“It Was the More Righteous Part of the People Who Were Saved”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

Mormon seeks in these verses to impress upon those unto whom his work will come that it was because of their desire unto righteousness that the more righteous were saved. Those who were delivered from untimely death and also destruction, were "they who received the prophets, and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the Saints." Let us not forget that not only were the righteous among them, delivered from physical destruction, and their annals corroborate this fact, but they were all of that generation emancipated from sin. It is recorded of them, "For none of them are lost." The Savior's own words confirm this: "And now, behold, My joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you, and also of this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost." (III Nephi 27:30)

Mormon now appeals to the reader of his abridgment of the times herein spoken, to search the Scriptures, and find out for themselves whether or not the fire, and smoke, the tempests and whirlwinds, the opening of the earth's crust to receive the wicked, "and all these things were not unto the fulfilling of the prophecies of many of the holy prophets." (v. 14) We quote fully the fifteenth verse that the point Mormon seeks to make, is definitely understood: "Behold, I say unto you, Yea, many have testified of these things at the coming of Christ, and were slain because they testified of these things." (See, Helaman 14)

Among the many prophets who Mormon said had testified concerning the great convulsions of the earth and the terrible experiences of the inhabitants living in the Western Hemisphere during the time of the Savior's death and while His body lay in its tomb, he mentioned as noteworthy the Prophets Zenock and Zenos. Mormon was especially purposeful in naming these two, because, he said, "They testified particularly concerning us, who are a remnant of their seed." (v. 16)

Zenock was a Prophet of Israel, but of his personal history, or to what age he belonged, we know nothing. His writings were familiar to the Nephites as he was quoted by Nephi (Helaman 8:20), and Mormon.

Zenos was a Hebrew Prophet who was also quoted by the Nephite servants of God. All we are told of his personal history is that he was slain because he testified boldly of what God had revealed to him. That he was a man greatly blessed of the Lord with the spirit of prophecy is shown in that wonderful and almost incomparable Parable of the Tame Olive Tree given at length by Jacob (Helaman 15:11), and by Mormon.

Not only did Zenos and Zenock testify that the Nephites were of the House of Israel, calling them a remnant of Jacob's seed, but Jacob himself, the father of all Israel, testified "concerning a remnant of the seed of Joseph," his son. "And behold, are not we a remnant of the seed of Joseph? And these things which testify of us, are they not written upon the Plates of Brass which our father Lehi brought out of Jerusalem?"

That the Nephites were of Israel, and a remnant of Joseph's seed-that same Joseph who was sold into Egypt-is attested by the words of Moroni, the leader of the Nephite armies over a hundred years previously: "Yea, let us preserve our liberty as a remnant of Joseph; yea, let us remember the words of Jacob, before his death, for behold, he saw that a part of the remnant of the coat of Joseph was preserved and had not decayed. And he said-Even as this remnant of garment of my son hath been preserved, so shall a remnant of the seed of my son be preserved by the hand of God, and be taken unto Himself, while the remainder of the seed of Joseph shall perish, even as the remnant of this garment." (Alma 46:24)

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 7