2 Nephi 1: "Awake, My Sons"

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 35–36


Lehi’s counsel in 2 Nephi 1 was especially directed to Laman and Lemuel. Before you read it, think of what you might want to say to Laman and Lemuel if you were their parent. Note what Lehi said and consider what effect you think it might have had on his sons.
Lehi and family

Understanding the Scriptures

2 Nephi 1

Rehearsed unto (v. 1)Reminded, recited
Notwithstanding our afflictions (v. 5)Even though we have had challenges and trials
Covenanted (v. 5)Made a sacred promise
Inheritance (vv. 5, 8–9)Possession or family property
Consecrated (vv. 7, 32)Especially set aside or dedicated for sacred purposes
Molest (v. 9)Trouble, harm
Dwindle (v. 10)Fall gradually away
Visitations (v. 12)The sending of punishments; events that demonstrate God’s judgment
Redeemed (v. 15)Saved; a more literal meaning is “purchased from bondage”
Statutes (v. 16)Laws, commandments, rules
Anxiety (v. 16)Worry
Incur (v. 22)Bring upon you
Obscurity (v. 23)A state of being unknown
Sharpness (v. 26)A rebuke
Restrain (v. 26)Hold back
Utterance (v. 27)Speech

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A and B as you study 2 Nephi 1.

Activity A iconFinish These Sentences

In 2 Nephi 1:5–12 are Lehi’s words to his sons about the land of their inheritance, which includes North and South America. Complete the following statements that summarize these teachings of Lehi. Try to phrase them in your own words, but be sure your sentence fully covers what Lehi taught:

  1. 1.

    In addition to Lehi’s descendants, the land is an inheritance to … (See vv. 5–7.)

  2. 2.

    If those who live in this promised land will serve God and keep His commandments, then … (See vv. 7, 9–12.)

  3. 3.

    The Lord kept other nations from knowing about the land at that time because … (See v. 8.)

Activity B icon“Be Men”

young man and peers

Elder Carlos E. Asay, who was a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, related an experience he had as an 18-year-old priest in the Aaronic Priesthood when he refused to join a group of his peers in their inappropriate activities. He wrote: “As I walked away … , my companions taunted me by shouting, ‘When are you going to grow up?’ ‘When will you stop being a sissy and a religious fanatic?’ ‘When are you going to be a man?’” (In the Lord’s Service [1990], 46; see also Conference Report, Apr. 1992, 58; or Ensign, May 1992, 40). Lehi asked his sons to “be men” (2 Nephi 1:21), but he meant something quite different from what the young men in the story meant. For this activity complete number 1, and then do either 2 or 3.

  1. 1.

    Based on what Lehi taught in 2 Nephi 1:13–24, list at least five characteristics that Lehi associated with being a man of God. With each characteristic, write the verse in which it is found.

  2. 2.

    Write a paragraph about the differences between the characteristics you listed and how the boys in Elder Asay’s story and many other worldly people would define what it means to be a man.

  3. 3.

    Review verses 13 and 15 and write a paragraph comparing the state of righteous men, like Lehi, with the state of worldly men, like Laman and Lemuel.

Jesus Christ taught: “What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).