Helaman 13-16: “Glad Tidings of Great Joy” (August 31-September 6)

The image of a prophet preaching to a people who are trying to kill him is a vivid one. Like Alma in the city of Ammonihah, Samuel the Lamanite was rejected by the citizens of Zarahemla but returned to preach again (Alma 8:8-18, Helaman 13:2-4). Why would he do this? Why did God send him back?

One answer is because there were people in the city who were willing to hear his words (Helaman 16:1). Another answer is because his sermon was remembered, even by those who didn’t believe it right away. It functioned as a roadmap for many of the Nephite people in the years leading up to the appearance of Jesus Christ. (See 3 Nephi 1:5-9, 3 Nephi 8:3, 3 Nephi 23:9-10, Mormon 1:19, Mormon 2:10.)

An important lesson from Samuel the Lamanite is that we need to be willing to get out of our comfort zone in order to fulfill God’s purposes. Samuel’s people were righteous, and presumably it would have been much easier for him to preach to them. His words would have been well-received. His audience would have been receptive. But God called him to preach to the Nephites, and he willingly did so, even though it was not easy.

Here is a summary of Samuel’s sermon, with my takeaways: Samuel the Lamanite teaches the Nephites in Zarahemla

Here are some blog posts about Samuel’s sermon:

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