Nephi, deep in vision with the angel of the Lord, is being shown the end times of the world and the fate of his descendants. He also sees John the Revelator and learns of his role in warning us about the signs of the second coming.
18. And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
19. And I looked and beheld a man, and he was dressed in a white robe.
20. And the angel said unto me: Behold one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
21. Behold, he shall see and write the remainder of these things; yea, and also many things which have been.
22. And he shall also write concerning the end of the world.
23. Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men.
The angel of the Lord shows John the Revelator to Nephi in the vision, and testifies to Nephi that the things John will write are true. Here we have a second witness as to the things written in the Book of Revelation. He also says that at the time the Bible was written, it contained plain and pure truths that were easy to understand. We know from our previous reading that certain things were taken out of the Bible and that meanings were clouded.
24. And behold, the things which this apostle of the Lamb shall write are many things which thou hast seen; and behold, the remainder shalt thou see.
25. But the things which thou shalt see hereafter thou shalt not write; for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should write them.
We learn in this verse that Nephi was also shown the end times of the world in the same manner in which John saw them. I think it’s interesting that Nephi was commanded not to write what he saw, that it was John’s calling to do it. This is one important way in which we need both the Bible and the Book of Mormon – there are simply some things one has that the other does not, this revelation as to the end of the world being one of them.
26. And also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them; and they are sealed up to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord, unto the house of Israel.
This verse indicates that there are yet other scriptures which have yet to come forth. We already know this from our reading about the return of the Ten Tribes – it is said that they will bring their own records with them.
27. And I, Nephi, heard and bear record, that the name of the apostle of the Lamb was John, according to the word of the angel.
28. And behold, I, Nephi, am forbidden that I should write the remainder of the things which I saw and heard; wherefore the things which I have written sufficeth me; and I have written but a small part of the things which I saw.
29. And I bear record that I saw the things which my father saw, and the angel of the Lord did make them known unto me.
In Book of Mormon language, when someone says “I bear record,” that’s the same as saying, “I bear my testimony” or “I testify.” In this verse, Nephi is bearing his testimony that he saw for himself everything his father saw, and he knows it to be true.
30. And now I make an end of speaking concerning the things which I saw while I was carried away in the spirit; and if all the things which I saw are not written, the things which I have written are true. And thus it is. Amen.
Nephi concludes his account of his vision by bearing testimony of the things he himself saw. He ends with a very conclusive statement, “And thus it is.” We can take this to mean, “And that’s how it happened” in our modern vernacular. He ends with “Amen,” the classic word used to end a prayer or a testimony. He wants us to understand the truthfulness of his vision, that he did not make it up, that he really did converse with the angel and really did see all the things he recorded.
As we conclude today’s reading and our study of Nephi’s vision, what can we do to increase our testimony of the Book of Mormon so that we too can say, “Thus it is. Amen?”