The following assignments include various learning activities, such as questions, lists, essays, charts, comparisons, contrasts, and surveys. To receive credit for this lesson, you must complete the number of assignments indicated below and submit them to your institute instructor or administrator. You may submit your work either electronically or on paper, handwritten or typed.
Each lesson should take approximately 60–90 minutes to complete, the same amount of time you would typically spend in a weekly institute class. Since reading the scripture block listed in the lesson heading is expected of all institute students prior to class, the estimated time for each assignment does not include the time you need to spend reading the scripture block.
Complete any two of assignments 3, 4, or 7 and any two of the remaining assignments:
1. 1 Nephi 6. The Purpose of Nephi’s Writings
- Why do the scriptures occasionally refer to Jesus Christ as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
- How does Nephi’s purpose in writing compare to the purposes listed in the second paragraph of the Book of Mormon’s title page?
2. 1 Nephi 7. Another Return to Jerusalem
Throughout the Book of Mormon, the phrase “and thus we see” draws our attention to lessons that those who wrote the scriptures want us to learn. After reading 1 Nephi 7, write at least five sentences that begin with “And thus we see,” identifying five different principles from this chapter.
Read the student manual commentary “1 Nephi 7:2: Ishmael Is of Ephraim” (page 20). Briefly explain in writing how uniting the families of Lehi and Ishmael was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. Then read 1 Nephi 7:10–12 and identify in writing the phrase Nephi repeated three times. How could forgetting be a reason for Laman and Lemuel’s rebellion? Briefly describe at least three experiences from your life that could help you be more obedient if you always remembered them.
Read the references below listed for each of the following symbols in Lehi’s dream:
- Tree. 1 Nephi 8:10–12; 11:4–11, 20–23; Alma 32:42; student manual commentary “1 Nephi 8:10–12; 11:8–15: The Tree of Life as a Symbol of Jesus Christ and His Atonement” (page 22)
- Rod of iron. 1 Nephi 8:19–24; 11:25; 15:23–24; student manual commentaries “1 Nephi 8:23–33: Are We Holding Fast to the Rod of Iron?” (page 22) and “1 Nephi 15:24: The Word of God and Fiery Darts” (page 32)
- Mist of darkness. 1 Nephi 8:23; 12:2–4, 17
- Large and spacious building. 1 Nephi 8:26–28; 11:32–36; 12:18–23; student manual commentary “1 Nephi 8:26–27: ‘Great and Spacious Building’” (pages 22–23)
Write a paragraph about each of the symbols listed above. Include in each paragraph what the symbol represents, insights you gained, and applications to the world today.
- Lehi began his vision in a dark and dreary waste. What did Lehi do to cause the darkness to depart?
- What happened to those who found themselves in the mists of darkness? Why?
- What are the characteristics or qualities of the tree of life that make it an effective symbol for God’s love for His children and for Jesus Christ and His Atonement?
- What words and phrases are used to compare the fruit of the tree to everything else the world has to offer? What does this say about what Satan might offer us? Write about a time when you have felt the “love of God” in your own life or witnessed it in the lives of others.
4. 1 Nephi 8:21–33. Groups of People in Lehi’s Dream
In his dream Lehi saw four groups of people that represent people in this life. Read 1 Nephi 8:21–33 and briefly describe each of the groups.
Read the parable of the sower as related by the Savior in Matthew 13:4–8 (see the Savior’s explanation of the sower in verses 18–23). Notice that there are four different groups identified there as well. Make a chart that compares the four groups in 1 Nephi 8:21–33 with the four groups in Matthew 13:4–7.
Briefly explain what you feel the difference is between those who “tasted” (1 Nephi 8:28) and those who “partook” (1 Nephi 8:30). Why do you think the latter group “fell down” at the tree? How might this apply to us as members of the Church in how we approach the Savior and think of His Atonement when we partake of the sacrament?
5. 1 Nephi 9:1–6. Making the Plates
- What reason did the Lord give Nephi for making two sets of plates?
- How can Nephi’s obedience without knowing why apply to you?
6. 1 Nephi 10. History of the Jews
- Make an outline of at least seven different prophecies of Lehi as recorded in 1 Nephi 10.
- Read 1 Nephi 10:17–22; 11:1–6. List the principles from these verses that help us learn by the power of the Holy Ghost.
7. 1 Nephi 13–14. Apostasy and Restoration
In 1 Nephi 13–14 Nephi described a vision of events associated with the Apostasy as well as the Restoration. As you read chapter 13, list all the verses that refer to the Apostasy and write a short summary of what those verses teach. Also list all the verses that relate to the Restoration and write a short summary of what those verses teach. Use the various entries in the student manual for 1 Nephi 13–14 (pages 27–31) to correctly understand the meaning of what Nephi saw.
Nephi was shown how the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other scriptures would come forth in the latter days. Read 1 Nephi 13 and the student manual commentaries “1 Nephi 13:20–29: Plain and Precious Truths Removed from the Bible” and “1 Nephi 13:32–40: Plain and Precious Things Restored” (pages 28–31). Then write answers for the following questions:
- What did Nephi see would happen to the Bible that would cause the Gentiles to “stumble”?
- What would the Lord do to help (a) the Gentiles, (b) the Jews, (c) the descendants of Lehi, and (d) members of His Church to learn the gospel in the last days?
- According to the student manual, when and how were words of the Bible’s original authors altered or changed?
According to 1 Nephi 13:40, what are four major purposes of the other books the Lord would bring forth in the latter days? These purposes are powerful when discussing with those not of our faith why the Book of Mormon is important in connection with the Bible.
8. 1 Nephi 15:1–11. Inquire of the Lord
- How did Nephi suggest we could gain an understanding of spiritual principles?
- What reasons did Nephi list for why Laman and Lemuel had not gained an understanding of Lehi’s teachings?
- What experiences have you had with gaining understanding by inquiring of the Lord?