Helaman and 3 Nephi: A Parallel to the Second Coming of Christ

Book of Mormon Teacher Resource Manual, (2004), 302–303


“The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior’s visit reveals many parallels to our own day as we anticipate the Savior’s second coming” (Ezra Taft Benson, in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 3; or Ensign, May 1987, 4).

Events or Signs

Coming to the Nephites

Second Coming

1. Social and Political Turmoil

Secret combinations

Helaman 1:11–12; 2:3–13; 6:15–30; 7:1–9

Ether 8:22–25; D&C 42:64

Wars and rumors of wars

Helaman 1:14–30; 11:24–25; 3 Nephi 2:13, 17

D&C 45:26; 87:3; JS—M 1:28–29

Pride, love of riches, and inequality

3 Nephi 6:12–14

Mormon 8:35–38

A final terrible battle

3 Nephi 4:7–27

Zechariah 12:1–3, 8–11; Revelation 9

2. Cataclysmic Events

Signs and wonders in the heavens

Helaman 14:5–6, 20; 3 Nephi 1:21; 8:19, 22

Joel 2:30–31; D&C 45:40

Earthquakes in divers places

Helaman 14:21–23

JS—M 1:29

Droughts and famines

Helaman 11:4–6

Revelation 11:6; 18:8

Storms, tempests, thunderings, lightnings

Helaman 14:21, 23, 26; 3 Nephi 8:5–7, 12

Revelation 16:18, 21; D&C 88:90

3. The Wicked

Great wickedness among the people: pride, contention, immorality, worldliness, apostasy

Helaman 3:1–3, 17–19, 33–36; 4:11–13; 6:2, 31–35; 7:4–6; 11:36–37; 16:12; 3 Nephi 2:3; 6:15–18

2 Timothy 3:1–6; Revelation 17:4; 18:10–14; 2 Nephi 27:1; 28:4, 8–11; D&C 10:63

Wickedness among the youth

3 Nephi 1:29–30

Isaiah 3:5, 12; 2 Timothy 3:2

The wicked reject true prophets and accept false ones.

Helaman 8:3–6; 10:13; 13:24–28; 14:10; 16:2, 6; 3 Nephi 7:14

2 Nephi 27:1, 5

The wicked deny signs and wonders before Christ’s coming.

Helaman 16:13–23; 3 Nephi 1:5, 22; 2:1–2

2 Peter 3:3–4; D&C 45:26

4. The Righteous

A strong, righteous minority gathers out from the wicked.

3 Nephi 2:11–12; 3:13–16, 22

1 Nephi 14:12; Jacob 5:70; D&C 45:64–71; 115:6

The Church grows, prospers, and experiences spiritual outpourings and miracles.

Helaman 3:24–26; 6:9–13; 16:13–14; 3 Nephi 1:4, 22–23; 7:17–20

Daniel 2:44; Joel 2:28–30; D&C 45:40

Prophets wield great power and declare a constant message of repentance.

Helaman 5:18–23, 42; 11:3–6; 13:2; 14:11; 16:2; 3 Nephi 6:20

Revelation 11:3, 5–6; D&C 77:15. President Ezra Taft Benson said: “I have had reaffirmed in my mind and heart the declaration of the Lord to ‘say nothing but repentance unto this generation’ (D&C 6:9; 11:9). This has been a theme of every latter-day prophet” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 3; or Ensign, May 1986, 4).

The righteous watch for signs and pray to hasten Christ’s coming.

3 Nephi 1:8, 10–14

D&C 45:39, 44; 68:11; 133:37–40; Moses 7:62

5. The Lord Comes

Complete destruction of the wicked

Helaman 10:12; 11:6; 14:24; 15:1; 3 Nephi 8:14–16; 9:2–12

Isaiah 26:21; Malachi 4:1; D&C 1:9; 133:41

The righteous survive the destruction at Christ’s coming.

3 Nephi 9:13; 10:12–13

1 Nephi 22:16–22, 24–26; D&C 97:21–25

Jesus descends from the heavens.

3 Nephi 11:8

D&C 65:5; JS—M 1:26

The graves of the dead open.

Matthew 27:52; Helaman 14:25