The older I get and the more I read the Book of Mormon, the more I come to recognize the common themes taught among the Nephites.
For example: From the earliest days of my youth my favorite Book of Mormon passage has almost always been Mosiah 3:17:
And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.Mosiah 3:17
It wasn’t until a few years ago, probably about the time I started teaching institute, that I started noticing the same idea with almost the exact same wording mentioned in completely different passages by completely different people from King Benjamin. “Wait a second!” I thought. “Isn’t that what King Benjamin said?” It wasn’t until I discovered a nearly identical passage in the writings of Nephi that I came to realize that this particular concept was a doctrine taught first by Nephi and passed down from generation to generation. The Nephites were relying on and repeating the teachings of their own prophets much the same way we do today with our modern prophets, and the way the Jews do with their prophets, in particular with the words of Moses.
Another theme often repeated – from Lehi, to Nephi, to Jesus Christ – is the theme of Heavenly Father remembering His covenants with Israel and the work done among and by the Gentiles in the latter days. From these passages as well as the “no other name” theme above it is clear that the title page of the Book of Mormon really does define the objectives of the Book of Mormon!
As I studied the book of 1 Nephi for my Abiding Precepts project I found it full of similarly repeated themes and I’ve felt the importance of putting them down in a collected way so we can understand what it is that Nephi is trying to help us understand.
The lessons I take away from the book of 1 Nephi are as follows:
- Believe in God.
- Keep the commandments of God.
- Listen to God and trust Him.
- You can accomplish anything God commands you to do.
- Believe God.
- Testify of God.
- Serve God and others around you.
These themes are found scattered throughout the entire book of 1 Nephi. They are repeated again and again and if I could sum up the entirety of that book into just a few words or concepts, it would be the ones above. They are simple to understand, yet can be so difficult – even elusive – to follow. But if followed, they have the power to bring us nearer to God than any other set of themes from any other book could.
What themes did you find repeated throughout 1 Nephi? Can you find the specific passages that relate to each?