BOOK OF MORMON

 

1 Nephi - Chapter 16 Critique

 

Setting: This portion of 1 Nephi supposedly ocurred between 600 and 592 B.C. during the last years of the kingdom of Judah before the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.

 

Verses 1-2: 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.

Note: God is the justifier of the righteous not a fictional character named Nephi.

Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

 

Verses 3-4: 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.

Note: Do you love God and others more than yourself?

Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

 

Verses 5-6: 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.

Note: Those who love God will be led by Him in the paths of righteousness.

Psalm 23:1-3 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.

Note: There is no valley named Lemuel on the Arabian peninsula.

 

Verses 7-8: 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.

Note: One commandment of God is not to be unequally yoked with a non-believer.

Ezra 10:3 "Now therefore, let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and those who have been born to them, according to the advice of my master and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the law."

 

Verses 9-10: 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.

Note: Brass was unknown in Israel at this time.

Both brass and bronze, the alloy of copper and tin, were probably first made accidentally when people heated copper ores that contained the alloying metals. But brass did not have the importance of bronze in ancient times. Brass was harder to produce because the zinc in brass, unlike the tin in bronze, evaporates soon after melting and is lost. Brass was first used extensively by the Romans about 2,000 years ago. They made brass coins, kettles, and ornaments. 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 11: 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.

Note: Solomon Spaulding was no botanist.

Seeds are produced by approximately 250,000 kinds of plants. Flowering plants make up the largest group of seed-producing plants. These plants, which botanists call angiosperms, include the vast majority of trees, shrubs, and soft-stemmed plants. Seeds are also produced by about 800 kinds of trees and shrubs called gymnosperms. Most gymnosperms develop cones. 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verse 12: And it came to pass that we did take our tents and depart into the wilderness, across the river Laman.

Note: There is no river named Laman flowing into the Red Sea.

Arabian Peninsula, in southwestern Asia, is a vast land that is largely desert. Saudi Arabia occupies most of the peninsula. The other countries on the peninsula are Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait. Bahrain, an island country, lies just east of the peninsula. The Arabian Peninsula has an area of about 1,160,000 square miles (3,004,000 square kilometers). Most of it is dry wasteland. Rain seldom falls in some parts, and temperatures in the interior may rise to 130 F (54 C). 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 13-14: And it came to pass that we traveled for the space of four days, nearly a south-southeast 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.

Note: The area of the Red Sea is a desert wilderness with no water, fruit, or game.

Numbers 20:4-5 "Why have you brought up the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink."

Note: Shazer is a fictional place.

 

Verses 15-17: 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.

Note: The area of the Red Sea is a desert wilderness with no water, fruit, or game.

Numbers 21:5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread."

 

Verses 18-19: 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.

Note: Fine steel in quantity was not produced until the late 1800's.

By about 1000 B.C., most advanced civilizations had mastered the art of ironmaking. Early ironmakers produced small quantities of tough, elementary forms of steel. However, steel could not be manufactured cheaply in large quantities until the late 1800's. The technology of steelmaking developed rapidly during the second half of the 1900's. 2001 World Book Encyclopedia.

 

Verses 20-22: 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 exceedingly 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 springs, it began to be exceedingly 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.

Note: There would be no escape to America for the wicked.

Jeremiah 23:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD has gone forth in fury; A violent whirlwind! It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.

 

Verse 23: 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?

Note: The area of the Red Sea is a desert wilderness with no water, fruit, or game.

Deuteronomy 8:11-17 "Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest; when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end; then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.'"

 

Verses 24-25: And it came to pass that he did inquire of the Lord, for they had humbled themselves because of my words; 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.

Note: True children of God will not rely on their own energy.

Deuteronomy 32:36 For the LORD will judge His people and have compassion on His servants, when He sees that their power is gone, and there is no one remaining, bond or free.

 

Verses 26-27: 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.

Note: True children of God will serve God without fear.

Luke 1:73-75 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham: To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.

 

Verse 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 them.

Note: True children of God will place their faith in God.

Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God."

Note: The brass ball with pointers inside that can be seen is pure fiction.

 

Verse 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.

Note: The word of God does not change but remains the same forever.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

 

Verses 30-32: 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.

Note: The area of the Red Sea is a desert wilderness with no water, fruit, or game.

Exodux 15:22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea; then they went out into the Wilderness of Shur. And they went three days in the wilderness and found no water.

 

Verse 33: 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.

Note: The children of Israel knew the places that God had led them to.

Numbers 21:10-12 Now the children of Israel moved on and camped in Oboth. And they journeyed from Oboth and camped at Ije Abarim, in the wilderness which is east of Moab, toward the sunrise. From there they moved and camped in the Valley of Zered.

 

Verses 34-35: 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.

Note: There would be no escape to America for the wicked.

Numbers 14:20-23 Then the LORD said: "I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD; because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it."

 

Verses 36-38: 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.

Note: There would be no escape to America for the wicked.

Numbers 14:28-29 "Say to them, 'As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above.'"

 

Verse 39: 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.

Note: There would be no escape to America for the wicked.

Numbers 14:32-33 "But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness."

MAIN INDEX

BIBLE INDEX

HINDU INDEX

MUSLIM INDEX

MORMON INDEX

BUDDHISM INDEX

WORD FAITH INDEX

WATCHTOWER INDEX

MISCELLANEOUS INDEX

CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX