“There Was Not a Living Soul Among All the People of the Nephites Who Did Doubt in the Least the Words of All the Holy Prophets”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

The rejoicing among the Nephites as recorded in Chapter 4, was, indeed, sincere. Together, they magnified the Lord and exalted His Holy Name. Their joy and gladness was not occasioned by a showing of material strength, in and of themselves, but they rejoiced in the Lord, they joyed in the God of their salvation because He, seeing their repentance and their humility, had, in His mercy and His righteousness, delivered them from "an everlasting destruction." Their thoughts, undoubtedly, were like those of the Psalmist, only King David spoke for the individual, they for the multitude: Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew in us steadfast spirits. Cast us not away from Thy presence, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from us. Restore unto us the joy of Thy salvation, and hereafter let willing hearts uphold us. (See, Psalm 51:11-12)

The abridger of the Larger Plates of Nephi, Mormon, had many other records from which to draw his studied comments, because the Nephites kept many rather complete accounts of the happenings among their people. We refer particularly to Mormon's own words that are recorded in Helaman 3:13-16: "And now there are many records kept of the proceedings of this people, by many of this people, which are particular and very large, concerning them. But behold, a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, yea, the account of the Lamanites and of the Nephites, and their wars, and contentions, and dissensions, and their preaching, and their prophecies, and their shipping and their building of ships, and their building of temples, and of synagogues and their sanctuaries, and their righteousness, and their wickedness, and their murders, and their robbings, and their plunderings, and all manner of abominations and whoredoms, cannot be contained in this work.

But behold, there are many books and many records of every kind, and they have been kept chiefly by the Nephites. And they have been handed down from one generation to another by the Nephites" (See, verses 8-9)

Among the many other things of which records had been kept, Mormon notes were the preaching and the prophecies of the Nephites. A knowledge of things to come was had by all the people, and none of them doubted in the least that the words of "all the holy prophets" must be fulfilled. In making this important deduction, the Spirit of the Lord was with them and upon them. Many things contributed to the firmness of their belief. With their own eyes they had seen the deliverance of the Lord. Their own strength, they knew to be absolute weakness when compared to God's, their wisdom but foolishness. Together, all things presaged for them a glorious future, and unitedly, as with one voice, they proclaimed: "The Lord is God, and besides Him, there is none other." Only recently, Samuel the Lamanite, one of God's holy prophets, had foretold the coming of Jesus Christ, their Lord and God Who was actually the Son of the Eternal Father, to redeem all mankind. Of His coming, Samuel gave certain signs that would witness His birth. The Nephites had beheld these signs, so why not, they joyously pondered, should not all the words of the prophets likewise be fulfilled.

The faith of the Nephites in the words of the prophets, telling them of Jesus Christ, His birth, death, and resurrection, together with many blessings which God had vouchsafed them including His deliverance of them from destruction by the Gadianton Robbers, so melted their hard hearts, that they, as one, bowed before the Majesty on High, and, the Sacred Record says: "They did forsake all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve God with all diligence day and night."

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7