How to Fast Properly
For the first time in this Gospel Principles manual, the current subject (fasting) there is no chapter in the Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:... (the old Priesthood/Relief Society manuals). We will try to help teachers know of other resources from which to draw out the ideas taught in this lesson.
As you will see, one of the best references for this (and any topic) is We Believe: Doctrines and Principles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, compiled by Rulon T. Burton (shortened to We Believe here). It is a wonderful collection of the best of prophets’ words and scriptures on most any subject of the Gospel. Another terrific source is Encyclopedia of Mormonism, which has three articles on fasting. This is wonderful work is now online.
A wonderful resource is the LDS Scripture Citation Index. This was created by some BYU professors. You can click on any scripture and it will show all the times that scripture was used by a speaker in general conference, all the way back to Joseph Smith. To find this site, just Google “scriptures.byu.edu.” When you arrive, just then click on any scripture and the portion of the talk wherein it was used will pop up.
In this section we find, “Since the time of Adam, God’s people have fasted… (p. 145).
This is verified from the Bible Dictionary:
Fasting, a voluntary abstinence from food, is a principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ for developing spiritual strength; it has always existed among true believers. Without doubt it was practiced by Adam and his posterity from the beginning whenever they had the gospel among them. The early portion of the O.T. does not mention fasting, but this is due to the scarcity of the record rather than the absence of the practice. There are frequent references to fasting in the later portions of the O.T. and in the N.T. (p. 671).
The Bible Dictionary continues with an interesting observation:
Fasting is confirmed in latter-day revelation as an ancient practice, but more significantly, the spiritual benefits are described more fully than in the Bible. The Book of Mormon, especially, is a fruitful source of information (p. 671).
Following this statement, references are given for a wonderful list of scriptures.
The first question asks, “What can we do to make fasting a joyful experience?” (p. 145).
We really like these two scriptures that indicate that this should be so is:
…yea, and they did fast much and pray much, and they did worship God with exceedingly great joy (Alma 45:1)
And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.
Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer (D&C 59:13 - 14).
Jesus Christ set the example for us and fasting. Before He began His ministry, He went into the wilderness. Elder James E. Talmage says this about this experience:
He had much to think about, much that demanded prayer and the communion with God that prayer alone could insure. Throughout the period of retirement, he ate not, but chose to fast, that His mortal body might the more completely be subjected to His divine spirit (Jesus the Christ, 128).
We were tickled to find out that Jesus the Christ is online on a “Gutenberg.org” website.
This section discusses, “Occasional fasting…” (p. 145).
President Joseph F. Smith gave great counsel about this:
I say to my brethren, when they are fasting, and praying for the sick, and for those that need faith and prayer, do not go beyond what is wise and prudent in fasting and prayer… there is such a thing as overdoing. A man may fast and pray till he kills himself; and there isn’t any necessity for it; nor wisdom in it. The Lord can hear a simple prayer, offered in faith, in half a dozen words, and he will recognize fasting that may not continue more than twenty-four hours, just as readily and as effectually as He will answer a prayer of a thousand words and fasting for a month (We Believe, 278).
In our own day we have been given similar counsel from True to the Faith. If you have not yet discovered this wonderful booklet, don’t delay. This is what the Church has provided (and is much better) for what our parents used Mormon Doctrine in their day. Here is what is counseled:
In addition to observing the fast days set aside by Church leaders, you can fast on any other day, according to your needs and the needs of others. However, you should not fast too frequently or for excessive periods of time (p. 68).
In a wonderful Ensign article, written before he became an apostle, Russell M. Nelson wrote concerning this issue:
Now, a word of caution—some fallaciously reason that if a little of anything is good, a lot is better. The inadvisability of excessive fasting was explained in some detail in the June 1972 Priesthood Bulletin, “We are informed that some … engage in rather lengthy fasting. It is not advisable that they do this. If there is a special matter for which they should fast, if they would fast one day and then go to the Lord humbly and ask for his blessings, that should suffice” (Ensign, Apr. 1976, 32).
To find this booklet online, go to “lds.org” then click on “Gospel Library” then click on “Support Materials” and then click on “Family Support Materials” (the booklet is listed on the bottom half of this page).
In this section is also mentioned, “…fasting is good for our bodies and helps our minds become more active” (p. 145).
Concerning this, President McKay explained:
Consider for a moment this principle of fasting. It is as old as the human race and undoubtedly when first practiced was related to health. It is generally conceded that most people usually consume more food than the body requires. Overeating clogs the system with deleterious waste products. When such a condition exists a short fast is useful as a means of restoring the body to its normal active state (We Believe, 276).
President Benson also taught:
Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit. . . . (We Believe, 275).
Some wonder about drinking water during the fast. President Heber J. Grant commented:
No direct instruction is given in the Doctrine and Covenants regarding abstaining from water while fasting. In the Bible there are three references in connection with fasting and abstaining from water. These are: Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 9:9-18, where it states that Moses "did neither eat bread nor drink water"; and Esther 4:16, where Esther asked the Jews to fast for her and to "neither eat nor drink" (We Believe, 275).
Brother Russell M. Nelson, in the article mentioned earlier, also added:
In the General Handbook of Instructions (1968, p. 40), we read, “A proper fast day observance consists of abstaining from food and drink for two consecutive meals, attending the fast and testimony meeting, and making a generous offering to the bishop for the care of those in need.” Thus, the use of water is excluded in this kind of a fast (Ensign, Apr. 1976, 32).
President McKay taught the main principles of fasting, but highlighted the spiritual aspect:
All the principles related to fasting seem to point to the fact that it produces (1) physical benefits; (2) intellectual activity; and (3) spiritual strength, which is the greatest of all benefits. This fine spiritual strength is derived by the subjection of the physical appetite to the will of the individual (We Believe, 274-5).
First - - We Should Pray When We Fast
This section starts out, “Prayer is a necessary part of fasting” (p. 145).
Note how the Lord placed prayer and fasting next to each other in the first instructions He gave in the D&C regarding the building of the Kirtland Temple:
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; (D&C 88:119).
The conversion of Cornelius significantly began with:
…fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house… (Acts 10:30).
Jesus Christ declared this combination (along with its effect from a temple concept) in our generation:
That I may testify unto your Father, and your God, and my God, that you are clean from the blood of this wicked generation; that I may fulfil this promise, this great and last promise, which
I have made unto you, when I will.
Also, I give unto you a commandment that ye shall continue in prayer and fasting from this time forth (D&C 88:75 - 76).
President Heber J. Grant also stated the connection between prayer and fasting clearly:
When fasting, members of the Church are advised to abstain from two meals each Fast Day . . . also by prayer in connection with fasting to develop spiritual power (We Believe, 275).
President Ezra Taft Benson added:
To make a fast most fruitful, it should be coupled with prayer and meditation; physical work should be held to a minimum, and it's a blessing if one can ponder on the scriptures and the reason for the fast (We Believe, 275).
Second - - We Should Fast with a Purpose
Elder Russell M. Nelson taught in conference:
The sweet power of prayer can be intensified by fasting, on occasion, when appropriate to a particular need (Ensign, May 2003, 7).
The above quote was found by looking up D&C 88:76 (quoted in the first section of the lesson) in the LDS Scripture Citation Index.
President Kimball encouraged us to fast with missionary work as a purpose:
We must ever remind ourselves and all members of the Church to keep the law of the fast. We often have our individual reasons for fasting. But I hope members won't hesitate to fast to help us lengthen our stride in our missionary effort, to open the way for the gospel to go to the nations where it is not now permitted. It's good for us to fast as well as to pray over specific things and over specific objectives (We Believe, 276).
Alma taught the same principle concerning Missionary work when he recorded:
…the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not God (Alma 6:6).
