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Lord calls Nathan his servant

Little is known about the prophet Nathan, who, like a number of other prophets of the Old Testament, is abruptly introduced. (2 Sam. 7:2.) In modern revelation, the Lord calls Nathan "my servant." (D&C 132:39.)

Nathan was forthright in delivering the Lord's message, though the message rebuked the king whom he himself had anointed.Three episodes involving Nathan are:

After David had taken Jerusalem and had built for himself a castle of cedar, he asked Nathan if he should build a suitable edifice to house the Ark of the Covenant. Nathan at first replied that David could proceed, but later received a revelation that while a house could be built for the Lord, it would be constructed by David's seed, not by David. (2 Sam. 7:2-17.)

David was confronted about his sins with a powerfully drawn allegory by Nathan, which centered on a rich man slaughtering a poor man's only ewe lamb. "His climatic Attah ha Ish! (Thou art the man) must have crashed upon the conscience of David like the harbingers of doom's day," wrote Ellis T. Rasmussen in Introduction to the Old Testament 1:185.

In David's old age, Nathan discovered a plot by David's son Adonijah (a brother of Absalom), and cleverly devised a way to thwart the plot. Nathan anointed Solomon king. (1 Kings 1:11-40.)

The significance of Nathan's role as a prophet of the Old Testament is verified by a brief mention by the author of Chronicles, who refers to a lost scripture, one of many in the Old Testament: "Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are they not written in the book of Nathan the prophet. . . . " (2 Chron. 9:29.)

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