The Day There Was No Night
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“The Day There Was No Night,” Liahona, Dec. 1998, 4

The Day There Was No Night

A Christmas Play about the People of Zarahemla

Characters:

Voice of Jesus Christ

Nephi

Chorus

Children to read prophecies in the introduction, hold pictures (from the meetinghouse library or the Gospel Art Picture Kit), and take parts of the men and women speaking

Introduction

(Chorus sings “Silent Night” Hymns, number 204.)

First child (holding picture of Isaiah’s prophecy): Long before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, the prophet Isaiah saw him in a vision. Isaiah wrote, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” (Isa. 9:6).

Second child (holding picture of Samuel the Lamanite): A short time before Jesus Christ was born, Samuel the Lamanite prophesied to the wicked Nephites that the time of the Lord’s birth was near. Samuel said, “In the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day” (Hel. 14:3).

Third child (holding picture of the Nativity): In Zarahemla, Nephi knew the day of Jesus Christ’s birth was coming. He and the other righteous people began to look for the day, the night, and the day without darkness.

(Chorus sings “Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus,” Children’s Songbook, 36; Tambulilit, December 1992, 7.)

Scene 1

(The women sit in a living room in Zarahemla, mending, sewing, and talking.)

First woman (opening imaginary door in welcome): Come in, Sarah. We are all here now. I’m glad you could come.

Second woman: We were so happy you suggested that we women in Zarahemla have a day of fasting and come together in prayer.

Third woman: Yes, indeed, these are troubled times.

Fourth woman: The unbelievers taunt us wherever we go, saying we are foolish to look for the prophet Samuel’s sign.

First woman: Yes, they laugh and ask how the sun could go down and no darkness come.

Fourth woman: They say our faith is in vain.

Third woman: And it’s sad, but some of our own loved ones are being led away from the truth.

First woman: Yes—even though there are many great signs and miracles every day.

Third woman: Gathering together like this to fast and pray will strengthen us.

First woman: We are all ready. Sarah, will you lead us in a prayer for faith and courage? (All kneel.)

Scene 2

(Nephi talks to some men who are meeting outside.)

First man (entering hurriedly): Nephi, did you hear?

Nephi: Yes, we are discussing it.

Second man: The wicked have set a day when all who believe in Samuel’s sign will be put to death.

Third man: Unless Samuel’s prophecy comes true.

Second man: Our women and children must be protected.

Third man: Some women have met at my home today in fasting and prayer.

Fourth man: But many of our sons are being led astray.

Nephi: The wickedness of the unbelievers fills me with great sorrow. Return to your homes and your families. Gather them together, and stay close to them. I shall pray to the Lord for my people. (Nephi goes off by himself and kneels to pray.)

Voice of Jesus Christ (a light shines above Nephi): “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

“Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given” (3 Ne. 1:13–14).

(Chorus sings “Away in a Manger,” Hymns, number 206.)

Scene 3

(Nephi presides over the families that have gathered together.)

Nephi: Greetings, my brothers and sisters. What wondrous things have happened! Surely we are favored to be born in this land of promise and in this great day in the earth’s history.

First woman: We shall have much to tell our children and our children’s children.

Second woman: They shall not soon forget—nor shall we—the night without darkness that blessed our land when the day and night and day were like unto one day.

First man: Was it not a lovely light, like a radiance that filled our souls?

Nephi: It was a new light, clean and sweet, so unlike the bright sunshine of the day. Yet there was a burning without pain, a searing into the conscience, deep into one’s inner thoughts.

Second man: And what of the unbelievers, Nephi? Did they see it as fulfillment of Samuel’s prophecy?

Nephi: The light and the wonder of the star penetrated the hearts of many of the unbelievers. They have released all the people that were to be put to death, and many have repented and now believe in Samuel’s words. Yet only those with faith know the meaning of this great happening. Through all time the story will be told of the bright star that heralded the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, and of the miracle of light shown unto God’s people in this promised land. Let us cherish these things and give thanks unto God.

(Chorus sings “He Sent His Son,” Children’s Songbook, 34–35; Tambulilit, April 1992, 10–11.)

Samuel the Lamanite Prophesies, by Arnold Friberg

Photography by Steve Bunderson and Craig Dimond