Last time, Nephi gave the crowd a sign, that their chief judge had been murdered on the judgment seat.
Five men now leave to verify his words. They don’t believe he is a prophet, so when they discover his words are true and see the bloody crime scene, they fall to the earth as if dead, overcome by shock and fear. Other citizens arrive at the scene and assume that these five men laying beside the dead chief judge must be his murderers, smitten by God. They bind them and put them into prison.
The next day, the wicked judges who were gathered at Nephi’s garden and heard his prophesy, are at the funeral for the chief judge. They ask around about the five men they sent to verify Nephi’s words. The people say they don’t know about them, but that there are five men in prison who are the murderers.
The story becomes more convoluted. The judges now blame Nephi for conspiring with someone to murder the chief judge, so he might convert them to his church by giving them a pretend prophesy.
The five men stand up for Nephi and tell the judges they’re wrong. They have been converted to the truth while in prison and now believe that Nephi is a prophet from God.
The judges have Nephi bound (as they wanted to do in the beginning) and have him brought to stand before them to be questioned. They bribe him with money and with his life to get him to tell them who he is confederate with in the murder of the chief judge.
Nephi rebukes them for being so hard-hearted. He gives them another sign about the brother of the chief judge, Seantum, who has committed the murder. And all the things he tells them come to pass. Seantum denies that Nephi has any knowledge of the matter “save it were given unto [him] by the power of God.” (36)
By this miraculous sign, Nephi tells them that they can know he is an honest man, sent to them by God to command them to repent.
The five other men are released from prison. Some of the Nephites believe on their words and are converted to God. But the hard-hearted can excuse any miracle as a coincidence. This is seen often in today’s world.
Pride blinds us to truth and goodness.
Good triumphed in the end, but Nephi had to exercise faith when he was unjustly accused and put in bonds. That had to have felt like God had forsaken him. He did what was right and was hated and condemned for it.
But his faith in God never wavered. He didn’t whine or ask “Why me?” He stood tall and was courageous in the truth…and patiently waited upon His God to uphold him.
When we put our trust in God, He will always deliver us. What that deliverance looks like or when it happens isn’t up to us though. We must trust Him with those details as well.