Book of Mormon

Week 6: Lehi₁’s farewell address; his descendants separate

2 Nephi 1–5

10 October 2019


Additional reading and links

  • Lehi₁’s teachings are an example of a biblical testament offered by a dying patriarch, which included the dying family head gathering together his relatives and close friends, exhorting them to avoid temptations, instructing them in the ways of righteousness, uttering blessings and cursings, and prophesying of the future. See “KnoWhy #29: Should 2 Nephi 1:1–4:12 Be Called the ‘Testament Of Lehi’?”, Book of Mormon Central, 9 February 2016.
  • Matthew Nickerson, “Nephi’s Psalm: 2 Nephi 4:16–35 in the Light of Form-Critical Analysis,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 6, no. 2 (1997): 26–42. Nickerson’s article outlines the Psalm of Nephi₁ and shows how it follows the same literary pattern found in the Old Testament Psalms.
  • Steven P. Sondrup, “The Psalm of Nephi: A Lyric Reading,” BYU Studies 21, no. 3 (Summer 1981): 357–72. Sondrup analyzes the poetic structure of Nephi₁’s Psalm.
  • After the death of Lehi₁, Nephi₁ recorded that “the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon” to those who followed Laman₁ (2 Nephi 5:21). Was this “skin of blackness” literal or metaphorical? LDS scholar Brant Gardner has done a thorough analysis of this subject; read his conclusions at “What Does the Book of Mormon Mean by ‘Skin of Blackness’?”, FairMormon Publications.


  • Joseph’s September 1830 revelation to Oliver Cowdery commanded him to “go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them.” How did the Book of Mormon define a Lamanite? And what does DNA evidence tell us about the descendants of Lehi₁ living in the Americas today? Book of Mormon Central examines this complex subject in “KnoWhy #486: Who Are the Lamanites?