The lesson states, “We should be cheerful when we fast…” (p. 146). A partial verification for this can be found by a “not” commandment from the Lord in the scripture quoted above, “…be not…of a sad countenance…” (Matthew 6:16).
Two scriptures which could be discussed regarding this issue are:
Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure… (Isaiah 58:3).
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace (Zechariah 8:19).
The Fast Day
Early in the history of the Church, the program was outlined in a letter to the Church from the Twelve Apostles:
Let this be an example to all saints, and there will never be any lack for bread; When the poor are starving, let those who have, fast one day and give what they otherwise would have eaten to the bishops for the poor, and everyone will abound for a long time; and this is one great and important principle of fasts approved of the Lord. And so long as the saints will all live this principle with glad hearts and cheerful countenances they will always have an abundance (History of the Church, 7:413).
In 1855 George A. Smith wrote about the beginning of formalization of a fast day each month:
A fast day was proclaimed for the church on the first Thursday of each month, and the food saved in that way distributed among the poor… (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 501).
As men moved from farms to city jobs, a change was made:
The growth of cities and the subsequent increase in the number of Saints employed outside of agriculture necessitated a reexamination of the long-standing practice of having fast day and testimony meeting the first Thursday of the month. In 1896 the First Presidency issued instructions that henceforth the Saints would observe fast day on the first Sunday of each month… (Church History in the Fulness of Times, 448).
If you don’t already know, all of the Institute Manuals (best the Church ever produced) are all online at “institute.lds.org.”
President Kimball taught plainly:
Failing to fast is a sin. In the 58th chapter of Isaiah, rich promises are made by the Lord to those who fast and assist the needy. . . . Inspiration and spiritual guidance will come with righteousness and closeness to our Heavenly Father. To omit to do this righteous act of fasting would deprive us of these blessings (We Believe, 276).
In the manual, we read:
All members who are physically able should fast. We should encourage our children to fast after they have been baptized, but we should never force them (p. 146).
President Joseph F. Smith also cautioned that not all can fast:
…let it be remembered that the observance of the fast day by abstaining twenty-four hours from food or drink is not an absolute rule, it is no iron-clad law to us, but is left with the people as a matter of conscience, to exercise wisdom and discretion. Many are subject in weakness, others are delicate in health, and others have nursing babes; of such it should not be required to fast. Neither should parents compel their little children to fast. I have known children to cry for something to eat on fast day. In such cases, going without food will do them no good. Instead, they dread the day to come, and in place of hailing it, dislike it; while the compulsion engenders a spirit of rebellion in them, rather than a love for the Lord and their fellows. Better to teach them the principle, and let them observe it when they are old enough to choose intelligently, than to so compel them (We Believe, 277-8).
The manual also states, “The fast day is a special day for us to humble ourselves before the Lord…” (p. 146). This idea is beautifully expressed by the Psalmist:
…I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom (Psalms 35:13).
The manual states that you and I can, “strengthen themselves and one another by bearing testimony in fast and testimony meeting” (p. 146).
President Kimball said this to youth about bearing testimony during fast Sunday:
You know this testimony is a tremendous thing, a most important thing… Don’t you sit there in your fast meeting and cheat yourself and say, “I guess I won’t bear my testimony today. I guess that wouldn’t be fair to these other members because I have had so many opportunities.” You bear your testimony (New Era, Aug 1981, 4).
Under President Heber J. Grant, the First Presidency issued the following statement:
Each member is asked to fast for two meals on the first Sunday in each month, and to give as a wholly voluntary contribution, the equivalent of these meals, which is used for the support of the poor (June 20, 1939) (We Believe, 274).
President McKay taught us about two primary blessings from fast offerings:
Associated with this practice in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the giving of a fast offering, the underlying purpose and far-reaching benefits of which make the monthly observance of fast day one of the most significant features of this latter-day work. Besides the benefits already mentioned there are: First, all the spiritual uplift that comes from a Christ-like desire to serve one's fellowmen; and Second, an economic means which when carried out by a perfect and active organization will supply the needs of every worthy poor person within the confines of the organized branches of the Church (We Believe, 276-7).
