[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 and his family arrive at Bountiful. The Lord tells Nephi to build a ship. His brothers won’t help him at first, but they change their minds once the Lord shocks them.
1 We again started on our journey in the wilderness, and we traveled due east from then on. We had a really hard time in the wilderness, and our wives gave birth in the wilderness.
1 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.
2 The Lord blessed us so much that even though we lived on raw meat in the wilderness, our women had plenty of milk to feed the children with. The women were strong like men, and they started to not complain about our journey.
2 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.
3 And here we see that God’s commandments must be kept. And if people keep God’s commandments, he will nourish them, strengthen them, and help them do what he commanded them to do. That’s why he helped and supported us while we were in the wilderness.
3 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.
4 We spent a long time traveling in the wilderness—eight years, in fact.
4 And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.
5 And then we arrived at the place we called Bountiful because of all the fruit and wild honey there. The Lord had prepared those things for us so that we wouldn’t starve. And we saw the sea and called it Irreantum (which means many waters).
5 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.
6 We set up camp by the seashore. Despite the fact that we had suffered so so much in the wilderness—so much that we can’t even write about it all—we were extremely happy when we came to the seashore.
6 And it came to pass that we did pitch our tents by the seashore; and notwithstanding we had suffered many afflictions and much difficulty, yea, even so much that we cannot write them all, we were exceedingly rejoiced when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its much fruit.
7 And after we had been in Bountiful for a while, the Lord’s voice came to me and told me to go up into the mountain. I went up into the mountain and prayed to the Lord.
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 Lord.
8 The Lord spoke to me and said, You will construct a ship the way I will show you, and it will take your people across the sea.
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, where should I go to find ore for tools so that I can make the ship the way you’ve shown me?
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 the Lord told me where to find the ore for tools.
10 And it came to pass that the Lord told me whither I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.
11 I made a bellows for the fire out of the skins of animals. After I had this to blow on the fire with, I hit two stones together and made fire.
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.
12 Up to that point, the Lord hadn’t let us make a fire very often. He said, I will make your food sweet so that you won’t have to cook it.
12 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;
13 And I will also be your light in the wilderness and prepare the way in front of you as long as you keep my commandments. As long as you keep my commandments, you will be led to the promised land. You will definitely know that I am leading you.
13 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 towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.
14 The Lord also said, After you have arrived in the promised land, you will know that I am God, and that I rescued you from destruction when I brought you out of Jerusalem.
14 Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in 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.
15 And so I, Nephi, tried to keep the Lord’s commandments and encouraged my brothers to be faithful and diligent.
15 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.
16 I made tools from the ore I got out of the rock.
16 And it came to pass that I did make tools of the ore which I did molten out of the rock.
17 And when my brothers saw that I was about to build a ship, they started saying, Our brother is a fool to think that he can build a ship and cross this sea.
17 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.
18 My brothers didn’t want to help, because they didn’t think that I could build a ship, and they wouldn’t believe that the Lord had told me how.
18 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.
19 I was really sad because of the hardness of their hearts. When they saw how sad I was, they were glad and said, We knew that you couldn’t build a ship, because you don’t have any experience. You can’t do something like that on your own.
19 And now it came to pass that I, Nephi, was exceedingly 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.
20 You’re just like our fatheróled away by your foolish imagination and desires. He brought us out of Jerusalem and we have wandered through the wilderness all these years. Our women have worked hard even when they were pregnant. They have suffered everything imaginable except for death. Dying before leaving Jerusalem would have been better than all of this suffering.
20 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.
21 We’ve suffered all these years while we might have been enjoying our possessions and our land. We might have been happy.
21 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.
22 We know that the people who were in Jerusalem were righteous because they kept the Lord’s laws and commandments as stated in the law of Moses. Our father judged them and took us away because we listened to him, and you are just like him. This is the kind of thing my brothers were saying to me.
22 And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and 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 words; yea, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.
23 I, Nephi, said to them: Do you believe that the Lord would have helped our ancestors, who were the children of Israel, escape from the Egyptians if they hadn’t been listening to the Lord’s words?
23 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?
24 Do you think that they would have been freed from slavery if they Lord hadn’t commanded Moses to free them and lead them away?
24 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?
25 You know that the children of Israel were enslaved, and you know that they had to do very difficult things. And you know that it was a good thing for them to have been brought out of slavery.
25 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.
26 You know that the Lord commanded Moses to do that great thing. You know that it was at his word that the Red Sea was divided in half and they passed through on dry ground.
26 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.
27 But the Egyptians, who were Pharaoh’s armies, were drowned in the Red Sea.
27 But ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh.
28 And you also know that Moses’s people were fed with manna in the wilderness.
28 And ye also know that they were fed with manna in the wilderness.
29 You also know that Moses, with the power of God that was in him, hit a rock that water then came out of. That water hydrated the children of Israel.
29 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.
30 And even though the Lord their God, their Redeemer, was leading them by day and giving them light by night and doing everything for them that needed to be done, they stopped believing. They turned against Moses and the true and living God.
30 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.
31 As he said he would, he killed them and he led them. He did everything for them; nothing was done if he didn’t say the word.
31 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 any thing done save it were by his word.
32 And after the crossed the Jordan River, he gave them the strength to drive out and wipe out the other people that were living there.
