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 to bear.
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 lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.
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 against us.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the commandments of the Lord.
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.
Now, all these things were said and done, as my father dwelt in a tent in the valley which he called Lemuel.
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.
And 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.
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.
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.
And 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.
And it came to pass that we did take our tents, and depart into the wilderness, across the river Laman.
And it came to pass that we traveled for the space of four days, nearly a south, south-east direction, and we did pitch our tents again; and we did call the name of the place Shazer.
And 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.
And 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;
And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.
And 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.
And 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.
And 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.
And 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 exceeding sorrowful, even that they did murmur against the Lord.
Now 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 spring, it began to be exceeding difficult, yea, insomuch that we could obtain no food.
And 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.
And 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?
And it came to pass that he did inquire of the Lord, for they had humbled themselves because of my word; for I did say many things unto them in the energy of my soul.
And 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.
And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord said unto him, Look upon the ball, and behold the things which are written!
And 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.
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 them.
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.
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.
And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.
And 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.
And 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.
And it came to pass that Ishmael died, and was buried in the place which was called Nahom.
And 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.
And thus they did murmur against my father, and also against me; and they were desirous to return again to Jerusalem.
And 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.
Now, 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.
And 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 not perish.
And it came to pass that we did again take our journey in the wilderness; and we did travel nearly eastward, from that time forth.
And we did travel and wade through much affliction in the wilderness; and our women did bear children in the wilderness.
And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men; and they began to bear their journeyings without murmurings.
And thus we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled.
And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God, he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them;
Wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness.
And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.
And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit, and also wild honey;
And all these things were prepared of the Lord, that we might not perish.
And we beheld the sea, which we called Irreantum, which being interpreted is, many waters.
And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the sea- shore;
And notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions, and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we can not write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the sea-shore;
And we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.
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 Lord.
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying, Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall shew thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
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 has shewn unto me?
And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did make bellows wherewith to blow the fire, of the skins of beasts;
And after I had made bellows, that I might have wherewith to blow the fire, I did smite two stones together, that I might make fire.
For the Lord had not hitherto suffered that we should make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness;
For he said, I will make thy food become sweet, that ye cook it not;
And I will also be your light 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 toward the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.
Yea, and the Lord said also, that after ye have arrived to the promised land, ye shall know that I, the Lord, am God;
And that I, the Lord, did deliver you from destruction;
Yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem.
Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.
And it came to pass that I did make tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock.
And when my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying,
Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship;
Yea, and he also thinketh that he can cross these great waters.
And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous that they might not labor, for they did not believe that I could build a ship;
Neither would they believe that I was instructed of the Lord.
And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceeding sorrowful, because of the hardness of their hearts;
And now when they saw that I began to be sorrowful, they were glad in their hearts, insomuch that they did rejoice over me, saying,
We knew that ye could not construct a ship, for we knew that ye were lacking in judgment; wherefore, thou canst not accomplish so great a work;
And thou art like unto our father, led away by the foolish imaginations of his heart;
Yea, he hath led us out of the land of Jerusalem; and we have wandered in the wilderness for these many years;
And our women have toiled, being big with child; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, save it were death;
And it would have been better that they had died, before they came out of Jerusalem, than to have suffered these afflictions.
Behold, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, which time we might have enjoyed our possessions, and the land of our inheritance; yea, and we might have been happy;
And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem, were a righteous people;
For they kept the statutes and the judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people;
And our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his word;
Yea, and our brother is like unto him.
And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying, Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the Egyptians, if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?
Yea, do ye suppose that they would have been led out of bondage, if the Lord had not commanded Moses that he should lead them out of bondage?
Now ye know that the children of Israel were in bondage; and ye know that they were laden with tasks, which were grievous to be borne;
Wherefore, ye know that it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be brought out of bondage.
Now ye know that Moses was commanded of the Lord to do that great work;
And ye know that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and thither, and they passed through on dry ground.
But ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh;
And ye also know that they were fed with manna in the wilderness;
Yea, and ye also know that Moses, by his word, according to the power of God which was in him, smote the rock, and there came forth water, that the children of Israel might quench their thirst;
And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts, and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living God.
And it came to pass that according to his word, he did destroy them;
And according to his word, he did lead them;
And according to his word, he did do all things for them;
And there was not anything done, save it were by his word.
And after they had crossed the river Jordan, he did make them mighty, unto the driving out the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to destruction.
And now do ye suppose that the children of this land, who were in the land of promise, who were driven out by our fathers, do ye suppose that they were righteous? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
Do ye suppose that our fathers would have been more choice than they, if they had been righteous?
I say unto you, Nay;
Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one.
He that is righteous, is favored of God.
But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fullness of the wrath of God was upon them;
And the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction;
And he did bless it unto our fathers, unto their obtaining power over it.