Scripture Story:Circle of Fire

By Mabel Jones Gabbott

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    This story is found in Helaman 5 [Hel. 5].

    The frightening message that there was a fire at the prison quickly passed among the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. And many hurried to see what had become of Lehi and Nephi, sons of Helaman, who this very day were to be slain. After converting eight thousand Lamanites to the church of God, Lehi and Nephi had been cast into prison and for many days had been without food. This was the day the soldiers were going to kill their Nephite prisoners.

    Aminadab, a Nephite by birth who had once belonged to the church, hurried along with the soldiers and curious onlookers. When they arrived at the prison they were astonished to see that Lehi and Nephi were encircled by a pillar of fire. But the heat was so intense that the Lamanites could not get near the prisoners. And when they saw that Nephi and Lehi stood in the midst of the flames and were not burned, they were struck dumb with amazement.

    Although Nephi and Lehi were weak from hunger, they knew because of their faithfulness, they were being protected from their enemies. Speaking boldly to the Lamanites they said, “Fear not, for behold, it is God that has shown unto you this marvelous thing … that ye cannot … slay us.”

    Suddenly the earth trembled, and a great cloud of darkness overshadowed those assembled. They stood motionless with fear, and above the cloud of darkness came a voice, saying, “Repent ye, repent ye, and seek no more to destroy my servants whom I have sent unto you to declare good tidings.”

    Three times the voice came though the darkness. Although the voice was mild, almost a whisper, the earth shook and the walls of the prison trembled.

    Aminadab turned and saw the faces of Nephi and Lehi shining through the cloud of darkness. Aminadab called to the people to look, to believe the words of Nephi and Lehi, and to repent and believe in Christ. The Lamanites humbly called out to the Lord in great faith. Suddenly the cloud of darkness left, and they also were encircled about by fire. The Holy Spirit of God came down from heaven, and entered their hearts.

    “And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying:

    “Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved …”

    Illustrated by Paul Mann