The Record of Helaman: Book of Mormon Commentary, Volume 4

The Record of Helaman: Book of Mormon Commentary, Volume 4

by Monte S. Nyman

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The title of this volume of the Book of Mormon commentary series
would more appropriately be called "The Records of Helaman,"
since there are the two Helaman's whose records were abridged by
Mormon. The first record abridged consisted of Alma chapters 45
through 63. The author was Helaman, the oldest son of Alma the
younger. He kept the record for twenty-one years, from 73 B.C. through
51 B.C. These twenty-one years are known as the war years in the Book
of Mormon, along with the previous year recorded in the book of Alma
(Alma 43–44; 74 B.C.). These two chapters of Alma were included in
this volume since the primary subject was war. The law of war, the
cause of war, the principles of war, and the results of war are all
included in this section of the Book of Mormon, and are very applicable
to our day which is the prophesied time "of wars and rumors of
wars" in the latter days (JS–Matthew). These chapters of Alma also
include the abridged record of the two thousand stripling warriors,
known as "the sons of Helaman." The young warriors set a wonderful
example to follow for the Latter-day Saints who presently serve in the
military service.

The sixty-third chapter of Alma informs us of the people moving
into the land northward, and one Hagoth, a Nephite man who built
ships and sailed away never to be heard of again. He is connected with
the Polynesians of our day.

The second record of Helaman, abridged by Mormon, was kept
by Helaman, son of Helaman, and his sons. Their abridged record is
the Book of Helaman in our present-day Book of Mormon. The first
six chapters of Helaman were kept by Helaman and warn us of the
secret combinations that do and will exist in the latter days. They also
tell us how to avoid those secret combinations. Helaman chapters 7
through 12 are called the Prophecy of Helaman, the son of Helaman,
and inform us of the relationship between God and man. Helaman
chapters 13 through 16 are called the Prophecy of Samuel the
Lamanite. These prophecies constitute his prophecies made from the
walls of Zarahemla, and the results of his prophecies. The prophecies
were basically about the destruction of the Nephites, and the coming
of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Meridian of Time. The entire book of
Helaman covers all but the last year of the fifty-two years preceding
the birth of Christ.

There are twenty-one chapters of Alma, and sixteen chapters of
Helaman discussed in this volume of this work (vol. 4). The thirtyseven
chapters are again a light touch of history, as Nephi, son of Lehi,
had instructed his brother Jacob to keep the records (see Jacob 1:2–3).
Although basically an historical account, the record includes much
"preaching which was sacred, or revelation which was great, or
prophesying" as Nephi also instructed (Jacob 1:4). These three categories
are summarized at the end of each chapter. It is often difficult
to determine whether it is Helaman, Nephi, Samuel the Lamanite, or
Mormon, as he is abridging, who inserts many precepts for the readers
to apply to their lives. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, "The Book of
Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone
of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its
precepts, than any other book" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph
Smith, 194; see also the Introduction to the Book of Mormon).
Although there are many such precepts, the ones inserted by Helaman,
Nephi, Samuel the Lamanite or Mormon are usually introduced with
phrases such as "I will show unto you," or "thus we see."
There are also many points of doctrine taught throughout the Book
of Mormon. Isaiah foretold that when the Book of Mormon came forth,
"They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they
that murmured shall learn doctrine" (Isaiah 29:24; 2 Nephi 27:35).
In a revelation given on the day the Church was established, the Lord
enumerated many doctrines that are found in the Book of Mormon
(see D&C 20:17–36). President Boyd K. Packer has often stressed the
importance of teaching doctrine to the Saints (see CR, Oct. 1986, 20;
April 1997, 8; and April 2004, 80). Therefore, the doctrines taught
in each reading are summarized, along with helpful commentary by
General Authorities in the end of each chapter. Hopefully the analysis
of the Book of Mormon that follows will enlarge the reader's understanding
of the record of these ancient peoples.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014084826
Publisher: Mary Ann Nyman
Publication date: 03/01/2008
Series: Book of Mormon Commentary , #4
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 466
File size: 958 KB

About the Author

Monte Steven Nyman was president of Southern Virginia University (SVU) from 2003 to 2004. He had previously been academic vice president at SVU and a professor of religion at Brigham Young University (BYU).

As a young man Nyman served a mission in the North Central States Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Nyman received his bachelors and masters degrees from Utah State University, both in physical education. He later received a doctorate from BYU in educational administration. Prior to joining the BYU faculty, he was the Institute of Religion director in Edmonton, Canada.

While at BYU, Nyman served as director of Book of Mormon studies for the Religious Studies Center and for a time he was the acting head of the ancient scripture department within the College of Religious Education.

Nyman retired from BYU in 1996. In 1999-2000 he was baseball coach at SVU and continued on as academic vice president and then as president until he again retired in 2004.

Nyman has served in many positions in the church including as a bishop and a member of the Correlation and Translation Committee. He has written several books including Great Are the Words of Isaiah, An Ensign to All People and The Most Correct Book: The Book of Mormon and The Book of Mormon Commentary series.

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