Alma

Alma 25

And a hunting they will go.  As this story continues to unfold, there are Lamanites that were pretty upset that their brethren had been slain and they weren’t going to contend with the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, so they went looking for Nephites.  They marched into Zarahemla and destroyed the people in Ammonihah.  And they had many battles with the Nephites.  The Lamanites suffered a great loss and many of those that were killed were of the seed of the wicked king Noah.  After these losses, they began to remember the teachings of Aaron and believed that Heavenly Father was with the Nephites.  Many Lamanites were converted.  These men that were converted decided that those that were of the seed of king Noah should be put to death and so it was and the prophecy of Abinadi was fulfilled.

When the Lamanites knew that they could not overpower the Nephites, many of them returned to the land of Ishmael and joined the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi and buried their weapons of war.  They chose to follow the law of Moses and keep the commandments given by Heavenly Father.  The Sons of Mosiah rejoiced in the conversion of the many Lamanites and knew that their prayers had been answered.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Advertisements
Standard
Alma

Alma 24

War…

Many people, as we already know, were not converted unto the Lord.  These people got really cranky with those that were now the Anti-Nephi-Lehies and they were out for persecution.  The Lamanites, Amalekites, and the Amulonites came together and prepared to march against the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in war.

The king who had been converted, turned the king over to his son who was then called Anti-Nephi-Lehi and this same year the king died.  Anti-Nephi-Lehi then declared as they saw that the Lamanites and others were going to come against them in war that they should bury their weapons deep in the earth and promise to never go into battle.  They recognized their many grievous sins of their past and having been converted did not want to have any part of slaying another man. The  people willingly buried their weapons deep in the earth as a sign for all that they would more give up their lives to those that come against them than commit any further sin.

War it was.  The group of Lamanites and others came against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi and slayed 1,005 men who died crying the praises of God.  The Lamanites realized that they weren’t fighting back and that they were dying crying the praises of the Lord and stopped fighting and had their hearts filled with compassion.  They then repented of what they had done and also threw away their weapons of war.  Many Lamanites were converted this day, more than were slain.

Of those that were converted, none of them were Amalekites or Amulonites.  We learn in the very last verse a plain and simple gospel principle: when one has learned of the gospel and known of righteousness and turned away from it into sin and transgression, the heart grows harder and into a state that is worse than the state of someone that has never known of the gospel or righteousness.

And I leave this post with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard
Alma

Alma 23

A great conversion story continues here in Alma 23.  This is a short and sweet chapter.  The proclamation that the king sent forth to all of his people told them not to hurt harm or even think about touching the Sons of Mosiah and their brethren and that these men should be allowed unencumbered access to preach the gospel.

The people of Middoni, Nephi, Shilom, Shemlon, Lemuel, and Shimnilom were all converted and these people laid down their weapons of war and decided that they would no longer fight against God or any of their brethren.

The Amalekites and Lamanites from other cities still had hardened hearts and refused the gospel.  Due to this, those that had been converted wished to be known by another name and therefore after consultation with Aaron, they were to be called the Anti-Nephi-Lehies.  They grew and flourished and were friendly with open line of communication between them and the Nephites north of them.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard
FDREL 121

FDREL 121 Becoming Project Final Report

Over the past thirteen weeks, I have been working on becoming more charitable.  As a general rule, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will say that “charity is the pure love of Christ.”  Which, is indeed true, but that is really the simple and easy answer.

When I began this project, I was brainstorming on what attribute of Jesus Christ that I needed to work on in my personal life.  As I pondered this, I felt prompted to inquire of my family their opinions on who I am and who I needed to become.  My family apprehensively agreed.  Upon coming back to my family to ask them of their thoughts my 12 year-old daughter firmly told me that I needed to work on not scolding her when she argues with her older sister.  My 14 year-old daughter advised that I needed to work on being more attentive to my children when they are trying to communicate with me and lastly, my husband said that I needed to work on not speaking negatively about those that irritate me.  While this was hard to hear, my family was right.

As soon as my paperwork was accepted by my instructor, I set to work setting some goals to get myself focused to the task at hand: learning to become more charitable.  My first goal was prayer and as the semester progressed I found myself, in almost all of my prayers asking Heavenly Father to help me find ways in my life to give charity to those that I come into contact with.  He has answered me.

