Nathan the prophet had a powerful influence, despite the fact that little is known about him.
He, like a number of other prophets of the Old Testament, is abruptly introduced (2 Sam. 7:2), appears just a few times in scripture, and then is heard from no more. His righteousness appears validated in modern revelation, where Nathan is referred to by the Lord as "my servant." (D&C 132:39.)Characteristics of Nathan include a skillful use of allegory as he described a poor man's ewe lamb "that lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter." (2 Sam. 12:3.)
He was also forthright in delivering the Lord's message, though the message rebuked the king whom he himself had anointed. Nathan was caring as well. After David's fall, Nathan provided a second "title" name for the baby Solomon, which was Jedidiah (Beloved of Jah, JehovahT). (2 Sam. 12:24-25.)
The three scriptural 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. "His climatic Attah ha Ish! (Thou art the man) must have crashed upon the conscience of David like the harbingers of doom's day." (Ellis T. Rasmussen, 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 author of Chronicles 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.)