1 Nephi

1 Nephi 11

Pressing forward.  Chapter 11 is here.  This one and three more for the week.  My goal is to get caught up today so that there is only one chapter left for each day to blog about.  Hopefully life and children comply, but we all know that things do not go according to our plans, but to the plans of our Heavenly Father.  Let’s move forward to the next 36 verses and see what principles and doctrines can be found.

I wrote a little bit about this when I realized what a great state of being Lehi must have been in to have had Heavenly Father appear to him in a vision, but here we read that Nephi made it to this wonderful state as well.  This chapter opens with Nephi prayed to know the things that Lehi knew and saw.  After his prayer, he sat and pondered the things which he prayed about (we can sure learn a lot from Nephi.)  While he was pondering, he explained in his writing that he “was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord.” The Spirit takes Nephi up and asks “What desirest thou?” to which Nephi replies: “to behold the things which my father saw.”  I think this is wonderful.  Nephi doesn’t ask the Spirit to show him anything more than for confirmation of what Lehi already explained.  Nephi wants to have the confirmation for himself and asks Heavenly Father for this.  He asks and is given (see my last post regarding 1 Nephi 10:19.)  Nephi tells the Spirit that he believes everything that his father said, which I really like.  Even though he believed his father, he still asked Heavenly Father to show him the truth.  Nephi was wise to know that Heavenly Father knows all things and to turn unto Him to have the mysteries of God revealed.  This reminds me a lot of my conversion.

I recall praying, as Joseph Smith did back in 1820.  I wanted to know for myself if the Book of Mormon was true and was a work of God.  I had not had a sincere prayer in years and years.  It took a lot of courage to talk to Heavenly Father after ignoring Him for so long, but I did it.  I prayed, and I prayed again, and I prayed again on the third night, a wonderful feeling of warmth came into my heart, and I knew at that moment, that the Book of Mormon was true and that I was to follow this path.  If you haven’t done so, I urge you to.  Close your eyes and quietly ask Heavenly Father if the Book of Mormon is true, you may not get your answer right away, but I do know, that if you ask with a sincere heart and a sincere desire to know the truth, that He will make it known unto you.  Don’t stop asking until you have your answer.  You can go read other people’s stories of conversion here: http://mormonconverts.com/ .

Back on topic now: When Nephi tells the Spirit that he believes what his father has told him, the Spirit cries out joyously saying “And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God”.”  Try replacement here… Blessed art thou, Samantha.meme-luke-word-1224047-gallery

Blessed art thou, Aaron.

Blessed art thou, Jack.

Blessed are thou, Sarah.

Each and every human that believes in the Son of the most high God is blessed. This chapter continues with Nephi being shown the same things that Lehi was shown.  Nephi is testifying of the tree of life and then tells the Spirit that he wants to understand what the tree of life means.  The next principle that I came across in this chapter is found in verse 11 and it reads: “and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.”  I like this because we can know that when the Spirit speaks to us, he will speak to us so that we understand.  I speak and write English, therefore I know that the Spirit isn’t going to speak to me in Greek or Spanish or Hebrew and the things that He does speak to me, I will be able to understand.

Nephi’s trip with the Spirit continues and he is shown the birth of Jesus Christ and is told that the virgin Mary is the mother of the Son of God.  The Spirit then plainly tells Nephi that the tree of life is the “love of God” and “it is the most desirable above all things” and in verse 23 “the most joyous to the soul.”  Do you view the love of God as the most desirable thing of all that is most joyous to your soul?  Do you wake everyday praising God for the gift of life and for his love?  I know that I struggle with this concept at times and do not wake every day praising and being grateful for the gift of this life and for my Heavenly Father’s love.  I wish that I did, and I know that this is certainly something that I can work on.

The next thing that Nephi asks of the Spirit if for understanding of the iron rod.  The Spirit then tells Nephi that the rod of iron represents the word of God.  This lets us know that if we hold on to the word of God, we can press forward to the tree of life and partake of the love of God.

Nephi then has the blessing of seeing John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus Christ, seeing Christ be baptized and ministering unto the people with his twelve apostles.  He saw Jesus Christ healing the sick and teaching of the love of God.  He then sees the Messiah crucified and die for the sins of the world.  Nephi sees the world fighting against the twelve apostles, do we see this today?  Do we see people rebuking Jesus Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?  Do we see horrible teachings and practices occur globally?  Nephi sees all of this and then explains in verse 36 that the people in that spacious building that Lehi saw was the pride of the world and this pride will be the destruction of all those that shall fight against the apostles of Jesus Christ. john-baptizes-christ-39544-gallery

Chapter concluded.  A great and powerful chapter in the Book of Mormon.  I testify that this is true, and I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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1 Nephi

1 Nephi 10

Good Morning.  What can we find in the next 22 verses?   This is actually one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon.  I love when I get to read prophesies that I know are fulfilled and I don’t have to put a lot of thought into them.  Let’s dig in to chapter 10.

Nephi starts out this chapter by sharing with us a vision that his father Lehi had.  Lehi sees that Jerusalem is destroyed and is people are taken into captivity.  He also shares that the people will be saved and that they will again live in Jerusalem.  Nephi then shares with us the first doctrine of this chapter. In verse 4 it states: “Even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews – even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.” Lehi sees in a vision that Jesus Christ will be brought into this world to be a Savior of the people.  I particularly love this because there is clear and concise prophecy in the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon is true.  Jesus Christ did come 600 years later.

In verse 6 it reads: “all mankind were in a lost and fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.”  Adam fell this is an unchanging truth.   All of mankind is indeed lost without reliance on our Redeemer Jesus Christ.  In order to be saved and return to live again with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the heavens, we must rely on Him.

Verses 7 and 8 shows us that John will come and prepare the way for Christ, he will preach of Him and that John himself will baptize the Savior of the world, these are fundamental beliefs and unchanging truths.

Verse 11 talks of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, plainly stating that they will occur.  Furthermore, it states that Jesus will manifest himself to the Gentiles (the people of the Book of Mormon) by way of the Holy Ghost. We read of this in the book 3 Nephi.

Verse 14 reviews the tower of babel and the confounding of tongues of the people. tower of babel

Verse 17 teaches us that “by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.”  God will send to each human the Holy Ghost, from Adam unto all future generations.

Verse 18 reminds us that God is the same each and every day from the beginning of the world and that each human can return to be with Him if we repent.

Verse 19 I love because it explains that if we are diligent about looking for Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, that we will find them and (this is my favorite part) that the mysteries of God will be made more clear to those that seek Him.  I know for myself and in my heart and mind that this is true.  I know that when I am diligent in my scripture studies and in my prayers and callings and duties that I grow closer to Heavenly Father and as I do this, I understand better the things of God.

Verse 20 reminds us that everything we do in this life will be brought forward at the day of judgement.  I always find these simple verses to be a great reminder to do good.

Verse 21 is a continuation of verse 20 but in the negative light, is we look to do wicked things in the days of our probation (in other words, while we are here on earth,) then we will be found unworthy to enter into the kingdom of God.

I hope that you find this a little helpful in explaining this chapter, as it is one of my favorites and is just full of doctrine, unchanging truths and eternal law.  I love my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and am so very glad to have the restored gospel part of my life.  I am thankful for being blessed to be a part of the Pathway program and BYU-Idaho and what I am learning from school.

I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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1 Nephi

1 Nephi 9

What can we learn in six short verses?  We learn that Nephi kept two sets of plates.  The large plates of Nephi have the history of the people and for “more part of the reign of the kings and wars and contentions” 1 Nephi 9:4.  The small plates of Nephi are for “the special purpose that there should be an account engraven of the ministry of my people” 1 Nephi 9:3.

You may be asking “what does this have to do with doctrine and principle?”  My answer is nothing, but I didn’t want my blog post to be super extra short.

As I was going through this chapter, I only found one verse that spoke to me as principle or doctrine and that is verse 6. “But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.”

Break it down (you can sing if you want): “the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning.”  This is an unchanging truth; a gospel doctrine.

“He prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men.” Doctrine or Principle?  I think that this is a principle because anyone can take this and apply it to different aspects of life.  Everything that we do, is a part of His plan.  He knows what choices we will make, therefore, the way that He has prepared, his works will be accomplished.

“He hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words.”  I know that Heavenly Father has immense power.  He has shown His power to many prophets, both in times of old and modern day.  I know that He has control of our world and only He has the power to ensure that all of his words are indeed fulfilled.

