In 1 BC, Nephi put his son Nephi the Younger in change of the brass plates containing the records of his people for the past 600 years, and the other items that had been kept sacred since Lehi had first left Jerusalem. Then Nephi the Elder left the land of Zarahemla and was never heard from again.
Now Samuel the Lamanite prophet had told the people the signs to watch for when Christ would be born on earth, but since no signs had yet been seen, some began to say that the time for the prophecies to be fulfilled had passed. These unbelievers began to rejoice and mock those who still believed that Jesus would come.
The unbelievers then declared that if Samuel's prophecies had not come to pass by a certain date, all the believers would be put to death. When Nephi the Younger heard about this he was very sad. He went out and cried mightily to God. And the voice of Jesus came to him, saying, "Be of good cheer, for tonight a sign will be given, and tomorrow I will be born into the world."
Indeed, after the sun went down that night there was no darkness and a new star appeared. The people were astonished, and those who hadn't believed the words of the prophets fell to the ground as though dead. And though Satan sent forth lies among the people, and tried to make them too stubborn to believe the miracles they had seen, the majority became believers.
But over the next several years, Satan took hold of their hearts and they stopped believing in Christ. And by 13 AD, wars broke out across the land because there were so many Gadianton robbers. The Lamanite converts united with the Nephites to defend themselves, and the Lamanite's curse was removed from their skin, and they became white like the Nephites.
By 30 AD, the majority of the people had returned to being wicked like a dog returns to its vomit. Secret combinations formed. They assassinated the chief judge Lachoneus as he sat on the judgment-seat, and replaced him with a king named Jacob who had denounced the prophets who testified of Jesus.
Nephi was grieved by this and preached boldly among the people. He cast out devils and unclean spirits in the name of Jesus, and even raised his brother from the dead after he had been stoned to death. But few people became believers and most were angry at his displays of power.
On the fourth day of the first month of 33 AD, there was a massive storm, the likes of which has never been known. There was extremely powerful lightning and then an enormous earthquake. Many great and noble cities collapsed, killing all the inhabitants.
Mountains broke, valleys rose and the whole shape of the earth was changed. All roads were broken apart. Some people were lifted off the ground by tornados and nobody knew what became of them.
Zarahemla caught fire and there followed three days of darkness. As the city burned, people were heard to say, "If only we had repented before this terrible day and had not stoned and killed the prophets and driven them away! Then our mothers and pretty daughters and children would have been spared!"