Book of mormon journal:
I want to use the next 300 or so words to write out something that has bothered me for some time. I went and talked with Brother Hunter personally on the matter and I’ve come to some sort of conclusion that may not be doctrinal, but is probable. Samuel the Lamanite seemed to have appeared out of nowhere, and, with no authority, he begins to teach the Nephite people. The trouble I have with this is that there will be many people who will arise without any authority and begin to teach this or that. What’s more is that we have the fifth article of faith which states that “a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.” Samuel the Lamanite cannot be just any man who has come out of the blue to preach the word of God. He must have been ordained and instructed in some way, and I’m not saying that he was called of God directly, or that an angel set him apart to do this work. That would be unnecessary seeing that Nephi is the leader and prophet of the church. So, he must have been ordained in some way by Nephi. When I talked with Brother Hunter on the matter he mentioned how Moses had set up an organization within the church of his time with the House of Israel. In Exodus 18:21 it says, “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” The interesting thing about this scripture is that this is the same verse that the Nephites had, because they had the first five books of Moses when they went to get the plates from Laban. I found this to be so obvious. Of course Nephi and Lehi would have set up the church in the same way that Moses had, seeing that they have the same pre-Christ organization of the church. So, in the end, Samuel the Lamanite most likely (and I would say definitely) was set apart and had authority to go and teach the Nephite people when he did.