CLICK HERE to read Helaman 10.
After all this happened, the people agreed that Nephi was something-enough to leave him alone (verse 1). Some believed he was a prophet of God, some mis-understood and thought he was a god (Helaman 9). The people were divided, but did leave Nephi alone, so that he went back to his own house “pondering upon the things which the Lord had shown unto him” (verse 2).
It was during this pondering that a voice came to him (verse 3), and said:
Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will (verses 4 and 5).
God then says, “Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God” (verse 6). This is the atonement in action, the declaring of at-one-ness, sealing the gap between who He asks us to be and who we really are. It is sanctification, it is Saint-ifying, it is being endowed with the power (verse 7) to do what He asks and be who He has commanded we be (see the “blessings of grace” chapter in Callister’s Atonement).
In this case for Nephi, specifically, it is a calling to a specific office and role, as he is given the sealing power (verse 7). This gives him the authority to act in God’s name to seal up the consequences of the choices made – whether destruction or blessing (verses 8-10).
He does not choose the consequences; the people choose by their own behaviors and interations.
He does not declare the judgment; God does that by the laws He has already provided.
He simply delivers the message from the Lord: except ye repent, ye shall be smitten, even unto destruction (verse 11).
When Nephi received this visit, this teaching, this instruction, this gift, he turned around back to the people (verse 12). He had, so often like the Savior in the gospel stories, been headed to his own place to be still and quiet and rest from his ministry, to ponder the words and what the Lord had done. But he was interrupted from this respite by being called again to action (see also President Eyring’s talk in Priesthood session in October 2011 General Conference).
Yet already, so soon, even immediately after the miracle of all that had happened, the people hardened their hearts against Nephi, against the word of the Lord “concerning their destruction if they did not repent” (verses 12-13). Nephi told them again, urging them to repent before they are destroyed (verse 14), and “they did still harden their hearts and would not hearken unto his words” (verse 15). They even got violent and wanted to throw him in prison, but “the power of God was with him, and they could not take him to cast him into prison, for he was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away out of the midst of them” (verse 16).
And so he continued in the Spirit, by the Spirit, according to the Spirit, declaring repentance unto all the people even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people (verse 17).
But they would not listen, and refused the call to repentance, which did cause contention in the people as is always the consequence of refusing repentance (verse 18).