1 Nephi, Chapter 13

Who are the gentiles?

The word  “Gentile” in the Bible Dictionary (page 679) is defined as the nations not of the house of Israel or without the gospel.  Usually in the Book of Mormon, it means those without the gospel. No one had the gospel until the restoration, so this verse is talking about all the people during the apostasy, and I believe those without the gospel today.

What is the Great and Abominable Church?

In verse 6 we read that the Great and Abominable church was started with the devil, “and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.”  It desires the precious and fine things of the world, praise of the world, and to destroy the saints.  Anything that leads men away from God is part of this abominable church.  If we truly think of the depth of what is happening in our nation today, we can see that there are leaders trying to lead us to away from God, by changing the definition of marriage, which is not a man-made institution, but one created by God.  Therefore if we do not stand up for it as the prophets have told us to do, we are giving in to that Great and Abominable Church.  In 1 Nephi 8:33-34, we learn that we should not heed those in the great and spacious building.  Avoid people doing things that are ungodly and you can avoid being deceived by them.

How well does the Lord know the future?

This chapter tells of historical events in America.  

  • Verse 10 – “And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren.” This is in reference to the Atlantic Ocean, which separated America from the old world.
  • Verse 12 – “And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.”  This is in reference to Christopher Columbus, who crossed the Atlantic to America.
  • Verse 13 – “And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.”  This is in reference to the many other pilgrims, who also crossed the Atlantic to America in search of freedom.
  • Verse 14 – “And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.”  Verse 15 – “And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.”  These verses are in reference to the colonists who obtained America for their inheritance.
  • Verse 17 – “And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.”  Verse 18 – “And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.”  Verse 19 – “And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.”  These verses refer to the old world trying to claim America, America eventually going through the Revolutionary War and winning their freedom.
  • Verse 20 – “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.”  Verse 21 – “And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?”  Verse 22 – “And I said unto him: I know not.” Verse 23 – “And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.”  These verses refer to the Bible, which Nephi was not aware of.  The Bible came to America with the colonists and was like the Plates that Nephi and his family had preserved.

The awesome thing about all that Nephi saw is how perfectly it all came to pass.  We know it as the true history and beginning of America, which was prepared so that the Gospel could be restored.  If one of these steps had not happened, we would not have the fulness of the Gospel now.  Plus, if Nephi’s words of this vision were not the truth, how could we believe the rest of his prophecies.  What an incredible thing to be shown.  I can only imagine what Nephi felt like, to see so far into the future and to know what was going to happen so that we could have the gospel in our lives today.

Who was the “man among the Gentiles”?

Nephi learned of Columbus in about 600 B.C. and the discovery of America was in 1492, which is about 2100 years later.  Just as it says in verse 12, Christopher Columbus recognized God’s hand in his preparation and his success of discovering the New World.  The study guide quotes Christopher Columbus, “From my youth onward, I was a seaman and have so continued until this day. . . .  The Lord was well disposed to my desire, and he bestowed upon me courage and understanding; knowledge of seafaring He gave me in abundance, of astronomy likewise. . . .  I have studied all books-cosmographies, histories, chronicles, and philosophies, and other arts, for which our Lord unlocked my mind, sent me upon the sea, and gave me fire for the deed.  Those who heard of my [enterprise] called it foolish, mocked me, and laughed.  But who can doubt but that the Holy Ghost inspired me?” (Jacob Wassermann, Columbus, Don Quixote of the Seas, pp. 19-20.)

I love knowing that Columbus was inspired by God to find America, and that he was aware of it even though he did not know why and did not have the true gospel in his life.  He was an awesome man, led by the hand of God, to prepare the way for the gospel to be restored.

How were the Lamanites “scattered before the Gentiles”?

Disease killed many of the American Indians because the colonists brought it to them.  Also, the colonists took over the lands and pushed the indians all over America and to other parts of the world.  This fulfilled the things said in verse 14.

What has been taken from the Bible and why?

