“Video Lesson 3: 1 Nephi 17: ‘I Will Prepare the Way’” Book of Mormon Video Guide (2002), 3
“Video Lesson 3,” Book of Mormon Video Guide, 3
To help students understand that if they are faithful in keeping His commandments, the Lord will lead them as He led Nephi.
An excellent example of how the Lord’s faithful and obedient children can be led by Him is shown in 1 Nephi 17. Occasionally young people have a difficult time seeing how they are led by the Lord. Often they expect Him to remove obstacles or eliminate opposition. But as Nephi explained, it is more likely that the Lord will lead them by nourishing them, strengthening them, and providing means for them to overcome obstacles and meet opposition as they strive to keep His commandments (see 1 Nephi 17:3).
If the Lord’s children keep His commandments, the Lord “doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them” (1 Nephi 17:3). Help the class recall examples of how the Lord led Lehi and his group. Possible illustrations include Nephi and his brothers going back for the brass plates, enlisting Ishmael and his household, the Lord’s freeing Nephi from his brothers, Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, Nephi’s vision, and their experiences in the wilderness, including the broken bow incident. You might draw a diagram like the following on the board:
Laman and Lemuel had a different view of the wilderness experience than Nephi did. They could not see how they had been led by the hand of the Lord. Discuss the contrast between Laman and Lemuel’s view recorded in 1 Nephi 17:20–21 with Nephi’s view recorded in 1 Nephi 17:3, 6.
Recall with your students that Laman and Lemuel “knew not the dealings of that God who had created them” (1 Nephi 2:12) and were not willing to inquire of the Lord because they believed “the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us” (1 Nephi 15:9). On the other hand, Nephi cried unto the Lord, and the Lord softened Nephi’s heart (see 1 Nephi 2:16–20).
Suggest that as they watch the video the students look for ways Susan’s experiences parallel Nephi’s and how both depend upon the Lord.
The video shows a modern-day Nephi, Susan Jensen, who has been invited by her Laurel teacher and bishop to find someone to fellowship. She feels overwhelmed by the assignment, but is encouraged by her returned missionary brother, Andy. Even though Susan’s situation is far less dramatic than Nephi building a ship, the principle of being led by the Lord operates in a similar manner.
Compare the similarities and differences between Nephi building a ship and Susan fellowshipping Linda. Point out to the class that Nephi was commanded by the Lord to build the ship, whereas Linda was asked to find someone to fellowship. In a spiritual sense, however, they are both on the Lord’s errand. The following chart may be helpful:
Was commanded to build a ship (see 1 Nephi 17:7–8).
Was asked to fellowship someone.
Asked where to find ore (see 1 Nephi 17:9).
Prayed to know who to fellowship.
Learned from the Lord where to find ore (see 1 Nephi 17:10).
Learned from the Spirit that she should fellowship Linda.
Made tools of the ore (see 1 Nephi 17:16).
Summoned courage and talked to Linda.
Was mocked by his brothers, who complained and wouldn’t labor (see 1 Nephi 17:18).
Was ridiculed by her friends for trying to influence Linda.
Testified that the Lord had power to instruct him to build a ship (see 1 Nephi 17:51).
Learned that the Lord had the power to instruct her to help Linda.
Was filled with the power of the Lord and shook his brothers (see 1 Nephi 17:54).
Exercised her faith, and Linda’s heart was softened by the power of the Lord.
Built the ship with the help of his brothers (see 1 Nephi 18:1).
Was led by the Lord to an opportunity to help Linda at the library.
His brothers beheld that the ship was exceedingly fine (see 1 Nephi 18:4).
Marveled that Linda finally came to a Laurel activity.
Discuss how the Lord nourished, strengthened, and provided means for Nephi and Susan. In what way was Susan’s faith tested? Discuss what the class feels the Lord meant when He said, “I will prepare the way” (1 Nephi 17:13).