3 Nephi 25: 1, 2, 5, 6

Verse 1:  For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

            When the Lord comes again to the earth in His glory, those who were too proud to change from their wicked ways will be burned with the dross of the earth. I’ve always liked the promise of paying tithing which will keep one from burning. When we have enough faith and humility to give the Lord His tenth, it is enough to keep us from being destroyed when He comes. Of course, we will be a whole lot more welcoming to Him if we have learned to love and obey His ways in all things.

Verse 2: But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall.

          Those who love the Lord and respect Him will be healed by Him and able to follow Him wherever He leads. My dad was a cowboy. I’ve seen him herd and direct a lot of cattle. Calves go into a stall easiest when they have been trained to and when the passage way fits their size so that there isn’t a lot of room for turning. When we live the Gospel, we learn to fit into it and it becomes comfortable to us. How much easier it is for the Lord to work with us when we are willing to work within His guidelines and commandments.

Verse 5: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;

Verse 6: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

            A joyful way to appreciate and fit into the Lord’s ways is through the Spirit of Elijah as we turn our hearts to our ancestors. I have found that by learning about their lives and choices, I have more appreciation for my own life and challenges. I have learned to love and appreciate their choices which have blessed mine. They dealt with hard things so that I don’t have so many hard things to deal with. Life is so much better for me because they chose the best they could.

            My love for my ancestors has grown as I have become more acquainted with their families, their circumstances, and their losses. So many people died during their lives. I’m grateful that disease and illness is much less common in my life. Loss before someone is old hurts. It is hard. Many people died in families of disease and sometimes accident and wars. I’m grateful that death comes less often in my day than in it did in theirs.

            Appreciating my ancestors helps me be mindful of what I can do to honor their memory and to share the story of their lives with others.

            May each of us evaluate the path we walk in our daily lives. May we seek His path and His blessings in our lives now so that we are comfortable to continue it in the next with our extended families.

Dani

3 Nephi 22, 4 – 5, 7 – 8, 10, 13 – 14, 17; 3 Nephi 23: 1, 3 – 5, 9, 14

Verse 4:  Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

Verse 5: For thy maker, thy husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israelthe God of the whole earth shall He be called.

            This verse comforts me because it helps me realize that no matter the circumstances of my life, when I put my focus into following Jesus Christ, all things shall work for my good because He is my Redeemer. Jesus Christ had power to overcome not only His trials, but also the trials of all who put their trust in Him. With faith in Him, the earthly cares and circumstances won’t matter in the eternities. He is the healer of hearts and souls. He will make all things right for those who put their faith in Him and follow Him.

Verse 7: For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.

Verse 8: In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

Verse 10:  For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

           The promises to those who are faithful are for eternity. No matter the trials and adversity experienced in this life, those faithful to their covenants with the Lord, shall have His reward of kindness, peace, and mercy. If repentance and change to learn and do God’s will is our effort and focus, the things we experience in this life will be for our blessing and eternal growth in the next.

Verse 13:  And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Verse 14:  In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee.

            During the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, wrongs will be made right.  Righteousness and peace will exist upon the earth. The Lord’s ways will govern. Children, and everyone, will be safe. Learning and living God’s ways now also brings safety and peace to our hearts and lives.

Verse 17:  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

            The Lord’s servants, the prophets, and His faithful people will succeed in accomplishing the plan of salvation, the purpose of life. Even though there is adversity for all upon the earth, individual choice to follow Jesus Christ during hard and easy times, will enable us to pass through it and receive His blessings in the end. Righteousness and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ will bless His followers forever. Obedience to His commands and ways, give us the best outcomes in all circumstances. Kindness, charity, forgiveness, and prayer for others are tools of strength we can use daily in our hearts and actions to bring about God’s purposes.

Chapter 23:

Verse 1:  And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.

            Jesus points to the words of Isaiah for study and learning because of the application they have to our lives and to the happenings of our day. They help give us courage and faith as we live our lives preparing for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. He is the One who gave them to Isaiah and they apply to our day as well.

Verse 3: And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake.

Verse 4: Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles.

Verse 5: And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things.

            Jesus gives a command and a promise to His disciples of Ancient America. Their writing of His words would be given at a future time in the last days to the Gentiles. Those who seek His words and obey them, repent, and are baptized will be saved. To be saved is to obtain the state in which one can live forever with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

            It is the greatest thing we can seek during our lives. It comes from learning and doing the things Jesus Christ taught. It comes from being His disciple, doing His work of obedience and service. It is a wonderful state that we cannot even fully imagine now. It is where peace and love and righteousness exist. It is Zion.

Verse 14:  And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, He commanded them that they should teach the things which He had expounded unto them.

            How awesome it is to sit at the feet of the servants of God who understand the scriptures and how they apply to our lives. The scriptures are given for one purpose – to help us understand and believe the things of God. When we know His will and ways, we can live better. We can make better choices in our daily lives and treat others with more care and love. We can put our time and efforts into the things that matter most.

            I enjoy learning more of Jesus Christ through scripture study and hearing the words of the prophets. My mind has been opened with light bulb moments as I have heard the words of God and understood better how to live them. I have been blessed through my life with the change I have made in living the words of Christ as given to His servants. I’m grateful especially for modern day prophets whose teachings I have chosen to follow and which have shaped who I have become. I’m grateful for their service and sacrifice in the work of the Lord.

            I look forward to the time when His words will cover the whole earth and all will seek to live them. Then will peace abide in our hearts, minds, and lives forever.

Dani

3 Nephi 17: 11 – 17

Verse 11: And it came to pass that He commanded that their little children should be brought.

Verse 12: So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about Him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto Him.

Verse 13: And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, He commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.

Verse 14: And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am troubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel.

Verse 15: And when He had said these words, He himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold He prayed unto the Father, and the things which He prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard Him.

Verse 16: And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;

Verse 17: And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.

            This scene seems beautiful to me, I enjoy imagining parents bringing their little ones. Having experienced days of destruction previously, this experience with Jesus praying for them must have wiped away a lot of terror that these children and their families had experienced.

            Jesus was concerned at the choices His covenant people had made. His prayer for the future of these children and their descendants was so beautiful it could not be written but filled those who heard it with joy. Surely the love they felt as Jesus talked to Heavenly Father about them gave them greater understanding of God’s work and glory for them.

            His greatness and power touched their hearts as they saw first hand His relationship to God. As His words opened an eternal view to their minds and hearts, surely hope and faith and love increased within them. The precious worth of each individual must have been borne out in His words. Surely none could have doubted that His sacrifice was completed out of love for each one.

            I imagine that Jesus continues to talk to Heavenly Father in our day about us on the earth today. His love is as great for each one of us as it was for the House of Israel whom He visited. Time does not change His concern for His little ones nor their families. His sacrifice includes all people. Will we allow His love and prayers to enter our hearts and change our behavior? Will we kneel at His feet in our lives and worship Him who cares so much about us?

            May we each be open to hear His words and feel His love.

Dani

Helaman 15: 7 – 9, 12 – 14

Verse 7: And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them

Verse 8: Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free.

Verse 9: And ye know also that they have buried their weapons of war, and they fear to take them up lest by any means they should sin; yea, ye can see that they fear to sin—for behold they will suffer themselves that they be trodden down and slain by their enemies, and will not lift their swords against them, and this because of their faith in Christ.

            Samuel the Lamanite’s recounting of the faith and endurance of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies identifies that these people changed their hearts, minds, and society. They chose God over the tradition of their pasts. They made new traditions for their children which centered on their faith in Jesus Christ.

            It is interesting to me that they were made free by knowing truth. In that freedom they buried their weapons of war. They wanted the freedom of eternity more even than life.

            When they were brought to know the truth, and that the traditions of their ancestors were wrong, they believed the holy scriptures and the prophets. They developed faith in Jesus Christ, repented, and were baptized. They became new people. This is a description of what happened to them but their individual experiences are not known. I’ve learned that changing thoughts, attitudes, habits can be difficult. I am sure that the process of doing this took effort and faith and much help from Heaven.

            Samuel was reminding the Nephites of faith experiences of which they knew. He wanted the Nephites to remember God’s work among them. The example of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies inspires me. It helps me maintain my determination to endure to the end of my life to continue striving to become the best disciple of Jesus Christ that I can be. I want to be as converted as these Lamanite descendants became.

Verse 12: Yea, I say unto you, that in the latter times the promises of the Lord have been extended to our brethren, the Lamanites; and notwithstanding the many afflictions which they shall have, and notwithstanding they shall be driven to and fro upon the face of the earth, and be hunted, and shall be smitten and scattered abroad, having no place for refuge, the Lord shall be merciful unto them.

Verse 13: And this is according to the prophecy, that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among His sheep.

Verse 14: Therefore I say unto you, it shall be better for them than for you except ye repent.

            The prophets of old foresaw that the American Indians, descendants of the Lamanites would not be treated right in modern times, but some of the descendants would survive and learn the true Gospel of Jesus Christ that their Anti-Nephi-Lehi ancestors knew. These descendants would be numbered among the Savior’s fold. He would become their shepherd as He had been for their ancestors.

            On the other hand, the Nephites were told that unless they repented from the wickedness to which they had turned, they would have no descendants. Their family lines would be destroyed.

            We each choose daily for ourselves whether or not we will receive the promises of eternity. Let us look to our Lord Jesus Christ an His prophets and live.

Dani

Alma 63: 2, 11 – 13

Verse 2: And he was a just man, and he did walk uprightly before God; and he did observe to do good continually, to keep the commandments of the Lord his God; and also did his brother.

            This verse talks about Shiblon, the middle son of Alma, and refers to Helaman, Alma’s eldest son. Good men are just men. Good people walk uprightly before God seeking to do right. They are not perfect; they still have things to learn. Good men seek to keep God’s commandments. While there have been men who have used their positions of leadership for greed or power, there are so many more who just do the best they can in their lives to serve and help others. Sometimes women also use their power and influence for selfish means. It is important that each person seeks to do God’s will and not their own so that others’ lives can be blessed and helped.

            Truth is important because it gives us the ideals of what to strive and live for. Each of us has weakness and temptations that might prevent us from reaching the ideal easily. It is to keep trying even when we make mistakes; this effort helps to strengthen us and to get us closer to the goal of becoming who we really are. The effort and focus changes us. It is through Jesus Christ and His Atonement that we will eventually achieve our best selves.

            Jesus Christ is the bridge between who we are now and who we can become in order to live with Heavenly Father again. It is His grace that will enable the change.   It is in the next life that we will realize our most sacred desires of becoming. In this life we must continue trying even when we fail and fail and fail. Our efforts to succeed will be with His help.

Verse 11: Therefore it became expedient for Shiblon to confer those sacred things, before his death, upon the son of Helaman, who was called Helaman, being called after the name of his father.

Verse 12: Now, behold, all those engravings which were in the possession of Helaman were written and sent forth among the children of men throughout all the land, save it were those parts which had been commanded by Alma should not go forth.

Verse 13: Nevertheless, these things were to be kept sacred, and handed down from one generation to another; therefore, in this year, they had been conferred upon Helaman, before the death of Shiblon.

            Having great interest in family histories and genealogy, I like that the records of the Nephites were kept and passed down in the family. Although some records were also shared throughout all the land, it is good to keep special experiences sacred. I know that recording the events of our lives as well as answers to prayer enables us to clearly see the Lord’s hand in our lives.

            Recording hard times and how they resolved helps us in later hard times to have faith that they will also be resolved. Keeping records of our efforts to do good and to continue to try during difficult times, helps strengthen our resolve and gives our descendants opportunities to see our trials through our own words.

            May we each be patient with ourselves and others as we walk on the path of becoming better disciples. May we help one another and be kind to each other. May we record the experiences that show the goodness God toward us.

Dani

Alma 53: 2, 20 – 21; 56: 46 – 48

Verse 2: And Moroni went to the city of Mulek with Lehi, and took command of the city and gave it unto Lehi. Now behold, this Lehi was a man who had been with Moroni in the more part of all his battles; and he was a man like unto Moroni, and they rejoiced in each other’s safety; yea, they were beloved by each other, and also beloved by all the people of Nephi.

            I’ve also experienced friendship with others whom I have learned to love. Working together in our lives has strengthened us and given us joy. I rejoice in their achievements and accomplishments. Their lives have lifted mine.      Friendship has been one of the blessings of my life. Many people from my past hold a place in my heart and have blessed my life through our interactions together.

Verse 20: And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

Verse 21: Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before Him.

            These young men have been an inspiration for me since I was a child, through my young womanhood years, while I raised my children, and even now as I am older. Their valiant courage, strength and activity in doing what was right, in serving their country, and in helping their fathers keep their covenants, has inspired me to be more valiant. Their commitment to truth and obedience to God has increased my desire to be true to Heavenly Father and His work. I’ve wanted to be the kind of person, teacher, and mother that these young men were in being true to the stewardships entrusted to me as they were to theirs.

Chapter 56

Verse 46: For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.

Verse 47: Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.

