I NEPHI, BEING EXCEEDINGLY YOUNG, nevertheless being large in stature, did cry unto the Lord, and behold the Lord spake unto me, saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi, because of thy faith, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise, yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.
And the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
And I, Nephi, did make a bellows wherewith to blow the fire, of the skins of beasts; and I did smite two stones together that I might make fire. And I did make tools of the ore which I did molten out of rock.
When my brethren saw that I was about to build a ship, they began to murmur against me, saying: Our brother is a fool, for he thinketh that he can build a ship, and that he can cross these great waters.
And thus my brethren did complain against me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that you touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither as a dried weed; for God shall smite him.
And it came to pass that I said unto them that they should murmur no more; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.
The Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thine hand unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will shock them, and this will I do that they may know that I am the Lord their God.
And I stretched forth my hand unto my brethren, and the Lord did shake them, even according to the word which He had spoken.
Abridged from the First Book of Nephi
In the words of the artist:
“In YOUNG NEPHI SUBDUES HIS REBELLIOUS BROTHERS, Nephi is in the very first stage of building a ship. Building a ship!!! Of course his brothers thought he had taken grandiose leave of his senses. Before construction could begin, Nephi had to take ore from the mountain and build a primitive forge to make the tools to build the ship. Talk about starting from scratch! Since we don’t know what Nephi looked like, I of course couldn’t paint a portrait. So what I did paint was the image of a man who looks as though he could do what Nephi did. This, of course, required quite a man. I made Nephi strong, not only in body but in spiritual power, as his bullying brothers soon learned.” Arnold Friberg
All 12 Arnold Friberg Book of Mormon lithographs are currently available as a signed and numbered set for $5300.