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"The Time is Past": A Note on Samuel's Five-Year Prophecy

Title"The Time is Past": A Note on Samuel's Five-Year Prophecy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsRappleye, Neal
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
KeywordsAncient America; Calendar System; Mesoamerica; Prophecy; Samuel the Lamanite; Timekeeping

The story of believers being nearly put to death before the appearance of the sign at Christ’s birth is both inspiring and a little confusing. According to the Book of Mormon, the sign comes in the 92nd year, which was actually the sixth year after the prophecy had been made. There is little wonder why even some believers began to doubt. The setting of a final date by which the prophecy must be fulfilled, however, suggests that until that day, there must have been reason for even the nonbelievers to concede that fulfillment was still possible; yet after that deadline it was definitively too late. An understanding of Mesoamerican timekeeping practices and terminology provides one possible explanation.