Nephi’s Preaching and Prophecies

Murder and Conspiracy at the Judgment Seat

Helaman 9:1–2

Upon hearing Nephi’s prophecy, five men run to the judgment seat to verify Nephi’s words.

Behold, now it came to pass that when Nephi had spoken these words, certain men who were among them ran to the judgment–seat; yea, even there were five who went, and they said among themselves, as they went:

“Behold, now we will know of a surety whether this man be a prophet and God hath commanded him to prophesy such marvelous things unto us. Behold, we do not believe that he hath; yea, we do not believe that he is a prophet; nevertheless, if this thing which he has said concerning the chief judge be true, that he be dead, then will we believe that the other words which he has spoken are true.”

Helaman 9:3–5

The five men arrive at the judgment seat, and find that the chief judge is indeed dead—they are shocked, and fall to the ground, convulsing.

And it came to pass that they ran in their might, and came in unto the judgment–seat; and behold, the chief judge had fallen to the earth, and did lie in his blood. And now behold, when they saw this they were astonished exceedingly, insomuch that they fell to the earth; for they had not believed the words which Nephi had spoken concerning the chief judge. But now, when they saw they believed, and fear came upon them lest all the judgments which Nephi had spoken should come upon the people; therefore they did quake, and had fallen to the earth.

Helaman 9:6–8

Other people arrive, and see the dead chief judge, and five men on the ground; they assume that the five men are the murderers.

Now, immediately when the judge had been murdered—he being stabbed by his brother by a garb of secrecy, and he fled, and the servants ran and told the people, raising the cry of murder among them; And behold the people did gather themselves together unto the place of the judgment–seat—and behold, to their astonishment they saw those five men who had fallen to the earth. And now behold, the people knew nothing concerning the multitude who had gathered together at the garden of Nephi; therefore they said among themselves:

“These men are they who have murdered the judge,
and God has smitten them that they could not flee from us.”

Helaman 9:9

The people proclaim that the chief judge has been murdered and the guilty party is in custody.

And it came to pass that they laid hold on them, and bound them and cast them into prison. And there was a proclamation sent abroad that the judge was slain, and that the murderers had been taken and were cast into prison.

Helaman 9:10–12

The next day, at the funeral, the corrupt officials who opposed Nephi the day before ask the people what happened to the five men that were sent to verify Nephi’s words.

And it came to pass that on the morrow the people did assemble themselves together to mourn and to fast, at the burial of the great chief judge who had been slain. And thus also those judges who were at the garden of Nephi, and heard his words, were also gathered together at the burial. And it came to pass that they inquired among the people, saying:

“Where are the five who were sent to inquire
concerning the chief judge whether he was dead?”

Helaman 9:12

The people reply that know nothing of five men sent to verify Nephi’s words, but that five men were in custody for killing the judge.

And they answered and said:

“Concerning this five whom ye say ye have sent, we know not;
but there are five who are the murderers,
whom we have cast into prison.”

Helaman 9:13–15

The officials summon the five prisoners, who explain that the chief judge was dead upon their arrival, and that Nephi’s words are true.

And it came to pass that the judges desired that they should be brought; and they were brought, and behold they were the five who were sent; and behold the judges inquired of them to know, concerning the matter, and they told them all that they had done, saying:

“We ran and came to the place of the judgment–seat, and when we saw all things even as Nephi had testified, we were astonished insomuch that we fell to the earth; and when we were recovered from our astonishment, behold they cast us into prison. Now, as for the murder of this man, we know not who has done it; and only this much we know, we ran and came according as ye desired, and behold he was dead, according to the words of Nephi. ”

Helaman 9:16–17

The officials determine that Nephi must have been a co–conspirator in the plot to kill the chief judge.

And now it came to pass that the judges did expound the matter unto the people, and did cry out against Nephi, saying:

“Behold, we know that this Nephi must have agreed with some one to slay the judge, and then he might declare it unto us, that he might convert us unto his faith, that he might raise himself to be a great man, chosen of God, and a prophet. And now behold, we will detect this man, and he shall confess his fault and make known unto us the true murderer of this judge. ”

Helaman 9:18

The five men are freed, but they oppose the accusations against Nephi.

And it came to pass that the five were liberated on the day of the burial. Nevertheless, they did rebuke the judges in the words which they had spoken against Nephi, and did contend with them one by one, insomuch that they did confound them.