"There is so much more in the Book of Mormon than we have yet discovered. The book's divine architecture and rich furnishings will increasingly unfold to our view, further qualifying it as 'a marvelous work and a wonder' ...The Book of Mormon is like a vast mansion with gardens, towers, courtyards, and wings. All the rooms in this mansion need to be explored..."
-Neal A Maxwell

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Prophets as symbols of Christ: Nephi (son of Helaman)

In a recent post, I proposed how Ether serves as a 'type' or 'shadow' of Christ. I submit that Nephi, the son of Helaman, does as well, perhaps more extensively so: 



Nephi
The Savior
Both prayed in gardens...
"...Nephi had bowed himself upon the tower which was in his garden... [and] was pouring out his soul unto God" (Helaman 7:10,11)"Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called [the garden of] Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder." (Matthew 26:36)
...while in agony because of the sins of their people 
“... his heart was swollen with sorrow within his breast...” (Helaman 7:6)“My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death...” (JST Mark 14:38)
“...the exceeding sorrow of my heart... is because of your iniquities!” (Helaman 7:14)
"...so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people." (Mosiah 3:7)
Each wished this hadn't been his lot...
"Oh, that I could have had my days in the days when my father Nephi first came out of the land of Jerusalem, that I could have joyed with him in the promised land..." (Helaman 7:7"Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me..."  (Luke 22:42)

"Father, save me from this hour..." (John 14:27)
...but ultimately resigned himself to it
"But behold, I am consigned that these are my days..." (Helaman 7:9)“...nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42)

"...but for this cause came I unto this hour." (John 14:27)
They were then taken and falsely accused
"...[the judges] caused that Nephi should be taken and bound and brought before the multitude, and they began to question him in divers ways that they might cross him, that they might accuse him to death—" (Helaman 9:19)"And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes...

"And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death..." (Mark 14:53, 55)
And finally, this sad contrast: 
Nephi was released when his innocence was proven and the true murderer discovered. (Helaman 9:26-38)A murderer was released instead of Him in Whom "no fault" could be found. (Luke 23:13-22)


Ironically, as this all was taking place, Nephi spoke of another type of Christ in the very moment that he, himself, was serving as one:
"Yea, did he [Moses] not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come. 
"And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal." (Helaman 8:14-15, see also Alma 33:19-22)
I wonder if he realized that at the time?  



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