Hugh Nibley’s Lehi in the Desert & the World of the Jaredites provides a scholarly outlook for the book of Nephi and the book of Ether. Part I: Lehi in the Desert is written as a scholarly book explaining how the events from Nephi’s life could have happened. Part II: The World of the Jaredites differs in the layout in Part I in that it is written as a letter to a fictitious “Professor F,” who is supposed to be doubtful of the credibility and likelihood of the events in The Book of Mormon.
As a freshman in college like myself, this book was difficult to read, so this would not be your “feel good, easy read” kind of book. However, I enjoyed this book. It provided some insights I didn’t even think about. For example, in PART II, Nibley explains that in the book of Ether when he writes the ancestry of Jared only very important and well-known people are listed, just as they are in the Bible for Christ’s ancestry. I was able to apply this new information to my family history and understand why with the resources we have, no one can accurately trace their ancestry all the way up to Adam. This book should not be used to prove that The Book of Mormon is true, as Nibley said, “to prove that is neither necessary nor possible,” but this book is a great resource to all people with faith to create a better understanding of how the events in The Book of Mormon took place.