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Nephi's children


cellomom5

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The text doesn't give us a clear answer, so you'll have to do with an educated guess. The short answer is that Nephi's son probably became king and Nephi did give him a set of plates, the ones we call the "large plates."

The reason that we don't hear much about this is that Nephi created two sets of plates and created two different lines of inheritance for them. One set stayed with the king-line. The second was given to his brother, Jacob, who passed it on to his sons. I have suggested that Jacob was being marginalized in Nephite society and that is the reason that we see so little of rulership in the small plates - and so little of what might be called important people in a city. As a set of plates documenting Jacob's lineage, there was no reason to speak of Nephi's sons.

That would have been very different in the other (large plates) tradition. The best information we have on how rulership was passed on was father to son. We know Jacob tells us that there was a Nephi2 and a Nephi3, so within Jacob's lifetime it seems that two of Nephi's sons reigned. We don't know why Nephi2 left the throne. Illness or death from battle wounds would be my guess. Nevertheless, they were likely Nephi's sons. Had we the large plate tradition, we would have known more about them.

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The small plates, being more concerned with "spiritual things" apparently went through a "priestly" line, through Jacob, not the kingly line (Nephi's descendants) who kept the large plates, which are more concerned with wars, politics and historical things.

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I'm not sure why I hadn't seen this as clearly before, but it is probable that the focus on spiritual things in the small plates was a direct result of the decision to create a separate transmission line and to send it through Jacob - the community's priest. What else should the priestly lineage record?

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Do we know anything about them? Why weren't the plates passed on to child of Nephi, instead of to his brother?

Mormon and Moroni.

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Do we know anything about them? Why weren't the plates passed on to child of Nephi, instead of to his brother?

A very interesting question and it seems to imply that either Nephi was childless or perhaps they were not righteous or did not follow with the Nephites or possibly he was too young or even unhealthy to take on such great responsibilities. The text does not really state, it does seem the kingship and the High Priest's office was often passed on from father to son (such as in the cases of King Benjamin and Mosiah, also Alma and Alma the younger, Helamen and Helaman and Mormon and Moroni) but not necessarily the practice in all cases. See the following:
(Jacob 1:9-15) "Now Nephi began to be old, and he saw that he must soon die; wherefore, he anointed a man to be a king and a ruler over his people now, according to the reigns of the kings. The people having loved Nephi exceedingly, he having been a great protector for them, having wielded the sword of Laban in their defence, and having labored in all his days for their welfare
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...it seems to imply that either Nephi was childless...

...I think it is a strong indication that Nephi was childless

Not so. See the link in post #5.

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Not so. See the link in post #5.

Since we have no other indicator, I think that gives us the best answer. I suppose I could argue that the descent from Nephi was figurative, (I am Nephite, not Zoramite) but then that forces a reading on the text that is not necessarily there.

Since both the hypothesis that Nephi's son became king and that he was childless are plausible, this gives us the only way to easily choose between the two.

I think I was asked to review a paper that made the claim that Nephi was childless a while back (my memory isn't very clear). My response was that, while I disagreed, I thought that the premise deserved to be explored. Anyone know if that paper ever saw the light of day? I'd like to read it again.

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Since we have no other indicator, I think that gives us the best answer.

K.

I suppose I could argue that the descent from Nephi was figurative, (I am Nephite, not Zoramite) but then that forces a reading on the text that is not necessarily there.

...and such a stance would force us to overlook the reality that when Mormon spoke of his heritage, he was clearly speaking quite literally. (See also verse 12, by way of comparison, where he provides the literal origin of his name.)

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Not so. See the link in post #5.

Actually I read the link in post #5, that is why I said it was only a "possibility" of the number of other answers I suggested. It just seemed that Jacob's wording was so peculiar, and since Nephi nor anyone else mentions a son or other children it still seems possible in light of the quote: "Wherefore, the people were desirous to retain in remembrance his name. And whoso should reign in his stead were called by the people, second Nephi, third Nephi, and so forth, according to the reigns of the kings; and thus they were called by the people, let them be of whatever name they would." Why this insistence by the people regarding the name of Nephi unless he had no seed? It says the one who was made king was "a man" but no mention of him being his son, that is the puzzling part to me. It could very well be that he did have a son but for whatever reasons not mentioned he was unable or unwilling to either serve as king or keep the records. Again it could be that Jacob was writing on the small plates, and the account of the kings and other political data is lost in the 116 pages?
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Why this insistence by the people regarding the name of Nephi unless he had no seed?

