Helaman, son of Helaman and grandson of Alma the Younger, enjoyed the blessing of a distinguished family legacy of spiritual values upon which to build his service as chief judge in Zarahemla. This was slightly over a century before the coming of the resurrected Christ to America. Having survived an assassination attempt, Helaman presided over a period of great economic development and exceptional growth in the church. “And so great was the prosperity of the church, and so many the blessings which were poured out upon the people, that even the high priests and the teachers were themselves astonished beyond measure. And it came to pass that the work of the Lord did prosper unto the baptizing and uniting to the church of God, many souls, yea, even tens of thousands”. Helaman later bestowed upon his two sons, Nephi and Lehi, inspired patriarchal blessings.
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
History: Helaman’s tenure as chief judge lasted from approximately 50 BC to 39 BC. His righteous leadership offered a stark contrast to the intrigues and secret combinations of Gadianton, who rose to power at the same time. In fact, it was only the intervention of Helaman’s servant that prevented Kishkumen, Gadianton’s accomplice, from murdering the chief judge. Under the influence of Helaman, his people “did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God”.
Mormon characterized this period as one of spiritual rejuvenation, rejoicing, and peace.
Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—
And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.
And in this year there was continual rejoicing in the land of Zarahemla, and in all the regions round about, even in all the land which was possessed by the Nephites.
And it came to pass that there was peace and exceedingly great joy in the remainder of the forty and ninth year; yea, and also there was continual peace and great joy in the fiftieth year of the reign of the judges.
Helaman named his sons after two of their ancestors, the prophets Nephi and Lehi.