = large plates (secular).

As you study the Book of Mormon you will come to understand why Nephi kept two sets of records. Nephi was inspired to make an abridgement, a shortened version, of his father’s account (found in 1 Nephi 1–8) on the small plates. Nearly 1,000 years later the prophet Mormon was directed by the Lord to include the small plates of Nephi with the gold plates (see Words of Mormon 1:7). Both men did not know why they were to do what they did (see 1 Nephi 9:5), but they followed the Lord’s command.

  1. journal icon6.

    As you read 1 Nephi 9 in your personal study, reflect upon and record in your scripture study journal why it is important to obey the Lord even when we don’t fully understand His reasons.

  2. journal icon7.

    Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

    I have studied 1 Nephi 5–6 and 9 and completed this lesson on (date).

    Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: