I Nephi Chapter 17
And it occurred that we continued our journey in the wilderness; and we traveled mostly eastward from that time on. And we traveled and struggled through many difficulties in the wilderness; and our women bore children there.
And so many were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we lived on raw meat in the wilderness, our women provided much breast milk for their children, and were strong, yes, even like the men; and they began to bear their journey without moaning.
And so we see that the commandments of God must be fulfilled. And if it be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he will nourish and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; therefore, he provided for us while we sojourned in the wilderness.
And we sojourned for many years, yes, eight years in the wilderness.
And we came to the land which we called a Bountiful, because of its abundance of fruit and wild honey --- and these things were prepared by the Lord that we would not perish. And we saw the sea, which we labeled Irreantum --- interpreted: many waters.
And it happened that we pitched our tents by the seashore; and regardless that we suffered many afflictions and difficulty, yes, so much that we cannot write them all, we were very happy when we came to the seashore; and we called the place Bountiful, because of its abundant fruit.
And it transpired that after I, Nephi, had been in the land of Bountiful for many days, the voice of the Lord came to me, saying, "Arise, and go to the mountain. And it occurred that I got up and climbed the mountain, and cried to the Lord.
And it happened that the Lord spoke unto me, saying, "You shall build a ship, according to how I shall show you, that I may carry your people across these waters."
And I said, "Lord, where shall I go that I may find ore to smelt, that I may make tools to construct the ship after the manner which you have shown me?"
And it transpired that the Lord told me where I should go to find ore, that I might make tools.
And it occurred that I, Nephi, made bellows from the skins of beasts to fan the fire. And after I had made bellows, to fan the fire, I smote two stones together to make fire.
For the Lord had not earlier allowed us to make much fire, as we journeyed in the wilderness; for he said, "I will make your food become sweet, that you don't cook it.
And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if you keep my commandments; therefore, as long as you shall keep my commandments you shall be led towards the promised land; and you shall know that it is by me that you are led."
Yes and additionally the Lord said, "After you have arrived in the promised land, you shall know that I, the Lord, am God; and will deliver you from destruction; yes, I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem."
Therefore, I, Nephi, strove to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I encouraged my brothers to be faithful and diligent.
And it occurred that I did make tools of the ore which I smelted from the rock.
And when my brothers saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to grumble against me, saying, "Our brother is a fool, for he thinks he can build a ship; yes, and cross these great waters."
And so my brothers complained against me, and didn't want to work, for they didn't believe that I could build a ship; nor that I was instructed by the Lord.
And now it transpired that I, Nephi, was very upset because of their stubborn hearts. And when they saw that I became sorrowful they were gleeful, so much that they rejoiced regarding me, saying: "We knew that you couldn't construct a ship, because we knew that you lacked judgment; therefore, cannot accomplish so great a task.
And you are like our father --- who is led about by the foolish imaginations of his heart. Yes, he led us out of the land of Jerusalem, and we wandered in the wilderness for all these years; and our women have slaved, being pregnant; and they have borne children in the wilderness and suffered all things, short of death; and it would have been better that they had died before they came out of Jerusalem than to have suffered all this.
Note, these many years we have suffered in the wilderness, when we might have enjoyed our possessions and the land of our inheritance. Yes, and we might have been happy.
And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were righteous; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses. Therefore, we know that they are a righteous people; and our father judged them, and led us away because we listened to his words --- yes, and our brother is just like him." And in this way my brothers grumbled and complain against us.
And it occurred that I, Nephi, spoke to them, saying, "Do you believe that our ancestors, who were the children of Israel, would have been led out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not listened to the words of the Lord?
Yes, do you imagine that they would have been led out of bondage, if the Lord had not commanded Moses to lead them out of bondage?
Now you know that the children of Israel were in bondage; with much to do, which were hard to bear; therefore, you know that it must be a good thing for them, that they should be brought from bondage.
Now you know that Moses was commanded by the Lord to do that great work and that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided, and they passed through on dry ground.
But you know that the Egyptian armies of Pharaoh were drowned in the Red Sea.
And you also know that they (Israel) were fed with manna in the wilderness.
