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

 

Moroni 8: 1 – 3, 4 – 6, 7 – 12, 13 – 16

Verse 1: An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:

Verse 2: My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to His ministry, and to His holy work.

Verse 3: I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of His Holy Child, Jesus, that He, through His infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on His name to the end.

            His father’s expression of love and gratitude that his son is doing the Lord’s work must have touched Moroni’s heart and increased his own faith and gratitude. These words probably gave Moroni comfort many times during the years he was alone hiding from the Lamanites who sought to kill him. Knowing His father’s faith and trust both in the Lord and in him would have given him solace. I know that my parents’ expression of gratitude for my choices and efforts gave me strength to endure and continue doing my best. Good parents are an unmeasurable blessing to their children.

            It is interesting that Mormon spoke of Heavenly Father and His Son in his expression of prayer, thought, and faith for Moroni. We can understand Heavenly Father’s love a little better when we become parents.

Verse 4: And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you.

Verse 5: For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.

Verse 6: And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle.

            A gentle but determined encouragement to Moroni to work hard to put things right in an important spiritual matter. No blame is used in this strong language and command of correction. Faith in and love for his son is evidence as Mormon expresses strong feeling with respect. A good example of effective, constructive communication.

Verse 7: For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:

Verse 8: Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in Me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in Me.

Verse 9: And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

Verse 10: Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

Verse 11: And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.

Verse 12: But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

            The truths that Jesus gave Mormon to teach to Moroni about the innocence of little children have brought great comfort to many parents’ hearts. The grief at losing a child is comforted somewhat in knowing that their little children are saved because they are pure. Baptism is necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven but little children who die without that ordinance are pure before God and will be in His kingdom.

            I also like the reminder here that the humility of a child is the state adults need to be saved in God’s kingdom. Repentance and baptism require humility to accept God’s will and way. Obedience to God is compared to a child’s obedience and submission to his or her parents.

Verse 13: Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.

Verse 14: Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

Verse 15: For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.

Verse 16: Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

            Strong words spoken by God toward those who teach untruth as His words. Again, repentance is the way to change from wickedness and perversion. Repentance is a gift given to every person so each can choose to live in the Lord’s way and return Home to Him. Baptism follows repentance in the process of change. Little children are pure and do not need repentance nor baptism.

            May we seek to be humble in learning and living God’s truth.

Dani

Moroni 7: 35 – 39, 40 – 43, 44 – 48

Verse 35:  And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?

Verse 36: Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has He withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will He, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

Verse 37:  Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

Verse 38:  For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in His name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.

Verse 39:  But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in Him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of His church.

            The connection between miracles, angels, the power of the Holy Ghost, mankind, faith, salvation, the words of Christ, and redemption is about God’s purpose to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Mankind is on earth because God has a plan of happiness for us. Faith in Jesus Christ is what allows that plan to work in our individual lives. Angels, miracles, and meekness, are the connection for Jesus Christ’s followers as they learn and live the plan of happiness.

            God doesn’t hide from us. He has given truth and His words have been recorded. Those who seek Him and His way find it, usually through another person but sometimes through angels and miracles. Meekness is the condition of heart and mind that allows a person to acknowledge the hand of God in their lives.

40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?

41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of His resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in Him according to the promise.

42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.

            Hope leads us to faith. Hope through Jesus Christ’s Atonement and faith in His resurrection raises us unto life eternal, or life with God after this earth life is over. These attributes of hope and faith lead us to be willing to develop the attribute of charity, the greatest of all the gifts of God. This change within individuals is a miracle which is done through God’s help and one’s own desire.

44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

45 And charity 

suffereth long, and

is kind, and 

envieth not, and

is not puffed up,

seeketh not her own,

is not easily provoked,

thinketh no evil, and

rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth,

beareth all things,

believeth all things,

hopeth all things,

endureth all things.

46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing,

for charity never faileth.

Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and

it endureth forever; and

whoso is found possessed of it at the last day,

it shall be well with him.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, 

pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart,

that ye may be filled with this love,

which He hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ;

that ye may become the sons of God;

that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is;

that we may have this hope;

that we may be purified even as He is pure. Amen.

           Faith and hope are important, but it is charity that will enable us to become most like Jesus Christ. To love others as He has loved them and as well as we love ourselves takes more than we can give. It is a gift of God that we must seek for, strive for, and endure for with all the energy of our heart.

            It is what allows us to truly become sons and daughters of God by choice. We are spirit children of Heavenly Father. Charity will allow us to become like Jesus Christ is to Heavenly Father in submitting our will unto Them with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. The sacrifices made to do this will incur the condition that will allows us to receive this greatest of all gifts, charity.

            May we humbly seek to become true followers of our Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus the Christ.

Dani

Moroni 7: 1 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 13

Verse 1:  And now I, Moroni, write a few of the words of my father Mormon, which he spake concerning faith, hope, and charity; for after this manner did he speak unto the people, as he taught them in the synagogue which they had built for the place of worship.

Verse 2:  And now I, Mormon, speak unto you, my beloved brethren; and it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and His holy will, because of the gift of His calling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you at this time.

Verse 3:  Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with Him in heaven.

Verse 4: And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men.

            Moroni quotes his father’s words. He honors his father. He believes his father, the prophet. He gives the setting where his father spoke to the people gathered to worship in their synagogue. Mormon identifies his audience, his calling, and his motive. He might be speaking to a gathering of holders of the priesthood as he refers to them as brethren. His listeners are covenant followers of Jesus Christ. He identifies how he knows them.

            Mormon testifies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. His belief and faith in Them is felt as is his testimony of Their plan of happiness. How succinctly this is all conveyed in four short verses. Can we as clearly express our beliefs?

Verse 5:  For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.

Verse 6:  For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.

Verse 7:  For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness.

Verse 8:  For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.

Verse 9:  And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such.

            Mormon is remembering God’s words. He is identifying the scriptures and even perhaps some of the revelation he received during his lifetime. His clearly stated truth teaches us the relation between good and evil and how what is in our hearts affects our actions. The choice to be good or evil is made daily over one’s life time. What we do affects what we become. Motive of action has a lot to do with what we be.

Verse 10:  Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.

Verse 11:  For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil.

Verse 12: Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against Him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

Verse 13: But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve Him, is inspired of God.

            As I have read these words many times over the years, this chapter of the Book of Mormon has become one of my favorites. It has guided me when I was unsure of people and actions I should take. It has helped me look beyond people’s words to their actions so that I can understand them more clearly.

            As I have evaluated the teachings given in this chapter, I have come to know myself better. I have tried to live more honestly what I feel in my heart. I have made greater efforts to choose actions that produce good feelings. I still make mistakes and have to pray hard for help from God to replace bad feelings with good feelings. I struggle to let good have place in my heart and it works.

            My experience in the past has shown me that He helps us in our efforts to be good. It is one of the ways that makes me sure that God lives and loves each of us. He has changed my heart after much pleading and effort on my part. Not just once, but many times over the years. I know He wants me to be good. He helps me to be better.

            I want to follow Jesus Christ in all ways. It is hard to let go of the sins that prevent me from following Him fully. He has helped me with many of my weaknesses and continues to help me today. I don’t wait as long to repent as I used to because I trust in His ability to help even the most stubborn places in my heart to change.

            Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have been kind to me during this long process of changing. They are patient as I struggle to understand what I need to change and in my attitude of really wanting to change, as well as helping me make the efforts needed. Sometimes I need to relearn lessons. They continue to show loving patient with me. I also learn to be patient with others in their changing. I think this process is one of the greatest miracles I’ve seen during my life. People who want to can change and become good in their hearts. This hard process refines us.

            God doesn’t force us to change but He does invite us to do good continually. His motive is to bring us Home to Him to live with Him in His Kingdom forever.

            Let us not resist good and God. Let us accept His invitation and follow Jesus Christ Home to Heavenly Father. It is my prayer that we will.

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

Alma 27: 26 – 28, 30; 29: 2, 5, 8

Original Post: 7/1/2014 4:08:21 PM

Verse 26: And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And they went down into the land of Jershon, and took possession of the land of Jershon; and they were called by the Nephites the people of Ammon; therefore they were distinguished by that name ever after.

Verse 27: And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.

Verse 28: And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it.

Verse 30: And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.

            Joy came to the converted Lamanites from sharing their conversion stories with others and from the acceptance of the Nephites who allowed these Lamanites to join them. The Lamanites had eagerness and enthusiasm in worshipping God and serving others. They had faith in Jesus Christ and did all they could to be His disciples. They kept their covenants and were firm in mind and faith toward Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness.

            I like Mormon’s summary of these people – they were a highly favored people of the Lord. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have challenges, but I believe they sought God during their trials and sought to do His will in all things. I appreciate their example of changing their priorities and lives once they learned and understood the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Chapter 29, Verse 2: Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

            I like Alma’s expression of what became important to him after his conversion. He wanted people to hear clearly and loudly God’s plan of happiness for them. He wanted all to have the opportunity to change their ways to God’s ways that there would be no more sorrow.

            What an awesome existence life would be if people sought only righteousness and repentance from things that were not good. God does give all people who want it that opportunity to hear His plan, but it is usually softly through the Spirit that He reaches out to them and through the kindness and service of others. It is through sacrifice of missionaries going two by two that He offers His way to people.

Verse 5: Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.

            All who can reason and understand have the opportunity to choose. We can choose good and God’s ways or evil and spiritual death. Each person has the choice. Our thoughts and our lives show our choices. What we become is a result of our choices.

            I choose joy but it comes at high cost of God’s will over my natural tendencies. I want to do God’s commandments but sometimes it’s hard to let go of the natural physical woman within me. I’ll keep seeking and striving to choose good, life, and joy because I know that through Jesus Christ’s grace, my sincere desires for right will overcome my weaknesses.

Verse 8: For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach His word, yea, in wisdom, all that He seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.

            Trusting the Lord helps us learn to focus on His word, His ways, and to do what we can, where we are, to live right and serve Him.

Verse 9: I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Verse 10: And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that He hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember His merciful arm which He extended towards me.

            Alma’s experiences from wicked to righteous taught him of God’s mercy and love and joy. He learned repentance and forgiveness and to desire for others the blessings God gave him because of the prayers of his father and the church members on his behalf.

            Experiencing the process of the gospel and understanding the power of repentance, enable our desire to share these miracles, that come individually through the power of Christ’s Atonement, with others. When we have been forgiven, we want to share the joyful change with others. We want to tell of this miracle so that all can experience it. When we have learned by our own experience that God hears and answers prayers, we want our loved ones to have their prayers answered too.

            I have joy in my life because the power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement works within me helping to change, to heal, to forgive, and lending me strength, when I am weak, to be stronger. It is a real power to me which I use as I live. I need it because I make mistakes, because I want to do better than I do, and because I want to live the vision given by the Lord’s prophets and apostles of serving with sacrifice as Jesus did. Jesus Christ’s Atonement is precious to me; it is a priceless gift.

            May we each utilize His sacrifice in our lives to become the best child of God that we can be.

Dani

Alma 4: 12 – 14, 19 – 20

Original Post: 4/17/2014 2:54:41 PM

Verse 12: Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.

Verse 13: Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;

Verse 14: Looking forward to that day, thus retaining a remission of their sins; being filled with great joy because of the resurrection of the dead, according to the will and power and deliverance of Jesus Christ from the bands of death.

            How easily identified is a disciple of Jesus Christ: those without pride, those who are humble, succoring those in need, sharing what they have with others who are in need, keeping faith in Jesus Christ and in His gifts of Atonement and Resurrection; looking for His coming. Am I His sincere disciple? Are you?

Verse 19: And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.

Verse 20: And thus in the commencement of the ninth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi, Alma delivered up the judgment-seat to Nephihah, and confined himself wholly to the high priesthood of the holy order of God, to the testimony of the word, according to the spirit of revelation and prophecy.

            Are the honors and wealth of man more important to us than the word of God and giving service to others in His name? Do we prefer pure testimony or contention? To what do we give our heart, might, mind, and strength? As time draws near when Jesus will return in His glory, where are our priorities?

            May we each know ourselves and do what is right and become who we really are as children of God.

Dani

Alma 1: 25, 26, 27

Original post: 4/14/2014 2:39:14 PM

Verse 25: Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.

            The trial that is referred to is the hard hearts of some of the church members which caused them to leave their faith and the church. As we get to know others, doing things with them, serving them, being served by them, or serving together, we learn to love and appreciate them; to understand them. We share our hearts and become part of each other. It does hurt when those we love choose not to share our values any longer.   It hurts because we lose part of who we are.  

            Having loved ones depart from the faith of God is a trial to those who love the Lord and know how vital His commandments are to eternal progress. Too often people who turn away from God also revile the truth they once knew and the people with whom they once served. This is another trial to those who are steadfast in their faith in God.  

            Each person has the responsibility to choose their life and what they’ll do. Our choices and their consequences affect others. We need to carefully consider how we live and what we want from our lives. It can be hard to bear with patience the persecution that others put upon us when all we are trying to do is our best to do what is right.

            It is easy to judge others and to retaliate when we feel injured. It is much harder to seek to follow Jesus Christ and to be patient, forgive, and love those who hurt us. I have found much power and growth in following Jesus Christ. My own weaknesses get in the way of my discipleship. Through my efforts and prayers to follow Him by seeking to forgive as He forgives me and by loving as He loves me, I have discovered strength beyond my own. I have love for those whose choices have injured me. I love them and care about their welfare.  

            The power that comes from seeking to have love for God and fellowmen above all else is an amazing gift from God. His promises are real. We can obtain them if we seek them with all of our heart, mind, might, and strength. Seeking is a process which takes time and, when continued, changes us from the inside out.

Verse 26: And when the priests left their labor to impart the word of God unto the people, the people also left their labors to hear the word of God.

And when the priest had imparted unto them the word of God they all returned again diligently unto their labors;

and the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner;

and thus they were all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.

            To labor for our support and to gather together for our spiritual sustenance is strengthening to a family, congregation, and community. To be equal in our efforts, doing our best and being interdependent, strengthens who we are and also gives us opportunity to share our surplus with others who are in need. In sharing and receiving we have the opportunity of being equal – to raise others and to lower ourselves.  

            Too often in our society, having more than someone else brings puffed up feelings of being better than others. This is a false idea since all that we have comes from God. He blesses our efforts. He enables our success. To share our surplus with others who are in need helps draw us nearer to God and to our fellowmen.  

            It feels good to work hard and produce enough for our own needs. It feels good to help those who are doing the best they can but do not have enough. It feels right to share not because we are required to but because we want to. It is right to recognize that Heavenly Father has given us more than enough as a stewardship; will we be wise stewards for Him?  

            People are equal before God; He loves all of His children. He gives each of us what is needed for individual eternal growth if we will turn to Him and help each other. He wants us to help each other in meeting individual needs. He wants us to turn to Him to ask for help. We can trust Him and follow Him to receive joy and strength and help.

Verse 27: And they did impart of their substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; and they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely.

            If we use our means for things that do us no good, in a way we are robbing ourselves of the opportunity of giving of our means to make the world a better place.   Most of us have limited resources. We must decide in what ways we will use our resources. Even having enough to meet our own needs, we have a little or a lot extra above necessities. What we do with this extra evidences what we value. What is most important to our hearts? Do we share and assist others personally or in a community? Do we wear “costly” apparel or otherwise utilize our resources on unnecessary “things” which do not benefit but are for show?

            It is good to evaluate how we use what we have and see if we are using what He has given us in a way that we will feel good about when giving an accounting as we stand before Him to be judged. Resources are more than money; they include talents, time, and opportunity. Some have more; some have less. Do we share what is over our need with those who have less?

            May we each learn to impart God’s word together: both to give and to receive.

Dani

Mosiah 15: 1 – 5, 6 – 7, 8 – 9

Original post: 2/10/2014 5:35:48 PM

Verse 1: And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.

Verse 2: And because He dwelleth in flesh He shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son–

Verse 3: The Father, because He was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son

Verse 4: And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.

Verse 5: And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth Himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by His people.

            As I understand from my study of God’s word and the teachings of the Holy Spirit, the oneness of God, our Heavenly Father, and His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, is amazing to me. Their purpose is the same, Their motives are the same, Their love is the same. They want to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. They want us to choose to learn to live the eternal laws and principles that will allow us to live with Them forever.

            For this purpose, in the grand council of heaven before the earth was created, Heavenly Father presented His plan for His Spirit children to come to earth. For the plan to work, a sacrifice would be needed. Jesus volunteered to be that Sacrifice so that mankind could choose the road they would take. Being, human, mankind would make wrong choices which would break the laws of God.

            This Sacrifice of Jesus Christ would enable them to repent – change – as they learned that they didn’t want the consequences of the wrong choices and choose instead to live the eternal laws. The Sacrifice would cover the effects of the wrong choices of those who repented, both for individuals and others that were affected. The Sacrifice required suffering for the sins and their effects as well as hurt and pain of mankind – of all of mankind. The Sacrifice would enable those who repented and strove to live the eternal laws of God to live forever with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

            Thus with One motive, One purpose, One love, Jesus was born, lived the eternal laws, and gave Himself as the Sacrifice that would enable mankind – you and me – to repent from our mistakes, choose to live God’s laws, and become people – disciples – wanting to be one in purpose, motive, and love with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ more than we want anything else.

            Jesus as Heavenly Father’s Son and under His direction, created the earth, gave prophets instructions or commandments for mankind – us – to follow, pointing the way to the Sacrifice He would make for us. Then, He was born as a baby, grew up under Joseph and Mary’s love and training, taught His Gospel, lived all the laws of God, suffered in Gethsemane for the wrongs of mankind, allowed Himself to be tempted and killed, and was resurrected by the reuniting of His spirit with His physical body. He fulfilled His Father’s will.

            These verses help me understand something of that love and motive God has for us who come to earth. Earth life is important for us because what we choose will affect the rest of our lives – that which occurs when we die and are resurrected. Abinadi’s words help me understand Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ better.

Verse 6: And, after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, He shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.

Verse 7: Yea, even so He shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.

            While Jesus was on earth, He did miracles among the people. Regardless of the service that He had rendered, the people sacrificed His life. As the first born sacrificed in the law of Moses had pointed Israel for years toward the Great and Last Sacrifice, Jesus Christ, Jehovah, the Mighty One of Israel, let Himself be sacrificed to fulfill the Law He had given to Adam and Eve. The sacrifice of His life put into operation the Plan of Salvation so that all of Heavenly Father’s children could repent of their mistakes, and get on the path that leads Home to Him.

            Jesus Christ prayed in Gethsemane for the cup to pass if it was Father’s will; but if not, He would drink it. He gave His will to His Father’s Plan for our benefit and because He was completely obedient to Heavenly Father in all things. Also because He also loves us and wanted us enabled to return Home to Heavenly Father also. Obedience and Love need to be our motivators if we would let our flesh become subject to Heavenly Father’s will also.

Verse 8: And thus God breaketh the bands of death,

having gained the victory over death;

giving the Son power to make intercession for the children of men

Verse 9: Having ascended into heaven,

having the bowels of mercy;

being filled with compassion towards the children of men;

standing betwixt them and justice;

having broken the bands of death,

taking upon Himself their iniquity and their transgressions,

having redeemed them, and

satisfied the demands of justice.

           Heavenly Father’s plan made death (separation of body from spirit and separation of man from God) temporary. Jesus Christ’s resurrection will bring resurrection of body and spirit to all mankind – to all of us. His taking upon Himself the pains of our iniquity and transgressions allows us to repent of our wrong doings, which separate us from God – spiritual death.   We can become clean and pure and worthy to return to God’s presence through the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

            Having lost a brother and sister-in-law in an accident, I value greatly the resurrection of the body because their death hurts. However, I know I’ll see them both again and that eases the hurt.

            My own mistakes as well as the mistakes of my loved ones, makes Jesus’ overcoming of spiritual death even more precious to me as there is a way for us to change – repent – and through His grace, enabled to return to Heavenly Father. I’m humbled and grateful to our Savior for His part in having Heavenly Father’s plan operational.

            May we seek God’s truth and love through prayer and scripture study. May we seek His help to align our lives with His ways through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for sin.

Dani