Zenos: Prophet in ancient Israel before Lehi

Zenos is mentioned in five different books in the Book of Mormon. A prophet (1 Ne. 19:12), he apparently lived in ancient Israel before the time of Lehi.

He prophesied of the Savior's death, and of the three days of darkness accompanying His crucifixion. (1 Ne. 19:10.) He also prophesied of the gathering of Israel. (1 Ne. 19:16.)Zenos taught that men should pray and worship in all places, and that judgments are turned away because of Christ (Alma 33:3-13), and redemption comes through the Savior. (Alma 34:7). He was slain for his testimony. (Hel. 8:19.)

Zenos apparently taught of the restoration of Lamanites (Hel. 15:11), and testified of the destruction that would come at Christ's death. (3 Ne. 10:15-16.)

The passage of scripture for which Zenos is best known is the allegory about the tame and wild olive trees, recorded in the fifth chapter of Jacob.

"This parable in and of itself stamps the Book of Mormon with convincing truth," Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote in Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 4. "No mortal man, without the inspiration of the Lord, could have written such a parable.

"It is a pity that too many of those who read the Book of Mormon pass over and slight the truths which it conveys in relation to the history, scattering, and final gathering of Israel.

"Such members of the Church unto whom attention has been called to the great significance of this parable have said they fail to comprehend it. It is simple and very clear to the minds of those who earnestly seek to know the truth. No man without divine inspiration could have written such a parable as this."

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