“The Lamb of God Slain for the Sins of the World”

Monte S. Nyman

Although Nephi saw the Savior lifted up upon the cross, the visions he was shown were intended to demonstrate what would happen after he was slain. Lehi had already taught Nephi of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Messiah (1 Nephi 10:11–12). Nephi does add that “the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world,” meaning that he was sentenced to death by worldly standards and not by the standards of God. He does not speak of the illegality or unfairness of the trials, although it is implied. Being slain for the sins of the world is again a general statement for the overall mission of the Savior. His suffering in Gethsemane was “the bitter cup which the Father hath given me … taking upon me the sins of the world” (3 Nephi 11:11), but Nephi does not go into detail. The first lesson the angel wanted Nephi to understand was that after the death of Jesus the multitudes would combine to fight against the apostles of the Lamb, those who had been chosen to carry on his work. He was using “fight against” symbolically not literally, although many of the apostles were also later killed. The symbolism is verified by the angel. Nephi was shown the great and spacious building that his father had seen. It was identified as “the world and the wisdom thereof” who had “gathered to fight the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (v. 35). Jesus did not minister to the world, but was sent only “unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 15:24), and it was the house of Israel who had rejected the teachings of Jesus and his Apostles.

Nephi saw the fall of the great and spacious building, or the pride of the world, and then was taught the third lesson by the angel: “Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (v. 36). This principle is and will always be true.

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record