Book of Mormon

Week 3: Lehi₁’s flight from Jerusalem & the brass plates

1 Nephi 1–7, 9

17 September 2019


Additional reading and links

  • Nearl Rappleye, “Learning Nephi’s Language: Creating a Context for 1 Nephi 1:2,” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 16 (2015): 151–59. Rappleye explains how Nephi₁’s record could have been written in Hebrew language using Egyptian script, and he gives examples of ancient Israelite documents that did exactly that.
  • Book of Mormon Central team, “When Did Lehi Leave Jerusalem? (KnoWhy #475),” Book of Mormon Central, last modified 11 October 2018. Lehi₁’s ministry began “in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah.” (1 Nephi 1:4) Scholars have variously dated his departure from Jerusalem between 605 and 588 ʙ.ᴄ. Read about the arguments for early, middle, and late dates.
  • Research and Perspectives, “Nephi and the Exodus,” Ensign, April 1987, 64–65. Latter-day Saint scholars have identified numerous parallels and motifs that show how Nephi₁ used the story of Moses and the Exodus as a type for his family’s own journey into the wilderness.
  • S. Kent Brown, “The Hunt for the Valley of Lemuel,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 16, no. 1 (2007): 64–73. Professor Brown explains how Wadi Tayyib al-Ism, the best candidate for Lehi’s valley of Lemuel, was discovered.
  • David Rolph Seely, “Lehi’s Altar and Sacrifice in the Wilderness,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 10, no. 1 (2001): 62–69, 80. Professor Seely explores why it was important for Lehi₁ to travel “three days in the wilderness” before making an offering to the Lord (1 Nephi 2:6–7), and how Lehi₁ could have made such a sacrifice, even though he wasn’t a Temple priest or Levite.
  • John W. Welch, “Legal Perspectives on the Slaying of Laban,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 1, no. 1 (1992): 119–41. Welch argues that Nephi₁ was legally within his rights to slay Laban, according to the moral and legal code at the time.


  • When Lehi₁ and his family left Jerusalem, they traveled south for three days until they reached a river valley, which Lehi named after his sons Laman₁ and Lemuel. An excellent candidate for this valley has been discovered in Saudi Arabia; Book of Mormon Central discusses this in KnoWhy #286.