What Did It Take to Build the Ship?
February 2020

“What Did It Take to Build the Ship?” Ensign, February 2020

Come, Follow Me: Book of Mormon

1 Nephi 16–22 (January 27–February 2)

What Did It Take to Build the Ship?


Photograph from Getty Images

For Nephi, building a ship was no small feat. He had no blueprints, no catalog for ordering materials, and no tools. But he had faith, a strong work ethic, and instructions from the Lord (see 1 Nephi 17:8).


To make woodworking tools, Nephi had to find and extract ore—a backbreaking process that includes mining rock for minerals, crushing the rock, and smelting the concentrated minerals together under enormous heat using fire and bellows to forge metal (see 1 Nephi 17:9–11).


Since timber is not typically found on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Nephi probably had to “go forth” (see 1 Nephi 18:1) to the hills to cut timber and painstakingly drag it to the beach. It likely took many trips to get enough wood.


Nephi had faith that God could dry up the sea if that was His will. But he also had faith that the Lord could help him achieve what seemed impossible (see 1 Nephi 17:50–51).