4 Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.
5 And he also spake concerning the prophets, how great a number had testified of these things, concerning this Messiah, of whom he had spoken, or this Redeemer of the world.
6 Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.
After Lehi left Jerusalem with his family, he was commanded to send his sons back to retrieve the brass plates, which contained “a record of the Jews…and also the prophecies of the holy prophets” (1 Nephi 5:12-13
). In the passage above, we learn that the writings on these plates helped Lehi to gain a clearer understanding of the role of the Savior in the plan of salvation.
Earlier, Lehi had seen “One descending out of the midst of heaven…and…twelve others following him” (1 Nephi 1:9-10
). He had also experienced dreams and visions in which he heard the voice of the Lord. But after studying the words of the prophets, he was able to understand the importance of a great Prophet who would be the Messiah, the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
As he explains in the passage above, many of the prophets testified of this Messiah. Here are some of the prophecies which he might have read:
- “The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;… And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him” (Deuteronomy 18:15, 19).
- “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 59:20).
- “I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour” (Isaiah 43:11).
I am grateful that ancient prophets testified of the coming of Christ “many years before His coming” (Jacob 4:4
, Helaman 8:18
). I’m grateful that Lehi gained a testimony of the Savior by prayerfully studying the words of those ancient prophets. This December, as I strive to emulate the Savior more closely, I will study and ponder the ancient prophecies concerning Him so that my appreciation for His mission can continue to grow.