?! I must be missing something, because I can't follow your line of reasoning.

How can Mormon truthfully claim to be Nephi's descendant if, as you claim, Nephi somehow had no seed?

It says the one who was made king was "a man" but no mention of him being his son, that is the puzzling part to me.

By taking upon themselves his name, they were thereby expected to emulate his righteousness, and his zeal for the protection/welfare of his people. It's something of a Nephite tradition. Similar to this.

Again it could be that Jacob was writing on the small plates, and the account of the kings and other political data is lost in the 116 pages?

Could be.

However, I don't see how that changes the implications of Mormon's ancestral claim.

To be even more clear, I suspect Abraham's promises held true for Nephi.

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The text doesn't give us a clear answer, so you'll have to do with an educated guess. The short answer is that Nephi's son probably became king and Nephi did give him a set of plates, the ones we call the "large plates."

The reason that we don't hear much about this is that Nephi created two sets of plates and created two different lines of inheritance for them. One set stayed with the king-line. The second was given to his brother, Jacob, who passed it on to his sons. I have suggested that Jacob was being marginalized in Nephite society and that is the reason that we see so little of rulership in the small plates - and so little of what might be called important people in a city. As a set of plates documenting Jacob's lineage, there was no reason to speak of Nephi's sons.

That would have been very different in the other (large plates) tradition. The best information we have on how rulership was passed on was father to son. We know Jacob tells us that there was a Nephi2 and a Nephi3, so within Jacob's lifetime it seems that two of Nephi's sons reigned. We don't know why Nephi2 left the throne. Illness or death from battle wounds would be my guess. Nevertheless, they were likely Nephi's sons. Had we the large plate tradition, we would have known more about them.

This makes a whole lot of sense to me. And it wouldn't be the first time either. The Brother of Jared was the spiritual leader, while Jared was the secular leader. Only in the case of the Jaredites, there was one set of plates, that we know, the historical one through Jared. I believe that's why Mohonri's name wasn't recorded.

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Do we know anything about them? Why weren't the plates passed on to child of Nephi, instead of to his brother?

I think we discussed this some time ago and someone proposed the idea that perhaps Nephi had daughters and no sons or at least no sons who grew old enough to become steward of the plates. I thought that sounded about as likely as anything else.

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"And Jacob and Joseph also, being young, having need of much nourishment, were grieved because of the afflictions of their mother; and also amy wife with her tears and prayers, and also my children, did not soften the hearts of my brethren that they would loose me." 1 Nephi 18:19

He did have childrens.

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Do we know anything about them? Why weren't the plates passed on to child of Nephi, instead of to his brother?

Why didn't Moses pass his staff and leadership to his children instead of Joshua? Why was the Church leadership passed to BY instead of JS son? The Lord is no respector of persons.

  1. 2 Chr. 19: 7 7 Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor arespect of persons, nor taking of b.

  1. 11 For there is no a<A title="GR partiality; Deut. 10: 17; Acts 10: 34; Rom. 10: 12 (12-13); Hel. 3: 28 (27-30); TG God, Access to." href="http://scriptures.lds.org/en/rom/2/11a" type=S mark="a">respect of bpersons with God.

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Why didn't Moses pass his staff and leadership to his children instead of Joshua? Why was the Church leadership passed to BY instead of JS son? The Lord is no respector of persons.

I certainly can't disagree with the idea that the Lord is no respecter of persons. However, transmissions of power happen three ways in the Book of Mormon. Least often, power is transferred to a non-relative (this usually happens when there is a dynastic change and the government has been altered in some way - think of the beginning of the reign of judges and several instances where the ruler changed).

Most often, however, power is transferred either to a son or brother, with the son happening most often, but several instances of the brother (which, as a side note, is known among the Aztecs--for what its worth). This happens not only with the ultimate political leader, but apparently some of the lesser leaders (such as the judges themselves). So the preferred method was father to son, with brother to brother an acceptable alternative. Anything else was unusual and related to unusual circumstances.

