And it came to pass that the prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God, that if they did not keep the commandments, but should fall into transgression, they should be destroyed from off the face of the land. Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long–suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.
And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.
And it came to pass that two hundred and thirty and eight years had passed away— after the manner of wars, and contentions, and dissensions, for the space of much of the time.