Lehi received many visions while in the wilderness. One day while his son Nephi was pondering his father's visions, he was taken by an angel to the top of an extremely high mountain. "What do you desire?" asked the angel. Nephi replied that he wanted to see what his father had seen. And so because of Nephi's belief in the Son of God, the Holy Ghost showed him many visions of the future.
"Look!" said the angel. "See your descendants and the descendants of your brothers." Nephi looked and saw the promised land and people as numerous as the sand on the seashore. "Look," said the angel. "Your brothers’ descendants, because of their unbelief, have become a dark, loathsome, and filthy people, full of idleness and all kinds of abominations." The descendants of Nephi, however, were white, extremely attractive, and beautiful.
"Look!" said the angel. Nephi looked and saw his descendants and the descendants of his brothers at war with each other generation after generation with terrible slaughters by sword. And he saw innumerable cities. Then he saw a darkness fall over the promised land. There were earthquakes and lightning, and cities burned, crumbled, or sank.
"Look!" said the angel, and Nephi looked and saw the city of Nazareth and the most beautiful of all virgins—extremely attractive and white. The Holy Ghost explained that this was the mother of the Son of God in the manner of the flesh, and that Heavenly Father would step down from his eternal throne to become the Father of a mortal son.
In his vision, Nephi saw Jesus's baptism by John the Baptist. He saw Jesus's ministry on Earth and the twelve apostles. And he saw Jesus taken by the people, judged, crucified, and killed for the sins of the world.
Then Nephi saw the darkness pass from the promised land, and he saw multitudes who had survived the terrible judgments of Jesus. And he saw the heavens open, and Jesus descended and showed himself to the descendants of Nephi and his brothers. And Jesus chose twelve of them to be his apostles.
"Look!" said the angel. Nephi looked and saw that after Jesus visited his descendants, three generations lived in righteousness. But then his descendants and the descendants of his brothers gathered to fight in a final battle. Nephi saw that, because of the pride of his people and the temptations of Satan, his descendants would be wiped out by his brothers' descendants.
"Look!" said the angel. "See among the Gentiles across the ocean the formation of the most abominable church." Nephi looked and saw that the church was founded by Satan. He saw the church's wealth in gold, silver, and precious clothing. "There are only two churches," said the angel, "the church of Jesus and the church of Satan. Whoever does not belong to the church of Jesus belongs to the church which is the mother of abominations and the whore of all the earth."
Then Nephi saw a book. It was the Bible. The angel explained to Nephi that this record was written by the Jews and that it had once contained the complete gospel of Jesus. But when it passed into the hands of the Gentiles, the most abominable church intentionally removed many simple, clear, and precious teachings about the salvation of mankind. The Bible was corrupted such that it blinded the eyes and hearts of mankind, allowing Satan to have great power over them.
Nephi saw many Gentiles come and colonize America. They were white and extremely attractive and God gave them the promised land of America as their inheritance, and they prospered. The power of God was with them, and the Gentiles drove the descendents of Nephi's brothers from the land. The wrath of God was against the descendants of Nephi's brothers.
Nephi saw the American Revolution and saw that the power of God was on the side of the outnumbered American revolutionary armies and that the wrath of God was against anyone who gathered to do battle against them. God lifted up the American nation up over all other nations, and gave them a land finer than any other on Earth.
The angel told Nephi that after Jesus has caused the Gentiles to bring his judgment upon the descendant of his brothers, the Gentiles will then stumble greatly because their Bible was corrupted by the abominable church. But Nephi's descendants will be given these simple, clear, and precious teachings that were removed from their Bible, and they will write them down. And Jesus will cause these writings to be found by the Gentiles. These writings will become known as the Book of Mormon.
Nephi saw that the Book of Mormon together with the Bible would declare to all people of the world that they must come to Heavenly Father through his Son Jesus. He saw that the people would either be convinced by the Book of Mormon, repent, and be saved, or they would reject the church of the Son of God for the church of Satan and be destroyed and led down to hell which is awful and has no end.
Nephi saw the great mother of abominations gather multitudes to fight against the church of the Son of God. And he saw the wrath of God poured out on the abominable church, the mother of harlots. And the angel said to Nephi, "Look!" and Nephi looked and saw the apostle of Jesus named John. And the angel told Nephi that this man would record his vision of the end of the world. And Nephi was forbidden to write about any of the other things he saw.