|16:1 And now
it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of
speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou
hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able
|16:2 And it
came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had
spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the
truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified
that they should be 1lifted
up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the
truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.
|| John 6:40: ...and I
will raise him up at the last day.
|16:3 And now
my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to
hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye
might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur
because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things
|16:4 And it
came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with
all diligence, to keep the commandments of the Lord.
|16:5 And it
came to pass that they did humble themselves before the
Lord; insomuch that I had joy and great hopes of them,
that they would walk in the paths of righteousness.
all these things were said and done as my father dwelt in
a tent in the valley which he called Lemuel.
|16:7 And it
came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of
Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the
daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the
eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife.
thus my father had fulfilled all the commandments of the
Lord which had been given unto him. And also, I, Nephi,
had been blessed of the Lord exceedingly.
|16:9 And it
came to pass that the voice of the Lord spake unto my
father by night, and commanded him that on the morrow he
should take his journey into the wilderness.
it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning,
and went forth to the tent door, to his great
astonishment he beheld upon the ground a 1round
ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass.
And within the ball were two spindles; and the one
pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.
Nephi is obviously describing a compass here (see I Nephi 18:12). Such a device
would, of course, not be invented for centuries to come.
One could always argue that God had providentially
provided a miraculous compass, but Nephi's use of the
actual word "compass" later on in the narrative
seems to show that he knew exactly what it was.
it came to pass that we did gather together whatsoever
things we should carry into the wilderness, and all the
remainder of our provisions which the Lord had given unto
us; and we did take seed of every kind that we might
carry into the wilderness.
it came to pass that we did take our tents and depart
into the wilderness, across the river Laman.
it came to pass that we traveled for the space of four
days, nearly a south-southeast direction, and we did
pitch our tents again; and we did call the name of the
it came to pass that we did take our bows and our arrows,
and go forth into the wilderness to slay food for our
families; and after we had slain food for our families we
did return again to our families in the wilderness, to
the place of Shazer. And we did go forth again in the
wilderness, following the same direction, keeping in the
most fertile parts of the wilderness, which were in the
borders near the Red Sea.
it came to pass that we did travel for the space of many
days, slaying food by the way, with our bows and our
arrows and our stones and our slings.
we did follow the directions of the ball,
which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.
after we had traveled for the space of many days, we did
pitch our tents for the space of a time, that we might
again rest ourselves and obtain food for our families.
it came to pass that as I, Nephi, went forth to slay
food, behold, I did break my bow, which was made of fine steel; and after I did break my
bow, behold, my brethren were angry with me because of
the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.
it came to pass that we did return without food to our
families, and being much fatigued, because of their
journeying, they did suffer much for the want of food.
it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel and the sons of
Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly, because of their
sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness; and also my
father began to murmur against the Lord his God; yea, and
they were all exceedingly sorrowful, even that they did
murmur against the Lord.
it came to pass that I, Nephi, having been afflicted with
my brethren because of the loss of my bow, and their bows
having lost their springs, it began to be exceedingly
difficult, yea, insomuch that we could obtain no food.
it came to pass that I, Nephi, did speak much unto my
brethren, because they had hardened their hearts again,
even unto complaining against the Lord their God.
it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make out of wood a
bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I
did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and
with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I
go to obtain food?
it came to pass that he did inquire of the Lord, for they
had humbled themselves because of my words; for I did say
many things unto them in the energy of my soul.
it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came unto my
father; and he was truly chastened because of his
murmuring against the Lord, insomuch that he was brought
down into the depths of sorrow.
it came to pass that the voice of the Lord said unto him:
Look upon the ball, and behold the
things which are written.
it came to pass that when my father beheld the things
which were written upon the ball, he
did fear and tremble exceedingly, and also my brethren
and the sons of Ishmael and our wives.
it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which
were in the ball, that they did work
according to the faith and diligence and heed which we
did give unto them.
there was also written upon them a new writing, which was
plain to be read, which did give us understanding
concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and
changed from time to time, according to the faith and
diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by
small means the Lord can bring about great things.
it came to pass that I, Nephi, did go forth up into the
top of the mountain, according to the directions which
were given upon the ball.
it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch
that I did obtain food for our families.
it came to pass that I did return to our tents, bearing
the beasts which I had slain; and now when they beheld
that I had obtained food, how great was their joy! And it
came to pass that they did humble themselves before the
Lord, and did give thanks unto him.
it came to pass that we did again take our journey,
traveling nearly the same course as in the beginning; and
after we had traveled for the space of many days we did
pitch our tents again, that we might tarry for the space
of a time.
it came to pass that Ishmael died, and was buried in the
place which was called Nahom.
it came to pass that the daughters of Ishmael did mourn
exceedingly, because of the loss of their father, and
because of their afflictions in the wilderness; and they
did murmur against my father, because he had brought them
out of the land of Jerusalem, saying: Our father is dead;
yea, and we have wandered much in the wilderness, and we
have suffered much affliction, hunger, thirst, and
fatigue; and after all these sufferings we must perish in
the wilderness with hunger.
thus they did murmur against my father, and also against
me; and they were desirous to return again to Jerusalem.
Laman said unto Lemuel and also unto the sons of Ishmael:
Behold, let us slay our father, and also our brother
Nephi, who has taken it upon him to be our ruler and our
teacher, who are his elder brethren.
he says that the Lord has talked with him, and also that
angels have ministered unto him. But behold, we know that
he lies unto us; and he tells us these things, and he
worketh many things by his cunning arts, that he may
deceive our eyes, thinking, perhaps, that he may lead us
away into some strange wilderness; and after he has led
us away, he has thought to make himself a king and a
ruler over us, that he may do with us according to his
will and pleasure. And after this manner did my brother
Laman stir up their hearts to anger.
it came to pass that the Lord was with us, yea, even the
voice of the Lord came and did speak many words unto
them, and did chasten them exceedingly; and after they
were chastened by the voice of the Lord they did turn
away their anger, and did repent of their sins, insomuch
that the Lord did bless us again with food, that we did