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Monday, June 22, 2009

Mosiah Ch. 21

Read it HERE.

Summary: Limhi’s people are smitten and defeated by the Lamanites—They meet Ammon and are converted—They tell Ammon of the twenty-four Jaredite plates. Between 145 and 121 B.C.

There is a lot we could discuss in this chapter, but here are the things that stood out to me. Feel free to share your thoughts as well; I'm sure we each took away something different.

At the beginning of this chapter, the people of Limhi are doing well. However, the Lamanites begin to become angry with them again. In order to not break the oath they made with Limhi that they wouldn't kill his people, they take them into bondage. (Interestingly enough, Abinadi prophesied that this would happen.)

So, how do the people of Limhi react? They want to go to war. They pester and pester King Limhi until he agrees, but they lose terribly; many are slain. The worst part is, they didn't learn their lesson! They go to battle TWO MORE times, each time losing more men. I have a hard time understanding their reasoning here, but I suppose desperation drove them to try it.

So, after the third time, they finally humble themselves "even to the dust," and allow themselves to comply with their enemy. But this isn't all. Finally they learn the right approach:

14 And they did ahumble themselves even in the depths of humility; and they did cry mightily to God; yea, even all the day long did they cry unto their God that he would bdeliver them out of their afflictions.

15 And now the Lord was slow to ahear their cry because of their iniquities; nevertheless the Lord did hear their bcries, and began to soften the hearts of the Lamanites that they began to ease their burdens; yet the Lord did not see fit to deliver them out of bondage.

Why was the Lord slow to respond to their cries?

We can find a really good answer to this in D&C 101.

"5 For all those who will not aendure chastening, but bdeny me, cannot be sanctified."
8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their atrouble, of necessity they bfeel after me.
9 Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with acompassionbcast them off; and in the day of cwrath I will remember mercy."

Although the Lord did not deliver the people of Limhi immediately, what did He do for them? (See Mosiah 21:15–16--their crops, flocks, and herds began to flourish so they were not hungry; they began to prosper by degrees)

How does the Lord sometimes permit us to “prosper by degrees”?

"A knowledge of the gospel comes by degrees: one learns a little, obeys what he learns; learns a little more and obeys that. This cycle continues in an endless round. Such is the pattern by which one can move on to a full knowledge of the gospel." Marion G. Romney, “‘Records of Great Worth’,” Ensign, Sep 1980, 3

I think we can apply this quote to the situation here. Sometimes I think the Lord blesses us little by little in order to give us the chance to learn how to be righteous and grateful stewards over what He has blessed us with. This isn't always how it works, but that is what is so beautiful about the Gospel. Each of us has a personal plan of Salvation, which guarantees us the necessary experiences for us to reach our full potential. Experiencing the kind of tribulation King Limhi's people did was necessary for them at that time.

One last thought:

"The gospel plan requires giving and receiving. Faith alone is not enough. We need “works” to serve and to be served. We can’t do it alone." Robert D. Hales, “We Can’t Do It Alone,” New Era, Jan 1977, 35–3

We need to remember the Lord. We need to have faith in the Lord. But we also need to be faithful. Faith without action is moot. King Limhi's people needed to first remember to be humble and show the Lord they were ready to be blessed. Faith alone is not always enough.

This was a great chapter. Any more thoughts? There is so much in here!


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