32 And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty unto the driving out of the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to destruction.
33 Do you think that the people who were living there were righteous? No, they weren’t.
33 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.
34 Do you think that our ancestors would have been preferred over them if those people had been righteous? No.
34 Do ye suppose that our fathers would have been more choice than they if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay.
35 All people are the same to God. Righteous people are favored by God. But because those people had rejected every word of God and were deep in sin, God’s anger was directed at them. The land was cursed for them and blessed for our ancestors, and result was that the people who had been there were destroyed while our ancestors were able to take it over.
35 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 fulness 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.
36 The Lord created the earth so that it would be inhabited, and he created his children to inhabit it.
36 Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
37 He supports a righteous nation and destroys the wicked ones.
37 And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
38 He leads the righteous people to precious lands while destroying the wicked and cursing their land.
38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.
39 He rules high in heaven. It is his throne and the earth is his footrest.
39 He ruleth high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his footstool.
40 He loves those people who accept him as their God. He loved our fathers and covenanted with them, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He remembered the covenants he made and brought our ancestors out of Egypt.
40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of Egypt.
41 He disciplined them in the wilderness because they hardened their hearts like you have. He disciplined them because of their sins. He sent fiery flying snakes to them but also prepared a way for them to be healed. All they had to do was took, but because of how simple and easy it was, there were many people who died.
41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.
42 They hardened their hearts from time to time and turned against Moses and God. Still, you know that they were guided by God’s power into the promised land.
42 And they did harden their hearts from time to time, and they did revile against Moses, and also against God; nevertheless, ye know that they were led forth by his matchless power into the land of promise.
43 And after all of that, the people are still wicked. For all I know, they are about to be destroyed right now. But I do know that the day will come soon. Everyone will die except for a small portion, and they will be taken away as slaves.
43 And now, after all these things, the time has come that they have become wicked, yea, nearly unto ripeness; and I know not but they are at this day about to be destroyed; for I know that the day must surely come that they must be destroyed, save a few only, who shall be led away into captivity.
44 The Lord commanded our father to leave and go into the wilderness, and the Jews tried to kill him. You are murderers in your hearts and are no different from them.
44 Wherefore, the Lord commanded my father that he should depart into the wilderness; and the Jews also sought to take away his life; yea, and ye also have sought to take away his life; wherefore, ye are murderers in your hearts and ye are like unto them.
45 You are quick to sin but slow to remember the Lord your God. You have seen an angel, and he spoke to you. You have heard the Lord’s voice from time to time. And he has spoken to you in a quiet voice, but you were numb to it and couldn’t feel his words. He has spoken to you with a voice like thunder, which has shaken the earth like it was about to be ripped apart.
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.
46 You know that with a word, the Lord can destroy the earth. With a word, he can make rough places smooth and break up the smooth places.
46 And ye also know that by the power of his almighty word he can cause the earth that it shall pass away; yea, and ye know that by his word he can cause the rough places to be made smooth, and smooth places shall be broken up. O, then, why is it, that ye can be so hard in your hearts?
47 My soul is in agony because of you, and my heart aches. I’m afraid that you will be cut off from the Lord forever. I am full of the Spirit of God to the point that I can barely stand.
47 Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is pained; I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am full of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength.
48 My brothers were angry when they heard me talk like this, and they wanted to drown me. As they came to grab me, I said, In the name of the Almighty God, I command you not to touch me. I am completely filled with the power of God. If you touch me, you will shrivel up like a dry plant. You are nothing compared to the power of God, and he will strike you.
48 And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him.
49 I told them to stop complaining to our father and help me build the boat that God had commanded me to build.
49 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.
50 I said to them, I could do anything if God commanded me to do it. If he commanded me to tell the water to become land, if I said it, it would be done.
50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
51 If the Lord has so much power and has performed so many miracles, how can it be that he can’t tell me how to build a ship?
51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?
52 I, Nephi, said a lot of things to my brothers. They were bewildered and couldn’t say anything against me, and they didn’t dare grab me or even touch me for several days for fear of shriveling up like a dried plant. That’s how much the power and Spirit of God had made an impression on them.
52 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were confounded and could not contend against me; neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their fingers, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the Spirit of God; and thus it had wrought upon them.
53 The Lord said to me, Hold our your hand to your brothers. I won’t make them shrivel up, but I will shock them so that they know that I am the Lord their God.
53 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that they may know that I am the Lord their God.
54 And so I held out my hand to my brothers and they didn’t shrivel up, but the Lord shook them like he said he would.
54 And it came to pass that I stretched forth my hand unto my brethren, and they did not wither before me; but the Lord did shake them, even according to the word which he had spoken.
55 My brothers said, We know for sure that the Lord is with you because we know that it was the power of the Lord that shook us. And they fell down at my feet and were about to worship me, but I wouldn’t let them. I said, I am your younger brother. Don’t worship me, but worship the Lord your God. Honor your father and mother so that you will live a long time in the land that the Lord will give to you.
55 And now, they said: We know of a surety that the Lord is with thee, for we know that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us. And they fell down before me, and were about to worship me, but I would not suffer them, saying: I am thy brother, yea, even thy younger brother; wherefore, worship the Lord thy God, and honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee.