Moroni

Moroni 6

Here in Moroni 6, Moroni is still writing to us telling us of the beginnings of the church on the American continent after Jesus Christ was resurrected.  We read previously that He set apart disciples and these disciples set apart elders,priests, and teachers.  Picking up from there, we learn that the elders, priests, and teachers were baptized.  Only those that showed effort in reforming their ways of life were allowed to be baptized and they had to have a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and to have sincerely repented of their sins.  Additionally, it is written that no one was allowed to be baptized unless they took upon them the name of Jesus Christ and made a covenant to serve Christ to the end.

I could go off in several directions right now, but I’ll just toss off a couple of thoughts to ponder…. to the end of what?  the end of mortal life?  the end of eternity?

As people were baptized and brought into the church of Christ, it was recorded the names of those that became members. It is stated in verse 4 the reason that the names are recorded: “that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.”  Have I read this verse before?  I’m sure that I have, but I don’t think that it ever penetrated my thoughts as it has today.   I will be leaving this to ponder and stew around for a while.  I love learning new concepts through my studies.

Just as we do today, in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church members met together often to fast and pray and talk about the welfare of their souls.  They had sacrament together to remember Jesus Christ.  The people worked hard to keep one another honest and if there were witnesses in the church that found another member of the church doing wrong, appropriate actions were taken to bring the sinner to repentance or to remove them from the rolls of the church.  As they repented frequently and asked sincerely for forgiveness from Heavenly Father, they were forgiven.  Isn’t that simple?

Closing this chapter, we read that the meetings that the members of the church held were led by the Holy Ghost and they followed his Spirit to know whether they should preach, exhort, pray, supplicate, or sing.   I like that, I like that a lot.  Today, we have a more organized structure to our weekly sacrament meeting, but I do know that it through the Holy Ghost that our local church leaders ask others to speak, play special musical numbers, and what the topics that will be covered in our meetings are.  Today’s church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has Jesus Christ at the head and those on the earth in positions of leadership guide the members of the church and others throughout the world via the Holy Ghost who whispers the word of God.

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

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Moroni

Moroni 5

Moroni 5 is another short and sweet chapter, but I am certain that it is important anyway.  There is not a single passage that is written in the Book of Mormon that wasn’t written for the benefit of man.  Let’s take a gander and see what we should be learning.

We read in my previous post, Moroni 4, about the first half of the sacramental prayers to receive the bread that represents the flesh of Jesus Christ, here we will read about the second half.

Now, we don’t use wine anymore, but as water is passed today, the following prayer is said word for word: “O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of they Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this water to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them, Amen.”

As we partake of the sacrament that is outlined here and in Moroni 4, and we sit reverently listening for the Spirit to be with us, we can have the blessing of knowing that we are renewing our covenants with our Heavenly Father and that we can have the Holy Ghost with us if we are living according to His commandments.

I love being able to partake of the sacrament and I love those precious moments when my toddler holds still and is quiet so that I can truly feel of Him and feel the Spirit wash over me.  I am so thankful to have the opportunity to share this with you and I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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mormon

Mormon 9

Picking up right where we left off with Mormon 8 post, we’ll roll into Mormon 9 and see what it is that Moroni has to tell us about.

Moroni starts off the chapter by clearly stating who he is writing to….those that do not believe in Christ.  Here is what he has to say:

  • Everyone will believe in the last day
  • Everyone will be brought forth to stand before Jesus Christ
  • One who is racked with guilt would be more happy to live in hell than to live with a guilty conscience in the presence of God
  • Everyone will see themselves for what they are
  • Everyone will have a desire to live in God’s kingdom

We are then told that we should repent unto Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ that we may be found spotless at the last day. Continuing with instructions given to those that deny the revelations of God:

  • Those that deny revelation, prophecy, gifts, healings, speaking and interpretation of tongues do not understand the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
  • Heavenly Father is a god of miracles
  • Heavenly Father created Adam and caused the fall so that Jesus Christ, the Son could redeem man kind
  • Everyone will stand before Him in judgement
  • God would only cease to do miracles among men because they dwindle in unbelief
  • “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned” (verse 23).

Moroni then reminds us the instructions that were given to the disciples of Jesus Christ on the American continent.  They were to go and preach and heal and they would be safe in their journeys with no harm to come upon them.  Those that believed on Jesus Christ because of the preaching of the disciples would be saved and those that did not would be damned.  Doesn’t this still apply to us today?  Just because we aren’t living 1600 years ago when this was taking place, doesn’t mean that we’re immune to the laws of God.  Remember, He is an unchanging God- the same yesterday, today, and forever. We are then reminded to be baptized and partake of the sacrament as worthy disciples of Jesus Christ.

Moroni closes this chapter by explaining the language in which he and others have written on the plates and tells us that he knows Heavenly Father has provided a means for others to translate and interpret the writings of the plates.  He then again testifies of Jesus Christ and asks Heavenly Father to bless those of the house of Israel.

I think that this is a beautiful chapter.  While some of it is a bit more scary to think about than other chapters, look at Moroni and his faith.  He tells us that he knows what will happen and he knows that we need to do these things.  Moroni was with the three disciples, who should still be here on the face of the earth today,as the second coming hasn’t happened yet.  What if one of them is your neighbor, would you act differently than you do?

