1 Nephi 5

1 Nephi 5: Nephi, Laman, Lemuel and Zoram return to Lehi with the Brass Plates

                Upon returning to Sariah and Lehi in the wilderness, Sariah [the mother] was filled with joy; “For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness; and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; saying: Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.” (1 Nephi 5:2)

However, Lehi [the father] comforted her in the wilderness while they were away, saying; “…I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God, but had tarried at Jerusalem, and had perished with my brethren.” (1 Nephi 5:4)

After seeing her sons returned safely to her in the wilderness, Sariah exclaimed; “…Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them…” (1 Nephi 5:8) Sariah was overwhelmed with joy and filled with the Spirit of the Lord, because she now believed that Lehi was a prophet of God.

They all rejoiced and offered sacrifices unto the Lord, they then searched through the plates to find; “…that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, who were our first parents; And also a record of the Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah;” (1 Nephi 5:11-13) Nephi and his family now had the first five books of the Bible that we know today, they would be blessed with this information in their day of prophets that had lived before them, as we are blessed by the Book of Mormon and Bible today in modern times.

Lehi learns that his geneology goes back to Joseph, who was the son of Jacob who was the very same Joseph who was sold into Egypt (See Genesis 37) “…Lehi, also found upon the plates of brass a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph who was the son of Jacob, who was sold into Egypt, and who was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father, Jacob, and all his household from perishing with famine.” (1 Nephi 5:14)

They also discover that Laban was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records. Lehi was filled with the Spirit and began to prophecy exclaiming that these plates of brass would go forth among all nations, and tongues!

Nephi explains that they; “…had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children. Wherefore, it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us, as we journeyed in the wilderness towards the land of promise.” (1 Nephi 4:21-22)

1 Nephi 4

1 Nephi 4: Nephi Kills Laban

                After seeing the Angel, Nephi speaks to Laman and Lemuel and explains that the Lord is all powerful “…for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands? Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.” (1 Nephi 4:1-2)

                Nephi tells Laman and Lemuel that they both know he is right and they cannot deny. Laman and Lemuel continue to murmur, but still follow Nephi back to Jerusalem to obtain the Brass Plates. Nephi commands his brothers to hide themselves; “… after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban. And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine. And when I came to him I found that it was Laban.” (1 Nephi 4:5-8)

Nephi, NOT KNOWING BEFOREHAND WHAT HE WOULD DO, goes into the house and finds Laban drunk and passed out. Nephi did not have a plan, but trusted the Lord to guide him. When he found that Laban was passed out drunk, the Spirit came to him and told him to kill Laban; “…I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban…but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him. And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands… it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands; …Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.” (1 Nephi 4:10-13) The Lord delivered Laban into the hands of Nephi, who knew that murdering was wrong. However, the Lord commanded Nephi to slay Laban to bring forth His ‘righteous purposes’. So, Nephi slays Laban by cutting off his head with his own sword; “…[Nephi] took Laban by the hair of the head, and I [Nephi]  smote off his head with his own sword. And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body…” (1 Nephi 4:18-19)

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Nephi, now dressed in the clothes of Laban goes towards the treasury to retrieve the Brass Plates when he runs into one of the servants of Laban, who had the keys to the treasury. Nephi; “…commanded him in the voice of Laban, that he should go with [Nephi]  into the treasury.” (1 Nephi 4:20) Laban’s servant thought it was his master speaking and therefore opened the treasury. Nephi tells the servant to grab the Brass Plates and commands him to follow him to the outside gates of the house. The servant agrees and flees with ‘Laban’ aka Nephi to meet Nephi’s brothers.

When he approached the outside walls, Laman and Lemuel were exceedingly frightened; “…for they supposed it was Laban, and that he had slain me and had sought to take away their lives also. And it came to pass that I called after them, and they did hear me; wherefore they did cease to flee from my presence.” (1 Nephi 4:28-29) Laban’s servant tries to flee, but Nephi being large in stature holds him and prevents him from running.

Nephi speaks to the servant of Laban [named Zoram] and tells him that if he follows them and makes an oath with them that he would be a free man; “…Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him… it came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the servant of Laban, and departed into the wilderness, and journeyed unto the tent of our father.” (1 Nephi 4:37-38)

1 Nephi 3

1 Nephi 3: The Brass Plates

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                Nephi comes out from his tent, after having spoken with God… he explains that he has ‘dreamed a dream’ in which him and his brothers are to return to Jerusalem to obtain Brass Plates from a man named Laban; “…Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.” (1 Nephi 3:3) Nephi’s brothers murmur and tell Nephi that he asks too much of them. However, Nephi explains that it is not his command, but the commandment of God for them to retrieve these Brass Plates.

