Ether

Ether 12

Ether has arrived and in the days of Ether Coriantumr was the king and Ether was a prophet of the Lord.  The Spirit of the Lord was so strong with Ether that he could not be restrained and in verse three we read “for he did cry from the morning, even unto the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled.”  Have you ever stood out on your porch or walked around your neighborhood or town and cried repentance unto those that are among you for an entire day?   While in the grand scheme of things, we have read of other prophets preaching for longer, but remember Ether has a very strong Spirit with him.  Ether prophesied “great and marvelous things” to the people, but they simply didn’t believe.

Moroni does some interjection here and he tells us of faith.  Perhaps one of his most famous quotes is found right here and he says “faith is things which are hoped for and not seen”.  Isn’t that so very true?  I love this quote and probably always will.  I love to know that when I hope, I am invoking the power of faith.  Moroni continues to show us many examples of faith that we can read elsewhere in the scriptures.  Faith in Jesus Christ, the Atonement, and the Resurrection are everywhere.  By faith, mountains have been moved, literally.

As Moroni writes, he tells of a conversation that he had with the Lord.  We learn that Moroni believed that his own writings were weak and not strong enough for man.  The Lord tells Moroni that only fools will mock and that He gives men weakness so that theyEther 12 27 will humble themselves before the Lord and be made strong.  The Lord tells Moroni “I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me-the fountain of all righteousness (verse 28).”

From verse 28 through the end of Ether 12, brings me to tears.  And as such, I will not write about them, but ask that you have a prayer, open your heart and read these verses for yourself, as they pierce my soul.

I testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he shed his blood on Gethsamane and on Calvary so that I may live again.  I testify that He was resurrected on the third day, and that he defeated the grave and that one day, each of us will be resurrected as well and face Him in judgment for our action or inaction.  I love the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and am thankful for His infinite atonement on my behalf, and yours.

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

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Helaman

Helaman 14

Going backwards one tiny step here… when I started reading Helaman 13, I noticed that the year was approximately 6 BC.  And my original thoughts were excitement that it is almost time for Christ to be born and be alive on the earth.  I get a little anxious and excited when this part comes.  It’s a great part of the Book of Mormon and we will hear some more from Samuel the Lamanite here in Helaman 14 and look to see if there are and cause and effect statements within the chapter.

Verse 2 starts us by learning that Christ will come in five years… this is getting exciting!  Samuel then tells us that the people in this land shall know that He will come when there are great lights in heaven and that there will be a day and a night and a day as if it were one day… there would be no darkness.  Christ is the light! There will also be a new star that rises in the sky, this goes right along with the prophesy that we read in the New Testament. We learn more that Samuel has had communication with an angel who has told him what to say unto the people, and that is to “repent and prepare the way of the Lord.” (verse 9).

Samuel continues and recognizes that the Nephites are angry with him and want to destroy him because of his prophecy, but he clearly states that he will say what needs to be said and that they will not be able to deny that they have been told.  Do we not see this in today’s world with missionaries all over?  People are told of Christ, people choose not to listen…. it shall bring them to a final destination of their choosing.  As Samuel still stands atop the wall, the explains the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ.  The need for repentance is made clear and that if one chooses not to repent in this life, they choose their eternal damnation.

Next, Samuel tells us of the perilous times to come when Christ perishes from the earth.  We learn that there shall be a night for the space of three days and that there shall be terrible storms upon the planet and there will be great destruction.  Many graves shall be opened and saints shall appear unto many…. While I wouldn’t really want to be present for all the storms, would you just love to see the saints coming?

In closing of this post, I’m going to quote the last two verses, because I feel that they are truly a great summation of what needs doing, yesterday, today, and until the Second Coming of Christ.

“And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.  He hath given unto you that ye mnight know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.”  Your call.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Alma

Alma 36

I’m a little behind the curve ball this week with blog posts.  There are seven to get done and this is the first and it’s the third day of the week… you do that math.

This week I will be looking for principles and doctrine within the scriptures and will be studying Alma 36 through Alma 42 in the Book of Mormon.   In order to find principles and doctrine within the scriptures, we can ask ourselves “What are the unchanging truths, eternal laws, fundamental beliefs at work here?”, “What can I learn and apply?” “What is the moral of the story?”, “So what? or Therefore what?”  We can also look for homilies or catch phrases or even the wonderful words that follow “Thus we see” in the scriptures.  I look forward to using this study skill this week, I know that when I employed this tool last semester, it was certainly handy.

This chapter commences with Alma being back in Zarahemla and having a one-on-one counsel with his eldest son Helaman.   Verse one certainly holds a principle, it reads: “My son, give ear to my words; for I swear unto you, that inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall prosper in the land.”  If anyone keeps the commandments of God, they will prosper.

We can then find another principle in verse three where it reads “Whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.”  I find that to be a plain and simple unchanging truth.

Alma then reflects on years past as he speaks to Helaman, and I think that many of us today can find comfort in his words.  Alma explains and reminds his son that when he was in his youth, he was an Anti-Christ and he was then struck dumb by God.  Through this experience that we previously learned about in Mosiah 27 Alma chose to change his life.  Alma became righteous and forsook his ways.  He and the sons of Mosiah changed direction and changed many thousands of lives for the better.

I don’t want to let this post get too far out of hand or overly long, but I do want to share with you some definitions of words that are in the next several verses.  When the scriptures were written, some words meant differently than how we utilize the same word in today’s society.  Therefore, it is important that we understand the meaning of the words in order to really understand what it is that is being taught.

The word racked means being on a rack.  A rack, is a torture device.  This device is a large rectangle where the body is stretched out atop it and the arms and legs are fastened to respective ends.  The frame is made of rollers and there is a crank at either end of the mechanism.  use in torture would be to turn the cranks and slowly pull on the limbs of the body, to the extreme of dislocating arms and legs from the body and still continuing to turn the cranks stretching those already pulled muscles and tendons.

The word harrowed… a harrow is a farming tool used to plow the land.  It has spikes on it to pulls weeds out of the ground when preparing land. So to be harrowed is to feel as if these spikes were in your body.

So, let’s backtrack just a tad here.  In verse 12, Alma tells Helaman of how he felt after he conversed with the angel of the Lord and having a clear knowledge of his sin.  Alma stated: “But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.”  Alma clearly felt worse than I can even imagine.  Alma continues with his story to Helaman and shares more of his knowledge of being taken away by the angel.  During the three days of which Alma was in a coma, he recalled his father teaching of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and how He would atone for the sins of the world.  The moment that Alma uttered a prayer and asked of Jesus Christ for mercy, he could no longer recall his pain and he was no longer held captive by the memory of his sin.

I know that this is a gospel truth.  I know that if we turn to Jesus Christ, ask Him for mercy and forgiveness and apply His atonement in our lives, we too can feel the joy that Alma felt.  If Alma can be forgiven his horrendous sin, so can each of us.

I urge everyone to read this chapter and allow the thoughts of salvation, redemption, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to pierce your heart.  These words can help every person every where.

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

 

 

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Mosiah

Mosiah 3

For whatever reason the Lord has seen fit, this chapter has spoken to my heart today.  That being said, I am pretty weepy at the moment and my heart is full (and so is my mind.)  I will encourage each and every one of you to go and read Mosiah 3 and see what it is that your heart is full of.

There are quite a few cause and effect statements throughout the 27 Mosiah 3 19verses, most of them calling us unto repentance and to apply the Atonement in our lives.  I encourage you to do so.

Jesus Christ is the only way for us to have redemption and this has been so since the fall of Adam.  We must become as little children, be meek, loving, humble and kind in order to be able to have our natures changed by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

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

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Jacob

Jacob 4

Before I get started on this next chapter, please forgive me for not getting this in my last post; Happy 240th Birthday Marines!  I am honored to have some of you in my life today and blessed with your protection over my family.  Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, so please watch for a word there from my heart.

I have wondered in days past, exactly what Jacob shares in the beginning of Jacob 4.  It is difficult and very time consuming to engrave upon the plates, so the things that are engraved, are most precious; we should not take them lightly.

The rest of this chapter is just simply wonderful.  Jacob tells us how strong and capable God is, he explains that if God can create the earth with a command of his voice, than he can surely run things here on earth as well.  He further preaches to the Nephites that they must repent or be reconciled before God so that they can return to him.  He speaks of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that humans must have a perfect knowledge of Him in order to be resurrected.

The closing of this chapter speaks of the Jews in Jerusalem at the time of Christ’s ministry and crucifixion and of how He is rejected.  Jacob has a sound question, how can one build on the foundation of Christ if He has been rejected?

Jacob finishes by telling us that he will “unfold this mystery unto you” in verse 18.  I look forward to the next chapter, and I write this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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