President McKay also declared:
Think what the sincere observance of this rule would mean spiritually if every man, woman, and child were to observe the fast and contribute the resultant offering, with the sincere desire of blessing the less fortunate brother or sister or sorrowing child! (We Believe, 274).
President Kimball encouraged generosity when paying fast offerings:
Each member should contribute a generous fast offering for the care of the poor and the needy. This offering should at least be the value of the two meals not eaten while fasting.
Sometimes we have been a bit penurious and figured that we had for breakfast one egg and that cost so many cents and then we give that to the Lord. I think that when we are affluent, as many of us are, that we ought to be very, very generous. . . .
I think we should . . . give, instead of the amount saved by our two meals of fasting, perhaps much, much more—ten times more when we are in a position to do it (We Believe, 277).
Elder Marion G. Romney asked: “What prohibits us from giving as much in fast offerings as we would have given in surpluses under the United Order? Nothing but our own limitations” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual, 75).
In the article mentioned above, Russell M. Nelson, before he became an apostle, wrote:
The generous offering to the bishop is understood to represent the financial equivalent of at least two meals. A liberal donation so reserved and dedicated to the poor is ennobling to the soul and helps one develop charity, one of the greatest attributes of a noble human character (See 1 Cor. 13) (Ensign, Apr. 1976, 32).
President Heber J. Grant actually prophesied of our day when we would no longer have ward budgets, which were abandoned by the Church on January 1, 1990:
Let me promise you here today that if the Latter-day Saints will honestly and conscientiously from this day forth, as a people, keep the monthly fast and pay into the hands of their bishops the actual amount that they would have spent for food for the two meals from which they have refrained; and if in addition to that they will pay their honest tithing, it will solve all of the problems in connection with taking care of the Latter-day Saints (We Believe, 274).
We really love the way President Joseph F. Smith summarized the main principles of the fast:
It is evident that the acceptable fast is that which carries with it the true spirit of love for God and man; and that the aim in fasting is to secure perfect purity of heart and simplicity of intention—a fasting unto God in the fullest and deepest sense—for such a fast would be a cure for every practical and intellectual error; vanity would disappear, love for our fellows would take its place, and we would gladly assist the poor and the needy (We Believe, 274).
In holy temples we promise to live the Law of Consecration. While we are not commanded yet to fully live that law, there are some things we do live now. From the Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual we learn:
We must be willing to make the sacrifices that the Lord requires of us at the present time. These include sacrifices of time, talents, and possessions. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve give us direction regarding how we implement the principles of the law of consecration in our day.
a. Pay tithing and fast offerings and give generously in other ways to those in need.
b. Serve willingly in the Church… In addition to specific Church callings, we can share the gospel with others, do temple work, and seek to strengthen the testimonies of those who are new or weak in the faith.
c. Serve as a full-time missionary (p. 75).
Interestingly, young men are generally 19 when they begin serving their missions, which becomes a “tithe” of two of their twenty years. The “law of consecration” is also lived since January of 2001 when all mission costs were leveled so that all missionaries pay the same amount, no matter how expensive are their missions.
President Marion G. Romney promised some important blessings will come from paying fast offerings:
Don't give just for the benefit of the poor, but give for your own welfare. Give enough so that you can give yourself into the kingdom of God through consecrating of your means and your time. Pay an honest tithing and a generous fast offering if you want the blessings of heaven. I promise every one of you who will do it that you will increase your own prosperity, both spiritually and temporally. The Lord will reward you according to your deeds (We Believe, 277).
We Are Blessed When We Fast
A powerful blessing is declared by Isaiah in a later verse quoted in this section:
And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not (Isaiah 58:11).
