The Lord Chastens Those He Loves
The Lord will humble us or chasten us because he loves us. Sometimes we need to be hit in the head to knock some sense in us and to get us back on the right path. We must remember when we have a humbling experience that Heavenly Father doesn’t want to knock us down so that we stay down. He does it so that we get back up and do better. We become stronger that way and we learn to humble ourselves.
Repentance Brings Freedom
Another point I enjoyed was the idea that faith in Christ and repentance brings us true freedom and happiness. The only way to remain out of the bondage of Satan is to repent. First you have to be humble, then repent, then you are free.
Fear to Sin
Another thing I learned is that I need to “fear to sin.” I think many times I justify in doing a little evil now and again, but the Lamanites feared to sin so much that they would rather die than to sin. How dedicated as I to not sinning and in turn doing good? Not nearly as much as the Lamanites.
More Prophecies from Samuel
As I read chapter 15 this time, I noted that Samuel makes a couple of more prophecies. He warns the Nephites that their houses will become desolate and their women will suffer if the Nephites do not repent. As evidenced in Mormon chapter 4, these prophecies come true.
Another point I noted when reading today was Samuel telling the Nephites that the salvation came to the Lamanites through the Nephites and now it is the Lamanites who must 'save' the Nephites. I can't help but think of North American missionaries going and preaching to Central and South Americans for two years. Their salvation came through the preaching of North American missionaries. Now the church is thriving and growing tremendously in South America. I believe the members are very diligent and faithful. If not now, there will come a time when we will have Latin general authorities and prophets preaching repentance to us, just as Samuel the Lamanite preached to the Nephites.
Samuel makes another prophecy about the restoration of the Lamanites. In Helaman 15:11, Samuel prophecies that the Lamanites will be restored again to the knowledge of truth after they have dwindled in unbelief. D&C 49:24 contains a prophecy from Joseph Smith, which says that “before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose.”
Finally, in this chapter we see again the Lamanites burying their weapons of war (verse 9). They would rather suffer themselves to be killed than to take up arms and kill others. The Anti-Nephi-Lehis did this and now we read of this new generation of Lamanites who take upon themselves the 'bear-no-weapon' oath. I am fascinated with their complete faith and dedication to keeping the commandments!