There Were Some of the Nephites Who Believed – Helaman 9:39-41

39 And there were some of the Nephites who believed on the words of Nephi; and there were some also, who believed because of the testimony of the five, for they had been converted while they were in prison.
40 And now there were some among the people, who said that Nephi was a prophet.
41 And there were others who said: Behold, he is a god, for except he was a god he could not know of all things. For behold, he has told us the thoughts of our hearts, and also has told us things; and even he has brought unto our knowledge the true murderer of our chief judge.

In the scene Mormon describes above, the people were convinced that Nephi had great spiritual power. They had received many indications that his words were true:
  • Some people “believed on his words.” Just by listening to what he had to say, they arrived at the conclusion that his message was true.
  • Others “believed because of the testimony of the five.” The fact that some of their peers, whom they trusted, believed in Nephi and were willing to speak up about that belief was what convinced them.
  • Still others were more convinced by what Nephi had done. He had demonstrated knowledge which they couldn’t explain, including an awareness of their thoughts and of future events.
Different people placed greater weight on each of these factors, but taken together, this evidence had convinced the entire group that he was powerful. I like the idea that a strong testimony consists of multiple pieces of evidence combined rather than being based on only one type of evidence. As President Henry B. Eyring has taught:

Testimony will come to you in pieces as parts of the whole truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ are confirmed. For instance, as you read and ponder the Book of Mormon, verses you have read before will appear new to you and bring new ideas. Your testimony will grow in breadth and in depth as the Holy Ghost confirms that they are true. Your living testimony will expand as you study, pray, and ponder in the scriptures (“A Living Testimony,” General Conference, April 2011).

Today, I will think about the various types of evidence which are part of my testimony. I will be grateful that the Holy Ghost has confirmed the words of prophets, that good friends have shared their convictions with me, and that I have experienced miraculous things firsthand, all of which have contributed to my knowledge that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

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