Book of Mormon Commentary - Helaman 16

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
             CHAPTER 16

The Nephites who believe Samuel are baptized by Nephi—Samuel cannot be slain with their arrows and stones—Some harden their hearts, and others see angels—The unbelievers say it is not reasonable to believe in Christ and his coming in Jerusalem. [Between 5 and 1 B.C.]

~ 6 B.C. ~

1 AND now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the awalls of the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and sought for Nephi; and when they had come forth and found him they confessed unto him their sins and denied not, desiring that they might be bbaptized unto the Lord.
2 But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were aangry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit hima with their stones neither with their arrows.

 2a the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could ot hit him Not this Spirit of the Lord is likely the Holy Ghost who did attend Samuel. And it is seen here again that the Lord does protect whom it will by the power of the Spirit of God. And those who do minister the things of God cannot be stopped in fulfilling that which they are given to do. Nephi could not be stopped or killed by his brethren, neither Adinadi until after his mission or message was delived. And the sons of Mosiah were protected from Ammon at the waters of Sebus to his brethren in prision. Neither Alma nor Nephi and Lehi and thus it is with all those who are in the service of God. For the spirit doth attend them and it does protect them from many of those who would thwart them and destroy them. Yes, there are times when the Lord does allow his prophets and his people to suffer at the hands of the wicked even unto death, but these do witness against the wickedness of those who have so afflicted them. And there are many times when the Lord does through the power of the Spirit sheild and protect them unto preserving them against those who would slay them and destroy them.  1a Hel. 13:4
   b Alma 9:27
 2a Prov. 29:10

3 Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words, insomuch that they went away unto Nephi to be baptized.
4 For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working amiracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must bshortly come—
5 Telling them of things which must shortly come, that they might know and remember at the time of their coming that they had been made known unto them beforehand, to the intent that they might believe; therefore as many as believed on the words of Samuel went forth unto him to be baptizeda, for they came repenting and confessing their sins.

 5a as many as believed on the words of Samuel went forth unto him to be baptized Though Samuel's message did foretell of the destruction of the wicked, it did warn the people that there were those who did heed the warning and went forth and were converted unto the Lord. Thus Samuel's message was both unto the conversion ' of many but it was also unto the condemning of most.  4a TG Miracle
   b Hel. 14:2

6 But the amore part of them did not believe in the words of Samuel; therefore when they saw that they could not hit him with their stones and their arrows, they cried unto their captains, saying: bTake this fellow and bind him, for behold he chath a devil; and because of the power of the devil which is in him we cannot hit him with our stones and our arrows; therefore take him and bind him, and away with him.
7 And as they went forth to lay their hands on him, behold, he did cast himself down from the wall, and did flee out of their lands, yea, even unto his own country, and began to preach and to prophesy aamong his own people.
8 And behold, he was never heard of more among the Nephites; and thus were the affairs of the people.
9 And thus ended the eighty and sixth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.

 6a Hel. 15:5; 3 Ne. 1:22
   b Hel. 13:24
   c John 7:20
 7a Hel. 13:2

~ 5-3 B.C. ~

10 And thus ended also the *eighty and seventh year of the reign of the judges, the more part of the people remaining in their pride and wickedness, and the lesser part walking more circumspectly before God.
11 And these were the conditions also, in the eighty and eighth year of the reign of the judges.
12 And there was but little alteration in the affairs of the people, save it were the people began to be more hardened in iniquity, and do more and more of that which was acontrary to the commandments of God, in the eighty and ninth year of the reign of the judges.

 10a [5 B.C.]
 12a TG Disobedience

~ 2 B.C. ~

13 But it came to pass in the *ninetieth year of the reign of the judges, there were agreat signs given unto the people, and wonders; and the words of the prophets bbegan to be fulfilled.
14 And aangels did appear unto men, wise men, and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy; thus in this year the scriptures began to be fulfilled.

 13* [2 B.C.]
     a 3 Ne. 1:4
     a Hel. 14:3-7
 14a Alma 13:26

15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites, and began to depend upon their aown strength and upon their own wisdom, saying:
16 Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken.

 15a Isa. 5:21

17 And they began to reason and to contend among themselves, saying:
18 That it is anot reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come; if so, and he be the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, as it has been spoken, why will he not show himself unto us as well as unto them who shall be at Jerusalem?
19 Yea, why will he not show himself in this land as well as in the land of Jerusalem?

 18a Alma 30:53

20 But behold, we know that this is a wicked atradition, which has been handed down unto us by our fathers, to cause us that we should believe in some great and marvelous thing which should come to pass, but not among us, but in a land which is far distant, a land which we know not; therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we bcannot witness with our own eyes that they are true.
21 And they will, by the cunning and the mysterious arts of the evil one, work some great mystery which we cannot understand, which will keep us down to be servants to their words, and also servants unto them, 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.
22 And many more things did the people aimagine up in their heartsa, which were foolish and bvain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading crumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come.

 22a people imagine up in their hearts When a person does not want to believe, they can fool themselves by refusing to discount and ignore even the most direct evidences such as angels and all the signs that may be given. And when they, by the influence of Satan even convince their own minds that it is Satan who does it and it is not of God, then they do not even allow themselves to attempt the experiment of whether it be good or evil in and of itself. Thus by their desire to do evil, they remove from themselves all avenues to truth. And it become better that they are removed from that downward spiral of temporal existance which begins to seal them Satan's and be destoryed in the flesh with some hope of at least accepting Christ unto a minimal degree of glory in the next life rather than completely and forever bring themselves into subjection to Satan in outer darkness forever, becoming sons of perdition.  20a TG Traditions of Men
     b Alma 30:15; Ether 12:5-6, 19
 22a Gen. 6:5
     b 4 Ne. 1:43
     c Prov. 6:18 (16-19)

23 And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wrought among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land.
24 And thus *ended the ninetieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.
25 aAnd thus ended the book of Helaman, according to the record of Helaman and his sons.

 24* [1 B.C.]
 25a Hel. 3:37

* Verse 10 [5 B.C.]; Verse 13 [2 B.C.]; Verse 24 [1 B.C.].

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