“That Many Saints Did Arise and Appear Unto Many
_and Did Minister Unto Them”

Alan C. Miner

During the second day of his visit to the Nephites, the Lord asked Nephi to bring forth the records which had been kept. He reminded Nephi he had commanded Samuel to testify that many would arise from the dead and appear to many at the time of his resurrection and noted this had not been recorded (3 Nephi 23:7-13). Accordingly, the missing scripture was added to the record. According to Lynn Johnson, on the surface, this account seems straightforward enough. The Savior shows his concern that the scriptures be complete, and a prior omission is rectified. But what was omitted? Was it a record of the prophecy, or a record of the fulfillment of the prophecy?

There are several indications that the prophecy was missing in their records. The Savior's question in verse 9 appears to support this interpretation. If the prophecy had been written in the records he had before him, it is doubtful he would have reminded them that they hadn't recorded the fulfillment. Their response, "Yea, Lord, Samuel did prophesy according to thy words" (3 Nephi 23:10), is consistent with a missing record of the prophecy. Such a statement would not have been called for if they were looking at the written prophecy. [D. Lynn Johnson, "The Missing Scripture," in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Fall 1994, p. 84-91] [see the commentary on Helaman 14:25]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary