Helaman 1-6

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The Book of Helaman begins as the record of Helaman – son of Helaman, grandson of Alma the Younger, We will see more warfare between the Lamanites and the Nephites.  But these wars will not be the main, focus.  Rather, Mormon who is abridging the record will show us that internal dissension and corruption are far more dangerous to a nation than its outside enemies.  At this point in the Book of Mormon is only 52 years before the birth of Christ and about 85 years before the destruction of the wicked at the coming of the resurrected Christ to the Nephites. 

Helaman 1:1 “AND now behold, it came to pass in the commencement of the fortieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, there began to be a serious difficulty among the people of the Nephites.” 

Helaman 1:2 “For behold, Pahoran had died, and gone the way of all the earth; therefore there began to be a serious contention concerning who should have the judgment-seat among the brethren, who were the sons of Pahoran.” Pahoran had been the third chief judge of the Nephites.

Helaman 1:3 “Now these are their names who did contend for the judgment-seat, who did also cause the people to contend: Pahoran, Paanchi, and Pacumeni.” 

Helaman 1:4-5 These three men caused three divisions among the people.  But the majority of the people voted Pahoran to be the chief judge. 

Helaman 1:6 Pacumeni went along with his brother’s selection.

Helaman 1:7-8 On the other hand, Paanchi and his supporters were angry and were about to rise, up in rebellion. But he was arrested and tried and condemned to death for trying to destroy the liberty of the people.

Helaman 1:9 “Now when those people who were desirous that he should be their governor saw that he was condemned to death, therefore they were angry, and behold, they sent forth one Kishkumen, even to the judgment-seat of Pahoran, and murdered Pahoran as he sat upon the judgment seat.”  The phrase “saw that he was condemned” is in Matthew 27:3 and, “he sat upon the” is in Matthew 24:3. 

Helaman 1:10 Kishkumen was pursued but he got away.

Helaman 1:11 “And he went unto those that sent him, and they all entered into a covenant, yea, swearing by their everlasting Maker, that they would tell no man that Kishkumen had murdered Pahoran.”  They used the name of God to make this evil covenant to keep this murder secret.  The words “tell no man that” are in Luke 9:21.

Helaman 1:12 “Therefore, Kishkumen was not known among the people of Nephi, for he was in disguise at the time that he murdered Pahoran.  And Kishkumen and his band, who had covenanted with him, did mingle themselves among the people, in a manner that they all could not be found; but as many as were found were condemned to death.” 

Helaman 1:13 The only living one of the three rival brothers left was Pacumeni, so he was elected chief judge.  ^The words “all this was done” are in Matthew 1:22.

Helaman 1:14 “And it came to pass in the forty and first year of the reign of the judges, that the Lamanites had gathered together an innumerable army of men, and armed them with swords, and with cimeters and with bows, and with arrows, and with head-plates, and with breastplates, and with all manner of shields of every kind.”  Wouldn’t it be cool if there were some of these war implements uncovered by archeologists?  Yet no evidence for such weapons in the Pre-Columbian New World has ever been found.    The phrase “gathered together an innumerable” is from Luke 12:1. 

Helaman 1:15-20 The Lamanites were led by a large and mighty man named Coriantumr, a Nephite dissenter.  Tubaloth, the Lamanite king stirred up his people to march down to Zarahemla to fight the Nephites.  Before the Nephites could react, Coriantumr’s army took possession of the whole city of Zarahemla. 

Helaman 1:18 ^The words “into the heart of” are in 2 Corinthians 8:16.

Helaman 1:21 When Pacumeni, the chief judge tried to flee, Coriantumr killed him. 

Helaman 1:22-24 Coriantumr was now encouraged to march forth to the city of Bountiful, towards the center of the land killing many Nephites along the way and taking possession of many cities.   

Helaman 1:25-27 Moronihah, Captain Moroni’s son, sees an advantage because the Nephite armies were on the borders of the land.  He develops a strategy to defeat the enemy. 

Helaman 1:28-32 Moronihah sent Lehi and his army to cut off the Lamanites in the land of Bountiful.  A great battle ensued, and many were killed, including Coriantumr.  The Lamanites could not retreat because they were surrounded by the Nephites.  So, the Lamanites had to surrender to the Nephites.

Helaman 1:31 The 1830 edition page 410 makes a double-negative statement when it says, “the Lamanites could not retreat neither way.” In later editions “neither” was changed to either.”

Helaman 1:32 ^The words “insomuch that they were” are in Mark 2:12.

Helaman 1:33 “And it came to pass that Moronihah took possession of the city of Zarahemla again, and caused that the Lamanites who had been taken prisoners should depart out of the land in peace.”

Helaman 1:34 “And thus ended the forty and first year of the reign of the judges.”

Helaman 2:1-2 With Pacumeni dead, there began to be contention over who should fill the judgment-seat.  Helaman, who was the son of, Helaman and the grandson of Alma the Younger was voted in as chief judge.  We will see that Helaman is a righteous man, who will keep the record of the Nephites now, and is the one after whom this Book of Helaman is named.  He will serve as chief judge for about 11 years.

Helaman 2:3 “But behold, Kishkumen, who had murdered Pahoran, did lay wait to destroy Helaman also; and he was upheld by his band, who had entered into a covenant that no one should know his wickedness.” 

Helaman 2:4 “For there was one Gadianton, who was exceedingly expert in many words, and also in his craft, to carry on the secret work of murder and of robbery; therefore he became the leader of the band of Kishkumen.”  This band will become known as the Gadianton robbers and will cause untold damage to the Nephite nation.

Helaman 2:5 “Therefore he did flatter them, and also Kishkumen, that if they would place him in judgment-seat he would grant unto those who belonged to his band that they should be placed in power and authority among the people; therefore Kishkumen sought to destroy Helaman.”

Helaman 2:6-7 During the night, one of Helaman’s servants dressed in disguise to spy on Kishkumen’s band of robbers and learn of their plans.  Then, as Kishkumen went forward with the intent to kill Helaman, this servant disguised as a Gadianton, and working as a double-agent for Helaman, met Kishkumen and gave him a sign that he would escort Kishkumen to the judgment-seat to kill Helaman. 

Helaman 2:8 “And when the servant of Helaman had known all the heart of Kishkumen, and how that it was his object to murder, and also that it was the object of all those who belonged to his band to murder, and to rob, and to gain power, (and this was their secret plan, and their combination) the servant of Helaman said unto Kishkumen: Let us go forth to the judgment-seat.”  Power was the ultimate objective.  Robbery and murder were merely the means to that end.

Helaman 2:9 But, as they proceeded forth to the judgment-seat, the servant of Helaman stabbed Kishkumen in the heart, killing him.  Then he ran and told Helaman everything he had seen, heard, and done.

Helaman 2:10-11 Helaman’s men went after the band of robbers and murderers to bring them to justice by execution.  When Kishkumen did not return, Gadianton took his band out of the land by a secret way into the wilderness so that Helaman could not find them. 

Helaman 2:12 Mormon tells us that more of this Gadianton will be spoken about. 

Helaman 2:13 “And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that this Gadianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.” ^The words “in the end of this” are in Matthew 13:40.

Helaman 2:14 “Behold I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, but I mean the end of the book of Nephi, from which I have taken all the account which I have written.”  Mormon is speaking of the Large Plates of Nephi – basically the whole Book of Mormon. 

Helaman 3 In this chapter, we will cover 10 years including several historical details. 

Helaman 3:1-2 There was no contention but a little pride among the Nephites during the next couple of years.

Helaman 3:1 ^The phrase “was in the church” is in Acts 7:38.

Helaman 3:3-4 Eventually, contentions and dissensions increased.  And, a great many departed out of the land of Zarahemla and traveled northward looking for a place to resettle. They journeyed far until they came to large bodies of water and many rivers.  Some LDS scholars think this maybe the Great Lakes Region of North America.

Helaman 3:5-6 They spread throughout the land called desolate – that was once inhabited by the extinct Jaradites (see Mosiah 8:8)

Helaman3:7 “And there being but little timber upon the face of the land, nevertheless the people who went forth became exceedingly expert in the working of cement; therefore they did build houses of cement, in the which they did dwell.”  It is highly questionable that cement was fabricated before the Pre-Columbian Era.

Helaman 3:8 Helaman says they multiplied and spread out so much that the Nephites covered the whole earth, between the seas on all sides. 

Helaman 3:9 Because of the scarcity of trees, these settlers became tree-huggers. “And the people who were in the land northward did dwell in tents, and in houses of cement, and they did suffer whatsoever tree should spring up upon the face of the land that it should grow up, that in time they might have timber to build their houses, yea, their cities, and their temples, and their synagogues, and their sanctuaries, and all manner of their buildings.”  ^The words “their synagogues” are in Matthew 4:23.

Helaman 3:10-11 Those in the south began shipping timber to the north so they could start building their cities. 

Helaman 3:12 Many of the people of Ammon also migrated north.

