While preparing for a lesson in a couple of weeks, I was doing a bit of research into Nephi’s character. From what I can tell, 1 Ne 2:16 is the first place we find out about why Nephi became the sort of person he did:
I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.
According to this passage, Nephi seems to imply that his being young and his desire to learn God’s mysteries caused him to pray. He also seems to imply that those two things, along with his praying caused the Lord to visit him and soften his heart, which in turn caused him to believe everything his father had said.
In the next few verses, he tries sharing what he learned with his brothers. I don’t think it comes a surprise to anyone that Sam accepted what Nephi had to say, and Laman and Lemuel did not.
After his interaction with his brothers, Nephi went to his father. Right when Nephi returned to the tent, Lehi told him he and his brothers needed to go back to Jerusalem to get the brass plates. Nephi says the following:
I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
I wonder how Nephi came to know this. Was it something he had known for a long time? Or perhaps this was one of the mysteries he mentioned earlier.