If you had lived in Zarahemla on the American continent before Jesus was born, would you have believed in the predicted miracle of the long, long day?
Nephi had been waiting and watching for the sign of the birth of the Savior since Samuel, the Lamanite, had climbed the wall and declared to the people: “After five more years the Son of God will come. And this will be a sign of his coming; there shall be a day and a night and a day as if it were one day.”
As Nephi counted the years, much had happened. He had been given charge of all the records, the plates of brass, and all things that had been kept sacred from the time of Lehi’s departure out of Jerusalem.
Even though there were signs and wonders given unto the people, and even though the words of the prophets began to be fulfilled, many of the people still hardened their hearts.
There were some who said, “It is not reasonable that such a being as Christ shall come.” And they rejoiced, saying, “The time is past, and your faith has been in vain.”
But Nephi and many of his people still believed and looked for the miracle of the long day. This made the unbelievers even more angry. They finally designated a certain day and warned, “This day will be set apart, and all those who believe that Jesus will be born in the land of Jerusalem will be put to death unless the sign given by Samuel shall come to pass.”
That night at the going down of the sun, there was no darkness; the people began to be afraid because there was no darkness when the night came. And there were many who had not believed who began to believe. The night was light as though it was mid-day. And when the sun rose again in the morning, Nephi and the believers knew that it was the day that the Lord was to be born, because of the sign which had been given. And a new star appeared, according to the prophet’s words.
But with all these signs and wonders, there were some who still did not believe. Nephi believed! From that time forth, he went among the people baptizing and blessing them in the name of Jesus Christ.
And thus the people began again to have peace in the land.
Nephi’s heart was sorrowful when he saw the wickedness of his people. He went out where he could be alone and bowed himself down upon the earth, and he prayed for his people who were about to be destroyed because of their faith that Jesus would come to earth. Nephi prayed all day unto the Lord.
Then the voice of the Lord came to him, saying, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer. On this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world.”