2013 Book of Mormon: Chapter 5 (Institute Lesson by hgellor)
DOCTRINES AND PRINCIPLES IN THIS LESSON:
• The Lord guides His faithful servants (see 1 Nephi 16; 18:12-15, 21-22).
•The Lord blesses and strengthens those who keep His commandments (see 1
Nephi 17; 18:8-25).
•We must prepare ourselves to follow the promptings of the Spirit (see 1
Nephi 17:7-11, 44-47; 18:1-4).
1 Nephi 16-19
The Lord guides His faithful servants. 1 Nephi 16; 18:12-15, 21-22
1 Nephi 16
10 And 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 round 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.
16 And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts
of the wilderness.
28 And 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
Other depictions of the Liahona:
29 And 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.
30 And 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.
31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.
Elder David A. Bednar:
“…Thus, the primary purposes of the Liahona were to provide both direction and instruction during a long
and demanding journey. The director was a physical instrument that served as an outward indicator of their
inner spiritual standing before God. It worked according to the principles of faith and diligence.
“Just as Lehi was blessed in ancient times, each of us in this day has been given a spiritual compass that can
direct and instruct us during our mortal journey. The Holy Ghost was conferred upon you and me as we came
out of the world and into the Savior’s Church through baptism and confirmation. By the authority of the holy
priesthood we were confirmed as members of the Church and admonished to seek for the constant
companionship of ‘the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither
knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you’ (John 14:17).
“As we each press forward along the pathway of life, we receive direction from the Holy Ghost just as Lehi
was directed through the Liahona. ‘For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and
receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do’ (2 Nephi 32:5).
“The Holy Ghost operates in our lives precisely as the Liahona did for Lehi and his family, according to our
faith and diligence and heed” (in Conference Report, Apr. 2006, 31; or Ensign, May 2006, 30–31).
What are some other guides in our lives that are like the Liahona?
In what ways are these guides like the Liahona?
In what ways do these guides point the way we should go?
What might cause us to miss important messages from these guides?
The Liahona led the people “in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.” How might this apply in our
1 Nephi 16:29 And 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
How are these guides “small means”? What are some “great things” that can happen because of these
Team: Nephi’s Bow Broke
Summarize what happened in each of the following
passages from 1 Nephi 16, and then explain what you
think Lehi’s family might have learned from each
TEAM 1: Verses 17–19
TEAM 2: Verses 20–21
TEAM 3: Verses 22–23
TEAM 4: Verses 24–29
TEAM 5: Verses 30–31
Even though Lehi murmured, why do you
think Nephi went to him for counsel on
where to hunt for food? What impresses you
about the way Nephi approached his father
after making a new bow?
How have you been influenced when you
have seen others respond faithfully to trials?
How might your responses to trials influence
those around you?
How could the experience of Nephi’s broken
bow help you if you suddenly lost a job that
provided the necessary money to feed and
clothe your family?
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles taught that adversity can help stimulate
necessary growth in our lives:
“May I share some suggestions with you who face …
the testing that a wise Heavenly Father determines
is needed even when you are living a worthy,
righteous life and are obedient to His
“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges
often come in multiple doses applied
simultaneously. When those trials are not
consequences of your disobedience, they are
evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to
grow more (see Proverbs 3:11–12). He therefore
gives you experiences that stimulate growth,
understanding, and compassion which polish you
for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where
you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot
of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort
and pain” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 18; or
Ensign, Nov. 1995, 16–17).
The loss of Nephi’s bow raised doubts in Lehi’s
colony, causing some to turn from God and
focus on the negative. Elder Robert D. Hales of
the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled
us to turn to the Lord when we face trials:
“I have come to understand how useless it is
to dwell on the whys, what ifs, and if onlysfor
which there likely will be given no answers in
mortality. To receive the Lord’s comfort, we
must exercise faith. The questions Why me?
Why our family? Why now? are usually
unanswerable questions. These questions
detract from our spirituality and can destroy
our faith. We need to spend our time and
energy building our faith by turning to the
Lord and asking for strength to overcome the
pains and trials of this world and to endure
to the end for greater understanding” (in
Conference Report, Oct. 1998, 16; or Ensign,
Nov. 1998, 14–15).
Murmuring and complaining seemed to have
become second nature for Laman and Lemuel. Even
Lehi had become discouraged enough that he
murmured. Elder Marion D. Hanks of the Presidency
of the Seventy emphasized Nephi’s great character
in how he approached this crisis:
“What to do? Nephi says he made a bow and an
arrow out of some available wood, got a sling and
stones and, ‘I said unto my Father, “Whither shall I
go to obtain food?”’ It is a simple thing, isn’t it? …
This means that Nephi went to his father and said,
‘Dad, the Lord has blessed you. You are his servant.
I need to know where to go to get food. Dad, you
ask him, will you?’ Oh, he could have gone to his
own knees. He could have taken over.
“I count this one of the really significant lessons of life in the book, and, I repeat, the pages are full
of them. A son who had strength enough, and humility enough, and manliness enough to go to his
wavering superior and say, ‘You ask God, will you?’ because somehow he knew this is how you
make men strong, that wise confidence in men builds them. Lehi asked God and God told him, and
Lehi’s leadership was restored” (Steps to Learning, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year
[May 4, 1960], 7).
The Lord blesses and strengthens those who keep
His commandments. 1 Nephi 17; 18:8-25
In addition to guiding Lehi’s family with the Liahona, the Lord helped them in other ways:
GROUP 1: 1 Nephi 17:1–14
GROUP 2: 1 Nephi 17:45–55
GROUP 3: 1 Nephi 18:10–25
Read the scripture passages, and look for ways
in which the Lord showed forth His “tender
In an effort to convince his brothers that
God wanted the family to travel to the
land of promise, Nephi compared their
circumstances to the children of Israel
who left Egypt and journeyed to a
How do you think Lehi’s family might
have benefited from remembering the
experience of the children of Israel?
In what ways do you benefit from
learning about the journeys of Lehi’s
family and the ancient Israelites?
The scriptures often contain if-then statements. The Lord tells us that if we will do a certain thing, then
He will bless us in a certain way.
What if-then relationship do you see in these
1 Nephi 17:13 And I will also be your alight in the
wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if
it so be that ye shall keep my commandments;
wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my
commandments ye shall be led towards the
promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me
that ye are led.
Omni 1:6 For the Lord would not suffer, after he
had led them out of the land of Jerusalem and kept
and preserved them from falling into the hands of
their enemies, yea, he would not suffer that the
words should not be verified, which he spake unto
our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will not
keep my commandments ye shall not prosper in the
Ether 12:12 For if there be no faith among the children of
men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he
showed not himself until after their faith.
Disobedience always brings suffering, even though the suffering does not always come as
immediately or as obviously as it did for Lehi’s family.
In what ways did Nephi suffer because of
the disobedience of others?
Why do you think the Lord allowed Nephi
to remain tied up for so long instead of
freeing him miraculously as He did in 1
Nephi 7:18; 16:39; and 17:48?
How did everyone in the group eventually
suffer because of the rebellion?
What can we learn from these examples?
We must prepare ourselves to follow the promptings of the
1 Nephi 17:7-11, 44-47; 18:1-4
1 Ne 17:45 Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to
remember the Lord your God. Ye have seen an
angel, and he spake unto you; yea, ye have heard
his voice from time to time; and he hath spoken
unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past
feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore,
he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of
thunder, which did cause the earth to shake as if it
were to divide asunder.
What do you think it means to be “past
What choices had Laman and Lemuel made
that had led them to become “past feeling”?
1 Nephi 17
7 And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had been in
the land of Bountiful for the space of many days, the
voice of the Lord came unto me, saying: Arise, and get
thee into the mountain. And it came to pass that I arose
and went up into the mountain, and cried unto the
8 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me,
saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner
which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people
across these waters.
9 And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore
to molten, that I may make tools to construct the ship
after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?
10 And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I
should go to find ore, that I might make tools.
11 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make a
bellows wherewith to blow the fire, of the skins of
beasts; and after I had made a bellows, that I might
have wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones
together that I might make fire.
What did Nephi do that
helped him communicate
1 Nephi 18
1 And it came to pass that they did worship the Lord,
and did go forth with me; and we did work timbers of
curious workmanship. And the Lord did show me
from time to time after what manner I should work
the timbers of the ship.
2 Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the
manner which was learned by men, neither did I
build the ship after the manner of men; but I did
build it after the manner which the Lord had shown
unto me; wherefore, it was not after the manner of
3 And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did
pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed
unto me great things.
4 And it came to pass that after I had finished the
ship, according to the word of the Lord, my brethren
beheld that it was good, and that the workmanship
thereof was exceedingly fine; wherefore, they did
humble themselves again before the Lord.
The Lord showed Nephi how to build the
ship “from time to time.” Why do you
think it was helpful for Nephi to learn a
little bit at a time rather than receiving
everything all at once?
Why was it important for Nephi to follow
the Lord’s instructions before the Lord
would teach him more?
2 Nephi 28:30 For behold, thus saith the Lord
God: I will give unto the children of men line
upon line, precept upon precept, here a little
and there a little; and blessed are those who
hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear
unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom;
for unto him thatreceivethI will give more;
and from them that shall say, We have
enough, from them shall be taken away even
that which they have.
In what ways did Nephi demonstrate trust
in the Lord?
What can we do to follow Nephi’s example
and build a life that, like Nephi’s ship, is
“exceedingly fine” in the eyes of the Lord?