Elder Mark E. Petersen gave us all hope for great blessings in our daily progress towards perfection:
I believe that in many ways, here and now in mortality, we can begin to perfect ourselves. A certain degree of perfection is attainable in this life. I believe that we can be one hundred percent perfect, for instance, in abstaining from the use of tea and coffee. We can be one hundred percent perfect in abstaining from liquor and tobacco. We can be one hundred percent perfect in paying a full and honest tithing. We can be one hundred percent perfect in abstaining from eating two meals on fast day and giving to the bishop as fast offering the value of those two meals from which we abstain (We Believe, 274).
First - - Fasting Teaches Self-Control
Elder Melvin J. Ballard’s counsel is more telling today than when he shared it over 70 years ago:
I would like to suggest that there isn't anything that this present generation needs so much as the power of self-control; appetite is stronger than will. Men's passions dominate their lives. If there is one thing that we need to recover, it is the power of self-control over the physical body; to deny it good food . . . for two meals, [is to obtain] a mastery over self; and the greatest battle any of us shall ever fight is with self (We Believe, 274).
President Kimball taught about the “spirit” of the law of the fast:
The law of the fast is another test [compared with the Word of Wisdom]. If we merely go without food to supply welfare funds it is much of the letter, but in real fasting, for spiritual blessings, come self-mastery and increased spirituality (We Believe, 275).
This principle of “Fasting Teaches Self-Control” is very powerful and important. From earlier in this blog (February - - Chapter 7, Holy Ghost) is reprinted material that could be very helpful to understand this principle.
Joseph Smith declared:
All things whatsoever God in his infinite wisdom has seen fit and proper to reveal to us, while we are dwelling in mortality, in regard to our mortal bodies, are revealed to us in the abstract, and independent of affinity of this mortal tabernacle, but are revealed to our spirits precisely as though we had no bodies at all; and those revelations which will save our spirits will save our bodies. God reveals them to us in view of no eternal dissolution of the body, or tabernacle (History of The Church, 6: 312 - 313).
So the Holy Ghost speaks to our spirits, not our bodies.
Brigham Young stated:
You are aware that many think that the devil has rule and power over both body and spirit. Now, I want to tell you that he does not hold any power over man, only so far as the body overcomes the spirit that is in a man, through yielding to the spirit of evil. The spirit that the Lord puts into a tabernacle of flesh is under the dictation of the Lord Almighty; but the spirit and body are united in order that the spirit may have a tabernacle, and be exalted; and the spirit is influenced by the body, and the body by the spirit.
In the first place the spirit is pure, and under the special control and influence of the Lord, but the body is of the earth, and is subject to the power of the devil, and is under the mighty influence of that fallen nature that is of the earth. If the spirit yields to the body, the devil then has power to overcome both the body and spirit of that man, and he loses both.
Recollect, brethren and sisters, every one of you, that when evil is suggested to you, when it arises in your hearts, it is through the temporal organization. When you are tempted, buffeted, and step out of the way inadvertently: when you are overtaken in a fault, or commit an overt act unthinkingly; when you are full of evil passion, and wish to yield to it, then stop and let the spirit, which God has put into your tabernacles, take the lead. If you do that, I will promise that you will overcome all evil, and obtain eternal lives. But many, very many, let the spirit yield to the body, and are overcome and destroyed.
The influence of the enemy has power over all such. Those who overcome every passion, and every evil, will be sanctified, and be prepared to enjoy eternity with the blessed. If you have never thought of this before, try to realize it now. Let it rest upon your minds, and see if you can discover in yourselves the operations of the spirit and the body, which constitute the man. Continually and righteously watch the spirit that the Lord has put in you, and I will promise you to be led into righteousness, holiness, peace, and good order.
But let the body rise up with its passions, with the fallen nature pertaining to it, and let the spirit yield to it, your destruction is sure. On the other hand, let the spirit take the lead, and bring the body and its passions into subjection, and you are safe (Journal of Discourses, 2: 256).
