As a result of a dream, Lehi sends his sons back to Jerusalem to obtain sacred records on plates of brass from a wicked religious and military leader named Laban. Laban refuses to give up the records and steals Lehi’s wealth when Laman attempts to use it to buy the plates. Laman and Lemuel rebel and beat their younger brothers—until an angel appears and saves them. Nephi miraculously obtains possession of the plates by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Lehi and Sariah are grateful and delighted when their sons return with the plates, and Lehi immediately begins to study their contents.
Lehi, a prophet in Jerusalem, receives direction from God that Jerusalem will be destroyed because of the wickedness of the people. He attempts to warn the citizens of Jerusalem, but they instead try to kill him. The Lord then directs Lehi to flee into the wilderness with his wife, Sariah, and his four sons—Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi.