Moroni 10: 23, 24 – 26, 27, 28 – 29, 30 – 34

Verse 23:  And Christ truly said unto our fathersIf ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.

            The promise that we can do all things we need to do through faith in Jesus Christ is amazing. We can do all things we need to do if we will have faith in Jesus Christ. Choosing to have faith in Jesus Christ enables us to do all necessary things in our lives. I have restated this truth three times. It’s promise and power is great. Through the simple act of choosing to have faith in Jesus Christ (faith is belief which moves us to act), we can accomplish all things Jesus Christ wants us to do. I want to live this kind of faith.

Verse 24:  And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.

Verse 25:  And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.

Verse 26: And wo unto them who shall do these things away and die, for they die in their sins, and they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God; and I speak it according to the words of Christ; and I lie not.

            The power and gifts of God happen because of belief. As people do good, they are using the power and gifts of God. Faith leads people to do good which comes from God. Doing good allows us not do die in our sins but to be saved in the kingdom of God. These are Jesus Christ’s words that Moroni writes. Knowing that all good comes from God is good motivation to do good.

Verse 27: And I exhort you to remember these things; for the time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you:

Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust?

            Remember. A good thing to do. When we see Moroni at the judgment bar of God, we will remember that he told us the words of God. We will answer to the Lord God for what we did with the knowledge Moroni’s words gave us. Remember and do good is good advice for all of us to follow.

Verses 28: I declare these things unto the fulfilling of the prophecies. And behold, they shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the everlasting God; and His word shall hiss forth from generation to generation.

Verse 29:  And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true.

            God’s words given to Moroni shall be had by many. These words fulfill prophecy and are given to mankind – including us in these latter days – so that we can choose to prepare for Jesus Christ’s return by living the truths of these words.

Verse 30:  And again I would exhort you that ye would 

come unto Christ, and

lay hold upon every good gift, and 

touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

Verse 31:  And awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem; yea, and

put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and 

strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever,

that thou mayest no more be confounded,

that the covenants of the Eternal Father which He hath made unto thee, O house of Israel,

may be fulfilled.

Verse 32:  Yea, come unto Christ, and

be perfected in Him, and 

deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and

if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and 

love God with all your might, mind and strength,

then is His grace sufficient for you,

that by His grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and

if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ,

ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Verse 33: And again,

if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and

deny not His power,

then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God,

through the shedding of the blood of Christ,

which is in the covenant of the Father

unto the remission of your sins,

that ye become holy,

without spot.

Verse 34: And now I bid unto all, farewell.

I soon go to rest in the paradise of God,

until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and

I am brought forth triumphant through the air,

to meet you

before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge 

of both quick and dead.  Amen.

            These invitations to come unto Christ and be changed in Him are straight forward and explain the purpose of Jesus Christ’s Atonement and how we will all be affected by it both in the way we choose to live our lives and at the end when our Savior judges us. Those who gave us God’s words will be part of the judgment bar. We will be required to answer to God in their presence as to the choices we made with the truth we had.

            This will be a marvelous experience because Jesus Christ who suffered and died for each of us will stand as our mediator with Heavenly Father. His suffering will help all who choose not to die in their sins escape the suffering we would otherwise have to go through. Repentance is the way of escaping the suffering our sins and mistakes would require without the Savior’s sacrifice for us.

            Let us come unto Christ and learn to live His way and help each other along the way.

Dani

Moroni 9: 6, 18, 22, 25, 26

Verse 6:  And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

            Those who love the right have an obligation to stand for righteousness. To follow Jesus Christ is to do as He did in serving and helping other people. It is living and teaching His truths. It is easing others’ burdens and teaching correct principles so others can also know the path of happiness.

Verse 18:  O the depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy. Behold, I am but a man, and I have but the strength of a man, and I cannot any longer enforce my commands.

            Order and mercy are God’s ways. Mormon laments for his people because they no longer listen to his words and commands as their leader. God gave mankind agency to choose. When people stop listening to God’s words, they loose the goodness that comes from God. When goodness is gone, wickedness is left. That is not a happy state of existence either personally or as a society.

Verse 22:  But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that He will spare thy life, to witness the return of His people unto Him, or their utter destruction; for I know that they must perish except they repent and return unto Him.