In Article of Faith 8, it says “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.”  Verse 26 says, “And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.”  From the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible, I can see that there were many things removed or altered in the Bible when it was translated.  There have been many versions of the bible written, but none were written to contain the full gospel of Jesus Christ as it was originally intended.

These things were removed from the bible to “pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men” (v. 27).  It is easy to persuade people away from God by altering His words.  If people believe it to be the correct translation, than they will follow it.  It is important to see for yourself where the contradictions are in those translations, to know what is the true gospel.  This is why we need the Book of Mormon, to give us the fulness of the Gospel.

What will the Lord do about the truths missing from the Bible?

Nephi’s seed would write the Book of Mormon, which would be hidden and come forth by Joseph Smith (v. 35).  Other books that have come forth are the new testament, the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine and Covenants.  These books combined with the Bible give us the fullness of the gospel in these latter days.  Also there are other revelations given to Joseph Smith and the other Latter day prophets.  We should be (and are) different from the rest of the world because we have these books.  What a waste it is of our lives, if we do not use the teachings of God found in all of these books.

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2 Responses to “1 Nephi, Chapter 13”


  1. 1 a rubow September 30, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    There is so much in this chapter, that I have had a hard time settling on just one or two things that have impressed me. I think that is why it has taken me a few days to put my thoughts together on this chapter. One of my thoughts has to do with these couple of verses: 28 & 29
    28 “Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.
    29 “And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.”

    The children in Primary (our children’s Sunday School) are taught many “plain and precious things” on how to live the gospel. Here are some of those plain and precious goals from what is called “My Gospel Standards”.
    I will follow Heavenly Father’s plan for me.

    I will remember my baptismal covenant and listen to the Holy Ghost.

    I will keep my mind and body sacred and pure, and I will not partake of things that are harmful to me.

    I will dress modestly to show respect for Heavenly Father and myself.

    I will choose the right. I know I can repent when I make a mistake.

    I will be honest with Heavenly Father, others, and myself.

    I will only read and watch things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father.

    I will only listen to music that is pleasing to Heavenly Father.

    I will use the names of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reverently. I will not swear or use crude words.

    I will do those things on the Sabbath that will help me feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

    I will seek good friends and treat others kindly.

    I will live now to be worthy to go to the temple and do my part to have an eternal family.

    I will honor my parents and do my part to strengthen my family.

    Now if the “world” followed only half of these goals, how much better a place we would live in. Instead, we have music, television shows, and other media that encourage us to dress and act immodestly, to lie and cheat to get ahead, to put down any reference to a loving Heavenly Father, and to tear down the eternal definition of marriage. Satan confuses the people by labeling those who try to live by those gospel standards as “Intolerant” and “Bigoted”.

    So what can we, who are trying to choose the right, do to help lessen the power of Satan in these latter days? Nephi gives us the answer in verse 37. “And blessed are they who shall SEEK to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.” Heavenly Father wants us to “stand a little taller” and share with others the message of the gospel.

    The words below were from a prayer offered by the Prophet Joseph Smith at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple (Doctrine and Covenants:109), and I think that they should apply in our own homes. We should SEEK to make our homes places of “Zion” and peace.

    “7 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom, seek learning even by study and also by faith;
    8 Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
    9 That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord, that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord, that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High—

    14 And do thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house may be taught words of wisdom out of the best books, and that they may seek learning even by study, and also by faith, as thou hast said;
    15 And that they may grow up in thee, and receive a fulness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing;
    16 And that this house may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of glory and of God, even thy house;
    17 That all the incomings of thy people, into this house, may be in the name of the Lord;
    18 That all their outgoings from this house may be in the name of the Lord;
    19 And that all their salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with holy hands, uplifted to the Most High;
    20 And that no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into thy house to pollute it;
    21 And when thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent and return unto thee, and find favor in thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which thou hast ordained to be poured out upon those who shall reverence thee in thy house.
    22 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them;
    23 And from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hand, to fulfil that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of the prophets, concerning the last days.
    24 We ask thee, Holy Father, to establish the people that shall worship, and honorably hold a name and standing in this thy house, to all generations and for eternity;
    25 That no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall into the same himself;
    26 That no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over thy people upon whom thy name shall be put in this house;
    27 And if any people shall rise against this people, that thine anger be kindled against them;
    28 And if they shall smite this people thou wilt smite them; thou wilt fight for thy people as thou didst in the day of battle, that they may be delivered from the hands of all their enemies.
    29 We ask thee, Holy Father, to confound, and astonish, and to bring to ashame and confusion, all those who have spread lying reports abroad, over the world, against thy servant or servants, if they will not repent, when the everlasting gospel shall be proclaimed in their ears;
    30 And that all their works may be brought to naught, and be swept away by the hail, and by the judgments which thou wilt send upon them in thine anger, that there may be an end to lyings and slanders against thy people.”

    Heavenly Father promises us that if we SEEK to bring forth “Zion”, we will have the protecting influence of the Holy Ghost today and we will be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb. That is some promise. I know that I have a way to go before my house is a place of Zion, but a good place to start is by reading and studying the scriptures and praying daily. Heavenly Father knows the desires of our hearts and will help us to follow His commandments.

  2. 2 a rubow September 30, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Another theme that impressed me had do with the words in verses 7 and 8. “7 And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.
    8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.”

    I think that one of the reasons that these verses stuck out to me is because of the financial “crisis” that is going on in the world (in particular in the United States) today. Credit is drying out and the United States government (President and Congress) is trying to work out a rescue package to save banks, small and large businesses, and the savings and investments of normal Americans. There is one major problem: the American people do not trust Government, they do not trust Wall Street, they do not trust banks. In fact, Lisa Schiffren wrote an article entitled, “Who do you trust?” In it, she lists the major players in trying to solve the “crisis” and why most of these people have their hands dirty. People are losing their life savings and they are terrified that all their hard work and prudence has been all for naught as other people, who have been at most criminal and at least unethical, have mismanaged the people’s money. Now as taxpayers, they are being asked to rescue Wall Street and banks. There doesn’t seem to be any accountability. Our family has been affected as we are going on our third week without a paycheck.

    What is happening in the world today seems to be prophesied in Helaman 13 (Book of Mormon). Here are some of related verses.

    19 For I will, saith the Lord, that they shall hide up their treasures unto me; and cursed be they who hide not up their treasures unto me; for none hideth up their treasures unto me save it be the righteous; and he that hideth not up his treasures unto me, cursed is he, and also the treasure, and none shall redeem it because of the curse of the land.
    21 Behold ye, the people of this great city, and hearken unto my words; yea, hearken unto the words which the Lord saith; for behold, he saith that ye are cursed because of your riches, and also are your riches cursed because ye have set your hearts upon them, and have not hearkened unto the words of him who gave them unto you.
    22 Ye do not remember the Lord your God in the things with which he hath blessed you, but ye do always remember your riches, not to thank the Lord your God for them; yea, your hearts are not drawn out unto the Lord, but they do swell with great pride, unto boasting, and unto great swelling, denvyings, strifes, malice, persecutions, and murders, and all manner of iniquities.
    29 O ye wicked and ye perverse generation; ye hardened and ye stiffnecked people, how long will ye suppose that the Lord will suffer you? Yea, how long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by foolish and blind guides? Yea, how long will ye choose darkness rather than light?
    31 And behold, the time cometh that he curseth your riches, that they become slippery, that ye cannot hold them; and in the days of your poverty ye cannot retain them.
    32 And in the days of your poverty ye shall cry unto the Lord; and in vain shall ye cry, for your desolation is already come upon you, and your destruction is made sure; and then shall ye weep and howl in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts. And then shall ye lament, and say:
    33 O that I had repented, and had not killed the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out. Yea, in that day ye shall say: O that we had remembered the Lord our God in the day that he gave us our riches, and then they would not have become slippery that we should lose them; for behold, our riches are gone from us.
    36 O that we had repented in the day that the word of the Lord came unto us; for behold the land is cursed, and all things are become slippery, and we cannot hold them.

    The bottom line: Who should we trust? We should trust in the Lord and follow His commandments.


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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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