“And thus it is. Amen.”  When I first read this sentence, I read it as “this is the end of the chapter.” I read it again though.  Now, I see this as eternal truth.  I put some feeling into it.  And thus it is…. thus “He knoweth all things from the beginning;” thus “He prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men;” thus “he hath all power unto the fulfillings of all his words. Amen.”

And thus it is and I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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1 Nephi

1 Nephi 8

As I studied this chapter, I was thinking to myself that for having 38 verses, there surely must be several principles or ordinances throughout the chapter.  I was not wrong, but I did not find as many as I thought I would based upon my studies of the two previous chapters.  Here is what I found this morning:

Verse 8: Lehi prayed to the Lord that he would have mercy upon him, and thus it was so.  A principle of the gospel…. we can make this portable into any aspect of our lives.  Jesus Christ is merciful.

Verse 12: As Lehi partook of the fruit from the tree of life, his soul was filled with “exceedingly great joy.”  Not simple joy, but exceedingly great joy.  I know that as we, as followers and disciples of Christ, can have our souls be filled with exceedingly great joy as we “partake of the fruit” or in other words, follow in Christ’s footsteps and live as He teaches and commands.

Verse 15: Another principle: if you look at this scripture Lehi is calling to his wife and children.  Replace Lehi with Heavenly Father and replace Lehi’s wife and children to Heavenly Father’s children (all human life.) Heavenly Father is calling to all men, women, and children of the earth to come to him and have part in what is described as filling of the soul with exceedingly great joy.

Verse 21: An excerpt from this verse reads “many of whom were pressing forward,” this is a principle of the gospel as we can take this also into many aspects of our lives.  We can press forward through trials in parenting, marriage, in the work force, in families, and even in traffic.  Pressing forward and trying to reach all that is good is certainly something that I know that I can work on each and every day.

Verse 24: Tells us those that were pressing forward through the darkness were also “clinging to the rod of iron.”  I know that I have my own thoughts on what “clinging” means, but here is what I found in dictionary.com: “to stick to,” “to hold tight by grasping or embracing, “to be or remain close.”  When I think of clinging, I always think of when my toddlers grasp my leg and just won’t let go.  They only want to be close.   We learn later in the scriptures as Nephi interprets this vision to his brothers that the rod of iron is the Word of God.  Therefore, as we embrace and grasp hold of the Word of God while pressing forward through mortality, we too, can have the blessings of partaking of the fruit from the tree of life.

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Jumping all the way down to verse 37… this verse really spoke to me, as I (think) have mentioned in previous posts that I am really working on becoming more charitable.  Yesterday, as I was researching charity, I made myself a list of the descriptive words that make up charity.  In verse 37 we learn that Lehi urged his children, Laman and Lemuel, with all the feeling of a tender parent.  I find that this is a principle in parenthood, and perhaps not just parenthood, but in friendships and really any relationship.  Being tender with others is a kind action, being tender with others is love in action.  Being tender is giving charity.  So I conclude from this that being tender is a principle of the gospel.

16% of the verses in this chapter had principles to share, looking at it strictly verse by verse.  However, the chapter as an entirety is a doctrine.  The moral of this chapter is that if we choose to hold onto the iron rod and press forward through life we can once again live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the heavens.  If we choose to not, we can drown in the depths of the fountain and be one of those souls that is pointing and scoffing at those that do.

I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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1 Nephi

1 Nephi 7

Continuing study this week, remember that I have nine chapters to get through, so that means 9 posts and 7 days.

This chapter opens with Lehi receiving a commandment from the Lord that Nephi and his brothers return to Jerusalem to bring down Ishmael and his family to where they are staying in the wilderness.  The first time this week that I studied these passages, I did not notice this, but I have noticed it now (maybe my ah-ha! moment for the week.)  In verse 4 it reads: “And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord” (emphasis added.)  I noticed one little word, “we.”  I think this is noteworthy because a lot of times as we think of Laman and Lemuel, we think of them as being stiff-necked and perhaps of the world.  But here we read that they were on the same page as Nephi and putting forth effort to keep the commandment given to them from the Lord through their father.

As we move through the chapter though, this goodness of the brothers appears to wear off, as Nephi is preaching to them and reminding them to hearken unto the words of the Lord and remember that they have seen an angel for themselves and that they KNOW that the things that they are commanded to do are of God.

