Nephi’s complete dedication to the Lord is shown in 1 Nephi 7. With his brothers, he obeyed the Lord’s command to return to Jerusalem and bring Ishmael and his family with them into the wilderness. On the return journey into the wilderness, Laman, Lemuel, and some of Ishmael’s family rebelled against Nephi and wanted to return to Jerusalem. When they bound and sought to kill Nephi, he prayed in faith, was delivered by the Lord, and sincerely forgave those who had persecuted him. As you study this lesson, ponder how you can respond faithfully to commandments and hardships as Nephi did.
The Lord commands Lehi’s sons to return to Jerusalem for Ishmael and his family
Think about your family, and ponder why families are important in God’s plan.
Read 1 Nephi 7:1–2, and find out what the Lord commanded Lehi to have his sons do and why He wanted them to do it. (It may be helpful to know that the word seed in 1 Nephi 7:1 refers to children and posterity.)
One of the truths we learn from these verses is that the Lord commands us to marry and raise up children unto Him. As you continue your study of 1 Nephi 7, ask yourself why marriage and family are important enough that the Lord would command Nephi and his brothers to endure the many days of hard travel through the wilderness to return to Jerusalem.
Read the following statement from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” and identify what modern-day prophets have declared about the importance of marriage: “We the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129).
You may want to circle the phrase “unto the Lord” in 1 Nephi 7:1. Think about what that phrase means in our day.
Look for additional insights into raising up children unto the Lord as you read the following teaching from “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”:
“We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. …
“… Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations” (Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 129).
Read 1 Nephi 7:3–5 to find out how the Lord helped Lehi’s sons fulfill His commands. How did the Lord help Ishmael and his family accept the invitation to join Lehi’s family in the wilderness?
Ask your parents, a Church leader, or a teacher to suggest three ways young people today can prepare for marriage and raising children “unto the Lord.” Record their counsel in your scripture study journal.
Nephi tries to persuade his brethren to continue their journey into the wilderness
Read 1 Nephi 7:6–7, and find out why Laman, Lemuel, and some of Ishmael’s family rebelled during their journey in the wilderness. Imagine what it would be like to be Nephi in this situation. Think of what you would say to Laman and Lemuel and Ishmael’s family to try to persuade them to continue their journey to the promised land.
Read 1 Nephi 7:8–12, and identify the questions Nephi asked his brothers to try and persuade them to not return to Jerusalem. What three truths did Nephi say his brothers had forgotten?
Answer the following in your scripture study journal:
How could remembering those three truths have helped Laman and Lemuel be faithful to the Lord?
List 4–5 blessings you have received from the Lord. How can remembering what the Lord has done for you help you be faithful in choosing to follow Him?
Read 1 Nephi 7:13–15, and identify what Nephi said would happen to Laman, Lemuel, and Ishmael’s rebelling family members if they went back to Jerusalem.
Write a paragraph in your scripture study journal about why it is essential to remember what the Lord has done for you and follow His guidance.
The Lord delivers Nephi
Continue to imagine what it would be like to be in Nephi’s situation as you read 1 Nephi 7:16. What would you do?
Nephi prayed. Read his prayer in 1 Nephi 7:17–18, and identify what Nephi prayed for.
Notice that Nephi asked to be delivered “according to [his] faith.” One of the lessons we learn from these verses is that God answers prayers according to our faith. Praying in faith means to pray with trust in the Lord and always includes a willingness to act.
Study the following statement from Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles concerning Nephi’s prayer in 1 Nephi 7:17 and the power of the Atonement to change our hearts. Underline any phrases that help you understand the importance of being willing to act as we pray in faith.
“Do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? My prayer would have included a request for something bad to happen to my brothers and ended with the phrase ‘wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren’ or, in other words, ‘Please get me out of this mess, now!’ It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray, as I probably would have prayed, to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And may I suggest that he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew and understood and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement of the Savior. …
“Brothers and sisters, the implication of this episode for each of us is quite straightforward. As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who ‘act’ rather than objects that are ‘acted upon’ (2 Nephi 2:14)” (“‘In the Strength of the Lord’ (Words of Mormon 1:14; Mosiah 9:17; Mosiah 10:10; Alma 20:4),” in Brigham Young University 2001–2002 Speeches , 124).
Answer one of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
When in your life have you prayed with faith and recognized the Lord’s answer to your prayer?
How can you follow Nephi’s example to pray and seek strength to change your circumstances rather than praying for your circumstances to be changed?
After Nephi was delivered from his bonds, his brothers again wanted to attack him. Read 1 Nephi 7:19–21, and identify what impresses you about Nephi’s attitude. Think about a situation in your own family that required forgiveness. Consider why it is so important that family members be willing to forgive one another.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied 1 Nephi 7 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: