Question what’s so impressive about the fulfillment of Book of Mormon prophecies?
Since the Book of Mormon contains the writings of ancient prophets you might expect it to be full of ancient prophecies and it is. What you might not have noticed is how often those prophecies are fulfilled in the text itself. Occasionally a prophecy is given and then comes to pass in short order. This can be seen in Nephi’s prophecy recorded in Helen chapter eight about a chief judge who was murdered by his brother and left lying in his blood at the judgment seat. Five verses later, a group of servants discovered the chief judge just as Nephi predicted.
In most cases, though prophecies are separated from their recorded fulfillments by multiple chapters and sometimes even hundreds of pages. A Benadi, for example, foretold that the descendants of Noah’s priests would cause believers to suffer death by fire just like a benedict himself. More than 30 chapters later, Mormon recorded the fulfillment of this prophecy declaring thus the words of abinidae were brought to pass. Not all prophetic fulfillment are so obvious, though. In Lehigh’s final address to his family he stated that only those who were brought by the hand of the Lord would be led to the land of promise.
Later passages never directly referenced this prophecy but on several occasions when migrations are discussed Lehigh’s prediction is suddenly reaffirmed. This type of unannounced fulfillment is the rule rather than the exception. The most remarkable set of prophecies involve Christ’s coming to the Americas. In several chapters, prophets like Nephi and Samuel’s Lehmanite gave very specific predictions about this event. Notice, as we highlight their prophecies how the wording and nuance details are consistently reflected.
In Mormon’s. Abridgement of Third nephi. Mormon recorded that the people steadfastly watched for the sign of Christ’s birth which was signaled by a night with no darkness and that when it came the people were astonished and fell to the earth. At the time of Christ’s death the people witnessed terrible thunder and lightnings, highways were broken up, many cities were sunk and burned buildings shook and fell to the earth, cities were left desolate, people were carried away in warburg, rocks were rent and twain and broken up and found in broken fragments and in seams and cracks. Upon all the face of the land the sun, moon and stars were darkened mists of darkness were upon the face of the land.
For the space of three days people were heard howling and weeping and the blood of the saints came up unto the Lord against the wicked. After three days darkness dispersed from off the face of the land. The tumultuous noises passed away and eventually Christ healed the people. Interestingly, Samuel’s prophecy about saints rising from the dead and appearing unto many went unrecorded until Christ reminded the Nephites to include it in their record. This emphasizes just how important the fulfillment of prophecy was to the Savior and helps explain why Mormon paid such close attention to all the other fulfillment in these chapters.
Altogether, the Book of Mormon contains more than 120 internally fulfilled prophecies. Keeping track of all of them would be no small task for any author or editor, but this is especially true for Joseph Smith, who didn’t rely on any notes or outlines while translating the Book of Mormon. How he consistently dictated so many precise fulfillments in a fast paced translation of an already immensely complex text is difficult to answer unless he was aided by the gift and power of God. That’s the evidence you decide.