Lehi finally has the brass plates and is delighted to discover not only the words of the prophets written on them, but his genealogy as well.
16. And thus my father, Lehi, did discover the genealogy of his fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records.
17. And now when my father saw all these things, he was filled with the Spirit, and began to prophesy concerning his seed—
18. That these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people who were of his seed.
19. Wherefore, he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time. And he prophesied many things concerning his seed.
We’ve seen this prophesy come true in our day as the words of the ancient prophets have gone forth unto many nations, to be translated into languages of people from every walk of life.
20. And it came to pass that thus far I and my father had kept the commandments wherewith the Lord had commanded us.
21. And we had obtained the records which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable; yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children.
We discussed a few days ago that the worth of the plates was not found in the monetary value of the metal, but rather in the things that were inscribed upon them. Things of a spiritual nature are worth far more than money.
22. Wherefore, it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us, as we journeyed in the wilderness towards the land of promise.
Nephi and Lehi knew that they would never make their home in Jerusalem again, as it was about to be destroyed. They left everything behind that wasn’t of worth to them and took just what they needed to survive. Having been led out of harm’s way by the hand of the Lord, it makes sense that the things they would find of worth to take along would be of great spiritual importance.
Imagine for a minute leaving your home and going into the wilderness, and not taking one single set of scriptures with you. You could tell your children the things you remembered from them, but over time, your memory would fade. Your children and grandchildren wouldn’t have the daily interaction with the scriptures that you’ve had, and they would eventually fall away. Lehi didn’t want this to happen to his own family, and so the plates were of utmost importance to him.
From today’s reading: we have access to more scriptures than at any other time in history. Do we realize what a choice blessing is ours, or do we take them for granted?