3 And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God.
4 For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates; for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time.
Lehi was a prophet. He received revelation directly from God, including dreams and visions. Nevertheless, Benjamin tells his sons that Lehi couldn’t have taught his children the gospel effectively without the help of the brass plates.
How did Lehi use the brass plates in teaching his children? We get a glimpse in 1 Nephi 10:
1. He taught them the doctrines he had learned from the scriptures in his own words (v. 2-4).
2. He cited the prophets as witnesses of the truths he taught (v. 5-6).
3. He quoted a passage to them and explained what it meant (v. 7-10).
4. He used imagery and parables which he had read (v. 11-14).
I am most struck by the personalization of his message. He is not merely reciting something he has memorized but rather sharing with conviction something he has read and internalized.
As I teach the gospel to others, I will remember the importance of staying close to the word of God. I will internalize the concepts I study, so that I can teach them with conviction in my own words.