Helaman Chapter 7 Critique
Setting: Nephi is rejected in
the north and returns to Zarahemla—He prays upon his garden tower and
then calls upon the people to repent or perish. About 23–21 B.C.
Verses 1-3: Behold, now it came
to pass in the sixty and ninth year of the reign of the judges over the
people of the Nephites, that Nephi, the son of Helaman, returned to the
land of Zarahemla from the land northward. For he had been forth among
the people who were in the land northward, and did preach the word of
God unto them, and did prophesy many things unto them; And they did
reject all his words, insomuch that he could not stay among them, but
returned again unto the land of his nativity.
Note: Pre-Columbian natives were polytheistic pagans.
The name Teōtīhuacān was given by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs centuries
after the fall of the city around 550 A.D. The term has been glossed as
"birthplace of the gods", or "place where gods were born", reflecting
Nahua creation myths that were said to occur in Teotihuacan. Nahuatl
scholar Thelma D. Sullivan interprets the name as "place of those who
have the road of the gods." Wikipedia Encyclopedia.
Verses 4-6: And seeing the
people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers
filling the judgment-seats—having usurped the power and authority of
the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least
aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men;
Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the
guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and
moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do
according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the
world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery,
and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills— Now this
great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many
years; and when Nephi saw it, his heart was swollen with sorrow within
his breast; and he did exclaim in the agony of his soul:
Note: It generally takes a generation for apostasy to develop.
And may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation
that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God. Psalm 78:8
Verses 7-9: Oh, that I could
have had my days in the days when my father Nephi first came out of the
land of Jerusalem, that I could have joyed with him in the promised
land; then were his people easy to be entreated, firm to keep the
commandments of God, and slow to be led to do iniquity; and they were
quick to hearken unto the words of the Lord— Yea, if my days could have
been in those days, then would my soul have had joy in the
righteousness of my brethren. But behold, I am consigned that these are
my days, and that my soul shall be filled with sorrow because of this
the wickedness of my brethren.
Note: Jerusalem is a city and the promised land is not America.
Now Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying:
“Keep all the commandments which I command you today. And it shall be,
on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the Lord
your God is giving you, that you shall set up for yourselves large
stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the
words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the
land which the Lord your God is giving you, ‘a land flowing with milk
and honey,’ just as the Lord God of your fathers promised you.
Verses 10-11: And behold, now
it came to pass that it was upon a tower, which was in the garden of
Nephi, which was by the highway which led to the chief market, which
was in the city of Zarahemla; therefore, Nephi had bowed himself upon
the tower which was in his garden, which tower was also near unto the
garden gate by which led the highway. And it came to pass that there
were certain men passing by and saw Nephi as he was pouring out his
soul unto God upon the tower; and they ran and told the people what
they had seen, and the people came together in multitudes that they
might know the cause of so great mourning for the wickedness of the
Note: Sidney Rigdon paraphrases the Biblical account of Daniel.
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in
his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down
on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before
his God, as was his custom since early days. Then these men assembled
and found Daniel praying and making supplication before his God. And
they went before the king, and spoke concerning the king’s decree:
“Have you not signed a decree that every man who petitions any god or
man within thirty days, except you, O king, shall be cast into the den
of lions?” Daniel 6:10-12.
Verses 12-27: And now, when
Nephi arose he beheld the multitudes of people who had gathered
together. And it came to pass that he opened his mouth and said unto
them: Behold, why have ye gathered yourselves together? That I may tell
you of your iniquities? Yea, because I have got upon my tower that I
might pour out my soul unto my God, because of the exceeding sorrow of
my heart, which is because of your iniquities! And because of my
mourning and lamentation ye have gathered yourselves together, and do
marvel; yea, and ye have great need to marvel; yea, ye ought to marvel
because ye are given away that the devil has got so great hold upon
your hearts. Yea, how could you have given way to the enticing of him
who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and
endless wo? O repent ye, repent ye! Why will ye die? Turn ye, turn ye
unto the Lord your God. Why has he forsaken you? It is because you have
hardened your hearts; yea, ye will not hearken unto the voice of the
good shepherd; yea, ye have provoked him to anger against you. And
behold, instead of gathering you, except ye will repent, behold, he
shall scatter you forth that ye shall become meat for dogs and wild
beasts. O, how could you have forgotten your God in the very day that
he has delivered you? But behold, it is to get gain, to be praised of
men, yea, and that ye might get gold and silver. And ye have set your
hearts upon the riches and the vain things of this world, for the which
ye do murder, and plunder, and steal, and bear false witness against
your neighbor, and do all manner of iniquity. And for this cause wo
shall come unto you except ye shall repent. For if ye will not repent,
behold, this great city, and also all those great cities which are
round about, which are in the land of our possession, shall be taken
away that ye shall have no place in them; for behold, the Lord will not
grant unto you strength, as he has hitherto done, to withstand against
your enemies. For behold, thus saith the Lord: I will not show unto the
wicked of my strength, to one more than the other, save it be unto
those who repent of their sins, and hearken unto my words. Now
therefore, I would that ye should behold, my brethren, that it shall be
better for the Lamanites than for you except ye shall repent. For
behold, they are more righteous than you, for they have not sinned
against that great knowledge which ye have received; therefore the Lord
will be merciful unto them; yea, he will lengthen out their days and
increase their seed, even when thou shalt be utterly destroyed except
thou shalt repent. Yea, wo be unto you because of that great
abomination which has come among you; and ye have united yourselves
unto it, yea, to that secret band which was established by Gadianton!
Yea, wo shall come unto you because of that pride which ye have
suffered to enter your hearts, which has lifted you up beyond that
which is good because of your exceedingly great riches! Yea, wo be unto
you because of your wickedness and abominations!
Note: Ye and Yea are middle English words.
Ye (IPA: /jiː/) is a second-person, plural, personal pronoun
(nominative), spelled in Old English as "ge". In Middle English and
Early Modern English, it was used to address an equal or superior
person. Google Definition.
Verse 28: And except ye repent
ye shall perish; yea, even your lands shall be taken from you, and ye
shall be destroyed from off the face of the earth.
Note: Sidney Rigdon paraphases the Holy Bible.
“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3.
Verse 29: Behold now, I do not
say that these things shall be, of myself, because it is not of myself
that I know these things; but behold, I know that these things are true
because the Lord God has made them known unto me, therefore I testify
that they shall be.
Note: True prophets never have to validate themselves.
The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. Hear this,
you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has anything
like this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?
Tell your children about it, let your children tell their children, and
their children another generation. Joel 1:1-3.
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