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THIRD NEPHI
THE BOOK OF NEPHI

THE SON OF NEPHI, WHO WAS THE SON OF HELAMAN


CHAPTER 1

A night that was a bright as day
Nephi the son of Helaman leaves Zarahelma--No one knows where he went or what became of him--Before leaving, Nephi gives the plates to his oldest son, Nephi--There began to be greater signs and greater miracles--Unbelievers scoff at believers and plan to kill believers on a certain day--The voice of God tells Nephi that God will be born the next day--On the night of his birth, God makes the night as bright as day all over the earth--A new star also appeared on the night of God's birth--Unbelievers are dissappointed that they can't kill believers--Satan tries to get people to disbelieve--The more part believe anyway--Nephi baptizes and spreads good tidings--The Gadianton robbers and Nephite dissenters murder many people--The Lamanites are stirred up by the lyings and flatterings of the Zoramites.

LDS.org Cartoon Version - Chapter 41: The Signs of Christís Birth


1:1 Now it came to pass that the *ninety and first year had passed away and it was six hundred years from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem; and it was in the year that Lachoneus was the chief judge and the governor over the land. Whither he went, no man knoweth
(1:1-3) Six hundred years after Lehi left Jerusalem, Nephi, the son of Helaman, left Zarahelma, giving the plates to his oldest son, Nephi.

Nephi Sr. didn't say where he was going and no one knows what happened to him -- although some Mormons suspect that he (along  with his brother Lehi and  Samuel the Lamanite, who also mysteriously disappeared) sailed across the Pacific to Asia and became one of the "wise men" mentioned in Helaman 16:14 who came "from the east" to visit the baby Jesus in Matthew 2:1.

1:2 And Nephi, the son of Helaman, had departed out of the land of Zarahemla, giving charge unto his son Nephi, who was his eldest son, concerning the plates of brass, and all the records which had been kept, and all those things which had been kept sacred from the departure of Lehi out of Jerusalem.
1:3 Then he departed out of the land, and whither he went, no man knoweth; and his son Nephi did keep the records in his stead, yea, the record of this people.
1:4 It came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people. (1:4) There began to be greater signs and greater miracles.
Now that it was the year 0 BCE, it's time for all the "greater signs and miracles" that the Book of Mormon has repeated prophesied. And they began to happen just as predicted.
1:5 But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite. (1:4-8) The words of Samuel are not fulfilled.
But some of the people still weren't impressed by all the signs and wonders. They mocked the believers saying, "What happened to that night that supposed to be as bright as day? It should have been here by now."
1:6 And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.
1:7 It came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.
1:8 But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.
1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet. (1:9) There was a day set apart by the unbelievers.
The unbelievers finally got so upset with the whole thing that they set aside a day just to kill believers. (They called it "National kill a believer day.")
1:10 Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful. (1:10-11) On the morrow come I into the world
When Nephi heard about the kill-the-believers-day plans, he became exceedingly sorrowful and cried all day mightily to his God. His prayer was immediately answered by the voice of the Lord, who came upon him and delivered a rambling, repetitive speech announcing his own birth. God said that he'd be born tomorrow. And that later that evening "a sign would be given."
1:11 It came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.
1:12 It came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord, all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
1:13 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 fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
1:14 Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfill 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.
1:15 It came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came. (1:15-19)
It was as light as though it was mid-day.
And God's prophecy came true! That night "there was no darkness when night came ... but it was as light as thought it was mid-day." The unbelievers fell to the ground in disappointment, because now they wouldn't be able to kill believers on kill-the-believers day. Everyone else on earth noticed the bright night and also fell on their faces, knowing that Jesus was born that very night.
1:16 And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.
1:17 And they began to know that the Son of God must shortly appear; yea, in fine, all the people upon the face of the whole earth from the west to the east, both in the land north and in the land south, were so exceedingly astonished that they fell to the earth.
1:18 For they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.
1:19 It came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. It came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
1:20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
1:21 It came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word. (1:21) A new star did appear.
A new star appeared on the night Jesus was born, but no one could see it since the night was a bright as day.

(1:22) The more part of the people did believe.
After the light-as-day night and the new star, Satan began spreading lies and hardening hearts, trying to get the people to disbelieve. But it only worked on some of the people. The more part still believed and were converted.

1:22 It came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.
1:23 It came to pass that Nephi went forth among the people, and also many others, baptizing unto repentance, in the which there was a great remission of sins. And thus the people began again to have peace in the land.
1:24 And there were no contentions, save it were a few that began to preach, endeavoring to prove by the scriptures that it was no more expedient to observe the law of Moses. Now in this thing they did err, having not understood the scriptures.
1:25 But it came to pass that they soon became converted, and were convinced of the error which they were in, for it was made known unto them that the law was not yet fulfilled, and that it must be fulfilled in every whit; yea, the word came unto them that it must be fulfilled; yea, that one jot or tittle should not pass away till it should all be fulfilled; therefore in this same year were they brought to a knowledge of their error and did confess their faults.
1:26 And thus the ninety and second year did pass away, bringing glad tidings unto the people because of the signs which did come to pass, according to the words of the prophecy of all the holy prophets. (1:23-26) Glad tidings
Nephi and some of the others went around baptizing, and there was peace and glad tidings in the land, except for a few who said it wasn't necessary to obey all the Old Testament laws. (They were, of course, completely wrong about that.)
1:27 It came to pass that the ninety and third year did also pass away in peace, save it were for the Gadianton robbers, who dwelt upon the mountains, who did infest the land; for so strong were their holds and their secret places that the people could not overpower them; therefore they did commit many murders, and did do much slaughter among the people.
1:28 It came to pass that in the ninety and fourth year they began to increase in great degree, because there were many dissenters of the Nephites who did flee unto them, which did cause much sorrow unto those Nephites who did remain in the land. (1:27-30) There were many dissenters.
But soon there was trouble again. The Gadianton robbers were back murdering many people, and many Nephite dissenters who joined up with them. The Zoramites were also stirring up the Lamanites with their lyings and flattering words.
1:29 And there was also a cause of much sorrow among the Lamanites; for behold, they had many children who did grow up and began to wax strong in years, that they became for themselves, and were led away by some who were Zoramites, by their lyings and their flattering words, to join those Gadianton robbers.
1:30 And thus were the Lamanites afflicted also, and began to decrease as to their faith and righteousness, because of the wickedness of the rising generation.

* 1 BCE according the the LDS Book of Mormon footnote.

And it came to pass [1:1, 4, 7(2), 9(2), 10, 11, 12, 15, 19(2), 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28]

Exceedingly (1:10, 17)

Behold [:4, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14(2), 15, 29]

(1:13, 15) the time is at hand. -- Revelation 22:10

(1:25) one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. -- Matthew 5:18


Next Chapter

Dwindling in Unbelief
The Seven Wonders of the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 1:12-19)

The Annotated Book of Mormon
3 Nephi 1