Nephi leaves an ominous warning to the reader of his book.
And now my beloved brethren
all those who are of the house of Israel
and all you ends of the earth
I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust
until that great day will come
and you that will not partake of the goodness of God
and respect the words of the Jews
and also my words
and the words which will proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God
behold I bid you an everlasting farewell
for these words will condemn you at the last day
for what I seal on earth will be brought against you at the judgment bar
for thus has the Lord commanded me and I must obey
Having completed a recent reading of 1 and 2 Nephi over the last few months, I ask myself, "What is Nephi's message?"
Here he warns, that if:
- you who choose not to partake of God's goodness,
- nor respect the words of the Jews (not necessarily their traditions, which Nephi denounces, but the testaments which come from them),
- nor respect Nephi's own words,
- nor have ear for the words which come from the Lamb
– these words will condemn those who choose to ignore them. What is Nephi's overreaching message? He's pretty serious about wrapping up the book. He clearly took a lot of effort to share certain things for us.
- Nephi's books are filled with visions, revelations, dreams
- His books recount the consequences of sin
- He laments openly about his weaknesses
- He is passionate about loving his God, who he calls "my Jesus" (reminds me of this guy!)
- He has sealing power
- He encouraged face to face meeting with God
- He glories in plainness – there are not "hidden" gotchas that one must try feverishly to read between lines.
- He reveals everything he possibly can about how to enter the "path", states little or nothing of special churches, groups, clubs or groups which require pacts, promises, or combinations
- He preaches the importance of baptism of water, of fire, of Holy Ghost, and entering into the "path"
I have grown to have an immense appreciation and love for Nephi. I have read and heard others say that they find his writings and personality dry, boring, and humorless. One author I read commented that he would probably not be likely to participate in friendship with Nephi because he seemed to be a bland kind of guy. People used to comment in church how they could never "get through" his book, especially his retelling of Isaiah's accounts. I find that reading Nephi's account in the Simple Copy has opened my eyes up to his heart, his passion, and his personality. I don't find him dry at all. I find Olde English dry.