Episode 5: Nephi 16-19

April 21, 2014


Click to Listen: Episode 5: Nephi 16-19

My favorite one yet!  If you suffered through the boredom of episode 4, then you’ve earned this.  I’m not kidding when I say that this episode has magic brass balls, god ships, and a whole lot more crazy!  Also, Nephi increases his godlike abilities to include controlling the weather and turning his skin into a deathtrap.  Just fantastic!

Drinking Game count (this will make sense after Episode 9, basically, drink after ever “Yea” and “It came to pass”)


“Drink” Count – 101

Almost 17 Beers!!!


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13 Comments on “Episode 5: Nephi 16-19”

  1. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Classic Arnold Friberg:


  2. My Book of Mormon Says:

    Lehi and his brass balls… Thanks man!


  3. Jesus Shuttlesworth Says:

    South East direction – You mention how would they know this so specifically in ancient days before compasses were invented. You don’t need a compass, you just have to look at the sun, which rises in the East, and the stars.

    Nahom, the place where Ishmael died – You ask why was this mentioned, since Ishmael is a minor character. Well for one, it is poetic that the daughters of Ishmael are mourning in a place with a name that means mourning in Hebrew (meaning of NHM in Hebrew includes sorrow and mourning). Nephi says “Ishmael died, and was buried in the place which was called Nahom. 1 Ne. 16:35 And it came to pass that the daughters of Ishmael did mourn exceedingly”

    Also, whereas the other places in Arabia Nephi says they (Lehites) gave the names to the places (Shazar, Valley of Lemuel, Bountiful), in the case of Nahom Nephi mentions that it already had that name. Nahom represents the most specific supporting archaelogical evidence for the Book of Mormon since people have found a place that had that name (NHM, vowels are not written in semtic languages from what I understand) in that time (600 BC) and in that place (where they headed east across Arabia).

    8 years – You wonder why it took them 8 years to go from Jerusalem to the Atlantic Ocean (which is of course only 30 miles to the Mediterranean Sea). Well the trip is quite specific about where they traveled, but it is easily misunderstood on first reading. They traveled along the borders of the Red Sea and then across Arabia, a route that even with two straight lines is around 2,000 miles. And they did it with old people (Lehi, Sariah, Ishmael who dies, his wife), pregnant mothers, infant children, across very difficult to travel land (Arabian desert). It’s also not clear, at least to me, whether the 8 years might include a significant amount of time while they were not traveling but living in the Valley of Lemuel (in a tent :)).

    Irreantum – You guess that this is the Atlantic Ocean. It is not, but rather the Arabian Sea. After traveling South East along the Red Sea and then East across Arabia the Lehites arrive at Bountiful which is on the Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Once they start sailing they don’t say what direction they went, but most people assume it was east across the Pacific Ocean rather than around Africa and South America since they end up landing on the West shore of the American continent (Alma 22:28 Now, the more idle part of the Lamanites lived in the wilderness, and dwelt in tents; and they were spread through the wilderness on the west, in the land of Nephi; yea, and also on the west of the land of Zarahemla, in the borders by the seashore, and on the west in the land of Nephi, in the place of their fathers’ first inheritance, and thus bordering along by the seashore.)

    “I’m pretty sure it was more than a few days” Yeah, that’s why the text you just read said many days 🙂

    The large and small plates aren’t irrelevant. It’s kind of complicated, but one way to think about it is that when you start reading the Book of Mormon (after the many introductions) and it looks like you’re on page 1, you’re actually on page 117 or so, because the first 116 pages which were on large plates were lost during the translation process. This is important to keep in mind, since Nephi has already written a lot of this stuff before, possibly including things about the peoples they met when they arrived in America, and he’s going to omit a lot of these details that he assumes you know from his previously written record so he can focus on spiritual things. Also, any introductions or explanations Mormon, who is abridging the large plates, might have given in the first 116 pages of his work are missing.

    As I may not be able to listen to the rest of these episodes, I hope when you’re done with the book you will have an episode or more dedicated to your thoughts after reading it, what you liked most about it, what stories you most enjoyed, etc.

    Also, when you’re done I recommend you read (to yourself, not on podcast since it is under copyright) “Understanding the Book of Mormon” by Grant Hardy as I suspect you’ll discover a lot of non-religious complexity you will have missed 🙂


  4. Tina Says:

    The “flying, fiery serpents” is the story of Moses (Numbers 21) where he puts a bronze snake on a staff, and the Israelites were supposed to simply look to be saved from their snake bites. But some don’t look b/c they think it sounds too easy & simple, and so some perished. So God both “saved” and “destroyed” them – the ones that believed got saved, but those who didn’t got destroyed. http://www.feastontheword.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/MosesAndTheBrassSerpent-765×1024.jpg

    BOM God is *very* similar to Old Testament God, except during the visitation from Jesus.


  5. ToddT Says:

    You kept saying that they would cross the Atlantic Ocean. I believe the general consensus is that they crossed the Pacific Ocean since they traveled in a south/south-eastern direction. I also believe the NHM that Mormons claim as evidence for Nahom (where Ishmael was buried) is in Yemen.

    I remember watching a History Channel documentary about American Indian origin theories and it did mention the supposed Nephite colonization of the Americas and that they crossed the Pacific Ocean. The documentary went on to describe how difficult it would have been for people from that time period to take that route to the Americas. Currents and other factors were at play, I don’t remember the details.

    Alas, it doesn’t really matter what ocean they crossed because it didn’t happen to begin with.


  6. Kneehigh Says:

    While the brass ball/liahona/compass would not have existed at this time, the use of the word “compass” by Joseph Smith isn’t so odd. The compass did exist by his time. He was translating, and so used a word that he knew.


  7. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    A day late, and a dollar short, but I didn’t post these at the time, and Friberg cannot be denied his due. Here’s “Young Nephi Subdues His Rebellious Brothers”:

    And “Lehi and His People Arrive in the Promised Land”:

    I always thought Nephi had a bit of a Sylvester Stallone vibe about him in these paintings.


  8. Scott Says:

    This is one of the best episodes ever of Mormon Expression which covers the ship building incident:


  9. Mary Ballard-Johansson Says:

    I giggled like a 10 year old boy over this episode, with their tent pitching, brass balls and seeds. This is so much fun! Yea!


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