David O. McKay also taught in Conference:
Man has a dual nature—one, related to the earthly or animal life—the other the spiritual life, akin to the divine. Man's body is but the tabernacle in which his spirit dwells. Too many, far too many, are prone to regard the body as the man and consequently, to direct their efforts to the gratifying of the body's pleasures, its appetites, its desires, its passions. Too few recognize that the real man is an immortal spirit which "intelligence or light of truth" was animated as an individual entity, with all its distinguishing traits, will continue after the body ceases to respond to its earthly environment.
Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions, and slipping further and further into the realm of indulgence or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day—nay, every hour of his life (Conference Report, April 1967).
More on this subject can be found in Chapter 2, “The Dual Nature of Man” in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay.
The following chart illustrates what Elder William R. Bradford taught my brother Byron when he served as my brother’s Mission President (you can complete the circles when you draw the diagram on the board):
[sorry, this chart did not transfer from Word - - email me and I will send it upon request]
God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ have spoken to prophets, but rarely talk to mortal man. Fallen man generally communes with the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost (see D&C 130:22-23, Moroni 10:17, D&C 50:13-14). Satan also tempts man (see Moses 5:13, 2 Nephi 28:21, and Alma 30:53). Since both are spirits, they speak “by the spirit” (one a good spirit, one an evil one) to man. There is a gate, which shuts one or the other out. The handle is on our side. If we shut the Holy Ghost out, then we automatically open the door to Satan’s temptations. If we shut Satan out, then the Holy Ghost can commune with us. There is something that President Bradford did not show in his diagram that my brother and I think should be added. We think that for fallen man, there is a spring on the gate, making it harder to shut Satan out. But shutting Satan out and listening to the Holy Ghost is a very important key to becoming like God.
President Joseph F. Smith taught:
[Observing the law of the fast] would call attention to the sin of overeating, place the body in subjection to the spirit, and so promote communion with the Holy Ghost, and insure a spiritual strength and power which the people of the nation so greatly need (We Believe, 275).
Elder Delbert L. Stapley stated:
The Saints by fasting and praying can sanctify the soul and elevate the spirit to Christlike perfection, and thus the body would be brought into subjection to the spirit, promote communion with the Holy Ghost, and insure spiritual strength and power to the individual (We Believe, 275).
Elder Melvin J. Ballard stressed:
I am charged to take possession of this house, this mortal tabernacle, and it is to be my servant. I am not to abuse it but keep it vigorous, clean, healthy, and strong. This exercise of controlling it once a month, that it must fast, is a healthy exercise of spiritual control over the material. If I can do this with regard to food, when this body craves something that is positively hurtful, then I have obtained power to say: "You cannot have it." Thus spiritual control over the body, in all its activities, may be secured, beginning with control over the appetite (We Believe, 276).
Second - - Fasting Gives Us Spiritual Power
Elder Delbert L. Stapley also promised protection from evil:
By observing fasting and prayer in its true spirit, the Latter-day Saints cannot be overpowered by Satan tempting them to evil (We Believe, 278).
The question posed in this section is, “What blessings can we receive when we fast properly?” (p. 147). Some powerful scriptures which could be discussed include:
…that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency (1 Corinthians 7:5).
…continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved (Omni 1:26).
…it came to pass after they had buried their dead, and also after the days of fasting, and mourning, and prayer…there began to be continual peace throughout all the land (Alma 30:2).
…they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God (Helaman 3:35).
When the apostles had tried to drive out an evil spirit and failed, Jesus explained:
…this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting (Matthew 17:21).
In the Americas when Jesus had appointed twelve disciples and taught them many things, the Book of Mormon recorded:
…the disciples were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting (3 Nephi 27:1).
In Fourth Nephi is the record of a people who were righteous for 200 years. One of the reasons:
...they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord (4 Nephi 1:12).