           Mormon’s words to his son, Moroni, sound comforted because of Moroni’s choices to follow Jesus Christ. Mormon’s faith expressed in prayer is that Moroni will continue doing God’s work. Mormon trusts that God will aid Moroni is his life.

Verse 25:  My son, be faithful in Christ; and

may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death;

but may Christ lift thee up, and

may His sufferings and death, and

the showing His body unto our fathers, and

His mercy and long-suffering, and

the hope

of His glory and of eternal life,

rest in your mind forever.

            Mormon gives counsel to Moroni that is helpful for all those who love the Lord. As we are faithful, despite our circumstances, Jesus Christ has the power to strengthen us, cheer us, and extend mercy, patience, and hope to us. In addition to the help that we receive on earth, Jesus Christ’s Atonement can give us eternal life and happiness.

            Mormon’s testimony of Jesus Christ gives me strength during my own challenges because it summarizes what Jesus Christ has suffered for us and how because of His suffering He can strengthen us. We can follow Jesus Christ in mercy, long-suffering, and hope. We can be patient in affliction and strengthen others in their trials. Jesus Christ lends us strength to do much more than we can do on our own.

Verse 26: And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His power, until all things shall become subject unto Him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.

            Mormon’s testimony to Moroni in this epistle expresses both hope and faith as a prayer for his son. Mormon’s faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer is felt. He trusts that his son will be all right because of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s grace and gifts and love.

            We can also feel Their protection in our lives as we seek to learn of and serve Them. May we choose to do so daily.

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: 14 – 17, 18 – 19, 20 – 22, 23 – 26

Verse 14:  Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

Verse 15:  For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

Verse 16:  For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

Verse 17:  But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

            How easy to know good from evil: good is of God and brings to Christ; evil believes not in Christ and persuades men to do evil and not to serve God. This knowledge is as clear as daylight is from the dark night. This principle has helped me many times over the years in discerning whether a person or situation is as it seems. I look for the result or purpose. I see the fruits. Good comes from God and brings us to Him. It invites us to believe in Jesus Christ who is our only way Home to God. It is good to judge in God’s way.

Verse 18:  And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

Verse 19: Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

            To become a child of Jesus Christ, we must lay hold upon every good thing. To become a child of Jesus Christ seems to be a description of becoming a humble, obedient follower of His teachings and commandments. To do good, we are taught to judge righteously through the light of Jesus Christ. As we search diligently in the light of Christ, we are promised that we will be able to determine good from evil. As we choose good, we become children or disciples of Christ.

            Humble searching for good and choosing it over those things that take us away from Jesus Christ is what makes us His follower or disciple. All good comes because of Jesus Christ. He is the source of the good that comes to us. His Atonement for us is what enables our natures to change from the natural man to His child. As He was submissive in all things to Heavenly Father, His Father, we must learn to be submissive to Him in all things.

            In this way, we choose for ourselves to follow Jesus Christ Home to Heavenly Father where we may live with Them forever. A simple path, not an easy one, but surely worth all the effort we can make in this life.

Verse 20:  And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?

Verse 21:  And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.

Verse 22:  For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, He sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.

            How do we lay hold or encompass every good thing in our lives. God prepared messengers, angels, to minister, or make clear to the mind, the purpose of Jesus Christ’s coming. In Jesus Christ comes every good thing. Faith is the bridge that reconciles our natural selves to every good thing that comes through Jesus Christ.          

When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we strive to live His commandments, we learn of Him through scripture study, the words of His prophets, and prayer. We let the Holy Spirit teach us personally how to choose good in every situation and relationship of our lives. We have faith in Jesus Christ by choosing His word and His way over any other.     

            As a child learns and grows slowly over time, by choosing faith in Jesus Christ, we grow up spiritually over time as we learn and do His teachings line upon line, precept by precept. We are not expected to become ready to enter Heavenly Father’s kingdom in one giant step but to grow into it as we learn to live the various principles of His gospel step by step.

Verse 23:  And God also declared unto prophets, by His own mouth, that Christ should come.

Verse 24:  And behold, there were divers ways that He did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.

Verse 25:  Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.

Verse 26:  And after that He came men also were saved by faith in His name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth He spake these words unto our fathers, saying:  Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.