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"And Jacob and Joseph also, being young, having need of much nourishment, were grieved because of the afflictions of their mother; and also amy wife with her tears and prayers, and also my children, did not soften the hearts of my brethren that they would loose me." 1 Nephi 18:19

He did have childrens.

Good catch.

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"And Jacob and Joseph also, being young, having need of much nourishment, were grieved because of the afflictions of their mother; and also amy wife with her tears and prayers, and also my children, did not soften the hearts of my brethren that they would loose me." 1 Nephi 18:19

He did have childrens.

Excellent, then I suppose we must look for another explanation. Maybe Katherine the Great's suggestion that he had only daughters could also be another great possibility too. It could also be one of spiritual seniority (as for who the High Priest was not necessarily the Kingship) Jacob was already a strong witness of Christ and was no doubt more "senior" in his ordination to any of Nephi's possible sons.
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Excellent, then I suppose we must look for another explanation. Maybe Katherine the Great's suggestion that he had only daughters could also be another great possibility too. It could also be one of spiritual seniority (as for who the High Priest was not necessarily the Kingship) Jacob was already a strong witness of Christ and was no doubt more "senior" in his ordination to any of Nephi's possible sons.

It's also possible that Nephi did have sons but they didn't want the plates. My husband and I have five children. We were sure that someday, one of our five children would want to take over our family owned business but it isn't looking like that will happen. They all have different interests. However, my husband's youngest brother is nineteen years younger than he is and he has worked for us since he was a teenager. He knows the business much better than any of our children ever will so it seems likely that he will be the one to carry it on someday.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Do we know anything about them? Why weren't the plates passed on to child of Nephi, instead of to his brother?

The way I have always looked at it is that Nephi had all daughters (it has been so speculated by several others as well) and that his family intermarried with the family of Sam, who likely had sons.

The Book of Mormon appears to say that the seed of Nephi and that of Sam would become one (2 Nephi 4:11). This also explains, to my way of thinking, why we have no "Samites" in the Book of Mormon at any time thereafter. The seed of Nephi and that of Sam merged as one and all were called after Nephi.

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?! I must be missing something, because I can't follow your line of reasoning.

How can Mormon truthfully claim to be Nephi's descendant if, as you claim, Nephi somehow had no seed?

* * *

Mormon claimed to be a pure descendant of Lehi. (See 3 Nephi 5:20). Under the scenario I mentioned above (that Nephi had all daughters and no sons), Mormon could be descended directly through both Nephi (daughter's line) and Sam (son's line) and yet still be a pure descendant of Lehi.

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Since we have no other indicator, I think that gives us the best answer. I suppose I could argue that the descent from Nephi was figurative, (I am Nephite, not Zoramite) but then that forces a reading on the text that is not necessarily there.

Since both the hypothesis that Nephi's son became king and that he was childless are plausible, this gives us the only way to easily choose between the two.

I think I was asked to review a paper that made the claim that Nephi was childless a while back (my memory isn't very clear). My response was that, while I disagreed, I thought that the premise deserved to be explored. Anyone know if that paper ever saw the light of day? I'd like to read it again.

Mormon declares himself a descendent of Nephi. Although he does not say which Nephi, because he was using the plates of Nephi to make his abridgement, I would assume that he was referring to Nephi 1. Otherwise I would think he would have clarified which Nephi was his ancestor.

Mormon 1:5

5 And I, Mormon, being a descendant of aNephi, (and my father

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Mormon declares himself a descendent of Nephi. Although he does not say which Nephi, because he was using the plates of Nephi to make his abridgement, I would assume that he was referring to Nephi 1. Otherwise I would think he would have clarified which Nephi was his ancestor.

Larry P

One still can be descended from a person through the female line even if there were no sons in the original ancestor.

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Do we know anything about them? Why weren't the plates passed on to child of Nephi, instead of to his brother?

I think it's for similar reasons as the Jaredites. Jared kept the record, but his brother was the spiritual leader.

Otherwise they would be known as the Mohonrimoriacumrites. Doesn't work for me. :P

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