Saturday, December 12, 2009
Summary: Mormon invites the Lamanites of the latter days to believe in Christ, accept his gospel, and be saved—All who believe the Bible will also believe the Book of Mormon. About A.D. 385
This chapter is short but powerful. As I read it, I kept thinking: how incredible would it be to have such a sure testimony? You can feel Mormon's conviction as he invites the Lamanites to join him in his testimony. He has absolutely no doubt. He must have an incredible relationship with God and the Savior. He reminds me of the prophet and apostles today. You can feel, when they bear testimony, that they have special relationships with God and Christ, and they have absolutely no doubt that this Gospel is true. They have no doubt that God lives, that Christ lives, and that He died for us. We are all invited to partake of this miraculous gift.
Mormon finishes the chapter by exclaiming to the Lamanites that it is easy to believe in the Gospel. He also lays out exactly what they need to do, and what we need to do in this life to prepare to meet God on the other side of the veil. The Gospel is a beautiful gift, which we have all been blessed with. I cannot imagine my life without it. I am convinced that I would be miserable and a failure. I would be completely lost! I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be a pert of this Gospel. It is something I have always needed and will always need. I would not be who I am without it. The Gospel, and all that that encompasses is what keeps me going every single day. This life is not something I can do on my own. I need my Father in Heaven, and I need my Savior, and I need the blessings of the Gospel. I am so grateful for all of it.
I also read something else interesting today. It is in this month's Ensign. It's called "Dad's Lessons in Love." It is an incredible story that made me want to put all of my selfish desires aside and be the best mother and wife I can possibly be. (I need a lot of those little boosts :)) I definitely recommend reading it. Forget romance novels...this is the real stuff. This is exactly what marriage is about. I know you will enjoy it as well.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Summary: Mormon leads the Nephite armies—Blood and carnage sweep the land—The Nephites lament and mourn with the sorrowing of the damned—Their day of grace is passed—Mormon obtains the plates of Nephi—Wars continue. Between A.D. 327 and 350
This is a sad chapter. The Nephites are wicked and the Lamanites are warring against them. Mormon is encouraged by the Nephites' distress, thinking that they will repent so God could bless them again (vs. 12). However, the only sorrow the Nephites have for their sins is the "sorrowing of the damned," meaning that they lamented the fact that God could no longer allow them to take happiness in their sins (vs. 13).
Mormon comments on the Nephites' future due to their sins:
14 And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives.
15 And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land. And thus three hundred and forty and four years had passed away.
Mormon 2:15. “The Day of Grace Was Passed”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland noted the chilling line in Mormon’s account that time had run out for saving his people: “It is at this moment in Nephite history—just under 950 years since it had begun and just over 300 years since they had been visited by the Son of God himself—that Mormon realized the story was finished. In perhaps the most chilling line he ever wrote,Mormon asserted simply, ‘I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and
His people had learned that most fateful of all lessons—that the Spirit of God will not always strive with man; that it is possible, collectively as well as individually, to have time run out. The day of repentance can pass, and it had passed for the Nephites. Their numbers were being ‘hewn down in open rebellion against their God,’ and in a metaphor almost too vivid in its moral commentary, they were being ‘heaped up as dung upon the face of the land’”
(Christ and the New Covenant, 319).
(Found in the Institute Manual.)
Mormon writes that though the Lamanites came against the Nephites again, and the Nephites won, the Lord was not with them. "Yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren." (vs. 26)
These are chilling reminders, and a chilling prediction of what is to befall the Nephites when they don't turn their hearts toward God. We know there will be battles upon battles until the Nephites are destroyed. Thankfully, Heavenly Father preserved Mormon so he could record the history and we can learn from their mistakes.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
1. It means the Lord has begun to gather Israel to its land of inheritance.
2. The words of the Lord as revealed to his prophets are being fulfilled.
3. We cannot spurn the doings of the Lord or we will feel the hand of his justice upon us.
The second part is cautionary:
1. Don't spurn the doings of the Lord or deny Christ.
2. Don't deny that revelations can and still come from the Lord.
3. Don't deny that Christ can still perform miracles.
4. Don't abuse the children of Israel!
It's an interesting chapter. We have just read all about Christ's visit among the Nephites, and we're about to get an abbreviated account of the next several hundred years of their history. I'm not sure why Mormon placed it here particularly but I think it serves us as a good reminder that the Book of Mormon is the word of the Lord, its emphasis is on Christ, and we need to both accept it and recognize what its coming forth means. This is the dispensation of the fullness of times and we are a part of it! That is always thrilling to think about. Whether or not we live to see Christ come again, we are a part of a very great work and we can either help it or attempt (and fail) to hinder it. The work will go forward regardless but hopefully we will too, as faithful saints of God.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Nine of the Twelve desire and are promised an inheritance in Christ’s kingdom when they die—The Three Nephites desire and are given power over death so as to remain on the earth until Jesus comes again—They are translated and see things not lawful to utter, and they are now ministering among men.
This is an incredible chapter! I really want to quote 80% of it, but I wont. I definitely recommend that you READ IT.
Christ asks his chosen 12, "What is it that ye desire of me, after that I am gone to the Father? (v.1)"
9 of the12 asked that, "after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.(v.2)"
And Christ responds, "Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are aseventy and two years old ye shall come unto me in my bkingdom; and with me ye shall find crest."
How positively wonderful! Isn't that what we want? I know that is what I want more than anything! How amazing is our Savior and Father in Heaven!
The other 3 are hesitant to tell the Savior what they desire, but he knows their thoughts. He knows that they desire the same thing as John the Beloved. Versus 7-10 tell us what Christ thinks about this:
"Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall anever taste of bdeath; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the cpowers of heaven. And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from amortality to bimmortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father. And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the asins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bbring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand. And for this cause ye shall have afulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are bone; "
Then we learn of the events that took place, (13-17) "And behold, the heavens were opened, and they were acaught up into heaven, and saw and heard unspeakable things. And it was aforbidden them that they should utter; neither was it given unto them bpower that they could utter the things which they saw and heard; And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell; for it did seem unto them like a atransfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God. "
Here is something I found very interesting from the Book of Mormon Student Manual about the definitions of Transfiguration and Translated Beings...
Translated beings. “Persons who are changed so
that they do not experience pain or death until their
resurrection to immortality” (Guide to the Scriptures,
“Many have supposed that the doctrine of translation
was a doctrine whereby men were taken immediately
into the presence of God, and into an eternal fullness,
but this is a mistaken idea. Their place of habitation is
that of the terrestrial order, and a place prepared for
such characters He held in reserve to be ministering
angels unto many planets, and who as yet have not
entered into so great a fullness as those who are
resurrected from the dead” ( Joseph Smith, History of
the Church, 4:210).
Transfiguration. “The condition of persons who are
temporarily changed in appearance and nature—that
is, lifted to a higher spiritual level—so that they can
endure the presence and glory of heavenly beings”
(Guide to the Scriptures, “Transfiguration”).
The three were transfigured and then translated if I'm not mistaken. Fascinating!
They are now known as the "Three Nephites" and they were able to endure some pretty incredible situations like...
- being cast into prison, and "the prisons could not hold them (19)",
- they were buried and "they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his power they were delivered out of the depths of the earth...(20)",
- "they were cast into a furnace and received no harm(21)", and
- "they were cast into a den of wild beasts... and received no harm(22)"
I find it interesting in verse 25, Mormon tells us that he was about to "write the names of those who were never to taste of death, but the Lord forbade; therefore I write them not, for they are hid from the world." He also tells us that "great and marvelous works shall be wrought by them" both among the Jews and Gentiles and they shall know them not.
Mormon also explains that he inquired of the Lord, "and He hath made it manifest unto me that there must needs be a change wrought upon their bodies, or else it needs be that they must taste of death; Therefore, that they might not taste of death there was a achange wrought upon their bodies, that they might not bsuffer pain nor sorrow save it were for the sins of the world. Now this change was not equal to that which shall take place at the last day; but there was a change wrought upon them, insomuch that Satan could have no power over them, that he could not atempt them; and they were bsanctified in the flesh, that they were choly, and that the powers of the earth could not hold them. And in this state they were to remain until the judgment day of Christ; and at that day they were to receive a greater change, and to be received into the kingdom of the Father to go no more out, but to dwell with God eternally in the heavens. "
Incredible, absolutely incredible!