Nephi begins the record of his people—Lehi sees in vision a pillar of fire and reads from a book of prophecy—He praises God, foretells the coming of the Messiah, and prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem—He is persecuted by the Jews. About 600 B.C.
1 I, Nephi, having been aborn of bgoodly cparents, therefore I was dtaught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many eafflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a frecord of my proceedings in my days.
2 Yea, I make a record in the alanguage of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.
3 And I know that the record which I make is atrue; and I make it with mine own hand; and I make it according to my knowledge.
4 For it came to pass in the commencement of the afirst year of the reign of bZedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at cJerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many dprophets, prophesying unto the people that they must erepent, or the great city fJerusalem must be destroyed.
5 Wherefore it came to pass that my father, Lehi, as he went forth prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his aheart, in behalf of his people.
6 And it came to pass as he prayed unto the Lord, there came a apillar of fire and dwelt upon a rock before him; and he saw and heard much; and because of the things which he saw and heard he did bquake and tremble exceedingly.
7 And it came to pass that he returned to his own house at Jerusalem; and he cast himself upon his bed, being aovercome with the Spirit and the things which he had seen.
8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a avision, even that he saw the bheavens open, and he thought he csaw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.
9 And it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his aluster was above that of the sun at noon-day.
10 And he also saw atwelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament.
12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the aSpirit of the Lord.
13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine aabominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning bJerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be ccarried away captive into Babylon.
14 And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy apower, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who bcome unto thee that they shall perish!
15 And after this manner was the language of my father in the praising of his God; for his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled, because of the things which he had seen, yea, which the Lord had shown unto him.
16 And now I, Nephi, do not make a full account of the things which my father hath written, for he hath written many things which he saw in avisions and in bdreams; and he also hath written many things which he cprophesied and spake unto his children, of which I shall not make a full account.
17 But I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an aabridgment of the record of my bfather, upon cplates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my dfather then will I make an account of mine own life.
18 Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my father, Lehi, yea, concerning the adestruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to bprophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard.
19 And it came to pass that the aJews did bmock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their cwickedness and their abominations; and he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book, manifested plainly of the coming of a dMessiah, and also the redemption of the world.
20 And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had acast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also bsought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender cmercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of ddeliverance.