Helaman 13: Samuel the Lamanite Prophesies to the Nephites

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 153–154

The situation in Helaman 13 is different from what we typically find in the Book of Mormon. This chapter tells about a Lamanite prophet, Samuel, who prophesied to the unrepentant Nephites about their coming destruction. The Nephites rejected Samuel—but not because he was a Lamanite. As you read this chapter, think about Samuel’s message and why he desired to deliver it. Ask yourself why the people rejected Samuel and his message. Why do people at any time reject the messages of prophets?

Understanding the Scriptures

Helaman 13

Tidings (v. 7)News
Pestilence (v. 9)Disease, plague, or epidemic
Abominations (vv. 14–17)Terrible sins
Redeem it (v. 19)Save it, use it for profit
Strifes (v. 22)Arguments, contentions
Malice (v. 22)Desire to harm
Desolation (v. 32)Punishment
Probation (v. 38)Testing in mortality

Helaman 13:24–29—Rejecting the Prophets

When we reject true prophets, who see by the light of revelation, and follow instead those who have no divine light, we are really following “blind guides” (Helaman 13:29). President Marion G. Romney, who was a member of the First Presidency, said: “Those who profess to accept the gospel and who at the same time criticize and refuse to follow the counsel of the prophet are assuming an indefensible position. Such a spirit leads to apostasy” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, 21; or Ensign, May 1983, 17). President Ezra Taft Benson, when he was President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness” (“Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet,” in 1980 Devotional Speeches of the Year [1981], 28).

Helaman 13:38—How Is Happiness Obtained?

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. …

“… He never will institute an ordinance or give a commandment to His people that is not calculated [designed] in its nature to promote that happiness which He has designed, and which will not end in the greatest amount of good and glory to those who become the recipients of his law and ordinances” (History of the Church, 5:134–35).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A or B as you study Helaman 13.

Activity A iconList the Sins and Consequences

  1. 1.

    Find and list the sins the Lord said are the most tempting for people (see vv. 7–8, 14–24, 26–28, 38).

  2. 2.

    Which of those sins do you think are the most tempting to people your age today?

  3. 3.

    List the consequences the Lord warned of if the Nephites did not repent (see vv. 8–10, 17–20, 29–38).

  4. 4.

    In what ways have these consequences come upon those who refuse to repent today?

Activity B iconTrue Prophets, False Prophets

In Helaman 13:24–28, Samuel described how the Nephites rejected the true prophets and honored false ones. Review those verses with a parent or Church leader and together complete the following:

  1. 1.

    List some examples showing how people reject the Lord’s true prophets today.

  2. 2.

    List some examples of people or organizations that some look to for direction and guidance instead of the Lord’s prophets.

  3. 3.

    Search Helaman 13:29–39 and describe how those verses might be fulfilled in our day.

First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles