The revealed text

The revealed text
The light of revelation at the Whitmer farm where Joseph and Oliver worked upstairs to finish translating the Book of Mormon

Monday, January 4, 2016

Lesson 2 "All Things According to His Will"

When Lehi departed from Jerusalem, he went south toward the Red Sea. There are several ways he could have gone. When the boys returned to Jerusalem, they may or may not have followed the same trails.

Possible routes that Lehi and his family took when they left Jerusalem
Whichever route they took, the area is extremely harsh and dry. 

Jordanian desert near Petra, along the King's Highway
One of the questions that arises later in the Book of Mormon is how the population grew so fast after they arrived in the promised land. Here's a comment from Moroni's America, p. 86:

     I think it is likely Lehi brought servants. The journey from Jerusalem through the wilderness would have been arduous for any small group, but also dangerous. Lehi was a wealthy man, and likely accustomed to desert travel; in the context of the times, he would have had servants to assist him in his work, as well as to assist the household. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that Lehi would have sent all of his sons back to Jerusalem, leaving Lehi and Sariah and their daughters alone in the wilderness, if he did not have servants. Perhaps he also sent servants to accompany his sons on their trips to Jerusalem.

     Joseph Smith said the group was “principally Israelites,” so some of them were not. Apart from Zoram, the record gives no specifics on the identity of these non-Israelites. Had Zoram been the only exception, would Joseph have used the term “principally?” The term refers to rank or importance, not merely numbers, so even a significant number of non-Israelite servants would leave the group “principally Israelites.” 

1. Did Lehi see the promised land before he left Jerusalem? If so, what did he see?

2. Nephi says the Lord gave him a promise: "inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands." What modern country could be considered "choice above all other lands?"

3. Why was it so important for Lehi's family to obtain the plates of brass?

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