From the time he was a boy, eighteen-year-old Ishmael has been regaled with incredible stories of his ancestors. His father is recordkeeper of the Lamanite archives, a role Ishmael will soon take on himself. Though his focus should be on his official acceptance into the Lamanite tribe, Ishmael's thoughts are elsewhere. Long has he admired the lovely Maija, the woman he hopes to marry. But she refuses to wed a man who does not share her faith in the teachings of the Nephites and the words of Samuel the Lamanite, who prophesied the signs of the Savior's birth.
After beginning his work in the archives, Ishmael makes a momentous discovery when he unearths a lost Lamanite record, a history Laman himself started. As he reads the accounts of Laman, Ishmael embarks on a journey of spiritual introspection as seeds of faith in the words of Samuel begin to grow in his heart. Yet even as he discovers the light of faith, a darkness spreads across the land. The Gadianton robbers are hunting those who believe on the words of Samuel, and Ishmael must make a decision: join their brotherhood or lose the people most precious to him.