The Book of Mormon is about God’s dealings with His people in the ancient Americas. The first two books in the Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi, were written mostly by an ancient prophet named Nephi. Nephi’s writings in the Book of Mormon give an account of his life and family. Nephi and his family were ancient Israelites who fled to the Americas in about 600 BC.
Nephi’s life wasn’t easy—he suffered as he and his family forsook their home and fortune, his older brothers tried to kill him, he journeyed through a wilderness for years, he braved a perilous ocean crossing, and he established a new life in the Americas (see 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi). But despite the hardships he faced, Nephi’s faith in God remained sure and steadfast. Read on to discover just a few of Nephi’s teachings, which are as relevant today as they were hundreds of years ago.
Nephi’s Book of Mormon Lesson #1: Have Faith in God
Today, many people struggle to have faith in God because there are things about Him they can’t understand or unanswered questions they have. Nephi authored the following words in the Book of Mormon, “I know that [God] loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things” (1 Nephi 11:17). From Nephi’s testimony, we learn that we can know God is there and that He loves us, even if we don’t understand everything about Him or the sometimes unjust world around us.
Nephi’s Book of Mormon Lesson #2: Believe in Jesus Christ
The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. Like other Book of Mormon prophets, Nephi declared the importance of believing in Jesus Christ: “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26). Latter-day Saints today are grateful for the witnesses of Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon and believe that careful study of the Book of Mormon can help all people come to know and draw nearer to their Savior.
Nephi’s Book of Mormon Lesson #3: Believe in God’s Love for All
Nephi’s writings contain the powerful message that God loves all his children. For example, Nephi wrote, “Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden” (2 Nephi 26:28, see also verses 32–33). Today, Christ continues to beckon all people to come unto Him. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a Latter-day Saint leader, taught, “When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. . . . That is what He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today” (“You Are My Hands,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2010, 68). Many Latter-day Saints around the world strive to follow the example of the Savior by reaching out to others in loving service.
Nephi’s Book of Mormon Lesson #4: Keep God’s Commandments
Nephi was an excellent example of keeping God’s commandments, even when it seemed impossible to do so (see 1 Nephi 3–4). In the Book of Mormon, Nephi wrote, “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). His example can give us confidence that the Lord will help us too, as we try to follow Him, and that He will never require more than we can do with His help.
Nephi’s Book of Mormon Lesson #5: Have Hope and Keep Going
Near the end of his record, Nephi encouraged his readers with an inspiring message of hope and love for others. Nephi wrote, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20). Nephi’s words provide encouragement that is as relevant today as it was when Nephi wrote it. His words teach us the importance of hope and perseverance, no matter what is going on in the world around us.
Many Book of Mormon prophets in addition to Nephi testified of Jesus Christ. To learn more about what the Book of Mormon is, or to request a free copy, visit comeuntochrist.org.