A Pattern for Our Day
Helaman 1:20 - Helaman 5:1
I wonder if it is ok to have a favorite book in the Book of Mormon?
If it is, then Helaman happens to be mine...and 3 Nephi would be a close second.
You might think this is crazy, but sometimes I read through Helaman to 3 Nephi 11 in one afternoon because that is how much I love those two books.
In case you are wondering, there is a reason why.
When I was finishing high school my mom and I discovered something about the Book of Mormon I hadn't realized before ––when Mormon said the Book of Mormon was a pattern for our day he was talking literally.
My mom printed out the pattern so I could visualize it.
I was amazed.
Our family was currently serving mission in Ventura, California (my dad was the mission president) and I could feel the great missionary period taking place. That was twenty years ago. It was shortly after we came home from that mission experience that I read the heading of Helaman and noticed one line...
the prophecies of many holy prophets, before the coming of Christ...
I started looking at the world around me and realized that the events written in Helaman and 3 Nephi were unfolding in front of my own eyes...the struggles of the members of the church, the government unrest, the financial insecurity, the secret combinations...
I could see the patterns.
Since I could clearly see the pattern of what the problems were during that time period, I decided to focus on how the people in the book of Helaman made it through the time leading up to the coming of Christ. Where did they find their strength? How did they hold onto their faith? What helped them get through?
Now every time I read the books of Helaman and 3 Nephi it is the same...I find myself focusing on the prophecies of those holy prophets before the coming of Christ.
Their words have given me courage, and faith, and direction to face the struggles of our own day.
Sometimes I need that direction so desperately that I read those chapters in one afternoon...
Comfort comes as I realize the truth that Mormon testified of...he saw our day.
Through the words of holy prophets written and handed down from generation to generation we can find the direction we need today.
It is interesting that we happen to be reading through Helaman and 3 Nephi just in time for the election process. So many of the issues that will fill these next chapters are ones we struggle with now. We will hear them discussed in debates. We will read about them in the media. We will see a pattern in our life that matches the one we will be reading about.
I can hardly wait.
Perhaps this time as you read through Helaman and 3 Nephi you will read with a different perspective...watch for the patterns and the parallels in the world around us.
Then maybe we could take counsel from three words written in Helaman 4:21, "remember the prophecies..."
Read the words. Watch for the pattern. Remember the prophecies.