BOM Lesson 8 – All Things are Possible Through God

God Makes All things Possible Through Him

God promises that if we obey his commandments, that he will “nourish [us], and strengthen [us], and provide means whereby [we] can accomplish the thing which he has commanded [us]” (1 Nephi 17:3). Nephi believed this so much that he proclaimed: “If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them” (1 Nephi 17:50).

Nephi is also famous for saying something similar: “I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). Nephi puts his faith into action so that he and his family could make their way across the ocean to the “land of promise” (see 1 Nephi 2:20).

Nephi Builds a Ship

God commanded Nephi to build a ship, so they could cross the waters (1 Nephi 17:8). Instead of questioning how to do this, Nephi responds by asking the Lord where to find the materials he needed (1 Nephi 17:9). Nephi had such great confidence because he trusted in God (1 Nephi 17:14–15).

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Nephi’s brothers, Laman and Lemuel didn’t want to help Nephi build a ship, because they didn’t have faith that it could be done. They did not want to work to gain the promises of the Lord (1 Nephi 17:17–19, 45–46). Despite this – and an act of God to get his brothers to help – Nephi showed his faith in Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 17:50–51) by building a ship according to God’s instructions (1 Nephi 18:1-4).

God Makes Us Work For It

Why do you think God didn’t just give them a ship? Why doesn’t he just give us what we need? Jesus Christ even gave a parable where the “slothful servant” had his talents taken away (see Matthew 25:26-28).

It is important for us to do all we can for ourselves so that we can learn and grow from our experiences. We tend to become spoiled when everything is simply handed to us. We don’t work for something, we don’t learn the true value of it. We gain the self-esteem from doing things for ourselves, and we feel joy when we helping others. If God simply took care of everything, we would be deprived of many growth experiences.

God gives us many promises when we are obedient and do our part. List the things the God promises when we are obedient as found in 1 Nephi 17:3 and 1 Nephi 3:7. God will bless you if they keep the commandments and ask him for guidance.

List things you could do to help your families learn the gospel and keep the commandments. Some examples are: encourage daily scripture study, take part willingly in family prayer, help organize and take part in Family Home Evening, pray for family members, show love and kindness to each other, share what you have learned here, and so on. Choose one thing you would like to work on improving during the coming week.

Lesson 7 – Companionship is Key More Lessons Lesson 9 – Dealing with Difficult Family Members

BOM Lesson 7 – Companionship is Key

The Importance of Companionship

We learn from the scriptures that it is not good for men (and women) to be alone (see Genesis 2:18). Lehi also knew this and was concerned that his boys wouldn’t have anyone to marry and have children with. “that his sons should take daughters to wife, that they might raise up seed unto the Lord” – 1 Nephi 7:1

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also teaches that “salvation is an individual matter; exaltation is a family matter” (, April 2008 General Conference). Basically, this means that God’s “plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave” and “for families to be united eternally” (The Family, A Proclamation to the World). Lehi wanted to make sure his sons had an opportunity to have families and sent them back to Jerusalem a second time.

Ishmael’s Family Joins Lehi’s Family

Nephi and his brothers “again return unto the land of Jerusalem” – 1 Nephi 7:2. They went to the “house of Ishmael” (1 Nephi 7:4) where Ishmael, his wife, and five daughters lived. Ishmael also had two other sons who already had families of their own (see 1 Nephi 7:6).

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After talking to Ishmael “the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father.” – 1 Nephi 7:5.

Despite some rebellion and murmuring by non-other than Laman and Lemuel, and some of Ishmael’s family, they make it back to Lehi.

Lehi’s and Ishmael’s Children are Married

“And it came to pass that I, Nephi, took one of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also, my brethren took of the daughters of Ishmael to wife; and also Zoram took the eldest daughter of Ishmael to wife.” – 1 Nephi 16:7

Without these companionships, Lehi’s family, and thus The Book of Mormon would likely have ended abruptly. Likewise, without family, our own stories will quickly come to an end.

We also know from other sources that having an Eternal Family, and marital companionship is key to eternal happiness. I have another series of lessons about building eternal families. You can find the first post here.

Lesson 6 – Be Lead through Faith More Lessons Lesson 8 – All Things are Possible Through God

BOM Lesson 6 – Be Led through Faith

Led Through Faith

Have you ever been led by someone who didn’t seem confident in what they were doing? You may find your confidence in them is poor, and you may wonder if goals will ever be met. If we don’t have faith in what we are doing, we are like the leader who lacks confidence. This often happens when things don’t go the way we want them to; however, if you have faith in God, you can trust the plans he has for you, and you can become more confident in yourself.

