Nephi: An Ideal Teacher of Less-Than-Ideal Students


Nephi, Scriptural learning, struggling students


Many books and papers have been written on what Nephi experienced as a learner under the tutelage of the Spirit and the angel in 1 Nephi 11–14. Ironically, his experience as a student on the mountaintop was immediately followed by many opportunities for him to become a teacher in the wilderness to his family. Nephi’s interactions with the Spirit and the angel likely served as more than just a vision and discovery of eternal truths; his divine tutelage could also have served as a teacher-training experience. This idea leads us to ask the following questions: (1) What information exists in the chapters immediately following Nephi’s vision that reveals what kind of learners Laman and Lemuel were compared to Nephi? (2) Is there any textual evidence in chapter 15 that Nephi employed the same methods and approaches with his brothers that had been so effectively used on him by his own heavenly tutors? (3) What can we discover about learning and living by comparing and contrasting Nephi and his brothers through their wilderness wanderings in chapter 16? And finally, (4) what implications might these chapters and their principles hold for teachers and students of the gospel in our day?

Original Publication Citation

Griffin, Tyler J. (2012). “Nephi: An Ideal Teacher of Less-Than-Ideal-Students.” Religious Educator, vol. 13, no. 2, Provo, Ut: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 61-71.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Religious Studies Center




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor