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Pressing Forward with the Book of Mormon  >  His Stewardship Was Fulfilled
CHAPTERS
  1. Introduction
  2. Four Suggestions on the Origin of the Name Nephi
  3. Sariah in the Elephantine Papyri
  4. Nephi's Jerusalem and Laban's Sword
  5. The Workmanship Thereof Was Exceedingly Fine
  6. Better that One Man Perish
  7. Metal Plates and the Book of Mormon
  8. Lehi's Jerusalem and Writing on Silver Plates
  9. More on the Silver Plates from Lehi's Jerusalem
  10. A Visionary Man
  11. Rod and Sword as the Word of God
  12. "The Lamb of God" in Pre-Christian Texts
  13. Further Light on Enallage
  14. Connections between the Visions of Lehi and Nephi
  15. Exodus of Lehi Revisited
  16. The Book of Lehi and the Plates of Lehi
  17. Firstborn in the Wilderness
  18. Sam: A Just and Holy Man
  19. The Psalm of Nephi as a Post-Lehi Document
  20. When Did Nephi Write the Small Plates?
  21. Why Nephi Wrote the Small Plates: Serving Practical Needs
  22. Why Nephi Wrote the Small Plates: The Political Dimension
  23. Sherem's Accusations against Jacob
  24. The Hebrew Origin of Three Book of Mormon Place-Names
  25. Sword of Laban as a Symbol of Divine Authority
  26. Upon the Tower of Benjamin
  27. Benjamin's Tower and Old Testament Pillars
  28. Unintentional Sin in Benjamin's Discourse
  29. On the Right or Left: Benjamin and the Scapegoat
  30. Democratizing Forces in King Benjamin's Speech
  31. As a Garment in a Hot Furnace
  32. His Stewardship Was Fulfilled
  33. Evidence for Tents
  34. Revisiting the Land of Jerusalem
  35. Blessing God after Eating One's Fill
  36. The Laws of Eshnunna and Nephite Economics
  37. Notes on Korihor and Language
  38. Cursing a Litigant with Speechlessness
  39. Alma's Use of State in the Book of Mormon
  40. Cities and Lands in the Book of Mormon
  41. Eyewitness Descriptions of Mesoamerican Swords
  42. New Technology and Ancient Voyages
  43. Rollercoaster Economics
  44. Challenging Conventional Views of Metal
  45. Secret Combinations Revisited
  46. The Marketplace
  47. Hebraic Conditionals in the Book of Mormon
  48. "Thus Saith the Lord": Prophetic Language in Samuel's Speech
  49. More on the Hanging of Zemnarihah
  50. Word Groups in the Book of Mormon
  51. Another Note on the Three Days of Darkness
  52. Two Notes on the Lord's Prayer
  53. Was There Leprosy among the Nephites?
  54. The Decline of the God Quetzalcoatl
  55. Semitic Texts Written in Egyptian Characters
  56. Two Notes on Egyptian Script
  57. Old World People in the New
  58. New Light on the Shining Stones of the Jaredites
  59. By Land or by Sea? Revisiting the Bering Straits
  60. Vikings, Iron, and the Book of Mormon
  61. Droughts and Serpents
  62. The "Decapitation" of Shiz
  63. Fragments of Original Manuscript Discovered
  64. Translation of the Book of Mormon
  65. Revelation and the Urim and Thummim
  66. Was There a Library in Harmony, Pennsylvania?
  67. Can the 1834 Affidavits Attacking the Smith Family be Trusted?
  68. Roberts Affirms Book of Mormon Antiquity
  69. What the Original Book of Mormon Manuscript Is Not
  70. The Sobering Lesson of the Grolier Codex

“Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message.” (Mosiah 13:7)

When Abinadi testified before King Noah and his priests, they “attempted to lay their hands on him” (Mosiah 13:2), but he warned them, “Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver” (Mosiah 13:3). Knowing that “the Spirit of the Lord was upon him,” “the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him” (Mosiah 13:5), and Abinadi went on to tell them about the coming of the Messiah. “I finish my message,” he declared, “and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved” (Mosiah 13:9). Only after he had delivered the words of the Lord were they able to slay him (see Mosiah 17:1).

A similar story is found in the pseudepigraphic book known as 4 Baruch or “The Things Omitted from Jeremiah the Prophet.”1 “And as Jeremiah was saying these things about the Son of God, that he is coming into the world, the people became angry and said, ‘These (once) again are the words spoken by Isaiah the son of Amos, saying, “I saw God and the son of God.” Come, therefore, and let us not kill him by that (same) death [as Isaiah], but let’s stone him with stones’” (4 Baruch 9:21–22).2 But Jeremiah declared, “they will not kill me until I have described to you everything that I saw” (4 Baruch 9:24). He then asked the Lord to protect him, and his life was spared by divine intervention when the Lord blinded their eyes and made them think that a large stone was Jeremiah. “Jeremiah delivered all the mysteries that he had seen . . . and then he simply stood in the midst of the people, desiring to bring his stewardship to an end” (4 Baruch 9:29). The people then “saw him, [and] they immediately ran at him with many stones, and his stewardship was fulfilled” (4 Baruch 9:31).

On several occasions, as Jesus testified of himself and his relationship with the Father, those who heard him sought to slay him. On two of these occasions, he simply went “through the midst of them” and escaped unharmed (Luke 4:30; compare John 8:58–59). On two other occasions, we read that “no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come” (John 7:30; see 8:20; compare John 2:4; 7:6, 8). Only when he had completed his mortal ministry did he declare that “the hour is come; [and] the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners” (Mark 14:41; compare John 12:23; 13:1; 17:1).

These ancient accounts from the Book of Mormon, 4 Baruch, and the New Testament reflect a consistent attitude found among the words of Jesus Christ and his early prophets. Interestingly, in October 1844, Brigham Young articulated this as a divine principle: “The Lord never let a prophet fall on the earth until he had accomplished his work.”3

Research by John A. Tvedtnes, originally published in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 5/2 (1996): 169–70.

Notes

1. The text used herein is the English translation by S. E. Robinson, in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, ed. James H. Charlesworth (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1985), 2:418–25.

2. Similarly, when Lehi told the people about his vision “of the coming of a Messiah, and also the redemption of the world . . . the Jews . . . were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away” (1 Nephi 1:19–20; compare Helaman 8:22). The Lord saved Lehi by telling him to flee Jerusalem. In this, Lehi’s story resembles that of Abinadi in Mosiah 11:26. When Nephi was threatened by his brothers, the Lord protected him as he protected Abinadi, by making it impossible for them to lay their hands on him until he had finished speaking (1 Nephi 17:48–55; compare Lehi in 1 Nephi 2:13–14).

3. History of the Church, 7:302.