Helaman 3:13-17 At this point, Mormon inserts a comment about the Nephite records that were being kept, revealing that the records were many and very, large and did not contain a hundredth part of the events of these people.  Kept mainly by the Nephites, they were passed from one generation to another, even during the time when the Nephites lost their way spiritually. 

There is an interesting quote from Brigham Young in which he tells of the equivalent of several wagon loads of metal plates used in record keeping, which were in a room in a cave in the Hill Cumorah when Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery returned the plates. (see Journal of Discourses Vol. 19 pages 38-39) 

Helaman 3:18-19 As time went on, there was still great contention in the land.

Helaman 3:20 “Nevertheless Helaman did fill the judgment-seat with justice and equity yea, he did observe to keep the statutes, and the judgments, and the commandments of God; and he did do that which was right in the sight of God continually; and he did walk after the ways of his father, insomuch that he did prosper in the Land.”  ^The phrase “right in the sight of God” is in Acts 4:19.

Helaman 3:21 “And it came to pass that he had two sons.  He gave unto the eldest the name of Nephi, and unto the youngest, the name of Lehi.  And they began to grow up unto the Lord.” In Helaman 5:6 we are told why Helaman gave his two sons those names.  I think you can guess. 

Helaman 3:23 “And it came to pass in the forty and ninth year of the reign of the judges, there was continual peace established in the land, all save it were the secret combinations which Gadianton the robber had established in the more settled parts of the land, which at that time were not known unto those who were at the head of government; therefore they were not destroyed out of the land.” In the 1830 edition page 414 it read “Gadianton the noblerwhich was changed in later editions to “Gadianton the robber.”

Speaking of the “secret combinations” in this verse and Gadianton’s band of men – these ideas came from contemporary events of Joseph Smith’s day.  His characters in the Book of Mormon made these gruesome blood oaths (see Ether 8:14) that Smith drew from Masonic interpretations.  Smith’s fascination with Masonry commenced with his Book of Mormon stories, continued with the formulation of his own secret band of Danites, and culminated with his own involvement in Masonry which he thoroughly incorporated into Mormon temple ceremonies.  “Combination” means “conspiracy” or “agreement” or “coalition”.  Near Joseph Smith’s home, a man named William Morgan was murdered for divulging Masonic secrets oaths and criminal activity was everywhere.  The Gadianton robbers seem to emerge primarily from Joseph Smith’s environment. 

Helaman 3:24-26 There was exceedingly great prosperity in the church with tens of thousands of people being baptized. 

Helaman 3:26 ^The words “to the church” are in Acts 2:47.

Helaman 3:27 Mormon inserts an editorial comment “Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon his holy name.”

Helaman 3:28 “Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.” The phrase “the name of Jesus Christ” is in 1 Corinthians 1:2 and, “is the Son of God” in 1 John 5:5.

Helaman 3:29 “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 –“  The words “the wiles of the devil” are from Ephesians 6:11.

Helaman 3:30 “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.” The phrase “at the right hand of God” is in Romans 8:34 and, “the kingdom of heaven” in Matthew 3:2.

Helaman 3:31-32 There was continual peace and great joy up till the fiftieth year of the reign of the judges.

Helaman 3:31 In the 1830 edition page 414 it read “And there were but little alteration in the affairs.”  The word werein later editions was changed to was.”

Helaman 3:33-34 Then pride began to enter, into the hearts of those who were members of the church.  They began persecuting poorer members of the church.

Helaman 3:34 ^The words “much affliction” are in 1 Thessalonians 1:6.

Helaman 3:35 “Nevertheless they 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.”  The words “the faith of Christ” are in Philippians 3:9 and, “joy and consolation” are in Philemon 1:7.

Helaman 3:36 Pride grew daily in their hearts because of their riches and prosperity.

Helaman 3:37 “And it came to pass in the fifty and third year of the reign of the judges, Helaman died, and his eldest son Nephi began to reign in his stead.  And it came to pass that he did fill the judgment-seat with justice and equity; yea, he did keep the commandments of God, and did walk in the ways of his father.” 

Helaman 4:1 It is about 38 BC. and Mormon comments “And it came to pass in the fifty and fourth year there were many dissensions, in the church, and there was also a contention among the people, insomuch that there was much bloodshed.” 

Helaman 4:2 “And the rebellious part were slain and driven out of the land, and they did go unto the king of the Lamanites.”

Helaman 4:3-4 These Nephite dissenters or apostates eventually succeeded in stirring up the Lamanites in anger to prepare for war against the Nephites. 

Helaman 4:3 In the 1830 edition page 415 it read “the Lamanites were exceeding fraidwhich was changed in the 1964 edition to read “the Lamanites were exceedingly afraid.”

Helaman 4:5 The Lamanites attacked the Nephites and up to 34 BC. succeeded in taking over the land of Zarahemla. 

Helaman 4:6-10 Nephite commander-in-chief, Moronihah and his army were pushed back to the land of Bountiful. But eventually they succeeded in regaining half of the land and cities back from the Lamanites. 

Helaman 4:8 ^The words “all this was done” are in Matthew 1:22.

Helaman 4:11 “Now this great loss of the Nephites, and the great slaughter which was among them, would not have happened had it not been for their wickedness and their abomination which was among them; yea, and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God.”  This “great slaughter” was God’s way of punishing the Nephites for their wickedness. 

Helaman 4:12-13 Mormon lists the reasons for the Nephites disastrous defeats – pride of the heart, exceeding riches, oppression of the poor, hungry, and naked, denying the spirit of prophecy and revelation, murdering, plundering, lying, stealing, committing adultery, deserting to the Lamanites, and raising contentions. 

Helaman 4:12 In the 1830 edition page 416 the word stealingwas misspelled “steeling” which was changed in later editionsThe phrase “the spirit of prophecy” is in Revelation 19:10.

Helaman 4:14 “But behold, Moronihah did preach many things unto the people because of their iniquity, and also Nephi and Lehi, who were the sons of Helaman, did preach many things unto the people, yea, and did prophesy many things unto them concerning their iniquities, and what should come unto them if they did not repent of their sins.”  ^The words “of their sins” are in Luke 1:77.

Helaman 4:15-16 As the people repented, Moronihah was able to reclaim one half of their property and land. 

Helaman 4:16 In the 1830 edition page 416 it read “even until they had retained the one-half of their property” which was changed in the 1964 edition to read regained the one-half of their property.” 

Helaman 4:17-20 By 30 BC. Moronihah could obtain no more over the Lamanites, therefore they decided to protect the lands they had taken. 

Helaman 4:20 ^The words “trodden down, and” are in Luke 8:5.

Helaman 4:21-25 Mormon will point out what happened to the Nephite government, which had been founded upon the laws and commandments of God as King Mosiah II set it up back in Mosiah chapter 29.  The Nephites had ignored the commandments and corrupted the laws of the land.  They had become wicked and unbelieving, like the Lamanites causing the church to dwindle.  Without the Spirit of the Lord, they became weak as the Lamanites grew in strength.     

Helaman 4:22 The words “insomuch that they were” are in Mark 2:12.

Helaman 4:24 The words “withdrawn from them” are in Luke 22:41.

Helaman 4:26 “For behold, they saw that the strength of the Lamanites was as great as their strength, even man for man.  And thus had they fallen into this great transgression; yea, thus had they become weak, because of their transgression, in the space of not many years.” 

Helaman 5 Just a heads-up… In this chapter, it says, “And it came to pass” 21 times and it says, “Behold” 23 times.

Helaman 5:1 As we begin this chapter, Nephi will do as his great-grand father Alma the Younger did, namely give up the office of chief judge in order to devote all of his time to preaching the gospel.  A man whose name was Cezoram took over his judgment-seat.  The words “a man whose name was” are in Luke 1:27.

Helaman 5:2-3 Because of their wickedness and the corruption of their laws, the Nephites were ripening for destruction.

Helaman 5:4 “And it came to pass that Nephi had become weary, because of their iniquity; and he yielded up the judgment-seat, and took it upon him to preach the word of God all the remainder of his days, and his brother Lehi also, all the remainder of his days;” The words “to preach the word” are in Acts 16:6.

Helaman 5:5 “For they remembered the words which their father Helaman spake unto them.  And these are the words which he spake:” In this chapter, the words “remembered” and “remember” appear at least 15 times.  The phrase “the words which he spake” is in Acts 20:38.

Helaman 5:6 What is in a name?  Helaman is quoted as he explains why he gave his sons the names “Nephi” and “Lehi.” “Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words.  Behold I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.”  Interesting that Helaman would tell his sons to remember their ancestors “good” “works” instead of their “great” “faith.”  ^The words “I desire that ye” are in Ephesians 3:13.

Helaman 5:7 Then Helaman wishes his sons would do good also.

Helaman 5:8 “And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers.”  Sounds like the “precious gift of eternal life” is not contingent on their faith as the Bible teaches.  In Nephite and LDS theology, “eternal life” is not a gift at all – it is earned through a life of performing good works.  And, in Nephite and LDS theology “eternal life” means exaltation in the highest degree of glory in the celestial kingdom.  In other words, becoming gods and living in a family unit forever.  The “gift of eternal life” is clearly explained in Ephesians 2:8-10 “For by grace we are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” You cannot get any clearer or truthful than that. And that should have been the message Helaman taught.  The words “lay up for yourselves” are in Matthew 6:20 and, “is eternal” are in Romans 6:23 and, “fadeth not away” in 1 Peter 5:4 and, “eternal life” in Matthew 19:16.