Lehi is lead by God

Lehi was blessed for his faith and obedience as he traveled into the wilderness: “. . . as [he] arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.” (1 Nephi 16:10).

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Lehi soon learned that this brass ball, called the Liahona (Alma 37:38), only worked if he and his family showed faith. It “led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness”, sustaining them on their journey. Nephi had a steel bow, but one day when Nephi was hunting, his steel bow broke. His family was hungry and fatigued from their travels. “Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael did begin to murmur exceedingly . . . and also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God.” (1 Nephi 16:1721).

Nephi Leads through faith

Although it is easy to complain when things don’t go the way you want, Nephi knew that complaining wouldn’t fix the problem. Instead, Nephi decided to do something about it, despite being tired and hungry. He did not complain, but instead “did make out of wood a bow, and out of a straight stick, an arrow; wherefore, I did arm myself with a bow and an arrow, with a sling and with stones. And I said unto my father: Whither shall I go to obtain food?” Lehi prayed and was prompted to look at the ball he had found outside his tent. “. . . Nephi, did go forth up into the top of the mountain, according to the directions which were given upon the ball. And . . . did slay wild beasts [and] did obtain food for [their] families.” (1 Nephi 16:2232).

In doing this Nephi showed faith that God would provide for their needs, and showed leadership by taking it upon himself to find a solution. He used the knowledge he had to do as much as he could. To help him with the knowledge he didn’t have, he went to the Prophet (his father Lehi) for direction from God for what he didn’t know. Likewise, if we lack knowledge and leadership, we can step up and do what we can, then ask God for help with the rest (see Proverbs 3:5–6).

We can be a good example to our families, friends, and colleges by finding solutions to problems instead of just complaining about them. Just as Lehi had the brass ball to lead the way, we have the scriptures, the Holy Spirit and other resources to help us find our way. Just as the Ball worked on faith and obedience to the commandments, so does our ability to feel and hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Lesson 5 – Setting Goals More Lessons here Lesson 7 – Companionship is Key

BOM Lesson 5 – The Importance of Setting Goals.

What is a Goal?

A goal is a something you plan to achieve. And by “plan”, I don’t just mean thinking it out, but actually creating steps and working on them to achieve your goal. It can be small like getting to bed on time or making your bed every morning. It can also be big, like getting promoted to your dream job, or traveling to all the U.S. national parks. Setting goals are important to make sure we stay on track in our lives and don’t get easily distracted by “every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).

The most important goal we can set in our lives is one that we will never achieve in this life. As  stated in his April 2008 conference talk, “This life is the time to prepare for salvation and exaltation.” Often referred to as Eternal Life, this is the ultimate, life-long goal we should have. Why? Because Eternal Life is God’s greatest gift to man. It is desirable beyond anything we can imagine in our current mortal state. The joy and love we can experience are explained in a dream the Nephi’s father Lehi had.

In The Book of Mormon Lehi has a dream about the Tree of Life. He also sees many other people attempting to reach the tree, but others who are not holding on to the Word of God get distracted and pulled away by other things they encounter along their journey.

Lehi’s Dream

“[Lehi] beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy . . . [he] beheld that it was most sweet, above all . . . the fruit thereof was white . . . it filled [his] soul with exceedingly great joy; [he was] desirous that [his] family should partake of it also . . .” (1 Nephi 8:10–12).

Lehi saw in his dream that there is something more precious and desirable than anything we can get in this life. Lehi told his family about his dream and Nephi asked God to show him the dream and its meaning. Nephi then also saw the dream. He was taught that because Jesus Christ loves us, he was crucified for our sins. That Jesus’s sacrifice would make it possible for us to repent and gain eternal life. Eternal life means living with Heavenly Father as families in his kingdom. In this type of life, we get to partake of God’s love just like in the dream when Lehi partook of the fruit of the Tree of Life.

Symbols and their meanings in Lehi’s dream

  1. The tree (1 Nephi 8:10) – The love of God in giving the world his Only Begotten Son (1 Nephi 11:21–22; John 3:16)
  2. The fruit (1 Nephi 8:11) – Eternal Life – God’s greatest gift to man (1 Nephi 15:36; D&C 14:7)
  3. The Rod of Iron that leads to the tree (1 Nephi 8:19) – The word of God (1 Nephi 15:23–24)
  4. The Strait and Narrow Path (1 Nephi 8:20) – The way to Tree of Life / Eternal Life (also see: Matthew 7:14)
  5. Mist of darkness covering the path to the tree (1 Nephi 8:23) – Temptations of the devil (1 Nephi 12:17)
  6. Great and spacious building (1 Nephi 8:26–27) – Pride of the world (1 Nephi 11:36)

The word of God is found in the scriptures, and from our Prophet and Apostles that lead Jesus’s Church today. Reading The Book of Mormon every day can help us stay on the path back to our Father in Heaven.

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The temptations of the devil can confuse us and lead us astray. Satan tempts us every day to leave the straight and narrow path. Holding steadfast to the “Iron Rod” helps us stay on the straight and narrow path. This can include reading daily from The Book of Mormon, following the commandments, praying, being honest, choosing good friends, choosing good entertainment, and so on.

People who value the “Pride of the World” will view those who believe the teachings to God as peculiar, and will mock them. Satan encourages these people to make fun of those who believe in the Word of God.

Eternal Life – The Ultimate Goal

As we keep our main goal returning to live with our Father in Heaven, it will help us get through life’s challenges with greater ease. This goal, however, is not without its challenges. One of the biggest I’ve seen is those who are hard on themselves. Just remember, we all fall so short of this goal, so it is easy to get discouraged. This is why Jesus gave his life for us and atoned for our sins. Look to Jesus, rely on him, take on his yoke, and your burden will be lightened (see Matthew 11:29-30).

Find smaller goals that you can focus on now, that will help you meet this much larger goal. For example, pick the one commandment you struggle with most and make it your primary goal to do better on for the next month. You can also focus on self-improvement goals, or doing more to help others. Set goals for your family, your career, or anything else you feel will help you improve.

 in his April 2017 General Conference talk Return and Receive said,

Over the years, have observed that those who accomplish the most in this world are those with vision for their lives, with goals to keep them focused on their vision and tactical plans for how to achieve them.”

The entire talk is an excellent source for learning about Goals and how to implement and use them in your life. I definitely recommend reading the entire talk.

Lesson 4 – Keeping Records More Lessons Lesson 6 – Led Through Faith

BOM Lesson 4 – The Importance of Keeping Records

Keeping Records is Important to our Posterity

The Brass Plates are important to Nephi and his posterity, to ensure  “that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers; And also that we may preserve unto them the words . . . of all the holy prophets . . . that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments of God. . . .” (1 Nephi 3:19–21; also see 1 Nephi 5:21–22).

There are also other examples in The Book of Mormon where we can see this importance accentuated. The most potent example is in the Book of Omni when Mosiah discovers the people of Zarahemla. Due to the lack of records “their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them” (Omni 1:17).

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Keep a Journal

Keeping a journal and teaching your children from other sacred records will help them in many ways. For Nephi and his posterity, teaching from the Brass Plates was essential to ensuring they were able to maintain their language and to live good lives. Our personal records can also help our children and grandchildren learn from our experiences.

Journal keeping has been taught in the LDS Church from the beginning. Even Nephi seemed to understand the importance of keeping a journal, otherwise, we likely would not have the Book of Mormon as we know it today.

Have you had an opportunity to benefit from the journal of one of your ancestors? Let us know in the comments.

Lesson 3 – Doing Hard Things More Lessons Lesson 5 – Setting Goals

BOM Lesson 3 – Doing Hard Things Through God

Heavenly Father Will Help Us Do Hard Things

After leaving Jerusalem to escape persecution, Lehi told his sons to return to Jerusalem to get “the record of the Jews“, know to us today as the Old Testament. These “plates of brass” (1 Nephi 3:2–4) also contained other records such as Lehi‘s genealogy. Obtaining these records was no small task because they were held by a wicked leader who was not willing to give them up.

To make matters even more challenging, Nephi’s Brothers, Laman and Lemuel, once again complain about the task at hand. They claimed that it is too hard for them to do (1 Nephi 3:5, 28, 31). This story from the Book of Mormon is an excellent example of how faith in God can help us do hard things.

When we are on the Lord’s errand we will get his help

Nephi had faith that God would help them do the errand He had sent them on. He knew that “the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7).

Some of Heavenly Father’s commandments may seem hard to obey, but with Heavenly Father’s help, we can obey all His commandments. Heavenly Father will help us if we have faith in him and trust him. “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel” (third article of faith).