            Without Jesus Christ, we would not have good. All good comes because of and through Jesus Christ. He gives His words to us so we can exercise faith in Him and receive all good things He would share with us. All who choose can be saved by faith in Him. We can have our prayers and righteous desires answered through Him.

            Let us choose Jesus Christ and His ways while on earth so that we can be with Him and Heavenly Father forever after this life is over.

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

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

Verse 1: And now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests, and teachers were baptized; and they were not baptized save they brought forth fruit meet that they were worthy of it.

Verse 2: Neither did they receive any unto baptism save they came forth with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and witnessed unto the church that they truly repented of all their sins.

Verse 3: And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve Him to the end.

            These verses teach well about the role of the priesthood holders of the Church of Christ. The leaders as well as members followed the same guidelines for baptism. Baptism has requirements both of heart and actions. Each person seeking baptism had to act to show they were worthy of it. Worthiness was guided by actions, humility, and repentance. Church membership required wanting to take Jesus Christ’s name upon one and committing to serve Him to the end of one’s life.

            Why is there requirement for membership in the Church of Jesus Christ? Two things come to mind. One is that baptism is a covenant with God. Covenants are solemn promises and have consequences. To make a covenant without sincere intent mocks God. The other thing is also sacred. Jesus Christ suffered and died for each person. He loves each one. To take His name upon one’s self is to remember and honor that suffering with reverence. We will be accountable to God for how we keep our covenants. Our best effort is required of God.

Verse 4: And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their name were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.

            This verse adds insight into baptism and membership in Christ’s church. Baptism is a two part process. First, it is immersion in water and coming up out of the water in symbolism of coming up out of the grave into a new way of living a Christ like life. It is cleansing through the power of the Holy Ghost because one has repented of wrong doing and is committing to live Christ’s way from then on.

            Membership in the church of Christ is like membership in a family. Each person is noted, each is numbered and cared for. Baptism is entry into God’s kingdom. There is much to learn about living God’s ways. Members are to help each other to continue to grow in faith in Christ and righteous living of His way. We pray for each other, read the scriptures, and trust in Jesus Christ as we keep His commandments in our daily lives.   This is the day by day process of growing spiritually.

            It also just occurred to me that as we help each other, none of us is perfect. We are all along different places in the path of following Jesus Christ. Those who are further along the path are helpful to those just beginning or not as far along as they are. I have found that learning to live Jesus Christ’s Way is a multi layered process. Understanding of truth and eternal principles are layered to gain insight at different times in our individual lives and to be relearned at deeper levels.

Verse 5: And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.

Verse 6: And they did meet together of to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus Christ.

           As church members, frequent contact to encourage, strengthen, and help each other is important. It is important to also meet for spiritual renewal of covenants and to remember Jesus Christ and His gifts to us. Having eternal understanding doesn’t make life’s challenges go away. As people, and as members of the Lord’s church, we need each other. The strength we gain from others as we face challenges binds our hearts to one another. Empathy and love grow when we help lift one another in our daily lives and in hard circumstances. Kindness strengthens ties between people.

Verse 7: And they were strict to observe that there should be no iniquity among them; and whoso was found to commit iniquity, and three witness of the church did condemn them before the elders, and if they repented not, and confessed not, their names were blotted out, and they were not numbered among the people of Christ.

Verse 8: But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.

           It takes humility to recognize weakness and sin, to acknowledge within ourselves that we knew better or that we could do better. Repenting is necessary for our spiritual growth. As humans, we make mistakes and have choices to make about our thoughts, actions, and direction. When following Jesus Christ is our desire, we must make course corrections regularly as we realize our shortcomings.

            Repentance is a great gift from Jesus Christ to each of us. We, through His grace, can change. We can put off our old selves and become new creatures through Him. It is an amazing gift He has given each of us that we can seek forgiveness and repent with real intent, and then be forgiven by Him.

Verse 9: And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, or to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done.

            I have been in many meetings were I have felt the leading of the Holy Ghost through word, prayer, and song. The Lord’s Spirit has enveloped my soul with learning of truth and feeling of joy and comfort, love and faith. The teaching or preaching of others has often opened my mind to the things of God that has felt like a great spiritual feast of goodness and light. It is an amazing process and experience to learn of God through His Spirit while listening to words spoken or sung by others who have prepared with His Spirit to share and testify.

            May we each seek to learn the Lord’s way through repentance and covenants and strengthen one another.

Dani

Moroni 4: 3; 5: 2

Moroni 4

Verse 3: O God, the Eternal Father, we ask Thee

            in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this bread

            to the souls of all those who partake of it;

that they may eat in remembrance

            of the body of thy Son,

and witness unto Thee, O God, the Eternal Father,

that they are willing

            to take upon them the name of Thy Son, and

            and always remember Him,

            and keep His commandments which He hath given them,

that they may always have His Spirit to be with them.

Amen.

            As we remember what the Savior did for us

in teaching true principles,

living them Himself,

showing us how to go Home to Heavenly Father, then

making it possible for us to return by

offering His own self as a sacrifice for our sins and mistakes,

suffering incomprehensible pain, grief, and hurt so that

He can help us through our own suffering,

this sacred time of the week in which we listen to these prayers and recommit to following Jesus Christ should move us to change and improve.

            As we partake of bread broken in remembrance of His body, surely our witness to Heavenly Father should be given willingly. The recommitment to take Jesus Christ’s name upon us in thought and action, remembering Him when we think and act, and keeping His commandments both privately and publicly can be an anchor in our lives and hearts to His. This intent and effort on our part promises that His Spirit will be with us always, to help us, teach us, comfort us, and testify to us of His love and grace and truth.

Moroni 5:

Verse 2: O God, the Eternal Father, we ask Thee,

            In the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this wine

            to the souls of all those who drink of it,

that they may do it in remembrance

            of the blood of Thy Son,

            which was shed for them;

that they may witness unto Thee, O God, the Eternal Father,

            that they do always remember Him,

            that they may have His Spirit to be with them.

Amen.

            Jesus said, “As I have loved you, love one another. To personalize this, we commit, “As I love Jesus Christ, I will love [spouse, child, neighbor, sibling, parent, etc.]” when we insert someone who is hard to love into this commandment, we feel a change in us and in our own commitment.

            “If ye love Me, keep my commandments.” If ye love Me, love {person}. If ye love Me, help [person]. By taking the Savior’s commandments into our hearts in this simple way, we can begin the internalization that changes us from the way we are to the way He is.

            It is hard to change our habits from thinking from our own point of view to thinking and feeling in His way. But He helps our faltering efforts and we feel His approval that we are trying. He forgives us when we repent. He helps us when we want to do better.

            I am a child of God

            and so are you.

            Let us help each other obey

            and learn to live the Gospel true.

           

            Lead me, guide me

            Walk beside me

            Help me find the way

            Teach me all that I must do

            To live with Him some day.

            Let us remember Jesus Christ and keep our focus on Him as we live our lives day by day, helping others, being kind, and changing from our way and will to His.

Dani

Moroni 1: 1, 3 – 4; 2: 1 – 3; 3: 1 – 4

Moroni 1

1: Now, I Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me.

  1. And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.
  2. Wherefore, I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more; but I write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day, according to the will of the Lord.

            These verses help me understand Moroni a little more. He believes in Jesus Christ. He has been of service in his life to others and seems a little at a loss of what to do during this time when there is no one who wants his service. He turns to the things he can do now to help in the future – which is recording some of the things he has testimony and understanding of. He believes the things that he has learned of the Lord and writes for the future of his brethren’s descendants.

            Moroni doesn’t know all that will happen in his life or how it will end but he does express his faith in Jesus Christ and His plan for the earth and specifically for the future of his brethren the Lamanites descendants.

            I often do not know what my future will hold or the future of my descendants. I trust the Lord and try to do the best I can with what I know and believe now. These things help me get through until I receive further assignments for the Lord on which to focus.

Moroni 2

  1. The words of Christ, which He spake unto His disciples, the twelve whom He had chosen, as He laid His hands upon them—
  2. And He called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name,

in might prayer;

And after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands,

Ye shall give the Holy Ghost;

And in my name shall y give it, for thus do mine apostles.

  1. Now Christ spake these words unto them at the time of His first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost.

            Why did Moroni feel it important to write these words of Christ at this time?

            I believe it may be because it teaches us of the power that Jesus Christ gave to the twelve disciples whom He called to teach the people of His ways. He was helping them to understand the priesthood authority and power more fully. He was teaching them of His disciples he had called in Jerusalem. He was teaching them of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He was teaching them of their responsibility and opportunity as they did His work in His name. They were to be humble and prayerful. They were to seek from God for help and instruction.

            These were all things that Moroni had experienced himself. One of the original twelve disciples had written these instructions from Jesus Christ down in order for Moroni to have had his teachings over 400 years later. Moroni wanted those who would hold the priesthood in the future to have this instruction and understanding. He had faith that there would be more priesthood holders in the future who would need understanding of how to give the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.           

Moroni 3

  1. The manner which the disciples, who were called the elders of the church, ordained priests and teachers—
  2. After they had prayed unto the Father in the name of Christ, they laid their hands upon them, and said:
  3.  In the name of Jesus Christ

I ordain you to be a priest (or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher)

To preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ,

By the endurance of faith on His name to the end. Amen.

  1. And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost which was in them.

            Moroni further explains, priesthood responsibilities through the ordaining of those called to help the elders of the church. He gave the example of the disciples, who did humble themselves and pray to Heavenly Father before they participated in the work Jesus Christ had given them to do.

            Each helper is individually called and given power to do the Lord’s work. Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and remission of sins through Jesus Christ’s Atonement, as well as enduring to the end with His help has been the challenge and responsibility of all disciples of Jesus Christ since the world began. The principles are the same for each person. There is strength in this, the Lord’s way. There is power and light in His work. He lets men and women on earth participate in His work with the power of the Holy Ghost.

            While men are the ones who are the conduits of the Holy Priesthood, it is the Lord’s power which blesses all people who follow the Lord’s way and value His gifts: men and women and children.

            May we each seek to learn, understand, and follow the Lord’s way and teachings so that it may bless our lives and the lives of our families and others around us.

Dani

Ether 15: 3, 13, 19, 34

Verse 3: He began to repent of the evil which he had done; he began to remember the words which had been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets, and he saw them that they were fulfilled thus far, every whit; and his soul mourned and refused to be comforted.

            Why must some people experience hardship from their choices before they are willing to hear and accept the Lord’s words through His prophets? The difference of belief and faith to begin with rather than believing after the hard effects of one’s choices have hurt others and society is using wisdom rather than self will.

            It is wise to look at the impact of choices on one’s own life and the lives of those around us. It is unselfish to seek to understand how one’s decisions will affect others’ lives before making them. Willing to act for the benefit of those close to you, as well as your community, is willingness to follow Jesus Christ with unselfish heart and soul.

            Each person makes many decisions in a day. Our decisions affect our future and other people. Some have small impact but many have large implications. It is unselfish and wise to see ways we can act to help others and to impact our future in positive ways. Jesus Christ’s whole life was spent in doing God’s will and serving the people around Him. He helped others in ways no one else had. He helped them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

            When we seek to follow Jesus Christ through helping others, we not only bless their lives, but we also change our own lives by beginning to feel love and unselfishness in Christ-like ways. We begin preparing for eternal life with God. What a better difference that makes for society than willful evil that selfish actions bring.

Verse 13: And it came to pass that Ether did behold all the doings of the people; and he beheld that the people who were for Coriantumr were gathered together to the army of Coriantumr; and the people who were for Shiz were gathered together to the army of Shiz.

            Ether, the last of the prophets of his people, lived to see the effect of his nation turning from God to their own selfish desires. He saw two groups of evil trying to take control of the people through fighting army against army. The ordinary people had to choose which army to join. The purpose of the groups was to take control through killing more of the people in the other army.

            What a waste of resources, of individuals, of the good which could have been done in people’s lives because two people wanted to control, or be king of, their society. When life descends to fighting, so much is lost that is never regained. God’s commandments are to help us learn to deal with our problems in His way. His commandments are given to bless all people to have the best experience of learning that is possible.

            People learn differently so life experiences are not the same. However, God’s ways bring the greatest potential outcome for individuals. He loves each of us and all of us. He wants us to succeed in life through learning the principles that allow us to return Home to Him. He wants our souls to seek the ways of happiness by living the laws of heaven. He wants us to freely choose happiness.

            Living His higher laws of repenting, forgiving, working, kindness, compassion, service, creating, etc. lifts our minds and hearts to Him. These prepare us for life with Him after earth life is over. These actions change us for good and build the character of God in our hearts and minds and wills.

Verse 19: But behold, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed; wherefore they went again to battle.

            When people continually ignore the Lord’s Spirit, the still small voice of goodness, that whispers in their minds and hearts, they will stop receiving its direction. Freedom to choose is one of God’s great gifts to individuals. He will lead and guide as long as we want Him to. When we do not listen for and follow His promptings, eventually they will cease. We can get them back through sincere prayer and repentance. Sincere means that we intend to follow the promptings of God that we receive.

            Real intent doesn’t mean we are perfect but that we are willing to let God lead us and teach us. It means that we are willing to do what is right even when it is hard for us. It means that we are willing to keep trying after we make mistakes. Goodness takes practice. It takes wanting to get where God is so that we are committed to keep trying.

            We will have challenges. We will sometimes feel alone in our efforts. But despite all of this, if we have the sincere heart and real intent of doing all that is in our power to follow God and do the best we can, He will help us. After we are stretched as far as He knows that we need to be stretched, He will give us what is needed to stretch further. We cannot give up. We must keep trying and trusting Him.

Verse 34: Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.

            The prophet Ether did as the Lord asked of Him; his desire was to be saved in the kingdom of God. Each of us can do what the Lord asks of us in fulfilling our earthly responsibilities. Doing so enables our being saved in the kingdom of God. There is no greater reward. There is no greater happiness.

            May we each search our hearts for the good we truly desire and trust God to help us achieve it.

Dani

Ether 12: 2 – 4, 6 -11, 12 – 18

Verse 2: And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him.

Verse 3: For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled

Verse 4: Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

           The Spirit of the Lord leads us to speak righteously. It helps us speak the things of God. It helps us to testify of Him and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It helps us see our need for repentance and strengthens our faith.

            Belief in God, hope for His promises to be active in our lives now and in the future, comes from faith in His plan, His truth, and His word. Faith is acting on our belief that allows our focus to be on God and His work. His purpose anchors our souls to glorify God and do His works. I’m grateful for prophets who testify of the things of God. Their words have blessed my life from its beginning. They help me see and understand purpose in life and the Holy Spirit testifies to me of how to act upon their words.

Verse 6:  And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

Verse 7: For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after He had risen from the dead; and He showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in Him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in Him, for He showed Himself not unto the world.

Verse 8: But because of the faith of men He has shown Himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

Verse 9: Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

Verse 10: Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.

Verse 11: Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of His Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.

            Moroni’s definition and description of faith helps me understand the necessity of believing before I see. By hoping for the result I want and believing Jesus Christ’s words to His prophets, my faith helps me act obediently to the commandments and to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. My continued efforts to have faith, keep me hoping and believing. Then the miracles and tender mercies that come to me as a result, strengthen my faith and help me know that God is aware of me and His promises are true.

            Over the years, in the challenges of my life, I have chosen to hope and to believe in Jesus Christ and His words. I have acted in faith as best as I could and miracles and answers to my prayers have happened over and over. Sometimes these answers have been immediate, and some small, but sometimes they have taken years to come about. Many of these heavenly gifts have been big to me because they fulfilled the desires of my heart. No matter the length of time they take to come, I know that they will come according to Heavenly Father’s will.

            I have learned to trust His will above my own because His timing and gifts work better than my own limited understanding. Over and over I have seen this in my life. I continue to act with faith that current challenges will be worked out through His will and timing. I wait upon the Lord and seek to do my best. I make mistakes, but He patiently teaches me through the Holy Ghost. I’m grateful for the examples of faith that Moroni gives because these add to my own understanding and experiences.

Verse 12:  For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, He showed not Himself until after their faith.

Verse 13: Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.

Verse 14: Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Verse 15: Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.

Verse 16: Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.

Verse 17: And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.

Verse 18: And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.

            These reminders of what faith can do for individuals helps me realize that faith is something to be chosen and the choice makes a difference. Faith makes a difference for me and for those around me. The individuals whose faith Moroni cites were ordinary people who choose to have faith in Jesus Christ. Their choices of faith created miracles. I believe our choices of faith in Jesus Christ can also create miracles. In fact, I know they do, for I have seen it myself.

            Let us choose faith in Jesus Christ and let His work be done in our lives and the lives of people around us, especially our families. The world will be better as we do so. Our world will be better as we choose faith in Jesus Christ.

Dani