[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]
Lehi finds the Leahona and it leads his group through the wilderness. Nephi breaks his bow but makes a new one and brings back enough food that the group won’t starve. Ishmael dies, and Laman and Lemuel try to kill Lehi and Nephi.
1 When I, Nephi, had finished talking to my brothers, they said: You’ve told us a lot of unpleasant things, and it’s all too much for us to handle.
1 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.
2 I told them that I knew I had said things that wicked people would find difficult to hear. I have vindicated the righteous and testified that they will be saved at the last day. Guilty people find the truth hard to handle because it cuts them to the core.
2 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.
3 If you were righteous, willing to listen to the truth, and willing to pay attention to it to the point that you acted the way God wants you to act, you wouldn’t complain about he truth and say that I have told you a lot of unpleasant things.
3 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.
4 And then I encouraged my brothers to diligently keep the Lord’s commandments.
4 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the commandments of the Lord.
5 They became humble before the Lord, and that gave me joy. I had high hopes that they would walk righteously from then on.
5 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.
6 All of these things were done while my father was camped in the valley of Lemuel.
6 Now, all these things were said and done as my father dwelt in a tent in the valley which he called Lemuel.
7 I, Nephi, married one of Ishamel’s daughters, and my brothers also married some of Ishamel’s daughters. Zoram married the oldest of Ishamel’s daughters.
7 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.
8 And with that, my father fulfilled all of the commandments that the Lord had given him. And I have to say that the Lord has blessed me, Nephi, so much.
8 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.
9 The Lord’s voice came to my father one night and commanded him that she should continue traveling into the wilderness the next day.
9 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.
10 When my father got out of bed the next morning and went to the tent door, he was surprised to find on the ground a exquisitely made brass ball. Inside the ball were two spindles, one of which pointed the way that we were supposed to travel in the wilderness.
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.
11 We packed up everything that we needed to take with us into the wilderness, including the rest of what the Lord had given us. We also took all kinds of seeds with us.
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.
12 We packed our tents and crossed the Laman River into the wilderness.
12 And it came to pass that we did take our tents and depart into the wilderness, across the river Laman.
13 We traveled for four days in a south-southeastern direction and again set up camp. We called the place Shazer.
13 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.
14 We took our bows and arrows into the wilderness to try to find food for our families. Once we’d killed enough food, we went back to our families at Shazer. Then we again set off in the same direction into the wilderness, trying to stay in the more fertile parts, which were by the Red Sea.
14 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.
15 We traveled for several days, killing food as we went with out bows, arrows, stones, and slings.
15 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.
16 We went where the ball told us to go, which was along the more fertile parts of the wilderness.
16 And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.
17 After traveling for many more days, we set up camp for a while to rest and get more food for our families.
17 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.
18 But when I went to find food, I broke my bow, which was made of fine steel. My brothers were mad that I broke my bow because without my bow, we couldn’t get any food.
18 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.
19 We returned to our families without any food, and they were extremely hungry after the long journey so far.
19 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.
20 Laman, Lemuel, and Ishmael’s sons started to complain because of the suffering they had gone through in the wilderness. My father even started grumbling to the Lord. Everyone was really sad, and they all grumbled and complained to the Lord.
20 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.
21 Because my bow broke and my brothers’ bows lost their spring, we couldn’t get any food.
21 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.
22 I had to speak again to my brothers because they again had again become unfeeling to the point that they were complaining to God.
22 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.
23 So I, Nephi, made a bow from some wood and an arrow from a straight stick. I armed myself with the bow and arrow and a sling with stones. I went to my father and asked where I should go to find food.
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?
24 He then asked the Lord. Everyone had repented because of what I’d passionately said to them.
24 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.
25 The Lord’s voice came to my father, and he was chastised for complaining to the Lord to the point that he was extremely sorry.
25 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.
26 The Lord said to him, Look at the ball and see what’s written there.
26 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.
27 My father was terrified when he saw what was written on the ball, as were my brothers, Ishmael’s sons, and our wives.
27 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.
28 I saw that the pointers that were in the ball worked correspondingly to the faith and diligence that we gave then.
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.
29 And there was something new written on them that was easy to read, and it helped us understand the Lord’s ways. What was written changed from time to time depending on the faith and diligence we had. And here we see that God can accomplish a lot with little things.
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 I then followed the directions on the ball and went to the top of a mountain.
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 I killed enough animals that our families had plenty of food.
31 And it came to pass that I did slay wild beasts, insomuch that I did obtain food for our families.
32 I went back to our camp with the animals I’d hunted, and everyone was so happy when they saw what I had with me. The repented and thanked the Lord.
32 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.
33 We then continued on our journey, going in the same direction we had been traveling in since the beginning. After traveling for several more days, we set up camp where we could stay for a little while.
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.
34 Ishmael died there and was buried in the place we called Nahom.
34 And it came to pass that Ishmael died, and was buried in the place which was called Nahom.
35 Ishmael’s daughters grieved deeply because of the loss of their father and because of the hardships they had endured in the wilderness. The complained about my father because he had taken them away from Jerusalem. They said, Our father is dead and we have been wandering around in the wilderness. We’ve suffered from hunger, thirst, and exhaustion, and after all of that we’re just going to starve to death in the wilderness.
35 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.
36 Those were the kinds of things they were saying to my father, and they wanted to go back to Jerusalem.
36 And thus they did murmur against my father, and also against me; and they were desirous to return again to Jerusalem.
37 Laman, Lemuel, and Ishmael’s sons got together and said, Let’s kill our father and Nephi. We’re his older brothers, but he still wants to be our teacher and ruler.
37 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.
38 He says that the Lord has talked with him and that angeles have ministered to him, but we know he’s lying. He tells us these things and plays tricks on us to try to fool us, thinking that he’ll lead us out into some strange place and make himself our king and ruler, able to do whatever he wants with us. Laman said this to get everyone riled up and angry.
38 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.
39 But the Lord was with us, and the voice of the Lord even came and spoke to them and chastised them. After that their anger went away, and they repented of their sins. The Lord then blessed us again with food so that we wouldn’t starve.
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.