“Helaman, Son of Helaman”

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

Helaman, son of Helaman and grandson of Alma, enjoys the priceless blessing of a distinguished family legacy of spiritual values upon which to build his career of service as chief judge in Zarahemla. Helaman’s tenure as chief judge lasts from around 50 BC to 39 BC. He survives an assassination attempt at the beginning of his years of public service and thereafter presides over a period of great economic development and phenomenal growth in the Church: “And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure. And it came to pass that the work of the Lord did prosper unto the baptizing and uniting to the church of God, many souls, yea, even tens of thousands” (Helaman 3:25–26). Helaman bestows upon his two sons, Nephi and Lehi, the blessings of inspired patriarchal counsel that applies to today (see Helaman 5:12). When we think of Helaman, son of Helaman, we think of leadership anchored in eternal values, inspired parental counsel (after the manner of Alma the grandfather and Helaman the father), and a legacy of building wisely upon the rock of Christ.

The beacon of light represented by Helaman and his righteous leadership offers a stark contrast to the dark shadow of Gadianton, who simultaneously rises up to establish his murderous campaign of intrigue and secret combinations inspired by Satan. In fact, it is only the shrewd intervention of Helaman’s servant that prevents Kishkumen, Gadianton’s accomplice, from murdering the chief judge. But Helaman stands as a pillar of strength for his people, helping them to avoid pride and contention: “They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God” (Helaman 3:35).

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2