[color-box]For comparison purposes, the original Book of Mormon text is supplied (italicized and indented) after each Modern Book of Mormon verse.[/color-box]
1 I said to my brothers, Let’s go back to Jerusalem and faithfully keep the Lord’s commandments. He is more powerful than the whole earth, so isn’t he more powerful than Laban and his fifty or even his tens of thousands?
1 And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?
2 Let’s go and be as strong as Moses was. He spoke to the Red Sea and the it parted. Our ancestors walked through on dry ground to freedom, and Pharaoh’s armies followed them and drowned in the Red Sea.
2 Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
3 You know that this is true, and you know that an angel has talked to you. How can you doubt? Let’s go; the Lord can protect us just like he protected our ancestors, and he can kill Laban just like he killed the Egyptians.
3 Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.
4 My brothers were angry when I said these things and they kept complaining, but they did follow me until we got to the walls of Jerusalem.
4 Now when I had spoken these words, they were yet wroth, and did still continue to murmur; nevertheless they did follow me up until we came without the walls of Jerusalem.
5 It was dark, and I told them to hide outside of the walls. When they were hidden, I crept into the city and went to Laban’s house.
5 And it was by night; and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls. And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.
6 I didn’t know what I was going to do, but the Spirit guided me.
6 And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
7 As I was walking toward Laban’s house, I saw a man who had passed out from drinking too much wine.
7 Nevertheless I went forth, and as I came near unto the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine.
8 I got closer and saw that it was Laban.
8 And when I came to him I found that it was Laban.
9 I saw his sword and took it out from its sheath. The hilt was pure gold, and it was extremely well made. The blade was made from the best steel.
9 And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
10 The Spirit told me that I should kill Laban, but I thought to myself, I’ve never killed a man before. And I turned back so that I wouldn’t have to kill him.
10 And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.
11 The Spirit told me again, The Lord has given him to you. I also knew that he had tried to kill me. On top of that, he did not keep the Lord’s commandments, and he had taken away our valuables.
11 And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had taken away our property.
12 The Spirit said to me again, Kill him. The Lord has given him to you.
12 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;
13 The Lord kills the wicked for his own righteous purposes. It’s better than one man should die than a whole nation should be destroyed because of unbelief.
13 Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
14 When I, Nephi, heard these words, I remembered what the Lord had told me in the wilderness: As long as your descendants keep the commandments, they will thrive in the promised land.
14 And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that: Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.
15 I also thought to myself that they couldn’t keep the Lord’s commandments and the Law of Moses unless they had the law.
15 Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.
16 And I also knew that the law was written on the brass plates.
16 And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.
17 And again, I knew that the Lord had given Laban to me for that reason, that I could get the records like he commanded.
17 And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause—that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
18 So I did obey the Spirit. I grabbed Laban’s hair and cut off his head with his own sword.
18 Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.
19 And after I cut off his head with his own sword, I took his clothes and put them on. I put every single piece on and put his armor on around me.
19 And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body; yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins.
20 After I did that, I went to Laban’s treasury. On the way there, I saw Laban’s servant that had the keys to the treasury. I spoke in Laban’s voice and told him to go with me to the treasury.
20 And after I had done this, I went forth unto the treasury of Laban. And as I went forth towards the treasury of Laban, behold, I saw the servant of Laban who had the keys of the treasury. And I commanded him in the voice of Laban, that he should go with me into the treasury.
21 Because he saw that I was wearing Laban’s clothes and had Laban’s sword, he thought that I was Laban.
21 And he supposed me to be his master, Laban, for he beheld the garments and also the sword girded about my loins.
22 He talked to me about the Jewish elders, knowing that Laban had been with them earlier that night.
22 And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master, Laban, had been out by night among them.
23 And I spoke to him and pretended to be Laban.
23 And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.
24 I also told him that I was going to take the plates of brass to my brothers, who were outside the walls.
24 And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings, which were upon the plates of brass, to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.
25 And I also told him to follow me.
25 And I also bade him that he should follow me.
26 Thinking that I was talking about the brothers of the church (and thinking that I was Laban, who I had killed), he followed me.
26 And he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church, and that I was truly that Laban whom I had slain, wherefore he did follow me.
27 He spoke to me several times about the Jewish elders as we were walking to my brothers outside the walls.
27 And he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews, as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without the walls.
28 Laman, Lemuel, and Sam were terrified when they saw me, and they started to run away. They thought that I was Laban, that he had killed me, and that he now wanted to kill them, too.
28 And it came to pass that when Laman saw me he was exceedingly frightened, and also Lemuel and Sam. And they fled from before my presence; for they supposed it was Laban, and that he had slain me and had sought to take away their lives also.
29 But I yelled and they heard me, and they stopped trying to run away.
29 And it came to pass that I called after them, and they did hear me; wherefore they did cease to flee from my presence.
30 Laban’s servant saw my brothers and got scared, and was about to run away from me back to Jerusalem.
30 And it came to pass that when the servant of Laban beheld my brethren he began to tremble, and was about to flee from before me and return to the city of Jerusalem.
31 But I, Nephi, am a big guy, and the Lord strengthened me, and I grabbed Laban’s servant so that he couldn’t get away.
31 And now I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee.
32 I told him that if he would listen to what I said, I swore that I would let him live.
32 And it came to pass that I spake with him, that if he would hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth, and as I live, even so that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his life.
33 I swore to him that he had nothing to fear, that he would be a free man like us if he went into the wilderness with us.
33 And I spake unto him, even with an oath, that he need not fear; that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go down in the wilderness with us.
34 I said, The Lord commanded us to do this, and we should be diligent in keeping the Lord’s commandments. If you come into the wilderness with us, you can stay with us.
34 And I also spake unto him, saying: Surely the Lord hath commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord? Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father thou shalt have place with us.
35 Zoram (that was the servant’s name) promised that he would go with us into the wilderness, and he swore that he would stay with us from then on.
35 And it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I spake. Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father. Yea, and he also made an oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
36 Now, we wanted him to stay with us so that the Jews wouldn’t know that we had gone into the wilderness. We were afraid they would follow us and kill us.
36 Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.
37 But Zoram did swear to us, and we stopped worrying about him.
37 And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.
38 We took the brass plates from Zoram and went back into the wilderness, toward our father’s camp.
38 And it came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the servant of Laban, and departed into the wilderness, and journeyed unto the tent of our father.