Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Understanding Lehi’s Promise – Part II

Continuing with the promise the Lord made to Lehi that makes up the first chapter of 2 Nephi, regarding the Land of Promise being promised to Lehi and his descendants as long as they lived righteously. In the previous post, we covered the first nine verses, in which we found that the Land of Promise would be “kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever” (2 Nephi 1:9).
For those who remained valiant in their righteousness, Lehi stands at the head of a vast people who will inherit the Land of Promise given to them through Lehi, in the promise he outlines in the first chapter of Second Nephi. Certainly the Land of Promise was given to and will be inherited by Lehi and Sariah, Nephi and his righteous family, Sam and his righteous family, and Zoram and his righteous family. It was also inherited by Jacob, Joseph, Nephi’s sisters, Enos, Benjamin and Mosiah, as well as the righteous judges and prophets who guided the Nephites, such as Alma, Abinadi, Capt. Moroni, Samuel the Lamanite, and the sons of Mosiah. There were also the numerous righteous individuals who lived upon the land, including those tens of thousands or more who lived during the 200Years of the Golden Period following the Savior’s advent, including the disciples. There were also the Lamanite stripling warriors, the Anti-Antis, the converted king and Lamanites, and, of course, Mormon and his son, Moroni.
    Just because in the latter days the living Nephites had lost their day of grace (Mormon 2:15), and subsequently their battles and the war to the Lamanites, and those earlier Nephites who rejected Christ of whom Mormon said, “it would be better for them if they had not been born” (3 Nephi 28:35), and most likely those defectors of whom Mormon wrote, will not receive their inheritance in the Land of Promise, does not mean that the promise was withdrawn from the millions of righteous Nephites who lived upon the land during their thousand years there.
    The promise made by the Lord to Lehi was far reaching, including not only all his descendants who remained righteous, but Zoram’s posterity, Mulek’s posterity, and the other Jewish posterities that came with him that joined the Nephites and remained righteous.
    Indeed, it was a Land of Promise to them, and a promise from the Lord that cannot be broken, which included countless individuals who earned their part of the land as an inheritance. Obviously, for those who hold to the iron rod and live out their lives in righteousness, they will inherit the Land of Promise given to Lehi and those Gentiles who came here (1 Nephi 13:3) and who inherited the land (1 Nephi 13:13) and remained righteous from Columbus on down (1 Nephi 13:16-19, 20), including those living today and have yet to arrive on this land. They all share in that promise providing they live out their lives in such a manner as to obtain that promise for themselves (1 Nephi 13:30, 37).
    These were those to whom the promise the Lord gave to Nephi was forever binding, providing they lived righteous and served the Lord. As Lehi said of those who did not: “But behold, when the time cometh that they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise—behold, I say, if the day shall come that they will reject the Holy One of Israel, the true Messiah, their Redeemer and their God, behold, the judgments of him that is just shall rest upon them” (2 Nephi 1:10).
    Lehi went on to prophesy: “Yea, he will bring other nations unto them, and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten” (2 Nephi 1:11).
Beginning with Spain, the Lord brought Gentiles to the Land of Promise who took away the rights to the lands from the indigenous people there. Then came the English and French (and other European nations) and battles were fought, who later inherited the land—particularly the English. Thus, Lehi’s immediate posterity will inherit the land as well as the Gentiles who the Lord would send; however, those of Lehi’s posterity who do not live righteous, they will lose that inheritance, and they will be scattered and driven upon the land. An obvious occurrence when the Spanish arrived in Mexico, Central and South America. The cruelty of the Spanish was duplicated nowhere else in history and even today, especially in Andean South America, Lehi’s descendants have been driven into the back country and have held no voice in their land for a more than 500 years.
Lehi also prophesied: “Yea, as one generation passeth to another there shall be bloodsheds, and great visitations among them; wherefore, my sons, I would that ye would remember; yea, I would that ye would hearken unto my words” (2 Nephi 1:12).
    Since the fall of the Nephite nation in 385 A.D., there has been continual war among Lehi’s descendants, particularly in Andean South America where peaceful solutions did not surface for about 1500 years (385 to 1885 A.D.)
    In the next six verses, Lehi lamants for his family, specifically for Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael (who were married to his daughters), and their descendants (his grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc.), that they would lose their inheritance through their rebellious attitudes and natures, that “God should come out in the fulness of his wrath upon you, that ye be cut off and destroyed forever” (2 Nephi 1:17).
    It is interesting that in his final moments speaking to his sons, of which there were his own six sons, plus the sons of Ishmael, and Zoram whom he addressed, that he spent some time setting the record straight for Laman to fully understand that it was Nephi who the Lord had set up as the rightful heir to all that Lehi owned and possessed (2 Nephi 1:24-29), not in this case, Laman or Lemuel, the oldest and older brothers (such as under the law of primogeniture). It is also interesting, that more than 500 years later, after generations of Laman and Lemuel’s descendants continuing to spread the lie that Nephi had stolen the birthright from Laman, it was this issue that the Lamanites held against the Nephites, for their ancestors having stolen the right to the land, the right to the government, the right to the wealth, from Laman (Alma 20;17; 54:17; also Mosiah 10:15-16).
    As Lehi concluded: “Wherefore, if ye shall keep the commandments of the Lord, the Lord hath consecrated this land for the security of thy seed with the seed of my son” (2 Nephi 1:34)


  1. Thanks Del. The verses you have shared in the last two posts clearly show there were no other people in the land.

    1 Nephi 18 is when Lehi's family arrives in the land of promise and Nephi describes what was in the land. He explains that they started planting seed and that it flourished. He describes the various different wild animals that were there- by name. He describes the ores that were there. It is implausible that he forgot to mention there were also humans there.

    23 And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land.
    24 And it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance.
    25 And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals, which were for the use of men. And we did find all manner of ore, both of gold, and of silver, and of copper.

  2. Exactly. It seems that those at BYU and other Mesoamericanist theorists forget that there was a Flood and early on the world was being populated in the outlying regions of where the Ark landed and with the dividing of the earth there would have been little chance for the Western Hemisphere to have been populated at random. While the Lord probably led others elsewhere, none were to the area of the Land of Promise where Lehi landed that we are told about and according to the verses listed above, others in Lehi's land not likely to have happened.