- 1 Ne. 11:1 - Nephi has a vision
- 1 Nephi 8 does not clearly state whether Lehi experienced a dream or a vision, but 1 Nephi 11:1 makes it clear that Nephi experienced a waking vision: "[A]s I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot." The contents of the vision presented in this chapter are a prophetic view of the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
- 1 Ne. 11:11 - the Spirit of the Lord
I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.This passage supports the LDS doctrine that the Holy Ghost is not some undefined Force but rather is a personnage of spirit with a localized and defined "spirit body" whose influence can nevertheless be felt universally.
- 1 Ne. 11:13-21 - the Virgin Birth
I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.It is hard to imagine a clearer affirmation of the Virgin Birth. Yet, for some reason Evangelicals are convinced that Mormons hold a different view. Here's from the Encyclopdia of Mormonism entry under "Virgin Birth": "Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, was a virgin at the time of Jesus' birth. Of Old Testament prophets, Isaiah alone foretold this circumstance (Isaiah 7:14), but Book of Mormon prophets also foresaw the virgin birth. ... Alma declared that Christ 'shall be born of Mary … a virgin … who shall … conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God' (Alma 7:10)." Yes, scholars view this as a misreading of Isaiah 7:14, but that is a different question.
... [A]nd an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?
And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
* * *
And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
- 1 Ne. 11:33 - lifted up upon the cross | Christian symbols
And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.Chapter 11 makes reference to several traditional Christian symbols and terms that function as symbols: the Virgin Birth (v. 20), the Lamb of God (v. 21), the Tree of Life (v. 25), the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove (v. 27), and now in verse 33 the Cross. Mormons avoid the traditional, symbolic use of the cross.
Here's an explanation from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism again, item "Cross": "Latter-day Saints do not use the symbol of the cross in their architecture or in their chapels. They, like the earliest Christians, are reluctant to display the cross because they view the "good news" of the gospel as Christ's resurrection more than his crucifixion. ... Moreover, the cross, with its focus on the death of Christ, does not symbolize the message of a living, risen, exalted Lord who changes the lives of his followers. ... While the symbol of the cross is not visually displayed among the Latter-day Saints, the centrality of the Atonement is ever present in their observance of baptism, the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and the temple ordinances, and in their hymns and testimonies."
Eleanor Colton, "Virgin Birth," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Macmillan Pub. Co.: 1992.
Roger R. Keller, "Cross, in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Macmillan Pub. Co.: 1992.