While the first chapter of Nephi might seem simple on the surface, we learn quite a bit from it. First of all we meet Nephi, and learn a little about his upbringing. We get a sense, through his writing of what kind of person he was. We also meet his father Lehi, and learn that he was a prophet.
This chapter gives the pattern of how a prophet is led by God. We see that first God inspires the prophet to know what He wants him to do. Then the prophet goes and tells the people God's message. In this case, Lehi's experience was much like Moses' experience. He was visited of the Lord via a pillar of fire, much like the burning bush. The Lord called Lehi to lead his people out of the land, much like Moses led the children if Israel out of Egypt. In this case, Lehi warned the people in Jerusalem that they should repent, and that Jerusalem would be destroyed. They were angry with him, and God warned him to take his family in to the wilderness.
One of my favorite verses in this chapter is the very last verse. Nephi comments that despite the hardships they endured, God blessed them with his "tender mercies". Have you felt the "tender mercies" of God in your life?