1st Nephi 1 : 4
For it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, (my father, Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days); and in that same year there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city Jerusalem must be destroyed.
My story begins about 600 BC, when the pip-squeak Zedekiah took over the throne. What does a twenty-one-year-old know about leading the Jewish Nation anyway? Dad, who’s grown up in Jerusalem and seen a lot of kings, always said Zedekiah’s tomfoolery and lack of commandment-keeping would be rewarded. (Eleven years after we left, to be exact. And between you and me, watching your sons die immediately before your eyes are burnt out is enough punishment for anybody. Of course one son got away, but I’m not supposed to know about that yet. *wink* ) Naturally, the Lord was aware that Zedekiah was going to make a royal mess of His covenant nation because that same year a bunch of prophets cropped up to warn the people of impending destruction. Ordinary people like our friend Jeremiah were suddenly prophesying that unless we repented, our bustling metropolis would be blown off the map. Even our half-blind neighbor, Obadiah got into the act.