Book of Mormon Lesson #4: “The Things Which I Saw While I Was Carried Away in the Spirit,” 1 Nephi 12-14 (Sunday School)

As I noted in my previous post, this third lesson on Nephi’s writings is meant to focus only on 1 Nephi 12-14, while the preceding lesson focuses on 1 Nephi 11 and 1 Nephi 15 (in connection with 1 Nephi 8). In order to follow as closely as possible what Nephi himself seems to be doing with his own chapter breaks and the like, I focused in my notes on lesson 2 on the whole of 1 Nephi 6-10, and I’ll take as my focus here the whole of 1 Nephi 11-15. I think it’ll become clear why it’s important to do that.

I have, nonetheless, thus split 1 Nephi 10 off from 1 Nephi 11-14, which is illegitimate in my eyes. The whole of 1 Nephi 10-14 is a single chapter in the original Book of Mormon (and thus according to Nephi’s own chapter breaks). And we should note the fact that 1 Nephi 11:1 opens with “For,” clearly indicating that the experience Nephi recounts here has to be understood in connection with what he’s just been saying in the final, transitional verses of 1 Nephi 10. I thus refer you back to what I had to say about 1 Nephi 10 in my last post. But here I’ll get to work on Nephi’s vision itself, as well as—more briefly—on Nephi’s exchange with his brothers subsequent to his visionary experience.

And, as before, I’ll note from the beginning that much of what I’ll be saying here presupposes familiarity with my preliminaries post from a couple weeks ago. It’s of particular importance to be familiar with what I said in that post concerning the structural importance of this vision in Nephi’s larger record. It plays, as I showed there, a vital role that I won’t be able to detail again here.

Okay, to work!

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