Helaman 16: Reactions to Samuel's Preaching

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 156


While Helaman 13–15 is a record of Samuel’s prophecies among the Nephites, Helaman 16 records the different ways people responded to his prophecies. The gospel message can draw out many different reactions. President Spencer W. Kimball said that worship “is an individual responsibility, and regardless of what is said from the pulpit, if one wishes to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth, he may do so by attending his meetings, partaking of the sacrament, and contemplating the beauties of the gospel. If the [church] service is a failure to you, you have failed. No one can worship for you; you must do your own waiting upon the Lord” (“The Sabbath—A Delight,” Ensign, Jan. 1978, 5). As you read how the people responded to Samuel, consider how you might have responded to the message. Also notice how feelings changed as more time passed from the time Samuel prophesied.
Samuel on city wall

Understanding the Scriptures

Helaman 16

Circumspectly (v. 10)Uprightly, in righteousness
Alteration (v. 12)Change
Cunning (v. 21)Clever, crafty
Vain (v. 22)Useless, foolish

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Helaman 16.

Activity A iconCompare the Divisions among the People

  1. 1.

    List the following in your notebook: “many” (Helaman 16:1), “as many” (v. 2), “many more” (v. 3), “as many” (v. 5), “the more part” (v. 6), “the more part” (v. 10), “the lesser part” (v. 10), “the people” (v. 12), “men, wise men” (v. 14), “the people” (vv. 15–22), “the people of the Lord” (v. 23). After each listing, write in your own words how that particular group of people responded to Samuel’s message, Nephi’s teachings, or the signs and wonders given in the last five years before the birth of Jesus Christ.

  2. 2.

    Ponder about what it must have been like to be a true follower of Jesus Christ at the time of Helaman 16. Write what you can do today in your personal preparation for His Second Coming and why it is important.