Greetings all my relations,
With great honor we continue with this ancient book of Pa Natan;
1) Now, the story of how the sons of Sahnempet went down unto the people of the Land Southward is spoken of somewhat in Ougou’s writings, and he does mention in his record that they departed out of Mentinah and were heard from now and then for some time.
And after the space of time, Ougou did not hear word of them again, and this greatly troubled him. But behold, the Lord Jesus, did visit the prophet Ougou and console him when He appeared to the people of Mentinah.
2) Now, when they began their journey into the Land Southward, they went not by sea but, going around the great canyons on the east side, they did proceed southward. And behold, they came to a great expanse of desert and rough country.
This they knew to be the very southern borders of the Land Northward, and also they knew that, if they continued on this course, they would come into a land of desolation.
Wherefore, they did turn more toward the east and continued in this wise for many days. And behold, they came into a place of dense forests and many rivers and exceedingly large lakes, wherefore, they knew that they would soon come unto the eastern sea.
3) And this was their design, for they wished to come into the Land Southward upon the eastern side.
Yea, this was their design because they knew that this side of the mountains which divided the Land Southward was in the main inhabited by the Lamanites.
And, whereas the Lamanites were rumored to have not so completely accepted the Gadiantonhem in that time, they felt the safer by approaching the Nephites from the East Sea.
4) And after many days travel they did come to the East Sea, which is a great gulf, surrounded on all sides except the east by land.
And by and by they came to a city which was called by the people who dwelt in it, Tamahualip.
Then did the missionaries pause their progress long enough to acquaint themselves with the people of that city.
For, the people of the land were known to the Nemenhah and they made trade with the cities and settlements of the Nemenhah from time to time.
And the Tamahu-Ah were known to be people who would not allow the Gadiantonhem to dwell in their midst.
Wherefore, the missionaries paused their journey in that city for a season.
5) Now, it was while they were in Tamahualip that they found men who would take them down the coast in ships.
For, the Tamahu-Ah were fisher folk and made their living by catching fish, and they had many boats and ships for this purpose.
Wherefore, the missionaries found transport for themselves along the sea coast and did go around the land called Desolation by that route.
And they went up into two ships and embarked upon their journey on the waters of the gulf.
6) Now, they did not go directly down to the Land Southward, for, the Tamahu-Ah had commerce to attend to as they made their way.
Wherefore, their progress was slow, but they learned much about the places and the people of the Land Southward as their hosts made their way slowly upon the waters, stopping here and there to trade and to take up news from the south.
7) And behold, they learned that in some of the cities of the Land Southward the Gadiantonhem had taken complete possession of all the cities and that the People of God were often misused and persecuted by them.
And, even in those cities that were not completely controlled by them, their wickedness had infected most of the cities in thatregion.
And they learned that the persecution was the worst in the Cities of Laman, Josh, Gad, and Kishkumen, which were all cities on the east side of the land of river Sidon, which bordered the land of Zarahemlah.
8) Wherefore, when their hosts had brought them as far to the south as they desired to go, even to that point where the land bent again to the east and the gulf closed in again from the south, they took their journey once again upon land in order that they might travel up even to those cities which were known to be the nests and strong places of the Gadiantonhem.
9) And when they had come a shore, the three missionaries counseled together.
10) And Sanhagot, who was the eldest of the sons of Sahnempet, said unto them:
11) I do not think it wise that we should all go together into these cities, but let us divide one from another and each go into different places to preach the word of God.
I will go up into the land round about the City of Laman.
Shigath, go you up to the two Cities of Josh and Gad, for they are very close one to another.
Shimnet, go up unto the City of Kishkumen.
And Him-pah-neth, you must go where the Spirit of God shall take you.
Now, take care as you go and even whenyou have arrived in the cities, for, we are to understand that the people are very wicked and may strive against us.
But be faithful and the Lord will go before us.
12) And Sanhagot laid his hands upon his brethren and his sister and blessed them in the name of Jesus.
And when he had done this, they did go their separate ways, promising that they would be diligent in preaching the word of God to all the people.
13) Now, Sanhagot went straightway up to the City of Laman, which was up in the mountains.
And he observed that the people came out of the city to harvest large nuts and to hunt the wild beasts that infested the jungle surrounding the city.
And when the people saw him, standing by a pool of water, they were afraid somewhat because of his appearance.
14) For behold, the people of Laman had taken the custom of dressing like the Lamanites.
That is, they wore very little clothing at all but a loin cloth.
Nevertheless, they did paint their bodies with many symbols and marks, so much so that their appearance was very bright and gaudy.
15) But behold, it was the custom of the Nemenhah to cover up the body with humble and modest attire when they went in the sight of other people.
And this was in accordance with the teachings of the High Place.
For, God did give to the first man and the first woman, clothing to wear, that they might more fully protect themselves from the sin of adultery and fornication and, in this way, they did remember to more fully observe to keep the law of chastity which they received by covenant in the Temple.
16) And this was the custom of the sons of Sahnempet.
Yea, and they were each of them Priest of the Temple of Mentinah.
Wherefore, they did observe to keep all the covenants they had made in the High Place, and also the laws they had received there.
And, becauseof this, the people of the City of Laman were surprised at the appearance of Sanhagot when they saw him bending down to drink from the pool.
17) And the harvesters ran back into the city to tell what they had seen in the jungle.
For, they believed they had seen an enemy or an apparition.
And behold, they did return again with the guards of the gate of the city, and they did approach Sanhagot with weapons of war.
18) And Sanhagot raised up his hands above his head and began to sing a song of praise and thanks unto God.
And behold, this did so surprise the men and the guards that they did all stop in their hasty progress toward him to hear the song.
19) And Sanhagot did speak to them, saying:
20) Why do you come out of the city and approach me with weapons of war?
Is there war in this place?
21) And the captain of the guard answered him:
22) You are a stranger here.
Tell us your name and your business.
23) And Sanhagot answered him, saying:
24) Is there war then, that you come out of your strong city with weapons, even against a lone man?
25) Whereupon, the captain responded:
26) It is not your business to ask us questions.
You are a stranger here.
What is your name and your purpose?
27) I am Sanhagot, and I come from a place you know not of.
I am a messenger.
May a messenger not travel in these parts?
I ask again, am I in danger of running upon a war.
For as you can see, I am unarmed and cannot defend myself.
28) And the captain put up the sword he had drawn and answered him:
29) I do see that you carry no weapons such as my men and I do, and you do not look to be a man of war.
Nevertheless, you are a man of great stature and you are attired in a strange, Nephitish manner.
Therefore, I must assume that you are a servant of the judges of Zarahemlah and mean to do us no harm.
But behold, it is not our custom that messengers from Zarahemlah should come among us by any other means than by the gate of the city and it is unusual that one should tarry outside the city in this manner.
What do you mean by it?
Is it that you have arranged to meet withsomeone secretly that you come such and tarry in the wild places?
30) And Sanhagot answered him:
31) I do not come from Zarahemlah, but from a city far in the Land Northward.
My message is no secret, but not knowing the lay of the land, and that men came out from the city to harvest, I assumed that the whole region was safe.
Ought I to worry about my safety in this region?
32) And the captain answered him:
33) It is not safe to tarry alone in these jungles, for they are full of ravenous beasts that can easily overpower a man unarmed.
Come into the city with us and we will deliver you up to the Chief Judge.
He will receive your message and decide what is to be done with you.
34) Wherefore, Sanhagot was taken into the city to be judged by the Chief Judge.
35) And the Chief Judge of the City of Laman was a Nephite named Wayus.
But behold, he was not a righteous man.
For, he did puff himself up because ofhis knowledge of the law and also because of his much riches.
Yea, he did live in a palace and had many servants.
And it was also his custom to take those who became debtors unto him and make them his servants.
But behold, they could never earn enough in his service to pay their debts.
Wherefore, they became slaves unto him, even though slavery was not a thing looked well upon by the Nephites.
36) And this Wayus had great store of fine cloth and of precious things of all kinds. And he did attire himself in robes most costly, with gold and with purple.
37) And behold, when the people of the city sought to remove him from the judgment seat, he conspired to have their leaders slain or he did cause them to be imprisoned. And in this way he retained the judgment seat, for, all the people feared him exceedingly.
38) And the guards brought him before Wayus as he sat upon the seat to be examined of him. And Wayus spoke to him harshly:
39) What is this person that the guards of the gate have taken.
Surely, he is not one of us, or he would not be traveling alone in this dangerous country.
For, we who live here know of the many dangerous beasts that stalk the jungle round about and we never leave the safety of our city except in groups.
Who is this stranger who comes up to our walls and our gates and challenges our authority.
40) And Sanhagot answered him, saying:
41) I am Sanhagot, son of Sahnempet.
The same is the High Priest of the City of Mentinah in the Land Northward.
Behold, I do not come stealthily into your land, nor do I approach your city secretly.
But, it is as you say.
I am a stranger to your country and know not your ways.
Nor am I familiar with all the animals that lurk in your jungles.
But behold, I am not afraid of man or beast, for the Lord is with me and He guides my path.
42) And Wayus knew straightway that this was a holy man and a prophet come unto them and he knew to treat him carefully.
Nevertheless, he also knew that to have a prophet in the city was chancy indeed.
The more so because he had maintained his judgment seat by wicked means.
43) And why does one led by the Lord see fit to travel so far from his home in order to visit our city.
We have our priests and our teachers.
We need no vagabond to come and teach us the ways of the Lord.
44) And Sanhagot answered him, saying:
45) Behold, I do not question the Lord my God.
When He bids me go, I go.
When He bids me speak, I speak.
It is unto this city that He has led me and the Spirit prompts me to open my mouth and cry repentance unto this people.
46) And Wayus was angry with Sanhagot.
47) Be silent!
You must know that you speak to the Chief Judge of the People of Laman.
I have the power to put you to death, wherefore, I warnyou, have a care to what you say. Do you come into our city crying repentance?
Of what do we need to repent?
Are we not Nephites?
Do we not have the Temple?
And do we not have priests and teachers appointed to teach the scriptures unto us?
48) Behold, you say that you are the son of a High Priest.
Does that make you our High Priest?
It does not.
You say you come from a city far in the Land Northward.
Does that make you one of us?
It does not.
Do not come here with your message of repentance.
You do not even know what we are.
How can you think to judge us?
49) Now, Wayus spoke thus in order to excite the people against Sanhagot.
For, he saw in him a means whereby he might gain favor in the eyes of the people.
But Sanhagot was filled with the Holy Ghost and saw his thoughts.
50) Do not think that your costly robes and your high seat can hide the intent of your heart, Wayus Chief Judge.
For, I see your mind and your thoughts.
There is darkness there, yea, there is a mark of darkness upon you that is visible even to the naked eye of him who is not blinded by the fear that you have caused to come over this people.
51) Behold, you are proud and puffed up.
You fill your belly while children suffer for want of food.
You clothe yourself with fine clothing while there are naked in the streets of your city.
Yea, and you maintain your position of power by wickedness and murder.
You, who are the first citizen of this city, are an example of the depth to which a people may sink into sin and corruption.
52) Behold, you have put a yoke of bondage upon the people and they cannot break free.
Yea, in slavery do you support your own wickedness and all the city suffers because of it.
53) Wherefore, I do cry repentance unto you and unto this city and all its inhabitants. Repent, Wayus!
For the hour of the Lord is at hand and should you delay the day of your repentance any longer, the hour shall come upon you and there will be no time for you to make amends.
54) And Wayus laughed Sanhagot to scorn and caused that he should be cast into prison and that he should receive no food or water until he died from hunger and thirst.
And this he did in the sight and hearing of all the people, and behold, the more part of the people applauded him for it.
55) And Sanhagot was cast into a prison and they chained him to a wall.
And the guards of the prison taunted him day and night and cast food at his feet where he could not reach it.
And they set water also at his feet, that he might see it but not reach it to quench his thirst.
And behold, the climate was exceedingly hot and Sanhagot did suffer much.
56) But he did remain faithful to the commandment of the Lord.
For, the Lord had visited him upon the Way and He did command him to go even unto the City of Laman and cry repentance unto the people.
57) Wherefore, Sanhagot raised up his voice unto the Lord in mighty prayer, saying:
58) Oh Lord, I know that You did command me to go up even to this strange land and city to cry repentance unto the Nephites.
And I have begun fulfilling Your commandment.
But the people are stiff necked and puffed up in pride.
Wherefore, preserve me upon the Way, to the confounding of the people of this city
and take away from them their riches.
For they do seek to take away my life by depriving me of food and drink.
But I know that you can preserve my life.
Wherefore, let me tarry upon the Way, that I need no food nor drink.
But let your anger be kindled against Wayus, that the people might see Your fury and repent.
59) And behold, the Lord did answer the prayer of Sanhagot.
For, while he languished in the prison, he did go upon the Way and behold, he did not require food nor drink for many days.
And the guards were astonished that he did not perish, for the heat was extreme.
60) But this is not all.
Behold, the Lord did bring a curse upon the City of Laman and all its inhabitants.
For, they trusted not their neighbors and esteemed them all to be thieves and robbers.
Wherefore, each man and woman did hide up their precious things that their neighbor might not steal them from them.
61) But behold, the Lord did curse so that when the people went again to their hiding place to count their gold, or when they sought again their precious violet to wear in the sight of their neighbors, behold, their precious and costly things were not to be found.
62) And He did also cause that swarms of insects might infest the wilderness round about the city so that, when the inhabitants went out to collect the fruits and the food that the jungle produced, they found only the husks instead and there was no food to gather.
63) Now, the people of City of Laman had grown accustomed to the food that was produced naturally in the wilderness round about the city, and they toiled not in the soil to produce their own.
Wherefore, the swarms were a sore curse indeed. For, they were forced to send to other cities for food. But behold, because they had hidden up their precious things, they had not wherewith to pay for the food brought to them from their neighbors.
And except for some relief that came to them from certain families in Zarahemlah, their neighbors took their goods and turned around again.
Yea, they turned their faces unto their own cities once again and departed leaving none of their goods for the relief of the suffering of the people of the City of Laman.
64) Then the people began to remember the words of Sanhagot, that he had cried repentance unto the chief of their judges.
And they went unto Wayus, the Chief Judge, and they reprimanded him sorely, saying:
65) Why have you brought upon us this curse from heaven?
What have you done to bring down upon us the swarm?
And behold, where are your riches and why do you appear now before us in the same attire we saw you in yesterday?
And the day before?
Is it because you too have hid up your precious things and now cannot find them?
Behold, this is the curse that has befallen us because you did not treat honorably
with the stranger in our land.
66) And Wayus was dismayed at the rush of people to his seat and he did attempt to defend himself, saying:
67) Why do you lay this burden at my feet?
And why do you trouble the judgment seat with your own iniquities?
68) And certain of the mob stepped forward and gave him answer, saying:
69) It is you to whom this prophet has come.
We heard his harsh words to you when you observed him from the judgment seat.
Did he not reveal to all the depth of your wickedness?
Or do you deny that he spoke the truth?
70) And he delayed them, saying:
71) But tell me, surely, what part of his parable belonged solely to me and what part is a more general transgression to be shared among all who are in this city?
It is certain that he did recriminate against me for some of my deeds.
But, tell me, which among you who secured his goods yesterday has found them
72) And they cried, saying:
73) Nay, but we are all penniless today because of the curse laid upon us.
74) And he answered them, saying:
75) Then complain not to me because this man has stolen your goods with a curse.
He cried not only against me, but against all the people of this city.
76) And the people beat their fists and clamored loudly that the judgment seat be taken from Wayus and given unto another.
But Wayus called forth the guard of the city to protect him from the riot.
And when the people had calmed a little, he again spoke unto them, saying:
77) What is it that you wish me to do?
78) And they cried in one voice:
79) Bring out the prophet and let him be heard by the people.
Then we shall judge him, and you.
80) Wherefore, Wayus called for the prisoner to be brought out to be heard by all the people and judged.
And when Sanhagot was brought out, the people set a post at the center of the city and bound him to it.
And they beat him, and spit on him, and reviled him, and accused him of theft.
