Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What One Man Can Do...

This is what we had for breakfast at seminary.  This has nothing to do with my post.  Just information. =)

This is actually what has been on my mind.  We've been studying Helaman 13-15, Samuel the Lamanite prophesying of the signs of the birth and death of Christ. If we were among the believers in Zarahemla, (as I'd like to think I would have been), these signs would have brought us peace and strengthened our faith.  In Helaman 14:15-19, Samuel teaches us why it was necessary for Christ to die.  This was the completion of his earthly mission to bring to pass our resurrection in order to enable us to overcome spiritual death.  Samuel proceeds to give the Nephites the sign of his death, shown in the tumultuous earth and the absence of light, and then he speaks of righteous saints being resurrected.  In verse 25 it reads: "And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many."  We know that Christ was the first to be resurrected, but the Nephites wouldn't have been able to witness His resurrection with their physical eyes.   The resurrection of the righteous on the American continent ministering to their own people would have been a sure testimony to them of His divinity; something they could "see" so they could "know" for themselves.  The fulfillment of Samuel's prophecies, found in the book of 3 Nephi,  testifies of the same.

I also found this very interesting from another part of the Book of Mormon.  In 3 Nephi 23, once the resurrected Christ is among the Nephites, he asks Nephi to bring him the Nephite records.  As he looks at them he notices that the testimony and prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite have not been written.  His Nephite disciples confirm to him that Samuel did prophesy unto them and all of his prophecies had been fulfilled.  The Savior then commands Nephi to have them written.   Nephi obeys, and that record makes up chapters 13-15 of Helaman.  Had the Savior not specifically requested those words to be recorded, we would never have heard of Samuel the Lamanite

This made me think of how it would have changed the Book of Mormon to not have had Samuel's prophecies in it.  Kinda makes you wonder..........The Savior's concern for this record to be written was expressed in 3 Nephi 23:9 : "Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them...."  It was important that the ministry of those resurrected saints was recorded to testify of His resurrection (which preceeded their resurrection) and glorify the name of the Father.  Their resurrection also means that our resurrection would happen as well.  We wouldn't have known that from the Book of Mormon if Samuel's record hadn't been recorded.

  We have no record of where Samuel came from; we only know he was a Lamanite.  We don't know how old he was.  We don't know if he had a family, how he was converted to the gospel, how long he lived or where he went after he fled Zarahemla.  He is never heard from again.  But as a servant of the Lord, following the voice of the Spirit, he served an important purpose.  His testimony was important enough to the Savior for him to command another one of his servants to record it for posterity.  Now Samuel's account, prophecies, and message is read all over the world bringing people unto Christ.  

This is a little of what I taught my class today.  I didn't think they'd catch all of that by just reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover.  So we ate green bagels and talked about Samuel.   Just another day with my cool juniors and seniors at seminary.

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