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BKM Lesson 5:   “Hearken to the Truth and Give Heed unto It”  1 Nephi 16-18   (See L5 Study Guide)


To inspire us to follow Nephi’s example of faith and willing obedience.

1. The Lord guides the families of Lehi and Ishmael according to their faith and diligence.

• Read 1 Nephi 16:9-33; and 17:1-3.

• 1 Ne. 16:1-5. “Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.”

†1. Elder Neal A. Maxwell  †2. Elder Neal A. Maxwell

• 1 Ne. 16:10, 28-29; and Alma 37:38-42. Lehi “beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship”. Alma discusses “the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is … a compass”.

What were the purposes of the Liahona? What did the people need to do for the Liahona to work?

What were the consequences when the people were unfaithful and disobedient?

What are some guides in our lives that, like the Liahona, work according to our faith and diligence?

How have these guides helped you?†3. President Spencer W. Kimball

• 1 Ne. 16:18-32. My “brethren were angry with me because of the loss of my bow, for we did obtain no food.”

 “23 And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?”  †4. W.H. Murray

What can we learn from Nephi’s response to this challenge that can help us when we face challenges?

What was the result of Lehi’s humbling himself and turning to the Lord? (See 1 Nephi 16:26-32.)

What can we learn from the Lord’s dealing with Lehi in this instance?

• 1 Nephi 16:29. By “small means the Lord can bring about great things.” (See Alma 37:6-7; D&C 64:22.)

2. Nephi demonstrates unwavering faith by fulfilling the Lord’s command to build a ship.

• Read 1 Nephi 17:4-55 and 18:1-4.

• 1 Ne. 17:13. “I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments”.

• 1 Ne. 17:8-11; 16-19, 50-51. “I did make tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock”.

What can we learn from Nephi’s response to the Lord’s command to build a ship?†5. Elder L. Tom Perry

• 1 Ne. 17:17-22. “When my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began … saying: Our brother is a fool”.

• 1 Ne. 17:23-44. “Do ye believe … the children of Israel, would have been led … out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?” Nephi likens their small group to the Israelites led by Moses.

• 1 Ne. 17:45. “He hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling that ye could not feel his words”.

†6. Elder Boyd K. Packer  What causes people to become “past feeling”?

How can we prepare ourselves to feel the words of the Lord?

What consequences do people face when they, like Laman and Lemuel, harden their hearts against the truth?

• 1 Ne. 18:1-4. “I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.”

3. Laman and Lemuel bind Nephi, who shows courage and gratitude despite this trial. After they free him, he guides the ship to the promised land.

• Read 1 Nephi 18:5-22. “The voice of the Lord came unto my father, that we should arise and go down into the ship.”

• 1 Ne. 18:9-10. “They did forget by what power they had been brought … they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness”.

What was the only thing that would convince Laman and Lemuel to release Nephi? (See 1 Ne. 18:19-20.)

• 1 Ne. 18:20; 1 Ne. 2:14; 7:19-21; 16:39; 18:4. “Laman and Lemuel became more hard-hearted as they rebelled against the Lord, repented, and then continued to rebel.” (Lesson Manual)

What is the danger of returning to the same sin over and over again? (See D&C 82:7.)

As the people traveled, what circumstances led many of them to murmur?

What was Nephi’s attitude during these difficult times? (See 1 Nephi 18:16.)

Next Week: L6: “Free to Choose Liberty and Eternal Life”; See L6: Class Member Study Guide.

(Read the Institute Book of Mormon Student Manual at Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121, 122. .)

†1. Elder Neal A. Maxwell “Early on, Laman rejected the role he should have played, and, instead, wanted to be ‘top dog in the manger,’ resenting all the while Nephi’s spiritual leadership. Lemuel was not only Laman’s dutiful satellite, but he was also his enabler by allowing himself to be ‘stirred up’ by Laman (see 1 Ne. 16:37–38)... We have enablers in our society too. They allow themselves to be stirred up against that which is good…

 “... Some moderns who wish to distance themselves from God try placing His pavilion firmly in the past. By believing in such a disabled God, people can do pretty much as they please. It is then not many steps further to saying there is no God, therefore no law and no sin! (see 2 Ne. 2:13; see also Alma 30:28)…

 “Laman and Lemuel did not realize either that a loving God will inevitably be a tutoring Father, who wants His children to be truly happy and to come home. Not understanding God’s “dealings” sufficiently, Laman and Lemuel missed the most important attribute of God’s character—His love! Thus their murmuring was a symptom of a pathetic pathology.

 (“ Lessons from Laman and Lemuel,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 6-8.)

†2. Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained why we should accept the Lord’s correction even if it is painful: “God is not only there in the mildest expressions of his presence, but also in those seemingly harsh expressions. For example, when truth ‘cutteth … to the very center’ (1 Nephi 16:2), this may signal that spiritual surgery is underway, painfully severing pride from the soul” (“ Yet Thou Art There,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 31).

  “There is kindness in this pain, for as truth, the Lord’s laser, cuts through to all but the hardest hearts, so the healing light of the gospel is let in. The outer encrustations of evil can make us so insensitive that only the cuts ‘to the very center have any hope of bringing the desired response!” (Things As They Really Are, p. 79.)

  “Most of us don’t like to be cut to the center, and when the gospel standards cut us it hurts. The tendency is to deal with the pain by rejecting further surgery.” (“For the Power Is in Them”—Mormon Musings (1970), 49)

†3. President Spencer W. Kimball:The Lord gave to … every person, a conscience which tells him everytime he starts to go on the wrong path. He is always told if he is listening; but people can, of course, become so used to hearing the messages that they ignore them until finally they do not register anymore.

 “You must realize that you have something like the compass, like the Liahona, in your own system. Every child is given it. … If he ignores the Liahona that he has in his own makeup, he eventually may not have it whispering to him. … Our ship will not get on the wrong course … if we listen to the dictates of our own Liahona, which we call the conscience” (“ Our Own Liahona,” Ensign, Nov. 1976, 79).

†4. W.H. Murray:Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

 “All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues forth from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.” (Everest—The West Ridge, p.100)

†5. Elder L. Tom Perry: “This is … an instance in which the Lord provided help but then stepped aside to allow one of His sons to exercise his own initiative. I have sometimes wondered what would have happened if Nephi had asked the Lord for tools instead of a place to find the ore to make the tools. I doubt the Lord would have honored Nephi’s request. You see, the Lord knew that Nephi could make the tools, and it is seldom the Lord will do something for us that we can do for ourselves” (“ Becoming Self-Reliant,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 64).

†6. Elder Boyd K. Packer: “The Holy Ghost communicates with the spirit through the mind more than through the physical senses. This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings, through impressions and promptings. It is not always easy to describe inspiration. The scriptures teach us that we may ‘feel’ the words of spiritual communication more than hear them, and see with spiritual rather than with mortal eyes (see 1 Nephi 17:45)” (“ Revelation in a Changing World,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 14).

Recommended Reading:

  1. BKM 5 Enrichment.pdf contains more quotes and links to articles, blogs, and talks.

  2. Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121-122, Book of Mormon Student Manual: Religion 121-122. Select the link for Chapter 5.

  3. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Lessons from Laman and Lemuel,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 6-8.

  4. Video: I Will Prepare the Way (13:24).

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