A prophet named Samuel traveled to the city of Zarahemla and preached to the people for many days. He was a Lamanite, and the inhabitants of the city were Nephites. They rejected his message and kicked him out of the city. He was about to return home when the Lord commanded him to go back. He climbed onto the wall of the city to deliver this sermon.
Samuel’s objective was to help the people see where their decisions were leading. The coming of the Savior was imminent, and their decisions were not preparing them for that event.
- You will not find the happiness you seek with the choices you are making (Helaman 13).
- “The sword of justice hangeth over this people.” Within 400 years, you will be destroyed unless you repent (Helaman 13:5-11).
- Your city is only spared because of the righteous among you (Helaman 13:12-16).
- Your treasures are cursed because you have set your hearts upon them (Helaman 13:17-23).
- You reject true prophets and uphold false ones. “How long will ye suffer yourselves to be led by blind guides?” (Helaman 13:24-29)
- Your riches will become “slippery” (Helaman 13:30-37).
- You can’t find happiness in iniquity. I pray that you will repent before it is too late (Helaman 13:38-39).
- The signs of Jesus’s birth and death (Helaman 14).
- In five years, the Son of God will come. It will be light all night. There will be a new star. “Ye shall all be amazed, and wonder” (Helaman 14:1-8).
- The Lord commanded me to deliver this message. You rejected me because I am a Lamanite and because the message was not easy to hear (Helaman 14:9-13).
- Christ’s death is necessary for our resurrection and for our redemption (Helaman 14:14-19).
- When He dies, there will be darkness for three days. There will also be natural disasters (Helaman 14:20-27).
- The purpose of these signs is to help people believe so that they can be saved (Helaman 14:28-29).
- “Ye are free…[to] choose life or death” (Helaman 14:30-31).
- God will be merciful to the Lamanites, but not to you if you don’t repent (Helaman 15).
Many people believed Samuel’s message. Those people went to find Nephi, who baptized them. But many others were angry with Samuel. They tried to hit him with stones and arrows. He was miraculously protected, so they sent soldiers to arrest him. Samuel descended from the wall and returned to his own country.
I see a couple of themes in Samuel’s words. The first is that you can’t keep rebelling against God indefinitely. Eventually a day of reckoning will come, and it is much better to repent now instead of waiting for the crisis.
The second is that where much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). The Nephites had been given so much more than the Lamanites and had repeatedly proven to be unreliable and ungrateful. The Lamanites, in contrast, had consistently demonstrated that when they were converted, they were dependable. As much as the Nephites hated to hear this from a Lamanite, that is why the Lamanites fared better in the end.
I will respond to Samuel’s words by repenting proactively and by striving to live up to the blessings I have received.
Blog Posts about Samuel the Lamanite’s Sermon
- Why Did the Nephites Keep the Law of Moses? (8/11/2019)
- What Is the Relationship Between Obedience and Agency? (7/2/2019)
- What’s Wrong with Seeking Signs? (5/22/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Say About Complacency? (5/11/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Anger? (5/9/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Happiness? (5/6/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About Racism? (4/29/2019)
- What Does It Mean to Be Steadfast? (4/23/2019)
- What Does the Book of Mormon Teach About the Resurrection? (4/21/2019)
- Why Are “Envyings” Associated with “Strife?” (4/19/2019)
- How Does God Communicate with Us? (4/16/2019)
- What’s Wrong with “Costly Apparel?” (4/3/2019)
- What Is the Significance of the Names and Titles of Jesus in the Book of Mormon? (3/3/2019)
- What Is a “Probationary State?” (2/8/2019)
- [He Hath] Chastened Them Because He Loveth Them – Helaman 15:3 (7/20/2018)
- Ye Are Angry with Me – Helaman 14:10 (7/19/2018)
- Your Desolation Is Already Come Upon You – Helaman 13:32 (7/18/2018)
- He Should Return Again – Helaman 13:2-3 (1/26/2018)
- They Do Walk Circumspectly Before God – Helaman 15:5 (12/9/2017)
- This Shall Be unto You for a Sign – Helaman 14:3-5 (12/8/2017)
- He Hath Put It into My Heart – Helaman 13:5-7 (12/7/2017)
- Into the Presence of the Lord – Helaman 14:15-18 (12/28/2016)
- That Which Ye Could Not Obtain – Helaman 13:38 (9/16/2016)
- That He Should Return Again – Helaman 13:2-4 (1/29/2016)
- If a Prophet Come Among You – Helaman 13:25-26 (1/28/2016)
- Had the Mighty Works Been Shown Unto Them – Helaman 15:15-16 (9/26/2015)
- Whosoever Shall Believe – Helaman 14:8 (9/24/2015)
- Ye Do Not Remember the Lord Your God – Helaman 13:22 (9/23/2015)
- Foolish and Blind Guides – Helaman 13:29 (9/22/2015)
- Helaman 13:38 The Days of Your Probation Are Past (11/28/2014)