“There Was Silence in the Land for the Space of Many Hours”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

After a period of silence in the land, the voice of the Savior continues to teach the people in preparation for his appearance. It tells them that the destruction of many of the cities and their wicked inhabitants had been done because they would not repent and turn to Christ.

Evidencing his long-suffering and mercy, the Lord instructs the people that he would have protected them and gathered them if they had but hearkened to his word as spoken by the mouths of the holy prophets. The prophesied destruction could have been averted had the people accepted the Messiah’s beckoning call to partake of his mercy.

He now invites the survivors to return to him “with full purpose of heart.” This episode is a type and shadow of future events. He continues his efforts to gather us of modern Israel “as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings.” The prophecies of destructions in the last days, like these, are conditional prophetic warnings- meaning that they will only come if the people ignore the voice of warning and refuse the invitation to partake of the mercy of the Master.

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4