i, nephi, because my parents were well off and because i know about god and mysteries and stuff, i decided to write this book. this history. and i know what i write is true because i'm the one who writes it.

it starts out with my father, lehi, praying.

LEHI: dear god, i’ve heard a lot of other prophets talking about jerusalem being destroyed because everyone’s become so evil. is that true?

ZAP! a flash knocks lehi to the floor. there’s a pillar of light extending from the ground in front of him to the outer edges of the space. lehi begins to quake. the pillar of light vanishes. bewildered and shaken, lehi returns home unsure of what the experience means.

later that night, lehi has a dream of heaven. there’s god sitting on his throne in all his glory. radiating. surrounded by a million angels. and they’re all glowing too.

LEHI: is this a dream?

GOD: no. this is real. listen closely: i’m going to destroy jerusalem so you and your family need to get out of there and head off to the wilderness.

LEHI: the wilderness?

GOD: the wilderness.

the wilderness. we left the next morning. we didn’t take any of our gold or anything. just provisions and a tent. we (me, my parents lehi and sariah, my older brothers laman and lemuel, my younger brother sam and a few of my sisters) walked for 3 days.

LAMAN: i don’t get why we had to up and leave. it doesn’t make any sense. right, lemuel?

LEMUEL: yeah.

LEHI: i already told you: god’s going to destroy jerusalem so we had to leave. i wish you would believe me.

and i wanted to believe him. that night, after we assembled the tents, i went out alone to pray.

NEPHI: dear god, did you really tell my dad to leave jerusalem?

GOD: blessed are you, nephi, for coming to me with your questions. lehi speaks the truth. and as long as you do what i tell you, i'll make you a ruler over your brothers.

a ruler and a teacher over my brothers.

i finished talking with god and wandered back to my father’s tent who was just then awaking from a dream.

LEHI: i’ve had a dream and in that dream god told me that you and your brothers need to go back to jerusalem.

NEPHI: back to jerusalem?

LEHI: back to jerusalem. laban has these brass plates we need. they’re all about our forefathers and god talking to them. i know laman and lemeul are going to complain saying that this is a hard thing i’m asking them, but it’s not me asking, it’s god.

i say to my father that we would go back to jerusalem and get the brass plates because i knew it wouldn’t make any sense for god to ask you to do something that was impossible to do. a ruler and a teacher.

back at jerusalem. we (me, sam, laman and lemuel) are outside laban’s house. we decide to roll dice to see who has to go ask laban for the plates. leave it to chance. it’s laman.

LAMAN: i was wondering if we could get this one book from you. it’s written on brass plates.

LABAN: you’re trying to rob me!

laman gets out of there, quick. we’re all really bummed that didn’t work.

NEPHI: listen guys: god wants us to have those brass plates. i mean, we need books to preserve our language.

that’s how i talk them into my plan. we grab all our riches and gold from our old house and take it over to laban’s.

LAMAN: no. you misunderstood. i wasn’t trying to steal the plates. i’ve even got gold and stuff to pay for them.

laban takes all our gold and riches then sends his guards after us. we get out of there, quick.

outside the city walls.

LAMAN: i can’t believe we let nephi talk us into that stupid plan.

LEMUEL: yeah, you almost got us killed, nephi!

SAM: wait guys! it’s not his fault; god’s the one who put him up to it.

SMACK! laban punches me in the face. POW! lemuel smashes me with a stick. just as i am starting to lose consciousness an angels appears above us.

ANGEL: why are you hitting your brother? don’t you know god’s making him a ruler and teacher over you because of stuff like this? just go back to laban’s house and i promise god will deliver the brass plates to you.

the angel disappears. we’re left staring at nothing. at the sky. at night. left wondering.

LAMAN: there’s no way god is going to get us the plates. i mean, laban commands 50 men. he could have 50 men killed like that.

NEPHI: god could kill 10000 men just like that, so i’m sure he can handle laban and get us those plates.

i could tell they still weren’t convinced.

NEPHI: we just need to trust god. like when moses parted the red sea. he just knew god would save them.

but they weren’t buying it. i decide to get the plates on my own. i head off in to the city at night without an idea or plan. letting the holy ghost guide me. i end up at laban’s house. a drunk drops to the earth in front of me. too much to drink. wait, it’s laban. and then, FLASH! like the flash of a camera (i’ve seen the future). it’s the same angel from before.

ANGEL: kill laban!

NEPHI: but i’ve never killed anyone. i can’t do it.

ANGEL: god has delivered him into your hands.

NEHPI: and he did try to kill me earlier. and he was never going to give us the plates anyway.

ANGEL: god kills the wicked for his own reasons. like, it’s better that one man dies than an entire nation dies, spiritually.

NEPHI: i don’t get it.

ANGEL: without books, you lose your language, your culture, your identity.


a ruler and a teacher in the land of promise. and how could i teach with out the brass plates? i mean, that’s god’s law.

so i grab laban’s sword and then, SLASH! i cut off his head. laban’s dead so i switch him clothes.

inside laban’s house. i command zoram, laban’s servant, to retrieve the brass plates. he obeys. he thinks i’m laban. it’s because i disguised my voice. with the plates secured, zoram and i head out. zoram thinks we’re meeting friends, but i know we’re really going to find my brothers.

outside the city wall. laman sees zoram and i approaching and, thinking i’m laban, runs off.

NEPHI: laman! it’s me, nephi!

i’ve blown my cover. zoram knows the truth. i can tell he’s gonna make a brake for it. luckily, god has blessed me with great strength and stature. maybe you’ve seen pictures of me. artist’s renditions. i grab zoram before he bolts.

NEHPI: zoram, sorry to startle you, but i really needed those brass plates. but i promise you that if you come with us, you will be a freeman.

ZORAM: where are we going?

NEPHI: god has commanded us into the wilderness.

the wilderness. i’ve only known the wilderness.