When Nephi returned home from preaching the gospel in the north countries, he was horrified at how much his own society had deteriorated. The institutions of government which he knew very well, had been infiltrated by members of a secret society who valued loyalty to each other above the rule of law (Helaman 7:4-5). In agony, Nephi ascended a tower in his garden to pray for his people. This tower was located beside a busy road, and when people saw him praying with so much intensity of feeling, a crowd gathered to observe the spectacle. When he finished his prayer, Nephi addressed the people (Helaman 7:10-12).
Nephi’s purpose in addressing his neighbors was to help them recognize their spiritual weakness and to urge them to repent before experiencing the consequences.
- Nephi urges his people to repent (Helaman 7:13-29).
- “Why have ye gathered yourselves together? That I may tell you of your iniquities?” (Helaman 7:13-16).
- “O repent ye, repent ye. Why will ye die?” (Helaman 7:17-19)
- “How could you have forgotten your God in the very day that he has delivered you?” (Helaman 7:20-21)
- If you don’t repent, your enemies will conquer you (Helaman 7:22-24).
- Because you have upheld the Gadianton band, because of your pride, and because of your evil actions, you will be destroyed unless you repent (Helaman 7:25-28).
- I know these things by direct revelation from God (Helaman 7:29).
- Nephi provides evidence that his words are true (Helaman 8).
- [Some of the people try to convince the others to reject him: “Why do you suffer this man to revile against us?” But others believed him and wanted to hear more, so he was able to continue his speech] (Helaman 8:1-10).
- God gave power to Moses to part the Red Sea (Helaman 8:11-13).
- He lifted up a brazen serpent as a symbol of Christ (Helaman 8:14-15).
- Abraham and many before him knew that Christ would come (Helaman 8:16-18).
- Many subsequent prophets have also testified, including Zenos, Zenock, Ezias, Isaiah, and Jeremiah (Helaman 8:19-21).
- Lehi and Nephi also testified of Him and were redeemed by Him (Helaman 8:22-23).
- You have rejected all of the evidences which you have received (Helaman 8:24-26).
- Your chief judge has been murdered by his brother. Both of them belong to the band of Gadianton (Helaman 8:27-28).
- Nephi gives the people another sign that he is a true prophet (Helaman 9).
- [Five messengers ran to the judgment seat and found the chief judge dead. The following day, a crowd assembled. Nephi was bound and questioned about the murder] (Helaman 9:1-20).
- You should begin now to mourn, because your destruction is imminent (Helaman 9:21-22).
- Because I have shown you a sign, you are angry (Helaman 9:23-24).
- Nephi tells them who the murderer is and gives them instructions on how to get him to confess (Helaman 9:25-36).
Everything happened just as Nephi said it would, and the people no longer doubted his words. But they still were not willing to humble themselves and repent. Instead, the crowd dispersed, arguing amongst themselves whether Nephi was a prophet or a god, and “leaving Nephi alone, as he was standing in the midst of them” (Helaman 9:40-41, Helaman 10:1).
It is so easy for us to be blinded by our pride, by our own sinful behavior, and by the cultural influences which surround us. We can reconnect with reality by remembering the words and experiences of prophets and by paying attention to the evidence of God’s hand in our lives.
I will respond to Nephi’s words by slowing down and taking time to study the scriptures and pray. I will not be afraid to ask myself difficult questions about my spiritual state, and I will take corrective action as needed.
Blog Posts about Nephi’s Sermon from His Tower
- What Can We Learn from the Crossing of the Red Sea? (8/16/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Abraham? (7/20/2019)
- What Should I Do When I Feel Guilty? (6/24/2019)
- What Can We Learn from the Brass Serpent? (6/12/2019)
- What’s Wrong with Seeking Signs? (5/22/2019)
- What Does It Mean to Be “Easy to Be Entreated?” (4/12/2019)
- I Am an Honest Man – Helaman 9:36 (7/17/2018)
- There Were Many Before the Days of Abraham – Helaman 8:18 (7/16/2018)
- Why Will Ye Die? – Helaman 7:17-18 (7/15/2018)
- Why Seest Thou This Man…Revile Against This People and Against Our Law? – Helaman 8:1-3 (5/23/2018)
- They Did Reject All His Words – Helaman 7:1-3 (1/23/2018)
- God Gave Power unto One Man – Helaman 8:11-12 (12/6/2017)
- How Could You Have Forgotten? – Helaman 7:20-22 (12/5/2017)
- There Were Some of the Nephites Who Believed – Helaman 9:39-41 (4/14/2017)
- Ye Ought to Begin to Howl – Helaman 9:21-22 (9/17/2015)
- As Many As Should Look – Helaman 8:14-15 (9/16/2015)
- In the Very Day – Helaman 7:20 (9/16/2015)
- Because of Your Exceedingly Great Riches – Helaman 7:26 (9/15/2015)
- Helaman 7:7-9 I Am Consigned That These are My Days (11/27/2014)