Tuesday, December 23, 2008
So, there has been a time appointed when the believers shall be put to death if Samuel's prophesied signs do not come about. You might be able to imagine what the believers may have been feeling. Nephi (whose great-great-great-great grandfather was the Alma who listened to Abinadi and ran away from King Noah; whose great-great-great grandfather was Alma the Younger who taught among the Nephites, including the discussion on faith in Alma chapter 32) went to the Lord in prayer. He prayed "in behalf of his people". He "cried mightily unto the Lord all that day." And the most beautiful answer came (3 Nephi 1:12-14):
12 ...and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
14 Behold, come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.
Just think how Nephi must have felt--to hear the Savior Himself basically tell you, "Don't worry. I'm being born tomorrow." To not only have the comfort and reassurance that your believing people will be safe from the wickedness of the unbelievers, but also the comfort and reassurance that all people every where and in every time would soon be saved from sin (3 Nephi 9:21). Such beautiful words because they tell of prophecies and promises long foretold, finally being fulfilled. So many Christmas songs that rejoice in such wonderful things:
"O Little Town of Bethlehem"
...The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight...
O morning stars together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav'n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
Light and life to all he brings,
Ris'n with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
"I Wonder as I Wander"
...But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here,
And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light.
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel.