Moroni 10: 3, 4, 5 – 7, 8 – 18, 19 – 21

Verse 3:  Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

  As I ponder the scriptures that record God’s interactions with men since the days of Adam, I marvel that God is patient and kind with mankind’s weaknesses and folly. He is willing to help us learn and grow in righteousness.  As I think of my own weaknesses and mistakes, I’m grateful that He is forgiving.  I’m grateful for Jesus Christ’s Atonement that allows our sins to be forgiven and forgotten.

Verse 4:  And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, He will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

            This promise of Moroni written in the Book of Mormon has blessed me throughout my life. I remember first reading the Book of Mormon when I was around eight years old because I wanted to know for myself that it was true.  After reading first and second Nephi, I gave up because it was too hard for me to understand.  I tried again a few years later, perhaps read further but didn’t finish.

            When I was sixteen years old, I read the Book of Mormon all the way through.  At first as I read, I would pray in my heart to know whether it was true. By the time I was halfway through the Book of Mormon I knew that I was reading the truth.  When I finished reading, I prayed with thanksgiving that I knew it was true but also asked for a further confirmation.  It came in the form of knowing by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon was God’s words to His prophets of Ancient America.  The Holy Ghost has given me that witness over and over again in the years since as I have read and studied the Book of Mormon.  I know it is truth.  Its truth has helped me for many decades through my life.

Verse 5:  And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Verse 6:  And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that He is.

Verse 7:  And ye may know that He is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for He worketh by power according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.

            Truth can be known by individuals through the power of the Holy Ghost. Good and true things acknowledge Jesus Christ.  It is men and women’s faith that allows God’s power to work in our lives.

Verse 8: And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all; and they are given by the manifestations of the Spirit of God unto men, to profit them.

Verse 9:  For behold, to one is given by the Spirit of God, that he may teach the word of wisdom;

Verse 10:  And to another, that he may teach the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

Verse 11:  And to another, exceedingly great faith; and to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

Verse 12:  And again, to another, that he may work mighty miracles;

Verse 13:  And again, to another, that he may prophesy concerning all things;

Verse 14:  And again, to another, the beholding of angels and ministering spirits;

Verse 15:  And again, to another, all kinds of tongues;

Verse 16:  And again, to another, the interpretation of languages and of divers kinds of tongues.

Verse 17:  And all these gifts come by the Spirit of Christ; and they come unto every man severally, according as He will.

Verse 18:  And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that every good gift cometh of Christ.

           The gifts of God come unto mankind both as they seek them and for God’s purposes.  They are given that everyone will be benefited by the sharing of them.

Verse 19:  And I would exhort you, my beloved brethren, that ye remember that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and that all these gifts of which I have spoken, which are spiritual, never will be done away, even as long as the world shall stand, only according to the unbelief of the children of men.

Verse 20:  Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.

Verse 21:  And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope.

            Moroni’s words that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and has given gifts to mankind since the beginning of the world through their faith is shown over and over again in the scriptures. We can learn more of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ by studying the scriptures which are God’s word to man.

            As we change our lives to live what we learn, we are developing the characteristics that refine us, and we change from the natural man or woman to a disciple of Jesus Christ. There are many qualities we need to acquire, but hope, faith, and charity especially work together to prepare us to be saved in God’s kingdom.

            Let us choose God’s ways in our lives so that we can be instruments in His hands while we are on earth and prepare to return Home to Him.

Dani

Moroni 8: 17 – 20, 21 – 24, 25 – 26, 27 – 30

Verse 17:  And I am filled with charity, which is everlasting love; wherefore, all children are alike unto me; wherefore, I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation.

Verse 18:  For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

Verse 19:  Little children cannot repent; wherefore, it is awful wickedness to deny the pure mercies of God unto them, for they are all alive in Him because of His mercy.

Verse 20:  And he that saith that little children need baptism denieth the mercies of Christ, and setteth at naught the atonement of Him and the power of His redemption.

