Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, August 21

Book of Mormon: “3 Nephi 1 and the Faith of Believers in Prophecy” by grego

Book of Mormon: “3 Nephi 1 and the Faith of Believers in Prophecy”
grego
(c) 2009

I found this very interesting:
3 Nephi 1:5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.

3 Nephi 1:6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.

3 Nephi 1:7 And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.

3 Nephi 1:8 But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.

3 Nephi 1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.

3 Nephi 1:10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.

3 Nephi 1:11 And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.

Having only been five years, I imagine that most of the saints had either heard of Samuel the Lamanite’s prophecy or heard others speak about having heard it. They had likely felt the Spirit when they heard it.

Yet here it was, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. Perhaps… something was wrong? What? What had changed? What was the cause? Was it due to a change in the conditions of the prophecy? Had they been wicked? Had their faith not been enough? Did something happen “over there”, in Jerusalem? (Or before you jump on my case, Bethlehem, Judea, wherever…) They were unsure. *They didn’t know.*

I’ve had the experience of giving many priesthood blessings, which are basically all prophecies. I’ve had glorious experiences seeing many of them fulfilled. A few also make me wonder about “what happened”… So, I’ve felt before a little of what they were feeling. I know others have, too. Sometimes things *do* change—I know about that, too. Still, there is the “watching steadfastly” for the fulfillment of the prophecy.

I feel the humbleness and belief of the believers in verse 7. They weren’t worried others might think they were misled or stupid; they weren’t quick to retort with lots of “reasons why” and explanations, though I imagine there were many; they weren’t mad at Samuel the Lamanite or Nephi. Frankly, when it came time, I doubt they were more worried about dying; they were “very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.” It was similar with Nephi, who was “exceedingly sorrowful”, not just about his faith, I imagine, but about the “wickedness of his people”—*not* the saints, but the Nephites who were going to kill the saints.

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