Helaman 5:9 “O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world.”  (see Mosiah 2-5).  ^The phrase “blood of Jesus Christ” is in 1 John 1:7.

Helaman 5:10 “And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.” (see Alma 11:34-37).

Helaman 5:11 “And he hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore he hath sent his angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.”  Conditions of repentance?  The words “from the Father” are in 2 John 1:4 and, “unto the power” are in Luke 20:20.

Helaman 5:12 Next, Helaman draws directly from the New Testament. “And now, 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.”  The words “Christ, the Son of God” are in Mark 1:1 and, “when the devil” are in Luke 11:14. 

The title of “Christ” is from the Greek word “Khristos”, which is the translation of the Hebrew word “Messias” which means “anointed one.”  The word “Christ” never appears in the Hebrew Old Testament, and we only see “Messias” used twice in the Greek New Testament.  “Messias” is only mentioned twice in the entire Old Testament (see Daniel 9:25-26).  Yet, it is used 26 times in the Book of Mormon during the Old Testament era.   The Greek term “Christ” is used 186 times in the Book of Mormon during the Old Testament era.  In this verse, Alma 36:17 the name AND title “Jesus Christ” are used together nearly 100 years before He is born.  No one knew the Son of God born of Mary – including Mary – was going to be called “Jesus” until the angel announced it to Mary.    

Helaman 5:13-15 Nephi and Lehi went forth preaching to the Nephites from city to city.

Helaman 5:13 The phrase “which are not written” are in John 20:30 and, “things which are written” is in Revelation 22:19.

Helaman 5:14 ^The phrase “the word of God among” is in Acts 18:11.

Helaman 5:16-17 Then they went to the Lamanites – preaching, confounding, and baptizing Nephite dissenters. 

Helaman 5:18-19 Nephi and Lehi preached to the Lamanites and convinced 8,000 who were living in the land of Zarahemla to get baptized, and to admit the wickedness of the traditions of their fathers. 

Helaman 5:19 ^The words “great astonishment” are in Mark 5:42 and, “convinced of the” in James 2:9.

Helaman 5:20-22 Nephi and Lehi then proceeded to the land of Nephi to preach to the Lamanites but they were cast into prison.  This was the very same prison Ammon and his brothers were put in earlier by Limhi.  After many, days the Lamanites came to take them from prison to execute them.

Helaman 5:23 “And it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi were encircled about as if by fire, even insomuch that they durst not lay their hands upon them for fear lest they should be burned.  Nevertheless, Nephi and Lehi were not burned; and they were as standing in the, midst of fire and were not burned.”  The phrase “standing in the midst” is in John 8:9. This is somewhat similar, to the experience of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in Daniel 3:19-27.

Helaman 5:24 “And when they saw that they were encircled about with a pillar of fire, and that it burned them not, their hearts did take courage.” 

Helaman 5:25 The Lamanites were struck dumb with amazement.

Helaman 5:26 Nephi and Lehi told the Lamanites not to fear.  But it was God who was protecting them.  The phrase “Fear not, for behold” is in Luke 2:10.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Helaman 5:27-28 Then the earth shook the walls of the prison.  And they were overshadowed by a cloud of darkness.

Helaman 5:29 “And it came to pass that there came a voice as if it were above the cloud of darkness, saying: Repent, ye, repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my servants whom I have sent unto you to declare good tidings.”  The words “saying, Repent ye” are in Matthew 3:2.

Helaman 5:30 “And it came to pass when they heard this voice, and beheld that it was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul –“

Helaman 5:31-34 Three times the voice spoke, and the prison walls shook.  A cloud of darkness covering the Lamanites prevented them from leaving the prison.  It should be pointed, out that the author of the Book of Mormon not only copied words, phrases, and verses from the Bible, he also lifted wording from other sources.  The preface to the King James Bible (prepared for the 1611 printing, and which is in the LDS King James Bible) uses certain words which do not appear in the Bible itself, such as “clouds of darkness.”  Yet, a similar phrase “cloud of darkness” is repeated over, and over again throughout Helaman chapter 5.  Then, the words “cloud of darkness” is never used again in the Book of Mormon.

Helaman 5:32 The phrase “repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” is taken from Matthew 3:2.

Helaman 5:33 The phrase “which cannot be uttered” is in Romans 8:26.

Helaman 5:35 “Now there was one among them who was a Nephite by birth, who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented from them.”

Helaman 5:36 “And it came to pass that he turned him about, and behold, he saw through the cloud of darkness the faces of Nephi and Lehi; and behold, they did shine exceedingly, even as faces of angels.  And he beheld that they did lift their eyes to heaven; and they were in the attitude as if talking or lifting their voices to some being whom they beheld.”  Nephi and Lehi’s faces shined like Moses did (see Exodus 34:29-35) and Abinadi (see Mosiah 13:5) and Stephen (see Acts 6:15).  ^The words “he turned him” are in Luke 10:23 and, “as the faces of” are in Revelation 9:7 and, “eyes to heaven; and” in John 17:1.

Helaman 5:37 “And it came to pass that this man did cry unto the multitude, that they might turn and look.  And behold, there was power given unto them that they did turn and look; and they did behold the faces of Nephi and Lehi.”

Helaman 5:38 “And they said unto the man: Behold, what do all these things mean, and who is it with whom these men converse?

Helaman 5:39 “Now the man’s name was Aminadab.  And Aminadab said unto them: They do converse with the angels of God.”

Helaman 5:40-44 The Lamanites asked what they should do to have the cloud of darkness removed?  Aminadab said to repent and pray to God.  So, the Lamanites cried to God until the cloud of darkness dispersed.  They could see that they along with Nephi and Lehi were encircled about, by a pillar of fire, and they were filled with unspeakable joy.

Helaman 5:40 ^The words “What shall we do, that” are in John 6:28.

Helaman 5:41 ^The phrase “faith in Christ” is in Acts 24:24.

Helaman 5:44 ^The words “and they were filled with” are in Luke 6:11.

Helaman 5:45 “And behold, the Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven, and did enter into their hearts, and they were filled as if with fire, and they could speak forth marvelous words.”  The Christian concept of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost was not developed until after Jesus’ mortal ministry.  In Judaism the Holy Spirit alluded only to God’s energy in the Old Testament.  For Mormon to state that the Holy Spirit entered their hearts is just another anachronism in the Book of Mormon.  The phrase “the Holy Spirit of God” is in Ephesians 4:30 and, “and they were filled” is in Luke 6:11.

Helaman 5:46 “And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying:”

Helaman 5:47 “Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world.”  The phrase “peace be unto you” is from John 20:26 and, “from the foundation of the world” is taken from Matthew 13:35. 

Helaman 5:48 “And now, when they heard this they cast up their eyes as if to behold from when the voice came; and behold, they saw the heavens open; and angels came down out of heaven and ministered unto them.”  The phrase “down out of heaven” is in Revelation 3:12.

Helaman 5:49-50 About 300 Lamanites (not sure how they all fit into the prison) who saw and heard these things went forth and ministered throughout the region, sharing what they heard and saw.  And their experience convinced the greater part of the Lamanites. 

Helaman 5:50 The words “they had heard and seen” are in Luke 2:20.

Helaman 5:51-52 These converted Lamanites laid down their weapons and gave up their hatred and the false traditions of their ancestors.  And, they gave back the land they had taken from them during the wars. 

Helaman 6 In this chapter, we will see a complete switch between the Lamanites becoming righteous and the Nephites becoming wicked.  This chapter along with Ether 8, provides important insights into their secret combinations. 

Helaman 6:1 This is about 29 BC. “And it came to pass that when the sixty and second year of the reign of the judges had ended, all these things had happened and the Lamanites had become, the more part of them, a righteous people, insomuch that their righteousness did exceed that of the Nephites, because of their firmness and their steadiness in the faith.”

Helaman 6:2 “For behold, there were many of the Nephites who had become hardened and impenitent and grossly wicked, insomuch that they did reject the word of God and all the preaching and prophesying which did come among them.”  In the 1830 edition page 422 the word prophecyingwas incorrectly spelled in later editions the spelling was corrected, prophesying.”

Helaman 6:3 In spite of the their wickedness the, church members rejoiced because of the Lamanite conversions.  The phrase “fellowship one with another” is in 1 John 1:7 and, “have great joy” is in Philemon 1:7.

Helaman 6:4 Many of the Lamanites came to Zarahemla where they called the Nephites to faith and repentance.

Helaman 6:5 “Yea, and many did preach with exceedingly great power and authority, unto the bringing down many of them into the depths of humility, to be the humble followers of God and the Lamb.”  The words “followers of God” are in Ephesians 5:1.

Helaman 6:6 Many of the Lamanites along with Nephi and Lehi went to the land northward to preach to those people.  The words “to preach unto the people” are in Acts 10:42.

Helaman 6:7-9 Both the Lamanites and the Nephites were free to travel to each other’s lands to conduct business.  And in time, everyone became exceedingly rich with gold, and silver, and precious metals.

Helaman 6:10 Mormon now gives a brief geography lesson. “Now the land south was called Lehi and the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land north, and Lehi into the land south.”  Lehi who sailed from Israel to the New World in 600 BC. and Mulek who sailed to the New World in 586 BC. 

Helaman 6:11-12 During this peaceful time enjoyed by the Lamanites and the Nephites, they flourished and multiplied.  

Helaman 6:13 Speaking anachronistically,Behold their women did toil and spin, and did make all manner of cloth, of fine-twined linen and cloth of every kind, to clothe their nakedness.  And thus the sixty and fourth year did pass away in peace.”  Neither silk nor linen existed in the Pre-Columbian Era.

Helaman 6:14 There was also much preaching and many prophecies about what was to come.

Helaman 6:15-17 But, then all heck broke loose!  Cezoram the chief judge was murdered by an unknown person.  And his son was also murdered, who had taken his place as chief judge.  The people began to grow extremely wicked, again.  God had blessed them with riches due to their righteousness, but they set their hearts on wealth which led them to commit secret murders, robbery, and plunder to get gain. 

This is clear evidence of the repeated “Cycle of Apostasy” in the Book of Mormon.  Every time the people become humble and, repent they prosper.  As they proper, they become rich.  After a time with wealth, they get prideful.  And we all know pride leads to wickedness.  Wickedness leads to destruction and destruction leads to humility and repenting and keeping Gods commandments.  Which leads to prosperity.  And around and around the cycle they go.  That is why the “prosperity gospel” does not work.  The Lord of the New Testament does not promise prosperity, riches, and wealth as a reward for keeping commandments. 

Helaman 6:17 The phrase “the riches of the world” is in Romans 11:12.

Helaman 6:18 “And now behold, those murderers and plunderers were a band who had been formed by Kishkumen and Gadianton.  And Now it had come to pass that there were many, even among the Nephites, of Gadianton’s band.  But behold, they were more numerous among the more wicked part of the Lamanites.  And they were called Gadianton’s robbers and murderers.” 

Helaman 6:19 “And it was they who did murder the chief judge Cezoram, and his son, while in the judgment-seat; and behold, they were not found.”     

Helaman 6:20 The Lamanites used every means to destroy the Gadianton robbers and murderers. 

Helaman 6:21 But most of the Nephites united with the band of Gadianton.   They entered, into covenants and oaths to protect and preserve one another from being found out.  Mormon points out Satan’s influence in stirring up the hearts of men to make these secret covenants and oaths.  Sometimes these oaths and covenants were made in the name of God (see Helaman 1:11 and Ether 8:14).

Helaman 6:22 “And it came to pass that they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant, that whatsoever wickedness his brother should do he should not be injured by his brother, nor by those who did belong to his band, who had taken this covenant.” Latter-day Saints would recognize that oaths and covenants, secret signs and secret words are a part of the “restored gospel” and spoken about and demonstrated only in LDS temples.  A Latter-day Saint would call Satan “the great counterfeiter.”  In other words, in this story, Satan has counterfeit covenants, oaths, signs, words, etc., which make a mockery of the covenants, oaths, signs, words, etc., that rightfully belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Barbaric depictions and descriptions of throat slitting and disembowelment are not acceptable in our modern, more sensitive society.  So, in 1990 the LDS Church removed them from the temple endowment, which seems to go against what Joseph Smith taught.  He declared the temple ceremonies were revealed by the Lord Himself and they were set to be the same forever and forever.  From Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 4, pg. 208 it says, “Now the purpose in Himself in the winding up scene of the last dispensation is that all things pertaining to that dispensation should be conducted precisely in accordance with the preceding dispensations… He set the temple ordinances to be the same forever and forever and set Adam to watch over them, to reveal them from heaven to man, or to send angels to reveal them.” But it seems that the unchangeable God is obliged to comply with what humankind is willing to accept as currently appropriate regarding His once unchangeable ordinances. 

Helaman 6:23-24 The band protected itself by putting on trial those members who revealed their wickedness to the world. 

Helaman 6:24 ^The words “unto the world” are in Matthew 18:7.

Helaman 6:25 “Now behold, it is these secret oaths and covenants which Alma commanded his son should not go forth unto the world, lest they should be a means of bringing down the people unto destruction.” 

