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CODY - I just wanted to start by saying that my testimony is founded on faith, faith in Jesus Christ and that the restored Gospel is upon the earth. I am also an avid defender of the faith I've
come to acquire, and with that, I love to learn every aspect of the gospel. I try and figure out the questions that I feel critics or those just curious, would ask. I feel I can adequately answer most
questions based off my research, but the one I get hung up on is having Malachi being quoted in 1 Nephi 22:15. I read FAIR Wiki on this topic and I can see the logic and agree with what was said. The question I raise is, what prophet is Nephi referring too when he says, "for behold, saith the prophet"....and then goes on to quote Malachi? That is to refer that a prophet in O.T. times (obviously before Malachi) used that phrase or something similar? Do we know what prophet Nephi had in mind? I just want more understanding of this so I can more effectively defend the faith.
JOEL - Here are the scriptures in question:
1 Nephi 22:15
"For behold, saith the prophet, the time cometh speedily that Satan shall have no more power over the hearts of the children of men; for the day soon cometh that all the proud and they who do wickedly shall be as stubble; and the day cometh that they must be burned."
Compare to Malachi 4:1, which was recorded more than a hundred years after Nephi:
"For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch."
I assume this is the Malachi scripture you are refering to?
It sounds like he was quoting Malachi (not word for word), but Nephi had just been reading the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 48 and 49) in the previous chapters (1 Nep 20 - 21) from the plates of
brass and now in 1 Nephi 22:15 he was explaining what the words meant to his audience.
In 1 Nephi 19:23 he said
"I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning".
So he probably also read from other chapters of Isaiah to them (like we find in the Second Book of Nephi) but his reading of other Isaiah chapters at that moment was not recorded in the Book of Mormon. As Nephi was explaining the words of the prophet Isaiah and said "Saith the prophet", he was no doubt refering to what Isaiah said in the immediate chapter before 48 and 49 (chapter 47) as revealed by God and recorded on the brass plates (but not written in the Book of Mormon):
"Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it."
Although perhaps Nephi was giving a more correct quote of the Isaiah verse than we have in our Bible, since he was taking it directly from the brass plates."
God also revealed to Malachi the same prophecy (Malachi 4:1) and in the Book of Mormon Jesus himself quoted what he had told both Isaiah and Malachi.
3 Nephi 25:1
"For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch."
There seems to be certain revelations and prophecies that God repeatedly reveals to His prophets to be certain that all His children obtain the exact same information that he wants all to have.
Another posssibility, that some have suggested is that, along with the prophet Isaiah, Nephi had also been quoting the Old Testament prophet Zenos (1 Nephi 19: 10-16). It is possible that
both Nephi and Malachi were quoting something the the prophet Zenos had said.