Where is Your Heart? – Helaman 16:1-25

1 And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls 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 [A requirement for baptism was to confess their sins, or rather the need to be made clean through Christ.], desiring that they might be baptized unto the Lord. [Interesting how one prophet works with another through the Lord coming from different places.]

2 But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry 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 him with their stones neither with their arrows.

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. [For some it takes a miracle to believe. More blessed are those who come to repentance without a sign. Why is that? Because those who seek signs are easily influenced by the Adversary. Often the first test of their faith leads to great despair.]

4 For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly 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 baptized, for they came repenting and confessing their sins. [How many true prophets today are prophesying of the second coming of Christ? Many, as if on the wall of the city, are preaching repentance while they are mocked and marginalized by the public. How do you know if it is a true prophet? There are some things to look for. They will not praise you and say all is well, but will call you to repentance, to seek a closer relationship with the Lord, to seek the gifts of the Spirit, to keep the commandments given of God, and to seek the Lord’s will in all things.]

6 But the more 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: Take this fellow and bind him, for behold he hath 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. [The people tried to assault Samuel with deadly weapons, like shooting a firearm today, and yet they were not successful. They knew it was something supernatural, but would not admit it to be the power of God. They called their version of the police to take him into custody, but Samuel was able to escape.]

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 among 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.

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 contrary to the commandments of God, in the eighty and ninth year of the reign of the judges.

13 But it came to pass in the ninetieth year of the reign of the judges, there were great signs given unto the people, and wonders; and the words of the prophets began to be fulfilled. [I will need to ask the Lord more concerning this.]

14 And angels did appear unto men, wise men [men and women of God], and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy; thus in this year the scriptures began to be fulfilled.

15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts [they would not believe], 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 own 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.

17 And they began to reason and to contend among themselves, saying:

18 That it is not 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? [This is the language many use today when discussing the Second Coming of Christ? “It is not reasonable…”]

20 But behold, we know that this is a wicked tradition, 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 cannot witness with our own eyes that they are true. [Christianity is often described as a controlling religion, only to be used to subjugate and prevent people from free speech. This is only the case when government and church combine to rule, but if kept autonomous it can be a beautiful balance for good.]

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. [They considered the prophetic events as something like astrology, or fortunate coincidences.]

22 And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors 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. [Mormon uses the phrase, “to imagine up in their hearts.”  This means to only see what one wishes according to their own paradigms or reality. This is why the heart is the key to revelation. When our hearts are soft and broken, willing to believe all that the Lord wishes to give us, we are open to receive the gifts of the Spirit. The word “imagination” has a negative connotation in today’s society. However, if combined with a broken heart in Christ, it is the seed of faith and opens the windows of heaven for the faithful.]

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 And thus ended the book of Helaman, according to the record of Helaman and his sons.

 

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5 Responses to Where is Your Heart? – Helaman 16:1-25

  1. 1lhn says:

    I would love to know more about Samuel the Lamanite. Where did he come from and where did he go after this? How did he awaken to his calling as a prophet? Is he an example of what the Josephic servant will be like in the end of times? [I plan to ask the Lord. PR]

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Myrsmakeup says:

    I am so thankful for your literal breakdown of scripture. Like clock work, you touched upon the very questions and exact words impressed upon my mind and heart this AM. Everywhere we turn today, rhetoric is the weapon of choice for the wicked. Holding tight to the iron rod/word of God is now more of a blanket of comfort and protection that I am seeing in my own life. Is this equivalent to the “confounding of languages” spoken of in Babylon? Not so much a foreign language but more language of confusion to create conflict in our time? Just love you and your absolute testimony of the Savior. [When the tower of Babel fell the Lord caused that the people could not work together, as their language differences broke them apart to go their own ways. I suppose this occurs in a way when the wicked and righteous choose to separate. It was more dramatic after the fall of Babel. PR]

    Liked by 2 people

  3. S Silver says:

    Note from vs 22: “When our hearts are soft and broken”

    I read this and asked again “What does ‘broken’ mean?” since I haven’t received a clear answer before. Into my mind came “broken like a horse”. This makes SO much more sense! Our hearts become gentle, more accepting, more patient and we are willing to wait, be taught, learn and try to do good!

    Liked by 10 people

  4. Heather Marcum says:

    S Silver, the Lord used this same analogy with me 2 years ago when I was studying D&C 59 intensely . I love the second witness that this is one of the correct understandings of broken.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Jake Box says:

    PR, were these repented Nephites baptized for the second time in their life? I assume they were baptized and in their recognized fallen state they felt they needed to be baptized again? If so, were nephi and Lehi prompting them to be baptized again or was that the tradition of the nephites to be baptized again due to their great repentance? [Baptism can occur when one first accepts Christ and they baptize unto repentance, but can also come as a baptism unto renewal. It depends upon the individual. PR]

    Liked by 2 people

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