“there came many prophets, prophesying… that they must repent”

One of the prophets that Nephi and Lehi were aware of was Jeremiah. Lehi mentioned him later when he said, “they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison.” (1 Nephi 7:14) Clearly things were getting pretty serious in Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 26:12-20
12 ¶ Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard.
13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
14 As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you.
15 But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.
16 ¶ Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.
17 Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,
18 Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.
19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he not fear the Lord, and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls.
20 And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah:

2 Kings 24:17-20
17 ¶ And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
18 Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
19 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
20 For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

That makes me wonder just a bit about who the other prophets in Jerusalem were. We have a record of some of them in the Bible, and in the Bible dictionary there’s a nice little chronology that can help us see which known prophets were around at that time. And while we’re in the Bible Dictionary, let’s compile a sample bio of each:

Possible Contemporaries of Lehi:

Jeremiah (approx. 626-586 BC)
Born of a priestly family in Anathoth, and prophesied from the 13th year of Josiah till after the downfall of Jerusalem, a period of over 40 years, 626-586 B.C. After Josiah’s death he tried to stem, almost alone, the tide of idolatry and immorality, of self-deception founded on superficial reforms (Jer. 3: 4-5; Jer. 7: 8-10), and of fanatical confidence in the Lord’s protection, in which all classes were carried away. He had to face continuous opposition and insult from the priests (Jer. 20: 2), the mob (Jer. 26: 8-9), his townsmen at Anathoth (Jer. 11: 19), the frivolous and cruel (Jer. 22: 13; Jer. 36: 23; Jer. 26: 20), the king (Jer. 36: 19), and the army (Jer. 38: 4). After the fall of Jerusalem the Jews who escaped into Egypt took Jeremiah with them as a kind of fetish (Jer. 43: 6), and at last, according to tradition, stoned him to death.

Habakkuk (approx. 598-605 BC)
A prophet of Judah. The date at which he prophesied is uncertain – possibly in the reign of Josiah or of Jehoiakim (c. 600 B.C.). Nothing beyond this is known about him. In ch. 1 the prophet complains that his outcries against wrong-doing in Judah remain unheard by God; but he is assured that punishment by the Chaldeans is close at hand. This raises the problem as to why the pure and holy God should use for the working out of his purposes such a sinful nation. Ch. 2 supplies a solution to the problem: the Chaldeans themselves will come under judgment (cf. Morm. 4: 5). Ch. 3 contains a lyrical poem, describing the coming of Jehovah to judge and to deliver his people.

Daniel (approx. 606 BC)
The second son of David, by Abigail the Carmelitess (1 Chr. 3: 1); also called Chileab (2 Sam. 3: 3).
The hero of the book of Daniel. Nothing is known of his parentage, though he appears to have been of royal descent (Dan. 1: 3); he was taken captive to Babylon and received the name of Belteshazzar (Dan. 1: 6-7). Along with three others he refused the “king’s meat” from fear of defilement (Dan. 1: 8-16). He then won the favor of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius by his power of interpreting dreams (chs. 2, 4); and the handwriting on the wall (ch. 5). In consequence of a plot on the part of his enemies he was thrown into a den of lions (ch. 6), but his life was preserved. There are references to him in Ezek. 14: 14, 20; Ezek. 28: 3; Heb. 11: 33. Interesting points of resemblance may be noticed between the history of Daniel and that of Joseph.

Ezekial (approx. 593-598 BC)
A priest of the family of Zadok, and one of the captives carried away by Nebuchadnezzar along with Jehoiachin. He settled at Tel Abib on the Chebar, and prophesied during a period of 22 years, 592-570 B.C. The book of Ezekiel has three main divisions:
1:  1 – 24, prophecies of judgment against Jerusalem and the nation;
2:  25 – 39, prophecies of restoration;
3: 40 – 48, visions of the reconstruction of the temple and its worship. Chs. 1 – 39 are similar in manner and contents to other prophetic writings; chs. 40 – 48 are unique in prophecy.
Among the notable teachings of Ezekiel are chs. 3 and 18, which show the significance of a prophet’s warning and the individual responsibility of every person for the consequences of his own behavior; ch. 37, which depicts the valley of dry bones, each bone coming together, bone to his bone, in the resurrection, the restoration of Israel, and the uniting of the stick (record) or Ephraim with the stick of Judah; and chs. 47 – 48, the description of the latter-day temple in Jerusalem, the river running from the temple into the Dead Sea to heal it, and the building of a city “foursquare.” Ezekiel was a man of many visions and spoke much about the future restoration of Israel and the glory of the millennial reign of the Lord. The authenticity of his writings are specifically confirmed by latter-day revelation, as in D&C 29: 21.

Obadiah (approx. 586-612 BC)
The steward of Ahab who protected the prophets of God from Jezebel (1 Kgs. 18).
A prophet who foretold the doom of Edom. Nothing is known of his personal history. The prophecy was spoken directly after some capture of Jerusalem (possibly by the Philistines and Arabians during the reign of Jehoram, 848-844 B.C., or more probably by the Chaldeans, 586 B.C.) during which the Edomites had displayed hostility to Judah. (See Edom.) Obadiah foretells their punishment. For the fulfillment of his prophecy see 2 Kgs. 14: 7; 2 Chr. 25: 11-12. One of the better known passages of Obadiah is Obad. 1: 21, speaking of “saviours . . . on mount Zion,” which refers to the doctrine of salvation for the dead.

Nahum  (approx. 642-612 BC)
The prophet; native of Elkosh in Galilee. He prophesied against Nineveh: ch. 1, the manifestation of the avenging God, executing judgment on the oppressors of his people; ch. 2, a picture of the city’s fall; ch. 3, the city denounced as a harlot and enchantress. The prophecy has great literary beauty and much patriotic feeling. Nahum makes no allusion to the sin of his own people. The prophecy was probably written between the fall of Nineveh, 606 B.C., and that of No Amon (Nahum 3: 8) or Thebes, in Upper Egypt, taken by Assurbanipal about 660 B.C. The occasion of the prophecy may have been some recent aggression of Assyria, or more probably some powerful coalition against Nineveh either that before which it actually fell, or an earlier one that prompted the prophet to express his certainty of the city’s doom (Nahum 2: 1; Nahum 3: 12).
Luke 3: 25.