Verse 48: And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

Age doesn’t determine faithfulness. Being true to the truths that we have been taught is what shows our faith. A child can be obedient as can a teenager or adult. Old people can still have faith and obey God’s commandments. Being true to ourselves enables us to be true to others.

            Being true to God helps us to do hard things. Trusting His ways helps us accomplish what seems impossible on our own. If we fear God we do not need to fear anything else. Trusting Him helps us accomplish what He asks of us according to His purposes.

            I have wanted to be the kind of mother and teacher that would help others be able to say they didn’t doubt God because they knew that I knew His truths. I have used and lived by God’s truths in my life. I have wanted my choices to be a reflection of my faith in God and His commandments. I’ve achieved some of that trust. I see that there are areas in which I can do better.

            My desire to show my faith in God by my life and choices increases as I get older and my influence reaches beyond my family. I am grateful for the truth I’ve been given and want to help others also to receive the blessings of truth in their lives.

            May we each do the best we can to live the truth we know.

Dani

Alma 46: 8 – 9, 12 – 14, 15 – 18

Verse 8:  Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one.

Verse 9: Yea, and we also see the great wickedness one very wicked man can cause to take place among the children of men.

            Many years ago, I listened to a talk in Sacrament Meeting, in which the speaker said that because people are forgetful, prayer can help us to remember. The habit of daily prayer can help us remember the Lord our God. It can help us remember to obey His commandments. It can help us remember what is eternally important.

            I believe prayer can help us teach our children to remember and to love the Lord our God also. I’ve found prayer a help and a blessing over my life. When I’ve taken the time to pray, my heart has been turned to God. It has helped my focus come back to Him and not to remain on my own problems. It has helped me to remember that He is in charge and that I can trust Him to help me through my difficulties and trials.

            Conversely, when we forget to pray, the enemy of God has more chance to take away our faith in God and to tempt us to not obey God’s commandments. Then he is more able to lead to transgression and sin. Remembering Heavenly Father and His love and Jesus Christ and His atonement made because of His love for us, helps us to be more quick to do good and to follow Them.

            One man can have an influence among many, whether for good or ill. One person’s choices have an influence. Each individual’s choices affects other people. What each person chooses in life will be for good or bad in the lives of others: an important point to ponder.

Verse 12:  And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

Verse 13: And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—

Verse 14:  For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.

            I love the symbolism Moroni shows here in rending his coat, a reminder that the people are a remnant of Jacob and Joseph’s descendants. He reminds his people of their history.   Moroni gives the purpose in their fighting to retain the freedom that God had given them, as well as for their families and peaceful living. When he was prepared, he prayed to God for specific blessings for his people.

            I like that followers of Christ, even before His birth, were called Christians. True believers of Christ are those who seek to follow His teachings. They are people who covenant with Him and His Father to be obedient, to remember His Atonement and to use it in their lives, and to live so they can have the Holy Spirit guide them in their lives.

            Those who do not believe Christ called those who do Christians. It was probably not said in complement. Christians take it in complement and wear it with gratitude because we recognize the gifts given to us by Jesus Christ.

            It is similar to those who hated the Latter-day Saints in the time of the restoration of the Church and called them “Mormons”. It was not given as a complement to the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who believed in the Book of Mormon. It was not offensive to those who believed the Book of Mormon to be God’s word because Mormon was a good man, a prophet who was humble and sought goodness. He sought to do all that Jesus Christ wanted Him to do and blessed many peoples’ lives.

            Although “Mormon” was not an accurate title for the members of the Church because we are followers of Jesus Christ, it is not offensive. I want to be known as a true believer of Jesus Christ by everyone. I want people to know that I believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God to His prophets who lived anciently in the Americas.  I am a Mormon Christian.

Verse 15: And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come.

Verse 16: And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.

Verse 17: And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty.

Verse 18: And he said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.

            God loves all of His children and supports us in doing His will. His goal s to help us learn and understand, then help us walk on the path Home to Him. We come from different backgrounds and have various personalities. He works with us individually to help us learn in the ways that we specifically need to come unto Jesus Christ.

            As we pour out our souls to God in prayer, He is pleased. He will keep His covenants to us as we do all in our power to keep our covenants with Him.   He will lift us up in the face of our adversaries so that we can succeed in doing His will.

            Let us believe in Christ and take His name upon ourselves. Let us do His work and bless the world around us.