To add to my prayers, I decided to set a goal to read several General Conference talks regarding prayers. Next, I made myself a sign that is now Charityhanging in my office above where I sit each day and study my scriptures, use my sewing machine, write my blog posts and do other projects.  This sign lists all of the attributes that I found within scriptures and General Conference talks that gave a descriptive word to what charity is.  I find myself gazing at this little sign many times throughout the day.    After receiving some feedback from my instructor, I understood that while I could feel in my heart and see in my own actions that I was beginning to change, my overall goal was not measurable.

With the need to measure my goal, I created a spreadsheet where I marked each day with a sub-attribute of charity that I managed for the day with a short explanation of how what I did displayed charity.  I kept this chart going for several weeks in order to show continued change and growth.

charity.1I can honestly say that what I did the most of during the course of this project was being on my knees and praying along with regular scripture study.  The Fundamentals of Religion 121 course had a rigorous study of the first half of The Book of Mormon and I found myself reading a chapter or two (sometimes more) a day in order to keep up with the assigned reading.  I am so very grateful for being blessed with the opportunity to participate in this class in order to build myself up with the power of daily scripture study.  I know that I have grown closer to Heavenly Father over the course of the semester and can still feel myself continuing to grow.  It takes time and effort to create new habits and this is one that I am 13 weeks into and very pleased with.

As I worked on daily scripture study and focused on prayer asking for ways to display charity to those that I came into contact with, I found plenty of opportunity within and outside the walls of my home.

I have had at least one opportunity each and every day to display charity to my family or others, and to save anyone reading this a really long list, I shall condense my sharing to a few short experiences.   My first big experience was a child’s birthday party that I attended and at this party there were several adults that do not hold the same moral standards that my husband and I do.  I had several people get on my nerves and by the end of the party, I was very frustrated at how some of these people spoke to and treated their children among other things.  I chose to try and rise above these feelings of contempt and be kind and tolerant of others.  I believe the clearest display of charity that I was able to display was here in my home.  My husband and I regularly check the phones of our children to monitor their chats with their friends and their browser history.  When we looked at the phone of one of our daughters, we discovered that two boys were texting to her inappropriate messages with sexual innuendos.   Our Charity.2daughter was not participating within the conversations, but she clearly did not stand up for her beliefs and tell these boys to stop.  We were sorely disappointed with her inaction.  Within minutes of our discovery, we were sitting with our daughter in the living room talking to her about her choice to remain silent.  She sobbed and cried and in a situation like this, I know my previous self would have been pretty angry with her choice and I would have certainly said something about her lack of emotional control during our conversation.  However, this time I sat and I spoke gently to her, I had my arms wrapped around her and was kissing her head.  I loved her and my husband and I explained to her the many possible consequences for her choosing not to stand for what was right.

To wrap this up, I will say that I did have my bad days and I had frustrating times when I was (and am) working on being attentive to my children that they don’t seem to notice.  There are a lot of days that I  take time to do kind things for each of the older children and they do not even notice.  This is frustrating, even though I know that providing service and being charitable are not done for gratification, it would make it easier to serve if those receiving service said a simple thank you.  Therefore, I am still working on a goal of being able to provide service in love and have the understanding that the recipients of such may not appreciate or even care one iota that service was provided.  The best thing about becoming more charitable over this semester has clearly been my recognition that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know who I am as an individual and that my prayers for specific needs when asked in righteousness are answered.

I am grateful for the opportunity to write up this summation and look forward to what next semester and the second half of The Book of Mormon will bring.  A special note of thanks to Brother Mike Day who lead this class with integrity and an attitude of kindness by sharing his wealth of knowledge in a simple manner in which I understood.

I leave this with you grateful and  humbly in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard
Alma

Alma 22

Alma 22 commences with Ammon teaching the people in Ishmael and then quickly moves over for us to learn more of Aaron and his preaching.

After Aaron and his brethren were released from prison and commenced their work in Middoni, they traveled to the land of Nephi.  Here they went and presented themselves before the king.   They told the king who they were and the king told them that he didn’t want anything from them other than to have some of his questions answered.  He had remembered the words that Ammon had shared with him and wanted to understand the meaning of Ammon’s words.

Aaron then asked the king if he believed that there is a God and the king said that he essentially said that he knows of people that believe that there is a god, but he doesn’t know for himself.  The king then proclaims that if Aaron says there is a god, then he will believe for himself.  Aaron continues to explain the basics to the king and reads to him from the scriptures beginning at the creation of the world and including the fall of Alma 22 15Adam, and the Plan of Salvation.  After Aaron finished talking, the king asked how he could possess eternal life for himself and get rid of the wicked spirit that he holds.  Aaron told him he needed to pray and repent.   The king does so and then falls to the ground and appears to be dead.

Servants seeing that the king has fallen to the ground run and get the queen.  The queen is distraught and commands that Aaron and his brethren are slain.  The servants believe that Aaron and his brothers are very powerful and refuse to touch them and so they are then told by the queen to go get people from the city to kill Aaron and his brethren.  Aaron seeing that a multitude would certainly outnumber them, goes to the king and holds his hand and tells him to stand.  The king arises and a great conversion begins to take place.

The remainder of this chapter continues to explain the regional divisions of the land in a geographical manner.

I leave this post with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard
Alma

Alma 21

This chapter and the five following will be the stories of Aaron and his brethren preaching to the Lamanites.

Alma 21 begins a little back in time when Ammon and his brothers parted ways to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Ammon’s brother Aaron went into a land that the Lamanites had named Jerusalem (named after Jerusalem in Israel.)  Aaron came into the city and found Lamanites that had hardened their hearts and Amalekites that had hearts harder than that of the Lamanites.

Aaron began to preach in the synagogues in the land and an Amalekite began to questions Aaron’s authority and his beliefs.  This Amalekite asked of Aaron many questions regarding belief and tradition.  Here Aaron learned that the people certainly did not believe in the coming of Christ or that anyone could know of future events.  Aaron then read scripture to the people and explained the Plan of Salvation.  The people became more angry with Aaron and he then left Jerusalem and went to a village called Ani-Anti.

In Ani-Anti Aaron came upon his brother Muloki and Ammah who were preaching the gospel.  The people here were still not ready to hear the word of God, so the group of brothers left and went over to Middoni.  Here in Middoni, the group began to share the word of God again and they called the people unto repentance, but they were thrown in prison.

Ammon and Lamoni arrive in Middoni and are able to free the brethren from prison and the are fed and dressed again and taken care of.  After Lamoni and Ammon freed them, they began again to share the word of God and many received their word and came unto the fold.

Lamoni and Ammon returned to Lamoni’s land of Ishmael and Lamoni shared the news of their religious freedom unto his people and Ammon shared the gospel among them.  Many people were converted and were “zealous for keeping the commandments of God.” (verse 23)

And I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard
Alma

Alma 20

I’m behind again….. I am thankful that the end of the semester is in two days, but I am behind again.  I sometimes think that with the Christmas season upon us and as I strive to do service and put Christ first in my life that other areas (like school and blog posts for school) get dropped.  Satan is working hard in my life and I am determined to follow through with my telling him to get thee hence.

Let’s take a look and see what I can learn from the next few chapters in Alma, starting with Alma 20. I’d like to be able to get through Alma 24 today, so my posts may be short.  Please go read for yourselves if these end up too short to be helpful to you in your studies and understanding.

As you recall from my last post Ammon had just finished setting up the church in the land of Ishmael.  Ammon is then invited by Lamoni to go to the land of Nephi to meet up with Lamoni’s father as Lamoni desired that Ammon should meet him.  As this happens, Ammon receives revelation from the Lord that he needs to go to the land of Middoni to retrieve his brothers from prison.  He shares this information with Lamoni and they both set out together to Middoni.  As they are on their way, they come across Lamoni’s father who is not too happy.  Lamoni didn’t show up for the feast that he held because he was asleep with God at the time.  Lamoni’s father is even more mad when he discovers that Lamoni is hanging out with a lowly Nephite and accuses Ammon of being a liar, a robber with attempts to deceive the Lamanites.  He then demands that Lamoni kill Ammon and Lamoni refuses.  Lamoni’s father then raises his sword to kill his own son and Ammon stands in his defense and has a little sword fight with the king.  Ammon wins after injuring the king and they have a quaint little chat.  It is decided by bartering that Ammon and Lamoni may go free and go to Middoni to save Ammon’s brothers and that Lamoni may keep his kingdom forever.  The king is so impressed with the love that Ammon has for Lamoni that he bids them to come and visit him in the land of Nephi when Ammon has rescued his brothers.

Ammon and Lamoni continue their journey to Middoni and and Lamoni is able to convince the king of this land to release Aaron, Muloki and Ammah.  Ammon is grievous over the condition in which his brothers were found, but they withstood their sufferings and afflictions.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Standard