BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 35: Helaman 13-16

Today we get to meet Samuel, who prophecies of, well, 3 Nephi, basically. What does it mean that the Lamanite prophet Samuel has a name from the Hebrew scriptures? (I may have time to update this more later today.)

Hel 13:1-2 Who else is an outsider sent to a city, is rejected, leaves, and then is divinely instructed to return? Alma returns and finds Amulek who enables his message (Alma 8:1-21); Samuel finds the wall, which enables his.

Hel 13:6 shall be slain for his people. Cf. 14:15-16

Hel 13:38 Elder Holland spoke to us on my mission, and said, “Don’t want what cannot be.” Cf. Alm 41:10 “Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.” Alm 34:33 Just as one’s “calling and election” can be “made sure,” the inverse is also possible. Their destruction is made sure.

Hel 14:19-“repent ye, repent ye, lest by knowing these things and not doing them” c.f. Knowing and doing are both important. President Kimball was famous for his emphasis upon the latter, changing the words of the Primary Song I am a Child of God, “teach me all that I must know do” Compare the following passages.

  • Mos 4:10 “And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.”
  • Mos 3:12 “But wo, wo unto him who knoweth that he rebelleth against God! For salvation cometh to none such except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • Nephi 9:27 “But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!”
  •  James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach [i.e. “we who know”] will be judged with greater strictness.” (but see the JST).

Signs in Helaman 14-

  • 5-year prophecy of coming of son of god to redeem. v.2
  • great lights (pl) in the heavens to the extent that there would be no darkness. v. 3-4
  • A new star v.5
  • Other signs and wonders in heaven v.6
  • sun darkened, as well as moon and stars. No light for three days. v. 20
  • Thunder lightning, earthquake. v. 21
  • rocks broken up. v.22
  • Tempests and geographic upheaval. v.23
  • broken roads and abandoned cities. v.24
  • Graves open, dead come forth. v.25

Hel 16:16-21 It’s entirely possible for reasonable and logical things to be wrong. Reason and logic will always depend upon presuppositions, and those who oppose the Gospel (as well as those who support it) have been known to rationalize.

Helaman 16:21 Among the rationalizations is this. ” [The religious leaders] keep us down to be servants to their words… for we depend upon them to teach us the word; and thus will they keep us in ignorance if we will yield ourselves unto them, all the days of our lives.” First, does this say something about literacy and the limited availability of scripture? It is likely that literacy was rare, and scripture precious and expensive and rare. Both the ability to read and access to scripture were likely quite limited, and perhaps “class”-based.  Second, while we recognize the God-given authority of our LDS Church leaders, we should not depend upon them for the totality of our gospel knowledge.

Assuming accurate records and setting aside what a “year” might mean in Book of Mormon terms, Jesus is born in 92nd year of the judges (3Ne 1:4, Hel 14:2 Samuel comes in 91st year) and dies 33 years later (3Ne 8:2).

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