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TitleLesson 3 - An Auspicious Beginning
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication1957
AuthorsNibley, Hugh W.
Manual TitleAn Approach to the Book of Mormon
PublisherThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsAncient Near East; Jerusalem (Old World); Lehi (Prophet); Universalism

The note of universalism is very strong in the Book of Mormon, while the conventional views of tribal and national loyalties are conspicuously lacking. This peculiar state of things is an authentic reflection of actual conditions in Lehi’s world. Lehi like Abraham was the child of a cosmopolitan age. No other time or place could have been more peculiarly auspicious for the launching of a new civilization than the time and place in which he lived. It was a wonderful age of discovery, an age of adventurous undertakings in all fields of human endeavor, of great economic and colonial projects. At the same time the great and brilliant world civilization of Lehi’s day was on the very verge of complete collapse, and men of God like Lehi could see the hollowness of the loudly proclaimed slogans of peace (Jer. 6:14, 8:11) and prosperity. (2 Ne. 28:21.) Lehi’s expedition from Jerusalem in aim and method was entirely in keeping with the accepted practices of his day.