Nephi and his brothers go back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of brass.
1:67 [3:9] And I, Nephi, and my brethren took our journey in the wilderness with our tents, to go up to the land of Jerusalem.
1:68a [3:10] ¶ And it came to pass that when we had come up to the land of Jerusalem, I and my brethren did consult one with another;
1:68b [3:11a] And we cast lots who of us should go in unto the house of Laban.
1:69 [3:11b] And it came to pass that the lot fell upon Laman; and Laman went in unto the house of Laban, and he talked with him as he sat in his house.
1:70 [3:12] And he desired of Laban the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, which contained the genealogy of my father.
1:71 [3:13a] ¶ And behold, it came to pass that Laban was angry and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records.
1:72 [3:13b] Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold, thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.
1:73 [3:14a] But Laman fled out of his presence and told the things which Laban had done, unto us.
1:74 [3:14b] And we began to be exceeding sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.
1:75 [3:15] But behold, I said unto them: That as YHVH liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which YHVH hath commanded us.
1:76 [3:16a] Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of YHVH;
1:77 [3:16b] Therefore, let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance; for behold, he left gold, and silver, and all manner of riches.
1:78a [3:16c] And all this he hath done because of the commandments of YHVH;
1:78b [3:17] For he knowing that Jerusalem must be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people.
1:79 [3:18a] ¶ For behold, they have rejected the words of the prophets.
1:80 [3:18b] Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish.
1:81 [3:18c] Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land.
1:82 [3:19] And behold, it is wisdom in Elohim that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers,
1:83 [3:20] And also that we may preserve unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and power of Elohim since the world began, even down unto this present time.
1:84 [3:21] ¶ And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I persuade my brethren, that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments of Elohim.
1:85 [3:22] And it came to pass that we went down to the land of our inheritance, and we did gather together our gold, and our silver, and our precious things.
1:86 [3:23] And after we had gathered these things together, we went up again unto the house of Laban.
1:87 [3:24] ¶ And it came to pass that we went in unto Laban and desired him that he would give unto us the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, for which we would give unto him our gold, and our silver, and all our precious things.
1:88 [3:25] ¶ And it came to pass that when Laban saw our property, that it was exceeding great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.
1:89 [3:26] And it came to pass that we did flee before the servants of Laban; and we were obliged to leave behind our property, and it fell into the hands of Laban.
1:90 [3:27] ¶ And it came to pass that we fled into the wilderness, and the servants of Laban did not overtake us, and we hid ourselves in the cavity of a rock.
1:91 [3:28a] And it came to pass that Laman was angry with me and also with my father, and also was Lemuel; for he hearkened unto the words of Laman.
1:92 [3:28b] Wherefore, Laman and Lemuel did speak many hard words unto us, their younger brothers, and they did smite us even with a rod.
1:93 [3:29a] ¶ And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of YHVH came and stood before them; and he spake unto them saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod?
1:94 [3:29b] Know ye not that YHVH hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities?
1:95 [3:29c] Behold, ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and YHVH will deliver Laban into your hands.
1:96 [3:30] And after the angel had spoken unto us, he departed.
1:97 [3:31a] And after the angel had departed, Laman and Lemuel again began to murmur, saying: How is it possible that YHVH will deliver Laban into our hands?
1:98 [3:31b] Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty; yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?
[OPV Chapter 4]
1:99a [4:1a] ¶ And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of YHVH;
1:99b [4:1b] For behold, he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands.
1:100a [4:2a] Therefore, let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea, and they divided hither and thither;
1:100b [4:2b] And our fathers came through out of captivity on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
1:101 [4:3a] Now behold, ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt?
1:102 [4:3b] Let us go up; YHVH is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.
1:103 [4:4] ¶ Now when I had spoken these words, they were yet wroth and did still continue to murmur; nevertheless, they did follow me up until we came without the walls of Jerusalem.
1:104 [4:5a] And it was by night, and I caused that they should hide themselves without the walls.
1:105 [4:5b] And after they had hid themselves, I, Nephi, crept into the city and went forth towards the house of Laban.
1:106 [4:6] And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.
1:107 [4:7] Nevertheless, I went forth; and as I came near unto the house of Laban, I beheld a man, and he had fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine.
1:108 [4:8] And when I came to him, I found that it was Laban.
1:109 [4:9] And I beheld his sword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceeding fine; and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
1:110 [4:10a] ¶ And it came to pass that I was constrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban;
1:111 [4:10b] But I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man; and I shrank and would that I might not slay him.
1:112 [4:11] And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold, YHVH hath delivered him into thy hands;
1:112 [4:11] Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of YHVH; and he also had taken away our property.
1:113 [4:12] ¶ And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for YHVH hath delivered him into thy hands.
1:114 [4:13a] Behold, YHVH slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes.
1:115 [4:13b] It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
1:116 [4:14] ¶ And now, when I, Nephi, had heard these words, I remembered the words of YHVH which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying: That inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise.
1:117 [4:15] Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of YHVH according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.
1:118 [4:16] And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.
1:119 [4:17] And again, I knew that YHVH had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause, that I might obtain the records according to his commandments.
1:120 [4:18] Therefore, I did obey the voice of the Spirit and took Laban by the hair of the head; and I smote off his head with his own sword.
1:121 [4:19] ¶ And after I had smitten off his head with his own sword, I took the garments of Laban and put them upon mine own body, yea, even every whit; and I did gird on his armor about my loins.
1:122 [4:20a] And after I had done this, I went forth unto the treasury of Laban.
1:123 [4:20b] And as I went forth towards the treasury of Laban, behold, I saw the servant of Laban, who had the keys of the treasury.
1:124a [4:20c] And I commanded him in the voice of Laban that he should go with me into the treasury;
1:124b [4:21] And he supposed me to be his master Laban, for he beheld the garments and also the sword girded about my loins.
1:125 [4:22] And he spake unto me concerning the elders of the Jews, he knowing that his master Laban had been out by night among them.
1:126 [4:23] And I spake unto him as if it had been Laban.
1:127 [4:24] And I also spake unto him that I should carry the engravings which were upon the plates of brass to my elder brethren, who were without the walls.
1:128 [4:25] And I also bade him that he should follow me.
1:129 [4:26] And he, supposing that I spake of the brethren of the church and that I was truly that Laban whom I had slain, wherefore, he did follow me.
1:130 [4:27] And he spake unto me many times concerning the elders of the Jews as I went forth unto my brethren, who were without the walls.
1:131 [4:28a] ¶ And it came to pass that when Laman saw me, he was exceedingly frightened, and also Lemuel and Sam.
1:132 [4:28b] And they fled from before my presence; for they supposed it was Laban, and that he had slain me and had sought to take away their lives also.
1:133 [4:29] ¶ And it came to pass that I called after them, and they did hear me; wherefore, they did cease to flee from my presence.
1:134 [4:30] And it came to pass that when the servant of Laban beheld my brethren, he began to tremble and was about to flee from before me and return to the city of Jerusalem.
1:135 [4:31] ¶ And now, I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of YHVH, therefore, I did seize upon the servant of Laban and held him that he should not flee.
1:136 [4:32] ¶ And it came to pass that I spake with him, that if he would hearken unto my words, as YHVH liveth and as I live, even so, that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his life.
1:137 [4:33] And I spake unto him, even with an oath, that he need not fear—that he should be a free man like unto us if he would go down in the wilderness with us.
1:138 [4:34a] And I also spake unto him, saying: Surely YHVH hath commanded us to do this thing. And shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of YHVH?
1:139 [4:34b] Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father, thou shalt have place with us.
1:140 [4:35a] ¶ And it came to pass that Zoram did take courage at the words which I spake.
1:141 [4:35b] Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father.
1:142 [4:35c] And he also made an oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.
1:143 [4:36] Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.
1:144 [4:37] ¶ And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.
1:145 [4:38] And it came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the servant of Laban, and departed into the wilderness, and journeyed unto the tent of our father.
[OPV Chapter 5]
1:146a [5:1a] ¶ And it came to pass that after we had come down into the wilderness unto our father, behold, he was filled with joy;
1:146b [5:1b] And also my mother Sariah was exceeding glad, for she truly had mourned because of us,
1:146c [5:2a] For she had supposed that we had perished in the wilderness.
1:147 [5:2b] And she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man, saying: Behold, thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness.
1:148 [5:3] And after this manner of language had my mother complained against my father.
1:149 [5:4] ¶ And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of Elohim in a vision, I should not have known the goodness of Elohim, but had tarried at Jerusalem and had perished with my brethren.
1:150 [5:5a] But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which things I do rejoice;
1:151 [5:5b] Yea, and I know that YHVH will deliver my sons out of the hands of Laban and bring them down again unto us in the wilderness.
1:152 [5:6] And after this manner of language did my father Lehi comfort my mother Sariah concerning us, while we journeyed in the wilderness up to the land of Jerusalem to obtain the record of the Jews.
1:153 [5:7] ¶ And when we had returned to the tent of my father, behold, their joy was full, and my mother was comforted;
1:154 [5:8a] And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that YHVH hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness;
1:155 [5:8b] Yea, and I also know of a surety that YHVH hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and gave them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which YHVH hath commanded them.
1:156 [5:8c] And after this manner of language did she speak.
1:157 [5:9] ¶ And it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly and did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto YHVH; and they gave thanks unto the Elohim of Israel.
This text has been edited from the original to change Greek or English terms to the Hebrew.
RAV is the Book of Mormon version more commonly used by Community of Christ and their offshoots, [OPV] is the version more commonly used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their offshoots. Neither version was available in the original denomination.
(1) YHVH: also known as the Tetragrammaton, translated as Yahweh, Jehovah, Yehovah, or LORD.
(2) Elohim: “Gods.” Can denote the Godhead or Trinity as a whole, God the Father & Mother, or the Masculine and Feminine aspects of God.
Music: “Impact Moderato” by Kevin MacLeod