Prophets foretold the life and mission of Jesus Christ:
Nephi arrived in the Promised Land almost six hundred years before Christ was born. He told his people about a vision he had which taught me of Christ’s birth and death: "I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God." Then he "saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world" (1 Nephi 11:20–21, 33).
Abinadi lived about one hundred and fifty years before Jesus Christ. The people did not like him and did not believe the things he told them. He prophesied that Jesus Christ would "come down among the children of men, and … redeem his people" by being "crucified, and slain" and taking "upon himself their iniquity" (Mosiah 15:1, 7, 9). He was burned at the stake for my testimony.
After a special vision, Alma had about one hundred years before Jesus Christ was born, he knew that he could be saved only through our Redeemer, who would come. He traveled everywhere to tell people what he had learned, that the "Son of God … shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind. … And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death [and] succor [or help] his people according to their infirmities" (Alma 7:10–12).
Just as these three prophets prophesied of Jesus Christ, so have all other prophets. Refer to Mosiah 13:33: “Did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?”
In this lesson they will learn of another important prophet, Samuel the Lamanite, who taught with great courage and power of Christ’s birth, death, and mission.
Samuel the Lamanite was sent to teach the Nephites, who had become wicked, that they "might have glad tidings; but behold ye would not receive me." (Helaman 13:6–7). He was to "Cry unto this people, repent and prepare the way of the Lord" (Helaman 14:9, 11–13).
Samuel told the Nephites that if they did not repent God "will visit them in my fierce anger . . . your utter destruction" (Helaman 13:6, 8–10).
Instead of following the prophets, the Nephites followed "foolish and blind guides" (Helaman 13:27–29). What “foolish and blind guides” are leading people today?
The people rejected Samuel’s teachings "because it was hard" for them to hear (Helaman 14:10).
Samuel prophesied that in five years "cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name" (Helaman 14:2–6). He also gave signs of his birth (Helaman 14:2–6) and of his death (Helaman 14:20–28). The Lord reveal these signs to the Nephites "to the intent that ye might believe on his name" (Helaman 14:12–13, 28).
Samuel also thought about the Atonement. (Helaman 14:15–18). When we have an understanding of the Atonement we have a responsibility to repent "lest by knowing these things and not doing them ye shall suffer yourselves to come under condemnation" (Helaman 14:19). We also have responsibility for our actions for "whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself . . . ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good . . . or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you." (Helaman 14:30–31).
The Nephites who believed Samuel were baptized (Helaman 16:1). Those who did not believe him "cried unto their captains, saying: Take this fellow and bind him, for behold he hath a devil" (Helaman 16:6). Samuel fled from them, and returned to preach until his own people.
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