Nephi speaks to his father; “…I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7) Lehi, after having heard these words was filled with joy… because he knew that Nephi had been commanded of God to do these things, and he felt blessed. Nephi showed great character and faith in following the commandments of God no matter how difficult. This example can be used for all!

Nephi and His brothers Travel to Jerusalem

 

Nephi and his brothers pack up their tents and head back towards Jerusalem, and while journeying they cast lots to see who would go into the house of Laban to retrieve the Brass Plates. The Lot is cast upon Laman. Laman enters the house of Laban and requests the Brass Plates, however Laban is angered; “…Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.” (1 Nephi 3:13)

Laman was able to flee from his presences and return to his brethren outside of the house. Nephi’s brothers are determined to flee Jerusalem; however Nephi reminds them that God had commanded them to obtain the records. Nephi speaks to his brothers; “…As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us. Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Nephi 3:15-16) Nephi reminds them that with God, all is possible. Nephi derives a plan to return to the house of their father to take their inheritance (gold and silver) to please Laban and essentially buy the plates from him. Nephi explains to his brothers that after Jerusalem is destroyed, it would be up to them to preserve the record of their children.

Nephi and his brothers retrieve their inheritances and return to speak with Laban. This time Laban became greedy and desired both the Brass Plates and the precious metals; “…when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.” (1 Nephi 3:25) Nephi and his brothers AGAIN flee from the house of Laban. Because they were faithful, the Lord did protect them and the servants of Laban were unsuccessful of overtaking them in the wilderness and destroying them.

After two unsuccessful attempts, Laman and Lemuel became angered and they spoke hard words and beat both Nephi and Sam with rods. As they were being beaten by their brothers; “…an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.” (1 Nephi 3:29)

Even after having seen an angel of the Lord, both Laman and Lemuel began to murmur again saying; “…How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?” (1 Nephi 3:31) Both Laman and Lemuel had yet to come to believe in the Lord and His great power!

Genesis 31-33

Genesis 31-33

Chapter 31: Jacob and Laban make Peace.

The Lord commands Jacob to go to Canaan, so Jacob leaves secretly in the middle of the night with all of his belongings and his wives (the daughters of Laban). Laban, after finding out that they had fled secretly in the night, pursues them.

Later Laban catches up to Jacob, but at that same place they make peace. They make a covenant with each other that they will be peaceful, they make an altar/pillar to symbolize their covenant; they call this pillar: Galeed. Laban blesses his descendants and parts from the company and heads home.

Chapter 32: Face to Face

Jacob sees an Angel and asks God to preserve him from his brother Esau. Jacob invited his brother to try and make peace with him, but a servant told him that he was coming to meet him, but bringing an army of 400 men to meet with him. Jacob prepares presents for when Esau comes and pleads with God, because he fears his brother Esau. Jacob even has his stuff split in half, so that if Esau falls on one group with half his stuff, the other group with the other half of his stuff can flee.

In the scriptures it says that Jacob crossed a river with his wives and children and sent them away with what he had with him at the time. It then says that he wrestled all night with a man, who we can say was either a servant/angel of God, or God himself. They wrestled so hard that Jacob’s “hollow of the thigh” or hip was out of place. The man tells Jacob to let him go, and he says he will not let him go until he receives a blessing from him. The man tells him that he will no longer be called Jacob, but Israel from now on. Because as Israel, he has power with God and with men. “Wrestling” most likely means that he “wrestled in prayer” with God or something to that effect. Israel receives a blessing from the Lord; and Jacob/Israel calls the place where he was “Peniel, because he said; “…for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:30-31)

From that day forward the children of Israel did not eat of the sinew (tendon) that connects to the hip. I find this very interesting, that Jacob/Israel spoke to/saw God FACE TO FACE!  Especially in a world that has religions that say “no man has seen/ nor ever will see God”, how false is that! The scriptures prove otherwise. God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever! If he called prophets and spoke to man in ancient times, he speaks and a calls prophet today… nothing has changed! I can testify that God has already called a prophet, and through that prophet Jesus Christ re-established (restored) his church on the earth again, today. God continues to call prophets and today, we have a living prophet of God on the earth.

Chapter 33: Reconciliation Between Esau and Jacob

Jacob meets Esau and urges him to take his presents, even though Esau refused,  because he had enough. When Esau meets Jacob he embraces him, hugs and kisses him and they make peace. Jacob tells Esau that he saw the face of God, just like he sees his face. So we know that Jacob really did see God’s face, and it was like man’s face. Because remember, God created man in HIS IMAGE! So God is also like a man! Jacob settles in Canaan and builds an altar to God; calling it: “El-elohe-Israel”