City of Nephi

City established by Nephi, later occupied by Lamanites, Zeniffites

City of Nephi

The city of Nephi, also known as Lehi-Nephi, holds a position of significant historical and cultural importance in the narrative of the Book of Mormon. Founded by Nephi, the son of Lehi, in the sixth century B.C. after separating from his brothers Laman and Lemuel, the city remained the heart of Nephite civilization for approximately four centuries (2 Nephi 5:5-8). Situated in a mountainous valley, this chief city in the land of Nephi became a focal point of Nephite heritage and governance, witnessing the lives and actions of many key figures such as Nephi1, Jacob2, and Mosiah1.

Nephi’s establishment passed into the control of the Lamanites, following which Nephite colonization was spearheaded under the leadership of Zeniff, Noah, and Limhi (Mosiah 7:21, 9:6). Despite the change in rulership, the city retained its centrality and was frequently mentioned in accounts of missionary work, wars, and migrations (Alma 23:8). Notably, the city of Nephi was where converted Lamanites, under the leadership of Ammon, became a people dedicated to peace and faith in the Lord (Alma 23:8-11).

After the era of Nephite colonization, the city fell into the hands of various rulers, such as Amalickiah, who took possession of the city during his military campaign to assert dominance over the Nephites and the Lamanites alike (Alma 47:20, 31). The city’s location made it a stronghold that frequently shifted hands during the numerous conflicts that typified Nephite-Lamanite relations. Nevertheless, the city of Nephi stands as one of the most frequently cited and historically rich locations within the sacred text, with its legacy enduring in the annals of the Book of Mormon peoples.


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