Helaman 6:26 Mormon points out the source of these secret oaths.  “Now behold, those secret oaths and covenants did not come forth unto Gadianton from the records which were delivered unto Helaman; but behold, they were put into the heart of Gadianton by that same being who did entice our first parents to partake of the forbidden fruit.”  The words “into the heart of” are in 2 Corinthians 8:16.

Helaman 6:27 “Yea, that same being who did plot with Cain, that if he would murder his brother Abel it should not be known unto the world.  And he did plot with Cain and his followers from that time forth.” Obviously, he is speaking of Satan, here.

Helaman 6:28 Referring to the tower of Babel, “And also it is that same being who put it into the hearts of the people to build a tower sufficiently high that they might get to heaven.  And it was that same being who led on the people who came from that tower into this land; who spread the works of darkness and abominations over all the face of the land, until he dragged the people down to an entire destruction, and to an everlasting hell.”  He is speaking about the Jaredites in this verse.  The phrase “the works of darkness” is in Romans 13:12.

Helaman 6:29 “Yea, it is that same being who put it into the heart of Gadianton to still carry on the work of darkness, and of secret murder; and he has brought it forth from the beginning of man even down to this time.”  Incorporated into the original LDS temple endowment was the “Law (or Oath) of Vengeance.”  It was due to the anger over the killing of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, up until 1927 following the Reed Smoot Senate Hearings.  Reed Smoot Case 1907 Vol. 4, pages 495-496, the Oath of Vengeance specifically stated: “You and each of you do solemnly promise and vow that you will pray, and never cease to pray, and never cease to importune high heaven to avenge the blood of the prophets on this nation, and that you will teach this to your children and your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.”  It was such covenanting and oath swearing as this that resulted in so many Mormon murders during the 19th century. Members felt justified in taking retribution whenever they could which culminated in the Mountain Meadows massacre.  This is what the United States Senate stated regarding the oath of vengeance.  The Reed Smoot Case 1907 Vol. 4 pages 496-497 “…the obligation hereinbefore set forth is an oath of disloyalty to the Government which the rules of the Mormon Church require, or at least encourage, every member of that organization to take. …the fact that the first presidency and twelve apostles retain an obligation of that nature in the ceremonies of the church shows that at heart they are hostile to this nation and disloyal to its Government…”   

Murder was seen from the earliest time as justified in order to protect the Church and its leaders.  The group known as the “Danites” made sacred blood oaths to protect Joseph Smith and the Church and to lie and murder if required, to protect the greater good.  They covenanted to be put to death themselves, should they ever divulge anything they did or who had ordered it.  The work of the Danites, later to become known as Brigham’s “Destroying Angels”, continued covertly for many years in Utah to put both Gentiles and Mormon apostates to death.  So, we see the similarities between the band of Gadianton and the band of the Danites or Destroying Angels.     

Helaman 6:30 Mormon summarizes who Satan is and what his plans are. “And behold, it is he who is the author of all sin.  And behold, he doth carry on is works of darkness and secret murder, and doth hand down their plots, and their oaths, and their covenants, and their plans of awful wickedness, from generation to generation according as he can get hold upon the hearts of the children of men.” 

Helaman 6:31 Mormon now applies all of this to the Nephites.  He declared that Satan has a great hold on the hearts of the Nephites.  They have trampled upon the commandments of God and are living for themselves.  They have created idols of their gold and silver. 

Helaman 6:32-33 And all of these iniquities came quickly, turning righteous Nephites into wicked Nephites.

Helaman 6:34-36 As the Nephites dwindled in unbelief and grew wicked, the Lamanites grew in knowledge and faith.  As the Spirit of the Lord withdrew from the Nephites, the Lord poured out his Spirit upon the Lamanites.

Helaman 6:34 The words “walk in truth” are in 3 John 1:4.

Helaman 6:37 “And it came to pass that the Lamanites did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.”  ^The phrase “the word of God among” is in Acts 18:11. 

Helaman 6:38And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.”

Helaman 6:39 Speaking of the wicked Nephites, “And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God.” 

Helaman 6:40 “And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction.” The words “everlasting destruction” are in 2 Thessalonians 1:9.

Helaman 6:41 “And it came to pass that thus ended the sixty and eighth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi.”  It is about the year 24 BC. 

This concludes our study for today.  Please subscribe, so you will not miss any of the future episodes.  You can also catch us on YouTube, Apple podcast, and Goggle podcast.  Or, you can go to our website at Talking to Mormons.com – where you can download this script and learn much more.

Grace be to you!  God Bless!

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