Yes, and you also know that Moses, by his word through God's power in him, smote the rock, and water emerged, that the children of Israel might quench their thirst.
And regardless of being led (the Lord their God and Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light to them nightly, and doing all things for them which were necessary for man to have), they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and the true and living God.
And it transpired that according to his word he destroyed for them; and lead them; and did all things for them; and nothing was accomplished unless it was by his word.
And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty to the driving out of the children of the land, yes, to scattering them to destruction.
And now, do you suppose that the children of this land, who were in the land of promise, being driven out by our fathers --- do you imagine that they were righteous? Note, I say to you, No.
Do you suppose that our ancestors would have been more choice than they if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay.
Note, the Lord esteems all flesh as one; he that is smartest is favored of God. But behold, this people rejected every word of God, and they were full of iniquity. And the full wrath of God was upon them. And the Lord cursed the land against them, and blessed it towards our ancestors. Yes, he cursed it against them to their destruction, and he did blessed it to our ancestors to their gaining power over it.
Note, the Lord created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he created his children that they should possess it.
And he raised a righteous nation, and destroyed the nations of the wicked.
And he led away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyed, and cursed the land against them for their sake.
He rules high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his footstool.
And he loves those who will have him for their God. Note, he loved our ancestors, and he made a covenant with them; yes, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made. Therefore, he brought them out of the land of Egypt.
And he did straighten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they closed their hearts, even as you have; and the Lord straightened them because of their iniquity. He sent flaming flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of or the easiness of the procedure, there were many who died.
And they closed their hearts from time to time, and they did yell at Moses, and against God also; nevertheless, you know that they were led onward by his matchless power into the land of promise.
And presently, after all these things, the time has come that they have become wicked, yes, nearly ripe, And I know they are about to be destroyed today; for I know that the day must surely come that they be destroyed, save a only a remnant, who shall be led away into captivity.
Therefore, the Lord commanded my dad to depart into the wilderness. And the Jews also sought to take away his life; yes, and you also have sought to take his life. Therefore, you are murderers in your hearts and like them.
You are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. You have seen a angel, and he spoke to you. Yes, you have heard his voice now and again; and he has spoken to you in a still small voice, but you were beyond feelings, that you could not feel his words. Therefore, he has spoken to you like the voice of thunder, which caused the earth to quake as if it were to break apart.
And you also know that by the power of his almighty word he can cause the earth to pass away. Yes, you know that by his word he can cause the rough places to become smooth, and smooth places shall be broken up. Oh, then, why is it, that you be so stubborn?
Note, my soul is torn in anguish because of you, and my heart is sorrowful lest you shall be cast away forever. Note, I am full of the Spirit of God, so much so that my frame has no ability.
And presently it happened that when I had spoke these words they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the ocean depths. And as they came to lay their hands upon me I spake to them, saying "In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that you do not touch me, for I am filled with God's power, even to the consumption of my flesh; and whoever shall lay his hands upon me shall shrivel even as a dried reed; and he shall be nothing before the power of God, for God shall kill him.
And it transpired that I, Nephi, said to them that they should grumble no more against their father; neither should they nor work labor for me, for God had commanded that I should build a ship
And I said to them, "If God commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has brought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me in ship building -- so that I can build a ship?"
And it happened that I, Nephi, said many things to my brothers, so much that they were confused and could not contend with me; neither did they lay their hands upon me or touch me with their fingers --- for many days. Now they didn't do this unless they should shrivel before me, so powerful was the Spirit of God; and this it brought upon them.
And it occurred that the Lord said to me, "Stretch out your hand once more towards your brothers, and they shall not shrink before you, but I will shock them," said the Lord, "and this will I do, that they may realize that I am the Lord their God."
And it so happened that I stretched out my hand to my brethren, and they did not shrive; before me; but the Lord did make them quake -- according to the word which he had said.
And presently, they said, "We know for certain that the Lord is with you, for we know that the power of the Lord has vibrated us." And they fell down before me, and were about to worship me, but I would not allow them, saying, "I'm your brother; Yes, even younger at that. Therefore, worship the Lord your God, and honor your father and mother, that your life may be long in the land which the Lord your God shall give you."