We know that the family of Lehi was in the wilderness for a span of 8 years, and they are no longer there, so we can guess that Nephi and his brothers finish building the ship which they are commanded to build in about 591 BC or so. Nephi prayed regularly for guidance on how to build this ship and where he should go to get materials. The ship was done and everyone was humbled before God for the great work that they had completed. Now, they are at the beach, and I know it’s 591 BC or so, but don’t people go to the beach? Can you imagine being a beach-goer and seeing this large family camped upon the beach building a ship? I imagine this is quite a sight!
Upon further direction from the Lord, the family gathers what they need to put on their ship. I see this much like I see Noah loading up his family and all of the animals prior to the great flood. “Load up,” is what I say to my family when it’s time to get in the car. I can see Lehi and Nephi standing at the ramp to get in the ship, herding their very large family on board. In verse 7, we learn that Lehi and Sariah had two additional children over the course of their journeys in the wilderness; Jacob and Joseph.
Verse 8 is ships ahoy! And after several days of journeying at sea; Laman, Lemuel and their brothers-in-law begin enjoy themselves a little too much and begin to be very rude. Nephi, afraid of what the Lord may think of this, speaks to them about their behavior and once again, these men think that they ought to kill Nephi. I am amazed once again. I am sure that over the course of my life, I have said “I’m going to kill her” to myself about one of my sisters, but I never meant it and I never actually constructed a plan (or five like that of Nephi’s brothers.) So the brethren bind Nephi up so tight that he couldn’t even move and they are shown the wrath of God once again.
A nasty storm comes. The storm is mean, and so fierce that the ship is about “to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea.” It took four days for these men to realize that they needed to repent and let Nephi down from where they tied him up. And this after Lehi and the young boys Jacob and Joseph and others plead with them to let Nephi go. Nephi knew and wrote in verse 20 “there was nothing save it were the power of God, which threatened them with destruction, could soften their hearts.” This is so sad. It brings tears to my eyes. We have people like this abundantly on earth today. People that must be threatened with destruction from their maker in order to choose the right path. Can you see your wife, (or if you’re female, you) at the feet of others begging and crying and pleading in sorry and prayer to let you (or your husband) to be released? Feel the power and emotion behind this. Feel the bond of marriage and feel the love.
When Nephi was released, Nephi went to his knees in prayer, asking for help and praying for God to guide them once again and to please stop this storm.
The Book of Mormon timeline shows that in approximately 589 BC that the ship arrived “at the promised land.” The family of Lehi debark and set up camp. They then promptly started to get things prepared for harvest, to grow food for themselves and verse 24 says “we were blessed in abundance.”
I am so thankful for the loving family that I have and for living in this time of comforts that we have here on earth today. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who will always be there when I need Him, which is every single day. I am grateful to know that He offers second and third and fourth chances. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon and all that it brings into my life and I am grateful for BYU-Idaho Pathway that I have this opportunity to grow and learn in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I write this in His name, my Savior and Redeemer, Amen.