Lesson 1

1 Nephi 1-5


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 four of the following assignments:

1.   1 Nephi 1:1. “Highly Favored” versus “Many Afflictions”

In 1 Nephi 1:1, Nephi states that he was “highly favored of the Lord,” had “seen many afflictions,” and “had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God.” Write a paragraph explaining how these three statements relate to each other. How do 2 Nephi 2:2; Doctrine and Covenants 90:24; 122:7–8 relate to what you have written?

2.   1 Nephi 1:5–20. Lehi’s Vision

Search 1 Nephi 1:5–15. List the elements and events of Lehi’s vision.

Read 1 Nephi 1:15–20 and make note of Lehi’s actions. Write a statement describing how you think Lehi’s visions influenced his actions.

Read Ezekiel 1:1–3, 26–28; 2:1–10; Isaiah 6:1–8; Moses 6:26–35; Joseph Smith—History 1:15–35. Write a paragraph explaining the similarities of the visions of these prophets with Lehi’s vision.

3.   1 Nephi 1:20. “Tender Mercies of the Lord”

Read 1 Nephi 1:20; Moroni 10:3 and the institute student manual commentary “1 Nephi 1:20: ‘Tender Mercies of the Lord’” (page 13). Then identify in writing the principle that is introduced in the first chapter of the Book of Mormon and summarized in the last chapter.

Nephi related the story of Lehi being preserved by the Lord (see 1 Nephi 1:18–20) as an example of how the Lord preserves the righteous. Read through each chapter summary in the book of 1 Nephi. As you do so, make a list of other stories Nephi recorded that illustrate the Lord’s tender mercies in the lives of Lehi, Nephi, and their family.

Write a paragraph describing recent “tender mercies” that have occurred in your life or the lives of your family and friends. Include in your paragraph a statement of what these tender mercies teach you about the Lord.

4.   1 Nephi 2–4. Getting the Brass Plates

Laman and Lemuel’s reactions to their father’s decision to leave Jerusalem were quite different from Nephi’s. Read the student manual commentary “1 Nephi 2:11–15: Murmuring” (page 14).Then review 1 Nephi 2:11–14 and list at least three reasons why Laman and Lemuel rebelled.

Review 1 Nephi 2:16–17 and describe in writing what Nephi did that helped him to not rebel.

Study 1 Nephi 3–4 and list at least three or four other differences you notice between Nephi and his brothers.

Read the student manual commentary “1 Nephi 4:10: Nephi Commanded to Kill Laban” (page 16). While the slaying of Laban was obviously a deep personal challenge for Nephi, it is apparent from Nephi’s writings that this was the way it had to be done. Explain in writing what understanding Nephi was given by the Lord concerning this difficult task.

From what you have learned in 1 Nephi 2–4, write a paragraph about the qualities Nephi had that you would like to emulate and how you plan to implement them in your life.

5.   1 Nephi 5. Content of the Brass Plates

Read 1 Nephi 5:10–16 and the student manual commentary “1 Nephi 5:10–22: The Plates of Brass” (pages 17–18). Then complete the following tasks:

  • As you read 1 Nephi 5:10–16, 21, make a list of what Lehi found on the plates of brass.
  • Write a paragraph explaining why you think that studying the content of the brass plates brought about the result described in verses 17–18.
  • Describe in writing a time when studying the scriptures also caused you to be “filled with the Spirit.”

Fill in the following chart. List the evidences you find in 1 Nephi 3–5 that show the value of the scriptures. Be sure to include the reference for each insight.