“All the Prophets Prophesied of Christ,” Tambuli, Apr. 1994, 10
The scene was not rare. Many of the Lord’s people had forgotten God. Some were even glorying in their iniquity. The Lord’s response was to send a prophet. Speaking God’s word with boldness, Nephi, son of Helaman, confronted the Nephites with their sins and revealed their leaders to be members of a secret society intent on acquiring wealth and power at any cost. (See Hel. 7.)
The wicked responded by inciting the people to silence Nephi. But the spirit of prophecy was upon Nephi, and enough people believed him that he escaped harm.
At the heart of his preaching was one vital fact: God had always sent word through his prophets of what his people needed to know and do to be happy and at peace. Foremost among these messages was that the Son of God would come to earth to redeem mankind. All who looked to him would live.
Nephi then listed a number of prophets who had detailed the Savior’s advent, pointing out that “many prophets” over the centuries had testified of Christ. (See Hel. 8:11–22.)
This observation was not unique to Nephi. More than a century earlier, Abinadi told King Noah: “Did not Moses prophesy … concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?” (Mosiah 13:33; see also Alma 34:2).
If the Nephites weren’t aware of Christ’s impending mortal ministry, it was because they were not acquainted with God’s word. So clear are the revelations in the Book of Mormon that the Nephites should have known the name by which the Messiah would be called in mortality, when he would be born, where he would be born, the name of his mother, many details of his ministry, how he would suffer and die, and that his resurrection would break the bands of death for all mankind. More importantly, they should have understood how his atonement could reconcile them to God and what they had to do to receive that marvelous gift.
The same details—in the same clarity—seem not to have been available to the people in Jerusalem, at least not at the time of the Lord’s ministry there. Even so, enough prophecies remained that the people could have had many clues to apply in their search for the coming Messiah. Jesus Christ did not come to earth unheralded. From Adam to John the Baptist, from Lehi to Samuel the Lamanite, the prophets testified of his coming and taught of his atonement.
Many of the ancients received these truths with gladness. But others rejected them as sheer speculation. If we had been among those taught by Nephi, son of Helaman, would we have known the prophecies well enough to rejoice in the Savior’s advent? Or would we, too, have looked beyond the mark?
The following pages summarize many of the prophecies concerning the Messiah’s ministry.
• The Creator, Jehovah, would be born with a mortal body in order to redeem mankind.
The brother of Jared, Isaiah, Nephi, Zenos, Jacob, King Benjamin, Abinadi, Ammon, Lamoni, John the Baptist
• He would be the God of Israel, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh.
Adam, Enoch, Moses, Isaiah, Nephi, Jacob, Abinadi, Alma, John the Baptist
• His mother would be a virgin, a descendant of King David; she would be from Nazareth; her name would be Mary.
Jacob, Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nephi, King Benjamin, Alma
• Signs would attend his birth.
Samuel the Lamanite
• The Messiah would be called “Salvation” (in Hebrew, Yeshua; in English, Jesus).
• His name would be Jesus Christ.
Adam, Enoch, Noah, brother of Jared, Moses, Nephi, Jacob, King Benjamin, Abinadi, Alma
HIS TIME OF BIRTH
• Jesus would be born in the meridian of time, 600 years after Lehi left Jerusalem and 5 years after Samuel’s prophecy.
Adam, Enoch, Moses, Lehi, Nephi, Samuel the Lamanite
HIS PLACE OF BIRTH
• Christ would be born near Jerusalem at Bethlehem.
Micah, Jacob, Alma
ATONEMENT: DETAILS OF HIS MINISTRY
• A messenger-prophet would prepare the way for Messiah’s mission.
Isaiah, Lehi, Nephi
• Christ would come out of Egypt.
• He would be a child in Nazareth.
• He would be baptized by the messenger-prophet near Bethabara; the Holy Ghost would descend on him as a dove.
• He would suffer temptations, hunger, and thirst.
Isaiah, King Benjamin, Abinadi, Alma
• He would call twelve Apostles in the Old World and twelve disciples in the New World.
• He would preach glad tidings.
• He would care for his followers as a shepherd.
• He would be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Moses, David, Alma
• He would minister in power, performing miracles.
Isaiah, Nephi, Jacob, King Benjamin, Abinadi, Alma
• He would come to Zion (Jerusalem).
• He would come as a king riding on a young ass.
• He would be a stumbling block to his people, who would reject him.
David, Isaiah, Nephi, Jacob
• He would be betrayed by his friends for thirty silver pieces.
• Foreshadowings of his ministry.
Adam, Enoch, Jacob
ATONEMENT: HIS SUFFERING
• Christ would yield himself to suffer.
Isaiah, Zenos, Nephi, Abinadi
• He would be innocent.
• He would suffer to atone for our sins and to help our sicknesses; blood would come from every pore.
Isaiah, Jacob, King Benjamin, Alma, Amulek, Aaron
•He would be judged and imprisoned.
•Foreshadowings of his suffering.
Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jacob
ATONEMENT: HIS CRUCIFIXION
• Christ would die voluntarily.
Isaiah, Lehi, Nephi, Abinadi
• He would be crucified for and by his people.
Enoch, Zenock, Neum, Lehi, Nephi, Jacob
• His hands and feet would be pierced.
David, Isaiah, Zechariah
• He would be mocked and suffer pain and thirst.
David, Isaiah, King Benjamin
• He would be given vinegar to drink.
• He would speak specific words from the cross.
• None of his bones would be broken.
• Lots would be cast for his garments.
• He would be buried in a sepulchre.
• Signs would attend his death.
Zenos, Nephi, Samuel the Lamanite
• Foreshadowings of his atonement and death.
Adam, Eve, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Ezekiel, Nephi, Jacob, Alma, Nephi (son of Helaman)
Moses 5:4–7; Moses 6:63–68; Gen. 22:1–14; Ex. 12; Ex. 16:12–35; Ex. 17:1–7; Ex. 29; Lev. 1–17; Lev. 21–23; Num. 19; Num. 21:5–9; Ezek. 43:18–27; Ezek. 45:18–25; 1 Ne. 17:41; Jacob 4:4–5; Alma 33:18–23; Hel. 8:13–15
ATONEMENT: HIS RESURRECTION
• Jesus would rise from the dead after three days and show himself to witnesses.
Lehi, Nephi, King Benjamin
• Others would be resurrected because he overcame death.
Enoch, Moses, Samuel, Job, David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Lehi, Jacob, Abinadi, Alma, Amulek, Samuel the Lamanite
Moses 7:55–57, 62; 1 Sam. 2:6; Job 19:25–27; Ps. 16:9–10; Isa. 25:8; Isa. 26:19; Ezek. 37:12–13; Hosea 13:14; 2 Ne. 2:8; 2 Ne 9:4–13; Mosiah 13:33–35; Mosiah 15:20–24; Mosiah 16:7–11; Alma 11:42–45; Alma 33:22; Alma 40:2–23; Hel. 14:25
• Foreshadowings of his resurrection.
ATONEMENT WHYS AND HOWS
• The Atonement would be infinite.
Nephi, Jacob, Amulek
• Christ’s sacrifice would satisfy the laws of justice and mercy.
Jacob, Abinadi, Alma, Amulek
• His atonement would redeem all mankind from physical death, brought by Adam’s fall.
Lehi, Jacob, Abinadi, Alma, Amulek, Aaron
• His atonement would redeem from spiritual death all who have faith in him, repent, are baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, and endure; thus they receive joy and eternal life.
Adam, Eve, Enoch, Noah, brother of Jared, Isaiah, Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, King Benjamin, Abinadi, Alma, Amulek, Aaron, John the Baptist
Moses 5:8–11; Moses 6:51–68; Moses 8:23–24; Matt. 3:11; Ether 3:14; Isa. 1:16–18; 1 Ne. 10:4–6; 2 Ne. 2:3–29; 2 Ne. 9:10–42; 2 Ne. 31:10–21; Mosiah 3:11–21; Mosiah 4:5–30; Mosiah 5:6–15; Mosiah 15:10–19; Alma 5:6–62; Alma 11:36–43; Alma 12:12–37; Alma 22:14; Alma 34:2–41; Alma 42:2–28
HIS VISIT TO THE SPIRIT WORLD
• The Savior’s atonement would extend into the spirit world.
Enoch, Isaiah, Zechariah
HIS VISIT TO A BRANCH OF JOSEPH
• Christ would visit a branch of Joseph’s descendants.
HIS ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN
• Jesus would ascend to the Father.