I usually spend a couple of days on Helaman 5 because this is one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. The main reason I love this chapter so much is because it is celestial. Nephi and Lehi appear as if they were standing in fire and angels came down from heaven to minister.
As I have read these past two days, I’ve noticed parts of the chapter that seem to make it a testimony of sorts. It has so many gems in it!
In verse 6, Helaman talks to two of his sons whom he named after Lehi and Nephi. He tells them that when they remember their names, they should remember their first parents and when they remember them, they should remember their works and know that they were good.
Then Helaman admonishes them to do as their first fathers did. I believe that Nephi and his father Lehi were proud of their descendants Nephi and Lehi. They had good works.
Likewise, we have taken upon ourselves the name of Christ … we are Christians. When we remember we are Christian, then we should remember Christ. When we remember Christ, we should remember what he has done for us. And when we remember what he has done for us, we should desire to follow and obey him.
The Rock of Our Redeemer
Verse 12 contains the well-known verse that talks about building your foundation on the rock of Christ. This is such a wonderful analogy. When I read this verse recently, I remembered the story of the Guatemala temple. I forget the name of the pioneer who opened the missionary work in Guatemala (I think it is John O’Donnel). He had a dream where he saw a temple in Guatemala. This disturbed him because he knew of no area in Guatemala that had solid rock strong enough upon which to build a temple. Almost 40 years later, a temple was built in Guatemala City. They had to dig something like a hundred feet to find solid rock, but they did it!
Also, we can substitute rock for revelation in this verse it still applies. If we build our foundation on the revelations of the prophets who are ordained of Christ, then we will not and cannot fall.
The Voice of God
It is interesting to note how the voice of God is described. In Helaman 5:30-31, it says, "it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it did pierce even to the very soul - And notwithstanding the mildness of the voice, behold the earth shook exceedingly, and the walls of the prison trembled."
Helaman 5:46 says, "And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper."
3 Nephi 11:3 says, "it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice, nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn."
The account in 3 Nephi continues by saying that the people had to "open their ears" to hear the voice. How often do we block out all other "voices" and open our ears to the voice of the Spirit?
Look to the Prophet
I love the theme of ‘Look to the Prophet’ in this chapter. I remember this lesson first being taught my freshman year in college. My Book of Mormon teacher, Brother Yorgason, talked about the Nephite Aminadab who told the people to “turn and look” at Nephi and Lehi. This is the same answer to many of people’s questions today. They want to know what they must do to have happiness and darkness dispelled. The answer is to “turn and look” to the prophets.
When I read this again, I was reminded of the time President Hinckley visited the missionaries in Guatemala in 1996. I feel that verse 44 describes how I felt when I was listening to President Hinckley as a missionary. I was filled “with that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory.” (Helaman 5:44)
The day that I heard and felt a prophet’s voice in Guatemala, I shall never forget!
After a Spiritual Experience
Later in verse 49, a commandment is given to those who were converted at that time “to go forth and marvel not, neither … doubt.” I think that after one has had a spiritual experience, Satan will try to tempt him to “marvel” at the experience and to try to rationalize it away. He soon forgets that God has touched his life. But if he would simply believe and doubt not, his faith would increase greatly.
Another verse I love when I read this chapter is verse 50. It reads, “the more part of the Lamanites were convinced of them, because of the greatness of the evidences which they had received.” I believe that the time will come that all people will be convinced that the LDS church is the Church of Christ again established in these latter-days. They will come to know and feel that this is the true church on the earth today.
Helaman 5 is such a wonderful chapter!