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TitleLesson 66 - Nephi's Reign and Death
Publication TypeManual Lesson
Year of Publication1898
Corporate AuthorsDeseret Sunday School Union
Manual TitleDeseret Sunday School Union Leaflets
PublisherGeorge Q. Cannon & Sons Company
Place PublishedSalt Lake City
KeywordsKingship; Nephi (Son of Lehi); Prophet; Scripture Study

Soon after the arrival of the Nephites in their new home, they desired that Nephi should be their king, which he, in reality, was in all but the name. For he was their leader and guide, their high priest and prophet, and in time of war their general and commander. But Nephi was desirous that they should have no king. He, doubtless, preferred that they should recognize God as their King, but to comply with their wishes he consented, and as their king, did for them all the good that was in his power.

Under his wise and beneficent rule the Nephites increased and prospered greatly. So much did they love him because of his goodness, that when he died they called his immediate successors second Nephi, third Nephi, and so on, no matter what their individual names were. How long this practice continued we are not told, but we find that the last three kings (Mosiah I., Benjamin, Mosiah II.) were called by their own particular names.

The separation of the followers of Laman and Nephi brought about a further fulfillment of the word of the Lord. He had promised that Nephi should be a ruler and teacher to his brethren, which he was until they strove to kill him after the death of Lehi. Then the Lord commanded him to leave the rebellious portion of the community to themselves and take the obedient to a new land. In this new land he became their king, while the others, by this division, were bereft of the priesthood; they had none who could approach God, and consequently, as had been foretold, they were cut off from His presence. The result of this was that they rapidly sank into barbarism; while the Nephites, enlightened of the Lord and led by His servants, increased in numbers and wealth, and developed many admirable traits of genuine civilization. Shortly before his death Nephi anointed another man to succeed him on the throne.

Scripture Reference

2 Nephi 5:18-20
Jacob 1:9-12