In verse 12 I found the first doctrine of the chapter: “.. the Lord is able to do all things according to his will…” This verse would be described as doctrine because it is an unchanging truth.

Verse 13 states: “And if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shall obtain the land of promise and ye shall know at some future period that the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled.”  In today’s world, we aren’t necessarily looking for a land of promise, but read these statements separately. If we are faithful to the Lord, we will know at some point that the word of God will be fulfilled; thus we see through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we may see for ourselves that He lives and everything he tells us is true.

Verse 15 has another doctrine.  “If ye will return unto Jerusalem ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go ye will also perish;” Nephi is telling his brothers that if they go back to Jerusalem that they will die like all of the other inhabitants of Jerusalem.  He is also reminding them that they have the agency to choose this if they want.  I believe that this is an unchanging truth also, as we know that the people of Jerusalem are taken into bondage and that Jerusalem falls to its demise.

As the families are traveling back to the tents of Lehi, the older brothers become angry with Nephi for telling them that they would be destroyed if they went back to Jerusalem and so they bind Nephi in cords and have plans to leave him tied up so that animals would come and eat him.  Nephi, with great faith, prays that Heavenly Fathers to have the strength to loosen the cords which tied him down, and his prayer was answered.  The wife of Ishmael, one of his daughters and one of his sons spoke with Laman and Lemuel begging them to spare Nephi’s life.  They were able to get Laman and Lemuel to soften their hearts and ask Nephi to forgive them of their misdeeds.

In verse 21 Nephi forgives his brothers and urges them that they should “pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness.”  I believe that this is another doctrine, as I view this as an eternal law.

I found a total of 4 doctrines in this chapter.  I may have missed some, but I feel that this chapter reads a lot like a story.  I have studied it and tried to take it apart, so I hope that I have them all.

I pray that each of you reading this may catch a little insight into the life of Nephi and perhaps gain some understanding of God’s doctrine from my point of view.  I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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1 Nephi

1 Nephi 6

As I wrote yesterday, this week we will be finding principles and doctrine from studying this week.  I will share what I have found, and if you find others, please share them with me!  As the Elder Richard G Scott stated and the cover photo shows “Power comes from scriptural doctrine.”  I would love insights that any of you have!

Verse 2: “We are descendants of Joseph.”

  • This is doctrine, an unchanging truth.

Verse 5: “Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.”

  • Using the “therefore what?” method…. therefore Nephi wrote only those things which are pleasing to God and unto all people who are not of the world and we today, are blessed with his writings in the Book of Mormon.

Verse 6: “Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.”

  • Using the “thus we see” method: thus we see that Nephi commanded those that have possession of the plates after him to only write the things which are worthy of human kind to read and know of the truths of God while here upon this earth.  Nephi and his seed wrote only those things which are needed for us to know in these last days for the saving of souls.

I was really surprised when looking for principles and doctrine in this chapter as the chapter is only six verses long, I never expected that half of them were filled with principle and doctrine.  Did you find any others that I missed or do the ones that I found spark your interest at all?  Let me know. Chapter 7 is next!

Lovingly,

Samantha

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1 Nephi

Week Two Beginnings

This week I will be working on a study skill set called “Principles and Doctrines.”  So that you have some information on the posts that you will see this week, the idea behind this study skill is to find the principles and doctrines located in the scriptures that are being studied.  After watching some great videos and gaining some insight on what exactly I should be looking for, I found this: principles are portable, which means that you can take a principle found in the scripture(s) and apply it elsewhere in your life.  A doctrine though, is described as an unchanging truth, an eternal law or a fundamental belief.  The notes that I made from these videos in order to find principles and doctrines are this:

  • Thus we see….
  • What are the unchanging truths, eternal laws or fundamental beliefs at work here?
  • What can I learn and apply from this scripture?
  • What is the moral of the story?
  • So what? or Therefore what?
  • Is there a homily to be found (an inspirational catchphrase)?

I have these notes on two sticky notes on page 11 of my Book of Mormon and sincerely hope to be able to learn and gain knowledge from the readings for this week.  The next posts that you will find will be covering 1 Nephi Chapters six through fourteen.

I do hope that you share your insights with me and pray that you will learn as you choose to study the scriptures with sincere prayer.

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