81) And after he had been thus scourged by the people, he was brought again before the judgment seat to be examined by the judge and his officers.
And behold, Sanhagot stood without aid before the judgment seat of the City of Laman, so much was he strengthened by the Lord.
82) And Wayus questioned him again, saying:
83) Behold, the people say that you have brought down upon us the judgments of God. What do you say to this, stranger?
84) And Sanhagot responded, saying:
85) The people speak of what they know.
86) And Wayus questioned him:
87) What is it that you find so wicked in the way of our people?
Come, you are a teacher.
88) And Sanhagot spoke boldly, saying:
89) Behold, when the beggar casts up his petition unto you, do you impart unto him of your own goods?
Do you give him bread and wine of your own larder because he is hungry and because he is athirst?
And do you give unto him your own cloak because he is naked?
And do you pray for him and administer unto him because he is sick with the fever?
Do you set him in your storehouse for the night because he is alone and penniless and full of sorrows.
And then in the morning, do you find him lodging?
Are these the things you do unto your neighbor who is in need?
90) And the people round about the judgment seat laughed him to scorn.
91) Still, he continued, saying:
92) Nay, you do not these things unto him that is needy.
Instead, you give him bread to eat and wine to drink for a price.
And, if he have not any coin, yet you give him what he needs for a price.
And when he eat and drink but cannot pay, you demand the value of the provender.
And behold, when he cannot produce the money, you cast him into slavery for the price of bread and wine.
93) Behold, the Lord has shown me your customs.
It is because of your wickedness that the Lord has commanded me to come into this city and preach repentance unto the inhabitants of it.
Yea, it is because of the great wickedness of the City of Laman, that I do prophesy against you.
94) And behold, Wayus knew that Sanhagot spoke the truth, yea, and all the people also knew, but they laughed at him, saying:
95) This man is jealous of us.
He is not accustomed to the prosperity that we have because he comes from a country where such things are not known.
Behold, his forefathers departed out of the Land Southward and took their posterity into wilderness places and now, seeing our blessed state, he is offended.
96) And Wayus took courage again, seeing that the people of the city were of a like mind as his own.
And he stood up at the judgment seat and spoke to the people, saying:
97) Nay, let us not be so hasty in judging this man.
If it be true that he has not known of such wealth and prosperity as is ours, then we might understand how he might be offended.
Let us release him, that he might come to know our people and accustom himself to life as it is in the civilized world.
For, it does appear to me that he desires to live among the Nephites in this part of the land.
Wherefore, if that be his desire, he will need to become accustomed to things among the Nephites.
For, is it not so that he will find things very much the same wherever he wanders in these lands?
98) And the people agreed and cried out for his release.
Now, Wayus did this, not out of kindness or charity, but because he believed that Sanhagot had brought down upon the city the judgments of God and he bethought him of how he might rid his City of this prophet. For, he knew that the people loved their riches, even as he did, and if this prophet walked among the more part of the people preaching against them as he had against him, then they would clamor for his death and the on us would not fall upon him.
99) Wherefore, he did cause the guards to release Sanhagot and he did apologize largely for the manner in which he had been treated, saying:
100) Behold, we are unused to prophets in our city.
For,our priests and teachers serve us well.
Wherefore, walk now safely among the people and observe them.
I do not ask you to hold your tongue, for you are a prophet and such things as the Spirit might give you utterance can only be for the good of this great city.
101) And Sanhagot left the judgment seat knowing the artifice of Wayus, but also rejoicing and praising God for his deliverance from bondage. And, as he left the judgment seat, behold, a small group of righteous men and women came to him and entreated him to follow them to that part of the city where they made their homes.
For, they were afraid of what the people might do to him.
Yea, they entreated him, saying:
102) Come now with us, Sanhagot, even down toward the river side of the city.
For that is where we make our abode.
And there are those among our neighbors who will hear your words and succor you.
Whereas, in the part of the city in which you now stand, there are none who will do anything for you.
103) And Sanhagot went with them down to their homes, which were on the river side of the city, even down away from the rich and spacious houses and buildings which occupied the more wealthy sector.
Chapter Three…to be continued…cj