The Nephites separate themselves from the Lamanites, keep the law of Moses, and build a temple—Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord, are cursed, and become a scourge unto the Nephites. About 588–559 B.C.
1 Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the aanger of my brethren.
2 But behold, their aanger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life.
3 Yea, they did murmur against me, saying: Our younger brother thinks to arule over us; and we have had much trial because of him; wherefore, now let us slay him, that we may not be afflicted more because of his words. For behold, we will not have him to be our ruler; for it belongs unto us, who are the elder brethren, to brule over this people.
4 Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life.
5 And it came to pass that the Lord did awarn me, that I, bNephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.
6 Wherefore, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did take my family, and also aZoram and his family, and Sam, mine elder brother and his family, and Jacob and Joseph, my younger brethren, and also my sisters, and all those who would go with me. And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the bwarnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words.
7 And we did take our tents and whatsoever things were possible for us, and did journey in the wilderness for the space of many days. And after we had journeyed for the space of many days we did pitch our tents.
8 And my people would that we should call the name of the place aNephi; wherefore, we did call it Nephi.
9 And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the apeople of Nephi.
10 And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the astatutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the blaw of Moses.
11 And the Lord was with us; and we did aprosper exceedingly; for we did sow seed, and we did reap again in abundance. And we began to raise flocks, and herds, and animals of every kind.
12 And I, Nephi, had also brought the records which were engraven upon the aplates of brass; and also the bball, or ccompass, which was prepared for my father by the hand of the Lord, according to that which is written.
13 And it came to pass that we began to prosper exceedingly, and to multiply in the land.
14 And I, Nephi, did take the asword of Laban, and after the manner of it did make many bswords, lest by any means the people who were now called Lamanites should come upon us and destroy us; for I knew their chatred towards me and my children and those who were called my people.
15 And I did teach my people to abuild buildings, and to bwork in all cmanner of wood, and of diron, and of copper, and of ebrass, and of steel, and of fgold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.
16 And I, Nephi, did abuild a btemple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of cSolomon save it were not built of so many dprecious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s etemple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of fSolomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.
17 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cause my people to be aindustrious, and to blabor with their chands.
18 And it came to pass that they would that I should be their aking. But I, Nephi, was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according to that which was in my power.
19 And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I should be their aruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their bteacher, according to the commandments of the Lord, until the time they sought to take away my life.
20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will anot hearken unto thy words they shall be bcut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were ccut off from his presence.
21 And he had caused the acursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and bdelightsome, that they might not be centicing unto my people the Lord God did cause a dskin of eblackness to come upon them.
22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be aloathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.
23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that amixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.
24 And because of their acursing which was upon them they did become an bidle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.
25 And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to astir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.
26 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did aconsecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be bpriests and cteachers over the land of my people.
27 And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of ahappiness.
28 And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem.
29 And I, Nephi, had kept the arecords upon my plates, which I had made, of my people thus far.
30 And it came to pass that the Lord God said unto me: aMake other plates; and thou shalt engraven many things upon them which are good in my sight, for the profit of thy people.
31 Wherefore, I, Nephi, to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord, went and made athese plates upon which I have engraven these things.
32 And I engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates.
33 And if my people desire to know the more particular part of the history of my people they must search mine aother bplates.
34 And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away, and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren.