1. The people in the land of Zarahemla had become very wicked (see Hel. 13:1–2).
A Lamanite prophet, Samuel, came and warned the people that if they did not repent, they would be destroyed (see Hel. 13:3–6).
Samuel prophesied that Jesus Christ would be born in five years, that on the night before his birth great lights would appear in the heavens, that there would be a day and a night and a day without darkness, and that a new star would appear—“such an one as ye never have beheld” (see Hel. 14:2–6).
Those who believed the words of Samuel and repented were baptized by Nephi, a righteous man who lived in the land of Zarahemla (see Hel. 16:1).
But many people in Zarahemla hardened their hearts and would not repent (see Hel. 16:2).
When it neared the time for Samuel’s prophecy to be fulfilled, the unrighteous people set a date, saying that if the signs hadn’t appeared by then, all those who believed the prophecies would be put to death (see 3 Ne. 1:9).
That day, Nephi, the son of the Nephi who had baptized many of the people, prayed to the Lord for them all day (see 3 Ne. 1:2, 10–12).
Nephi was promised by the Lord that the signs of his birth would be fulfilled that night. When the sun went down that evening, there was no darkness. The righteous, and even many of the wicked, knew that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would be born the following day. A new star also appeared in the heavens (see 3 Ne. 1:12–21).
“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” (3 Ne. 1:26).