Nephi and his brothers get the Brass Plates

Nephi is led by the spirit (1 Nephi 4:6) to complete the task at hand through the use of stratagem. He finds Laban “drunken with wine” (1 Nephi 4:7). After being instructed by the spirit, Nephi kills Laban, dresses up in Laban’s close, and tricks Laban’s servant, Zoram, to take him to Laban’s treasury (1 Nephi 4:19-20) to get the Brass Plates. After Zoram realizes the deception, he makes an oath to follow Nephi’s father Lehi (1 Nephi 4:35).

Lesson 2 – Follow The Prophet More Lessons Lesson 4 – Keeping Records

BOM Lesson 2 – Nephi Follows His Father, the Prophet

Who is a Prophet?

A prophet is a man called by God to speak for Him. When a prophet speaks for God, it is as if God were speaking. Prophets have always told people what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want them to do. Prophets have always testified of Jesus Christ. They can help us to know that Jesus is the Savior. We can also learn this by prayerfully studying the Book of Mormon, and obeying the commandments.

Lehi Preaches to His People

One of the first figures in the Book of Mormon is Lehi. Lehi lived in Jerusalem around 600 BC and was concerned for his people who were becoming wicked. While praying for them he saw a vision of the destruction of Jerusalem that was soon to come (1 Nephi 1:5-13). As a result, Lehi goes to preach to the people of Jerusalem to try to warn them of what is to come. He also testifies of the coming of Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 1:18-20). Lehi was mocked because of this, and the people attempted to kill him.

Nephi and his Family are Blessed

“Lord spake unto [Lehi] . . . and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee . . . the Lord commanded [Lehi] . . . that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness . . .” (1 Nephi 2:1–3).

Lehi and his family took provisions but left everything else, including their riches. His oldest sons Laman and Lemuel “murmured” (complained) because of their “stiffneckedness” (Stubbornness or pride). One of his other sons, Nephi,

“did cry unto the Lord . . . and did soften [his] heart [and believed] all the words which had been spoken by [his] father; wherefore, [he] did not rebel . . . like [his] brothers” (1 Nephi 2:11-13,16).

Because Nephi was willing to pray for and follow the prompting of the spirit – to follow his father Lehi – he and his family, for many generations, were blessed in many ways. We have a prophet today that leads guides Jesus’ Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), and we too can know the truthfulness of his words if we are willing to pray for our own personal confirmation as Nephi did.

Previous Lesson – A Gift From God Get all the lessons Next Lesson – Doing Hard Things

BOM Lesson 1 – A Gift from a Loving Heavenly Father

The Book of Mormon is a Gift from a Loving Heavenly Father

In case you don’t already know, yes, you have a father in heaven who loves you very much. He wants you to live the best life for you, during this short mortal experience. To help you do that he has appointed people as prophets to help us know him and his plan for us. The Book of Mormon is a record of some of these prophets, and the people they taught (Read paragraphs 1 and 2 in the Introduction.). The Book of Mormon is full of important stories and information that can help us to not only thrive temporally but also – and more importantly – spiritually.

“[Because of] Heavenly Father’s great love for us he has given us a gift to help us achieve eternal life. This gift has an important message for each of us. It teaches us about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and how to live so we can return to Heavenly Father. Ezra Taft Benson, the thirteenth President of the Church, said: “This is a gift of greater value to mankind than even the many wonderful advances we have seen in modern medicine. It is of greater worth to mankind than the development of flight or space travel” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, p. 3; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, p. 4).”

How the Book of Mormon was Made.

An ancient prophet called Mormon abridged most of what was on the gold plates, quoting and summarizing what other prophets had written. That is why we call it the Book of Mormon. Many years later, The Book of Mormon was made known to our time thanks to the work of the Prophet Joseph Smith Jr. You can read his account of how it was made known to him, and his testimony of it by reading: Joseph Smith—History 1:29–35, 42–54, 59–60.

“Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”” – paragraph 6 in the Introduction

You’re Invited To Read The Book of Mormon

While this series of lessons will certainly help you to know what is contained within The Book of Mormon, no amount of knowledge can give you a confirmation of its truth. If you want to know if it’s true, I invite you to read The Book of Mormon, to ponder in your heart the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost (See Moroni 10: 3-5).”

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Atlanta Georgia Temple

Announcement: 2 April 1980
Groundbreaking and Site Dedication: 7 March 1981 by Spencer W. Kimball
Public Open House: 3–21 May 1983
Dedication: 1–4 June 1983 by Gordon B. Hinckley
Rededication: 14 November 1997 by Gordon B. Hinckley (baptistery only)
Public Open House: 9–23 April 2011
Rededication: 1 May 2011 by Thomas S. Monson