“And when my father saw that the waters of the river emptied into the fountain of the Red Sea, he spake unto Laman, saying: O that thou mightest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!”
I love the symbolism of the Red Sea in these verses. The Red Sea represents a place where God’s chosen people were delivered, and where God’s judgment against the wicked was made manifest. The Red Sea thus seems to embody what Nephi described in the previous chapter as “the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.”
God will literally split the Red Sea to help facilitate the deliverance of the righteous that he has chosen. By tapping into this symbolism, Lehi and Nephi are claiming the mantle of chosen people that God will deliver from bondage and from all of their foes.
The Red Sea for Lehi represents the fountain of all righteousness, and this implies that righteousness has dual facets. It is merciful to those who believe, and on the other hand swift to deliver judgment to the wicked. God’s mercy and judgment are two inseparable components of righteousness.