“January 20–26. 1 Nephi 11–15: ‘Armed with Righteousness and with the Power of God,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Book of Mormon 2020 (2020)
“January 20–26. 1 Nephi 11–15,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2020
Record Your Impressions
When God has a monumental work for His prophet to do, He often gives that prophet a monumental vision that helps him understand God’s purposes for His children. Moses saw a vision of “this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens” (Moses 1:36). The Apostle John saw the history of the world and the Savior’s Second Coming (see the book of Revelation). Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son (see Joseph Smith—History 1:17–18). Lehi saw a vision that portrayed the journey we must make toward the Savior and His love.
As recorded in 1 Nephi 11–14, Nephi saw the ministry of the Savior, the future of Lehi’s posterity in the promised land, and the latter-day destiny of God’s work. This vision helped to prepare Nephi for the work that lay ahead of him, and it can also help prepare you—for God has a work for you to do in His kingdom. You are among “the saints of the church of the Lamb” seen by Nephi, “who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory” (1 Nephi 14:14).
To help Nephi understand the meaning of the tree that his father had seen, an angel showed him “the Son of the Eternal Father” (1 Nephi 11:21). This led Nephi to conclude that the tree represents the love of God. But the vision wasn’t over yet. As you read and ponder 1 Nephi 11, what do you find that helps you understand why Jesus Christ is the ultimate expression of God’s love?
See also John 3:16.
Nephi would never live to witness much of what he saw in his vision. Why do you think it was valuable for Nephi to know these things? Why is it valuable for you to know these things? Maybe you could ask this question each time you read about something Nephi saw in his vision.
Here are some of the events Nephi saw: the future of his people (see chapter 12), the colonizing of the Americas and the American Revolution (see chapter 13:12–19), the Great Apostasy (see chapter 13:20–29), and the Restoration of the gospel (see chapter 13:32–42).
Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained that the “great and abominable church” described by Nephi represents “any philosophy or organization that opposes belief in God. And the ‘captivity’ into which this ‘church’ seeks to bring the saints will not be so much physical confinement as the captivity of false ideas” (“Stand as Witnesses of God,” Ensign, Mar. 2015, 32).
Nephi saw that the Holy Ghost would inspire Christopher Columbus to make his famous voyage to the Americas. On March 14, 1493, Columbus wrote of this voyage: “These great and marvelous results are not to be attributed to any merit of mine … ; for that which the unaided intellect of man could not compass, the Spirit of God has granted to human exertions, for God is wont to hear the prayers of His servants who love His precepts even to the performance of apparent impossibilities” (The Annals of America [Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1976], 1:5).
Nephi saw in vision that the Bible—which he described as “a record of the Jews”—would have “many plain and precious things taken away from [it]” (1 Nephi 13:23, 28). However, he also saw that God would restore these things through “other books”—the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scripture (see 1 Nephi 13:39–40). What are some of the precious truths that the Book of Mormon helps us better understand? How is your life different because these plain and precious things have been restored?
See also “Plain and Precious Truths,” Ensign, Mar. 2008, 68–73; Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 60–63.
Have you ever felt like you weren’t receiving personal revelation—that God wasn’t talking to you? What counsel did Nephi give his brothers when they felt this way? How can you apply Nephi’s counsel in your life, and how can you use his counsel to help others?
As you read the scriptures with your family, the Spirit can help you know what principles to emphasize and discuss in order to meet the needs of your family. Here are some ideas.
As your family reads these chapters, occasionally stop and ask questions like these: What did Nephi see in his vision that might have made him happy? What might have made him sad? Why?
To help family members understand the value of the “plain and precious” truths in the Book of Mormon, compare a clearly written message to a scrambled message. Why might Heavenly Father want His truths to be taught clearly? Family members might bear testimony of some “plain and precious” truths they have learned from the Book of Mormon.
Why are we “armed with righteousness and with the power of God” when we live true to our covenants with God?
What experiences can your family share when they have “inquired of the Lord”? What do we learn from Nephi’s example?
For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.