Arnold Friberg's depiction of Nephi from the Book of Mormon


Nephi was a prophet who lived in Jerusalem around 600 BC. He was the youngest of 4 sons. His parents were Lehi and Sariah. Lehi was a prophet who desired to have a closer relationship with the Lord. He wanted and needed his guidance in a world and society that was quickly moving toward rejecting God and his messengers. After Lehi obtained his desire to know the Lord and his will better, he was commanded to teach his community about what he learned. But they rejected him in the same way they had the other prophets whom the Lord had sent. They didn’t want to hear what he had to say and tried to resolve the conflict of perspectives by seeking to eliminate him.

Lehi was commanded to separate from his community and journey into the wilderness – the road less traveled. Each of Lehi’s family members had a choice as to what and who they would believe. Would they side with their father and trust he had been instructed and guided by the Lord? Would they follow him and support his leadership in their family? Or would they side with their community, rejecting God and his prophets, and refusing to repent of engaging in deviant imbalanced processes to obtain their desires and resolve their conflicts?

Nephi’s older brothers, Laman and Lemuel, chose the latter. They rejected their father and continuously sided with their community. There were times when they even desired to kill their father and all those who supported him as a resolution to this conflict.

Nephi decided to believe his father first. He gave him the benefit of the doubt. But he didn’t leave it there. He then prayed to God to find out for himself. Desiring to develop a closer relationship with the Savior as well, he went straight to the source to listen and learn.

Because he did this, God made him a spiritual leader (Cause) for his brothers because they wouldn’t come to God on their own. One of his brothers, Sam, believed him and followed his lead. But Laman and Lemuel did not. They attempted on many occasions to kill him or eliminate him by force by tying him up.

Throughout the years of their journey out of Jerusalem, into the wilderness, and across the sea to what they called the Promised Land, Nephi remained steadfast and faithful to his parents and God while continuously dealing with these two brothers who swung back and forth between being for and against God and this specific journey he was requiring of them. They regularly whined and complained while Nephi stood steadfast throughout their trials and tribulations.

His story is recorded in the Book of Mormon in 1st and 2nd Nephi.