            How eloquently Mormon identifies the pureness of little children and the mercy of God in His treatment of their innocence. Charity for little children is part of perfect love. God’s view is stated clearly and concisely by Mormon.

Verse 21:  Wo unto such, for they are in danger of death, hell, and an endless torment. I speak it boldly; God hath commanded me. Listen unto them and give heed, or they stand against you at the judgment-seat of Christ.

Verse 22:  For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing

Verse 23:  But it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of His Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works.

Verse 24:  Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law.

            The purpose of repentance is to help those who break God’s laws. Little children and those who cannot understand God’s laws or commandments do not need repentance for they cannot disobey what they are not capable of understanding. What comfort for parents who have children who are mentally challenged. Like little children, these innocents, are saved because of the mercies of Jesus Christ.

25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and

baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and

the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

26 And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and

because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost,

which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love,

which love endureth by diligence unto prayer,

until the end shall come,

when all the saints shall dwell with God.

            Mormon’s explanation of faith, repentance, baptism, commandments, and remission of sins is helpful to understanding how they work together. When we follow the Savior and He remits our sins, we realize how much we owe Him individually. This helps us be meek and humble for without Him we cannot return to Heavenly Father.

            This humility and broken heart allows us to be visited by the Holy Ghost who fills us with hope and perfect love and the ability to endure and we continue in prayer. When the end comes, those who love God and have kept His commandments will dwell with Him. To be able to dwell with God after this life is over or even to abide in His presence during this life, we must seek the qualities that will help us feel comfortable in His presence.

Verse 27:  Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent.

Verse 28:  Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest the Spirit hath ceased striving with them; and in this part of the land they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost.

Verse 29:  And after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon, unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our Savior Himself.

Verse 30:  Farewell, my son, until I shall write unto you, or shall meet you again. Amen.

            Mormon wants to hope for his people, but he knows what they must do to be saved and they have rejected God’s power and authority. Salvation comes from God through Jesus Christ. Without Jesus Christ, no one can live in God’s presence after this life is over. The path is the same for each person who comes to earth.

            I’m grateful for Mormon’s letter to his son, because he teaches so plainly important truths for us to understand. These prophetic words bless my life because of increased understanding they give me. I know more clearly what I must seek for in attitudes and actions to prepare to life with God as well as to enjoy more fully His Holy Spirit while on earth.

            May we each be meek and humble so we can hear what the Lord would have us understand.

Dani

 

Ether 13: 2 – 3, 4 – 5, 8, 9 – 12

Verse 2: For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve Him who dwell upon the face thereof;

Verse 3: And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.

      Ether taught his people the history of the earth from its beginning. He taught that after the flood of Noah that the land which is known as the Americas became a chosen land by the Lord. It was chosen as a place where God would be served by those who dwelt upon it. It was the place where a New Jerusalem would be built and where the righteous would dwell with the Lord.

Verse 4: Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.

Verse 5: And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel

Verse 8: Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.

            The Jerusalem of Jesus’ earthly life would be destroyed and built again to be a holy city unto the Lord for the house of Israel. The house of Joseph would be given the land of the Americas for their inheritance. They will build a New Jerusalem, or holy city, unto the Lord on the Americas. For the Thousand Years of the Lord’s Millennial reign, the house of Joseph will live in the New Jerusalem and the house of Israel shall live in Israel’s Jerusalem. 

Verse 9: And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.

Verse 10: And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel.

Verse 11: And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.

Verse 12: And when these things come, bringeth to pass the scripture which saith, there are they who were first, who shall be last; and there are they who were last, who shall be first.

            After the millennial reign, the heaven and earth shall become new. Those who dwell in the Jerusalems will be those who love the Lord, have repented of their sins, and have used His Atonement to become clean. They will be the descendants of Abraham from, the whole earth, who made and kept covenants with God during their lives. Those who, throughout the history of the earth, loved the Lord and sought to serve Him and obey His commandments, both before and after His coming, will dwell in the two Jerusalems. Their righteous choices and lives will make the cities holy. They will be worthy to dwell with the Lamb.

            Will we choose to be among them? Will we choose Jesus Christ over everything else earth life offers? Will we be willing to change and choose to love God with all of our hearts, might, minds, and strength. Will we participate in His work of bringing to pass the immortality ad eternal life of man?

            I pray we will choose eternal happiness. I pray that we will choose Jesus Christ above all material things. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Only Way Home to Heavenly Father.

Dani

 

Ether 12: 32 – 41

Verse 32: And I also remember that Thou hast said that Thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of Thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared.

Verse 33: And again, I remember that Thou hast said that Thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of Thy life for the world, that Thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men.

Verse 34: And now I know that this love which Thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which Thou hast prepared in the mansions of Thy Father.

            How simple the instruction: we must have hope throughout our lives, trials, and circumstances in order to receive inheritance in the mansions of Heavenly Father prepared for us by Jesus Christ. Hope is centered on Jesus Christ’s redeeming sacrifice. His Atonement will enable the trials we face and hard times we go through work for our good. What we learn from them, as we turn to Him through them, will prepare us for that glorious inheritance.

            Jesus Christ, though innocent of any sin or wrong doing, suffered much at the hands of others during His life. At the end of His life, He suffered for our hurts, injuries, sin, and weaknesses so He could help us overcome them and pass through them in order to become more like Him.

            Charity is more than love, it’s willingness to suffer long, be kind, think of others before ourselves, not being puffed up because of our lot in life, seeking for the welfare of others, does not think evil or rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth. It is willingness to bear, believe, hope, and endure all things in our lives with faith in Jesus Christ that these things will prepare us for God’s kingdom.

            When we do all we can to live right and make things right, then we trust the outcome to God. We recognize Him as the One who knows best what we need to pass through. If He does not take the burden from us, He will help us bear it. In this process we come to know Him. Choosing this willingness to submit all things to Him, changes us. It is the highest degree in our earth life schooling. It is following Jesus Christ in pure love which will endure within us forever. It is not an easy process. It wrenches our very heart strings. It brings us to Jesus Christ, who understands such pain, with a broken heart and contrite spirit. Charity endures forever and is a necessary ingredient to possess in the last day.

Verse 37:  And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore, thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.

            Our faithfulness in doing the Lord’s work is what matters in our lives. We cannot make choices for other people but only for ourselves. Our faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ allows us to be made clean. Seeing our own weaknesses and still being faithful to what the Lord asks of us allows our weaknesses to be made strong. Jesus Christ is the way by which we become prepared to live in Heavenly Father’s mansions. Following Him and seeking to acquire His attributes of charity is where salvation lies.

            Charity is more than love although love is included in charity. Charity is a state of being that embodies service, kindness, forgiveness, repentance, seeking good, helping others, and focusing on Jesus Christ and His teachings in our relationships. It is goodness applied to others as well as to ourselves. It is sincere and something we become over time with practice of choosing Christ’s way over any other way.

Verse 38: And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood.

Verse 39: And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that He hath talked with me face to face, and that He told me in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things;

Verse 40: And only a few have I written, because of my weakness in writing.

Verse 41: And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of Them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen.

            Here Moroni bids farewell. Surely he didn’t realize when he wrote this that he’d have more time to write. He is giving his final words of counsel and testimony. He recognizes that we will meet before Christ’s judgment seat. That at that time, we will know the truth of life. That we will know that the prophets of God knew Jesus Christ and sought to help us know Him.

            Moroni’s final counsel is to seek Jesus in our lives so that we can have eternal life with Him. Moroni has given his report. He gave his testimony of Heavenly Father, of Jesus Christ, of the writings of the prophets and apostles. He point us to that which is of greatest eternal value in our lives – learning to acquire and pray for charity. He taught that the Holy Ghost will bear record of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ if we seek His witness.

            I’m grateful for Moroni because his words have helped shape my choices and blessed my life over decades. I know that his words of counsel are true for they have helped me throughout my life and brought me closer to my Savior Jesus Christ. They have helped me to become a better disciple of Christ and a better daughter, mother, sister, wife, and friend. I look forward to being able to meet Moroni at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ to thank him for the good that his writing brought to me.

            May we all follow Moroni’s counsel to seek Jesus in our lives.

Dani

Mormon 9: 2—9, 11-14, 16-20

Verse 2: Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation—behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God?

Verse 3: Then will ye longer deny the Christ, or can ye behold the Lamb of God? Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with Him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused His laws?

Verse 4: Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before Him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell.

Verse 5: For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.

            These verses give me hope. They are a description of the end of the earth as we know it now. My hope comes because of the description of when the Lord shall come. It is not left to chance; it is known. We shall each stand before Jesus. He knows us. If we know Him we will be happy to dwell with Him. If we have repented of our sins and mistakes, we won’t have guilt. We will be happy to dwell with Him if we value His laws in our lives now.

            My efforts, though short of perfection, are helping me prepare to see myself as God sees me. They are preparing me to become holy, which can only happen through the great sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ in behalf of all those who believe in His name. I feel that these verses are asking those who don’t believe to choose to believe now so they will change direction toward God. He wants them to come Home to stay with Him.

Verse 6: O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.

Verse 7: And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;

Verse 8: Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.

Verse 9: For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in Him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?

            The scriptures help us to learn the ways of God. They help us to understand His motive and purpose. They contain revelations, prophecies, identify God’s gifts, His healing power, and the miracles His power wrought in the lives of those who believe. God doesn’t change. His purposes are the same now as from the beginning. His plan is to enable all of us to come Home to Him, clean and worthy to live with Him forever. He invites all to walk the path. He loves each of us. Those who will answer His invitation and seek Him will find Him. He will guide them to Him.

Verse 11: But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

Verse 12:  Behold, He created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.

Verse 13: And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.

Verse 14: And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.

            Herein is stated the purpose of life and the hope of mankind. Jesus Christ redeemed us all. We will all be resurrected. We will all live again with perfect bodies. In this state we shall be judged by the Holy One, even Jesus Christ, who has made it possible for us to become clean and able to live again in the presence of Heavenly Father.

            We can become righteous as a result of our choices to follow Jesus Christ and repent (change) from the ways of the world to the ways of God. We can be happy when we stand before the judgment bar. This choice is up to us.

Verse 16:  Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?

Verse 17: Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by His word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of His word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of His word have miracles been wrought?

Verse 18: And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.

Verse 19: And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you He changeth not; if so He would cease to be God; and He ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

Verse 20: And the reason why He ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

            The marvelous works of God are miracles to us. By His power mighty miracles are wrought whether by His own hand or by the hand of His apostles. As miracles were done by His power in former times, they continue to be done in modern times. He is God and changes not. Those who believe in Him and do His work in His way see His miracles. They know the God in whom they should trust.

            The things that God hath wrought are marvelous in our eyes. His tender mercies given to me help me feel His love for me and to know that He is aware of and cares about me. The tender mercies He gives to others also witness of His love.

            May we be humble and willing to see, open to learn and know the things of God in our lives.

Dani

3 Nephi 27: 16 – 21, 22 – 26, 27

Verse 16: And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.

Verse 17: And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.

Verse 18: And this is the word which He hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause He fulfilleth the words which He hath given, and He lieth not, but fulfilleth all His words.

Verse 19: And no unclean thing can enter into His kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into His rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.

Verse 20: Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.

Verse 21: Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;

            The gospel of Jesus Christ is to follow Jesus Christ through obedience to Heavenly Father’s will exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism in Jesus Christ’s name renewed through weekly partaking of the Sacrament, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost which allows us to be sanctified, and enduring to the end of our lives. Through our efforts of living the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, we learn and grow more like our Savior. The Holy Ghost, through our efforts of repentance and obedience, is able to sanctify our hearts and minds.  

            The focus of living the Gospel through almost six decades has brought me closer to goodness, helped me prefer to doing Heavenly Father’s will than my own, and increased my love for the Savior as well as for other people. My peace has increased as has my patience. I have daily joy because of my Savior and His gifts of obedience, sacrifice, faith, and charity. Despite my mistakes, I have hope for eternity with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because I’m seeking His will instead of my own. I’m choosing to give my will to Him through loving Him with all of my heart, might, mind and loving my fellow men as myself.

            There are so many layers of feeling and doing in these commandments. It takes lots of practice, change, and seeking over and over again through daily living to allow the Holy Spirit to lead and teach us. It is an amazing process. The change this process has wrought in my life is a miracle. To have no more desire to do evil but to do good continually is a state of happiness which does still include opportunities to improve.

Verse 22: Therefore, if ye do these things blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

            The promise of seeking and focusing our lives on the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be lifted up at the last day. To be lifted out of sin and mistakes and sorrow to the clean place of heaven in which God dwells.

Verse 23: Write the things which ye have seen and heard, save it be those which are forbidden.

Verse 24: Write the works of this people, which shall be, even as hath been written, of that which hath been.

Verse 25: For behold, out of the books which have been written, and which shall be written, shall this people be judged, for by them shall their works be known unto men.

Verse 26: And behold, all things are written by the Father; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged.

            Writing, that wonderful process of learning to think as we put what we feel into written words. We are to write of our experiences, a journal or personal history.   I have found that rereading my writing helps me in lots of ways. I can see my own growth and can be reminded of challenges I experienced. I can see that I am progressing toward my goals. I am reminded of good times with loved ones. Writing of my experiences enlarges my memory.

            We will be judged out of the books that are written. Writing not only of our experiences but of our thoughts, motives, and feelings fills in the meat of our lives. We will be judged by what our Heavenly Father has written with love, mercy and justice. The world will be judged and our place in it. Do we improve our own circle of influence; do we serve the people around us? Do we bring joy to the lives of our family and neighbors? Do we help people in need?

Verse 27: And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.

            The Lord’s called leaders judge His followers. They are there to give us His word, to help us understand it, and will eventually judge us as to whether we followed it. He tells His leaders to be as He is. I like to think of the judgment day as a great gathering of those we have known on the earth. The Savior is the judge and we each stand before Him where the things of our lives shall be reviewed. Then I imagine that the people we have known will be invited to speak about our relationships to them and how we particularly influenced their lives.

            I believe we will be surprised at the influence we had with others whom we were not aware even noticed us. I believe we will be able to tell how others helped us, strengthened us, and made our lives easier. I think for most of us it will be a time of rejoicing and reunions with people whom we have known and interacted with during our lives.

            Let us seek Jesus, come unto Him, repent, be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end of our lives humbly doing our best to obey God’s commandments and help others along the way.

Dani

3 Nephi 14: 1 – 5, 6, 7 – 11, 12, 13 – 14

Verse 1: And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words He turned again to the multitude, and did open His mouth unto them again, saying: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Verse 2: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Verse 3: And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Verse 4: Or how wilt thou say to thy brother: Let me pull the mote out of thine eye—and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Verse 5: Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

            After Jesus taught the twelve He called to serve the people, He again turned to the multitude and taught them in these five verses some amazing truths that help me see ways in which I need to repent (change). I’ve been trying but I see that the beams in my eyes are bigger than the motes others have in theirs.

            We are not to judge others because we cannot see clearly their motivations and circumstances. It is easy to excuse our own behavior because we know our intent and efforts. I think to love others as ourselves requires that we give them the benefit of the doubt that perhaps they are also doing the best they can where they are.

Verse 6: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest thy trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

            Our interactions with God are precious and, if shared, should be done so with those who will also hold them sacred. Actually, are interactions with other people are also precious and we need to be careful of our sacred experiences shared with others. In deed, we need to be honest and sincere and loyal in our relationships with other people.

Verse 7: Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Verse 8: For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

Verse 9: Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?

Verse 10: Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

Verse 11: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?

            Again, these are powerful teachings Jesus is giving. He tells us that if we sincerely seek answers from God, we will receive them because God loves us perfectly – completely. I like the comparison of earthly parents to our Heavenly Father. As earthly parents we delight in giving our children what they want. Jesus tells us that Heavenly Father also wants to give us all our good desires. I have had wonderful experiences asking, seeking, and knocking and I know that Heavenly Father gives us what we seek. Wonderful experiences aren’t necessarily easy, but they help us learn how much we are loved by God.

            Asking, seeking, and knocking allows Him to do so as these show how sincerely we desire what we are asking for. When He gives us our desires, it is in the timing that He knows is best in the eternal scheme of things. We can trust that He hears and will answer when we are ready to hear and receive for our eternal growth.

Verse 12: Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.

            The law and the prophets: commandments and teachings are to help us see that we need to treat others with the same regard that we want others to use in the ways they treat us. This golden rule that strengthens and builds relationships between people is an eternal principle. It is a happy way to live. It changes how we feel and think toward others. It is worth striving to learn.

Verse 13: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat;

Verse 14: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

            Walking the path Home to Heavenly Father requires that we learn to live His way. These verses help us see that many prefer the easy path away from God than the narrow one that leads to Him. Going home to God takes conscious choice and action on our individual journeys.

            I’m grateful for Jesus Christ’s teaching which He gave both in the Old World as well as in the New World. The subtle differences in these sermons recorded in 3 Nephi help me see the difference in the translations of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I’m grateful that Joseph Smith’s revelations help us see the Savior Jesus Christ more clearly as He is.

            Jesus Christ loves each one of us. He lived and died so we can return Home to our Heavenly Father clean and pure, through our choices to follow Him.  As we learn of Him and strive to obey His commandments, we change. We learn to rely upon Him and His ways as we live our daily lives. We listen to His Spirit and gain understanding of our individual worth as well as where we can learn to do better in following Him. I’ve found this an amazing process in my journey through life. I’m grateful for His tender tutoring and the hard lessons I’ve learned and keep learning.   I’m grateful for His suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross of Calvary because it helps me know He understands my suffering in my life.

            May we each Come Unto Jesus and be healed, cleansed, and tutored by Him.

Dani

3 Nephi 12: 27 – 32, 33 – 37, 38 – 42, 43 – 45, 46 – 48

Verse 27:  Behold, it is written by them of old time, that thou shalt not commit adultery;

Verse 28:  But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.

Verse 29: Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart;

Verse 30: For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell.

Verse 31:  It hath been written, that whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.

Verse 32: Verily, verily, I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whoso shall marry her who is divorced committeth adultery.

            The most sacred of relationships is between husband and wife. This relationship requires effort for two people to become one of motive and purpose. As we work at it, it teaches us to be unselfish by putting another’s needs before our own. Marriage is for us to learn essential principles as we help each other on our mortal path Home to Heavenly Father.  

            The unfaithfulness of adultery betrays one’s most important relationship as well as the family. It is a path away from God and goodness. It embodies that which is dishonorable. To stop unclean thoughts in the heart ensure they won’t become action. The breaking of trust through adultery blocks path toward God in serious ways.

Verse 33: And again it is written, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths;

Verse 34: But verily, verily, I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;

Verse 35: Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;

Verse 36: Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair black or white;

Verse 37: But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever cometh of more than these is evil.

            Swearing has become a common practice in society. It dishonors those who do it as well as those around them. It cheapens covenants made with God. Forswear means to swear falsely or commit perjury. Since our words are important, to use them falsely or to injure others, makes what one says worthless and harmful. The commandment to agree or disagree with yes and no is simple and straightforward. It is respectful. We can let our actions validate our words without swearing.

Verse 38:  And behold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;

Verse 39: But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also;

Verse 40:  And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;

Verse 41: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Verse 42: Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away.

            The Savior teaches us to not worry about revenge but to help one another. He teaches us that material things aren’t as important as people. An attitude of giving and service is much more beneficial than fighting about possessions. While the world might think that those who have most are better, our Savior taught us that those who give service to others are closer in attitude and action to Heavenly Father. He instructs us to help one another and share what He has given us.

Verse 43:  And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy;

Verse 44: But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;

Verse 45: That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

            Every person is a child of God and therefore each has the divine within. The best way to get rid of enemies is to make them our friends. To do this requires us to be humble and kind. We must think of others before ourselves realizing that everyone’s perspective has value to them.

            Learning to understand others and seeing them through God’s perspective helps us see their divine qualities. Friendship is much more satisfying to the soul than disturbance from enemies. We can bless others with our own happy attitude, creativity, and well wishes.

Verse 46: Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.

Verse 47: Old things are done away, and all things have become new.

Verse 48: Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

            Jesus Christ teaches us that the law of Moses was fulfilled in Him. We are to keep the commandments Jesus gave and let them be our guide in our relationships and in our thoughts and actions. We are to live the law that lets us grow closer to Heavenly Father and His ways. We can repent or change because Jesus Christ gave us the gift of His Atonement. We are to do right because we love right and want to do our Father’s will.

            To love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength requires that we love others as ourselves. This love requires us to use the attributes of goodness, humility, faith, hope, repentance, and good works for the benefit of others. When we serve others, we are serving God.

            Jesus’ teachings to people in both the Old World and the New World are vital to us today in the Modern World. God does not change. He wants each of us to learn and live the principles that will allow us to return Home to live with Him. Developing the practices Jesus taught helps us to become consistent to the goodness that is in God. These attributes help us learn to love God by honoring and obeying Him and by loving and serving the people around us.

            May we follow Jesus Christ’s teachings to become the children of God that we have the potential to become.

Dani

3 Nephi 12: 14 – 18, 19 – 20, 21 – 24, 25 – 26

Verse 14: Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Verse 15: Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;

Verse 16: Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Verse 17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil;

Verse 18: For verily I say unto you, one jot nor one tittle hath not passed away from the law, but in me it hath all been fulfilled.

            Those who have the light of truth, the testimony of Jesus Christ, are to live so that the gospel in their lives might bless others’ lives. We are to be an example of His way in the ways we live so that our knowledge will bless others. We are to be living examples of His teachings so others can know how to live righteously.   We are to honor God by the way we live.

            Jesus Christ came to the earth to fulfill all that the prophets had testified regarding Him and His mission on the earth. He is the One who came to make Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness operable. His Atonement fulfilled the Plan. All the words that He has spoken will be verified even to the tiniest one. He speaks truth. His truth will be completed. His Atonement enables the completion of the purpose of life on earth.

            What marvelous thoughts and ideas and truth were spoken by Jesus to the people of ancient America as well as to those in Jerusalem. His words have blessed people through earth’s history. They have blessed my life and continue to do so. They bring me light and peace and hope and love and strength. I want to be part of His work. I want to live and do as He taught. I love Him and our Father in Heaven.

Verse 19:  And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law is fulfilled.

Verse 20: Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

            I feel the Savior’s love in these verses. He tells us that the commandments He gives are of His Father – our Father. The commandments and the law are to help us believe in Him. Believing in Jesus Christ and keeping the commandments help us to want to repent of our sins.

            Believing, obeying, and repenting is the process of coming unto Jesus. These help our hearts to be broken because we realize that we need Him to change, to obey, to believe, and to be healed. We need Him to get Home to Heavenly Father.

            He obeyed Heavenly Father in every commandment. We must strive to do the same in order to fulfill Heavenly Father’s law and to go Home to Him. Fulfilling Heavenly Father’s law for us is to seek Jesus and to learn how to fulfill our individual missions given to us in the premortal life. It is learning to submit our will to His because we love Him.

Verse 21:  Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, and it is also written before you, that thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of God;

Verse 22: But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of His judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Verse 23: Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee—

Verse 24: Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.

            The commandments are given to help us become pure and clean. It is through our obedience and the Savior’s Atonement that we choose to become ready to live in God’s presence. It is not just our actions, but also our motivations, we need to change. When our full purpose of our heart is to be willing to do all Heavenly Father asks of us, then we are preparing to be received into His presence.

            Changing the heart takes a lot of work especially in our relationships with each other. No matter my desires to do right, it is my thoughts, words, and actions that show the degree to which I’m living my desires.

Verse 25: Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee, and thou shalt be cast into prison.

Verse 26: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost senine. And while ye are in prison can ye pay even one senine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, Nay.

            Verse 25 confused me for many years. Finally, I have understood it to mean to settle disagreements as they occur and not to leave them festering. Relationships need to be as positive as we can make them. It is our responsibility individually to make them as whole as we can. To resolve problems immediately frees us, and others, to continue individual growth. To leave them festering in hearts and minds imprisons our emotional and spiritual growth.

            May we seek His light and truth to bless our lives.

Dani

Helaman 5: 6 – 8, 9, 10 – 11, 12, 14

Verse 6: Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.

Verse 7: Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them.

Verse 8: And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers.

            The words of Helaman reverberate within my soul as the sincere desire of a parent for his children. When our children remember God’s commandments and teach them to others, they are getting those commandments deep into their hearts and minds where they have opportunity to grow and develop. In the heart and mind they take hold upon one’s soul so a testimony can change to conversion.

            Conversion helps us get through the hard places in our lives clinging to the gospel of Jesus Christ and using His Atonement to learn to come unto Christ. We can know that when our children rely upon the Lord Jesus Christ, they will be led by His Spirit to do the things that will get them Home to Heavenly Father. For me, as a mother, this is the deep desire of my heart for my children and grandchildren.

            The good example of others can also help people remember to do good. The motive for doing good is to learn to treasure the things which last forever. That which is eternal is heaven’s treasure. The gift of eternal life, or life with Heavenly Father after this life is over, is where the greatest happiness will be. Eternal life will allow us to be our most complete selves and receive a fullness of joy.

Verse 9: O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that He cometh to redeem the world.

            We direct our focus to the words of prophets, ancient and modern, to help us remember Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The prophets lead us to Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ leads us to Heavenly Father. Men are saved when they become clean so they can live in Heaven after this life is over. Jesus Christ’s purpose in coming to earth was to redeem the world. He offers us help and grace through our life’s journey so that we can overcome weaknesses, forsake sin, and become worthy by being clean in heart and mind.

            The two great commandments upon which hang all the law and the prophets are to love Heavenly Father with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength and to love others as ourselves. If we follow the words of the prophets and obey God’s commandments, they will take us to Jesus Christ. As we follow His teachings and change, coming unto Him, He will be the bridge over which we cross to Heavenly Father, clean and worthy to live in Their presence forever.

            As a parent, I want my children and grandchildren to learn of Christ and to know Him. He will be their aid to help them navigate through life. He will be their Savior and Redeemer as He is mine.

Verse 10: And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem His people, but that He should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.

Verse 11: And He hath power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance; therefore He hath sent His angels to declare the tidings of the conditions of repentance, which bringeth unto the power of the Redeemer, unto the salvation of their souls.

            The difference is “in” and “from”. Are we living in sin or are we trying to remove ourselves from sin? Which is our attitude?

            The Lord Jesus Christ came to redeem His people, those who will believe on His name, from their sins. We become His people by believing and following His teachings, by our humility and willingness to repent. We are His when we choose His Atonement to allow Him to redeem us.

Verse 12: And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

            Jesus Christ is the only source of strength that will withstand the storms of the adversary. His power will strengthen us through all trials that we must pass. The rock of Jesus Christ, the Son Of God, our Redeemer, is the safe and sure foundation which will protect us from falling out of God’s presence. It is sure and true. He is the Bread of Life and the Living Water.

Verse 14:  And they did remember his words; and therefore they went forth, keeping the commandments of God, to teach the word of God among all the people of Nephi, beginning at the city Bountiful;

            Remembering in the challenges of life to daily live the word of God is our opportunity to come unto Jesus Christ. Remembering during hard times to use His way and His words is our opportunity to be His disciples. Remembering to repent when we fall short in our efforts is our opportunity to allow His grace to work in our hearts.

            May we receive His strength as we remember and do His will.

Dani