Records of the righteous prophets were preserved, and the Nephites will yet speak to the Lamanites and Gentiles out of the ground; their words shall have a familiar sound to them, and Joseph Smith will be given power to bring their words back out of the dust of centuries.
Elder Orson Pratt testified: “One of the most marvelous things connected with this prediction is, that after the nation should be brought down, they should ‘speak out of the ground.’ … Never was a prophecy more truly fulfilled than this, in the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith took that sacred history ‘out of the ground.’ It is the voice of the ancient prophets of America speaking ‘out of the ground’; their speech is ‘low out of the dust’; it speaks in a most familiar manner of the doings of bygone ages; it is the voice of those who slumber in the dust. It is the voice of prophets speaking from the dead, crying repentance in the ears of the living. In what manner could a nation, after they were brought down and destroyed, ‘speak out of the ground’? Could their dead bodies or their dust, or their ashes speak? Verily, no: they can only speak by their writings or their books that they wrote while living. Their voice, speech or words, can only ‘speak out of the ground,’ or ‘whisper out of the dust’ by their books or writings being discovered.” 73