Points to ponder.  We’ll move on to the Book of Ether for our next 15 chapters as this semester begins to close.  I pray that your studies help you learn and grow in Christ and I leave this post with you in His holy name, Amen.

 

 

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3 Nephi

3 Nephi 14

We’re still working on visualization for this chapter and the next three to follow, so try to remember and close your eyes and take a moment to ponder how you might feel, what you might see and hear if you were in the place of those within the chapter.

How do you feel when you hear Christ speak?

He says: judge not, for however you judge others, you will be judged.

I really like verse 4-5 that give the example of the mote and beams in the eye.  Remember that a mote is little and a beam is much larger.

We are reminded by Him to keep that which is holy as such.

He tells us: “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”  What I enjoy about this verse is my fairly new understanding of the word shall. Shall means “will” but with purpose.  Ask and it will, with a purpose be given unto you.  Seek, and ye will with a purpose find.  Knock, and it will, with a purpose be opened unto you.  Doesn’t that change the meaning for you.  Heavenly Father will give to us, with a purpose.

Verse 9 brings me to tears as a parent. “Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?”  Would you as a parent deprive your child what he asks of, if they are sincere in heart and in need?  We must remember that our Father in Heaven will not leave us in need.  Verse 10 is similar and then in verse 11 we are reminded that we are sinners and if as sinners we can give to our children greatly, then how much more wonderful are the gifts given unto us by our Father in Heaven who is perfect?

We must stay on the straight and narrow path to his kingdom and not get lost in the crowds.  We must be wary of false prophets that are ravening wolves and He tells us how we may know them.  See what they are gathering…. do the have delicious fruit or do they have thorns and thistles?  We shall know them by their fruits.

Build your house upon a rock and not upon the sand.

I pray that you are able to take some of these instructions from our Savior to heart and apply them in your lives.  How wonderful it must have been to stand in His presence, one day, we too will be there before Him.

I leave this with you in His holy name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

 

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Helaman

Helaman 11

Cause and effect: there is a lot of cause and effect here in Helaman 11.  I’m going to share my favorite to start off, even though it is toward the end of the chapter.

Verse 34 reads: “Now this great evil, which came unto the people because of their iniquity, did stir them up again in remembrance of the Lord their God.”

  • Cause: A great evil (Gadianton robbers) came into the land
  • Effect: Remembrance of God

Why is it that we read over and over again throughout the scriptures that people or civilizations fall because of their slowness to remember God?  Why is it that people forget Him and all that He has given us?   I know that I am guilty of this too.  I am by no means perfect and have had many instances and periods throughout my life where I am slow to remember Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ and all that has been done for me.  And I certainly paid the price.

My instructor for my religion course this week posted a note for our class and he asked this:

What is the difference between Nephi asking for the famine to strike the people (verse 3-5) and Nephi asking for the famine to come to an end (verse 10-16).  I have given my thoughts on this in the discussion board in my classroom, what are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear them, leave me a note…..

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

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Helaman

Helaman 7

Where are we?  Ha ha… where.  Remember that we’re looking for settings this week.  Where where where.

Helaman 7 starts us out with Nephi, the son of Helaman coming back into Zarahemla.  We will be studying the prophecies of Nephi through the end of the Book of Helaman.

When Nephi came into Zarahemla, he found that things were not as he left them and that over the years that he had been gone as a missionary, the people had grown wicked.  He immediately began to preach unto the people of Zarahemla and “they did reject all his words insomuch that he could not stay among them”.  I find this so sad. The state of affairs in Zarahemla had to have been awful for a righteous Nephite to not even be able to live there.  However, Nephi began to pray and cry out the sadness inside of his heart. Nephi climbed upon a tower in his garden and began to pray and his garden was in Zarahemla near the highway and people began to gather at the sound of his prayer.

When Nephi noticed the multitude he asked them why they were there. Nephi uses some pretty strong words toward them and he calls the people unto repentance.  He asks them how they could have forgotten God who has saved them and he clearly prophesies to them that unless they repent, Heavenly Father will scatter them and they will become food for the wild animals.  Nephi tells them of their wrong doings.  Again, he calls them to repentance and states that if they will not repent, Zarahemla and all the other great cities around will be taken from them and God will not give them strength to withstand their enemies.  And now, if I were a Nephite, the next statement would probably light a fire under me…. Nephi tells these people that it will be better for the Lamanites in from of God if they do not repent.  Nephi tells them that the Lamanites are more righteous than they are and they are doing what they should be.  Nephi clearly tells them that he knows of the Gadianton band and that those that belong to it are a great abominations. Verse 28 reads “And except ye repent ye shall perish; yea, even your lands shall be taken from you, and ye shall be destroyed from off the face of the earth.”

What I like about verse 28, is the truth of Nephi’s words, but most of all his use of the word shall.  I recently learned that shall doesn’t just mean “this will happen,” but it means this will happen and with a purpose.  There is purpose behind the “this is going to occur.”  Heavenly Father, with a purpose will ensure that the Nephites perish, they have no land and that they will be destroyed from off the face of the earth.  Is that enough to call you unto repentance?

Think of the wicked state that these folks must be in… where they are in life, attitude, in their pride, in their thoughts and behaviors.  Where must they be to bring this wrath upon them from the heavens.

I leave this for you to ponder in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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