Dani

Alma 44: 3 – 6


Moroni’s words to Zerahemnah after conquering in battle:

Verse 3:  But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that He has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.

Verse 4:  Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto Him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.

Captain Moroni immediately expresses his gratitude and faith that their victory in battle was due to the Lord’s aid. The Lord gave them help because of their faith in Jesus Christ that their enemies were trying to destroy. He testifies that God does support and help those faithful unto Him. He states their commitment to God and religion. In other words, Moroni is testifying to Zerahemnah that their success is a result of their faith in Jesus Christ and their efforts to do His will.

            I believe that our success in life is also a result of our faith in Jesus Christ and seeking to do His will. Doing God’s will strengthens faith and protects us from that which seeks to destroy faith. Success is learning and doing God’s will. We get through the hard times with His help and we are strengthened spiritually.

            God’s support doesn’t mean that we won’t have challenges. It does mean that we will have His help through our challenges and that they will ultimately be for the good of our souls. This has been demonstrated by my life’s challenges. God has supported me as I’ve gone through hard things. Through His help I have grown stronger and become better in action and faith.

Verse 5:  And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us—

Verse 6:  Yea, and this is not all; I command you by all the desires which ye have for life, that ye deliver up your weapons of war unto us, and we will seek not your blood, but we will spare your lives, if ye will go your way and come not again to war against us.

            With the achievement of power and victory over Zerahemnah, Moroni states again where their strength came from. He acknowledges that his people’s efforts to do God’s will and to take care of their homes and families is the reason for their success. And with this victory, he is willing to let his enemies walk away with the promise that they’ll stop fighting. Again, motive is important. Humility, faith, kindness, and obedience to God’s commandments are more important than worldly acclaims and perspectives.

            Moroni isn’t interested in conquering; he’s interested in being able to live peacefully. He doesn’t want the bullies bothering them any more. He gives Zerahemnah the opportunity to change.

            May we seek God’s strength in overcoming our battles.

Dani

 

Alma 43: 9, 45 – 47, 49

Verse 9:  And now the design of the Nephites was to support their lands, and their houses, and their wives, and their children, that they might preserve them from the hands of their enemies; and also that they might preserve their rights and their privileges, yea, and also their liberty, that they might worship God according to their desires.

            I think motive here is a key. Fighting isn’t good but sometimes defending is necessary. It’s good when conversation can help people or nations get along. However, when one is trespassing on another and won’t see their wrong doing, or stop doing wrong through verbal efforts, it is sometimes necessary to defend home, family, and liberty with physical action. Bullies exist and make life hard for others. Motive to protect and defend is an acceptable reason to fight.

Verse 45:  Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.

Verse 46:  And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God; for the Lord had said unto them, and also unto their fathers, that: Inasmuch as ye are not guilty of the first offense, neither the second, ye shall not suffer yourselves to be slain by the hands of your enemies.

Verse 47:  And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed. Therefore for this cause were the Nephites contending with the Lamanites, to defend themselves, and their families, and their lands, their country, and their rights, and their religion.

            The Lord has said that it is okay to defend our families, homes, and liberties unto bloodshed. That this cause, or motive, is a duty to God. God does not want us to be slain by our enemies. However, He plainly states that we should not be guilty of a first or second offense. I think this is where conversation comes in. We need to let others know when they are going too far in trespassing against us. We need to speak before we fight. We need to let “enemies” know what behavior is not acceptable. If our words don’t work, then we do need to defend ourselves.

Verse 49:  And it came to pass that they turned upon the Lamanites, and they cried with one voice unto the Lord their God, for their liberty and their freedom from bondage.

            As we fight for liberty and freedom and seek the Lord’s help in our defense, He will help us know what is best to do and how to do it. I also think that as we live our personal lives and have challenges, we can cry unto the Lord for liberty from habits that would enslave us and from evil designs of others that would put us in bondage.

            We can pray for awareness of practices that are unsafe. We can also pray for the liberty and freedom of our country. Our government leaders need our prayers as they represent us in decisions. I know prayer works. It helps the best outcomes to happen.

            Also, when we pray for protection, motive is put into proper perspective. Our motive should be as servants of God seeking liberty and freedom for ourselves and others. The Lord approves of defending what is good as it is aligned with His purposes.

            May we be willing to rely upon the Lord as we face our enemies.

Dani

Mosiah 4: 11-12, 13-15, 16-18, 19-21

Original post: 1/8/2014 5:11:52 PM

Verse 11: And again I say unto you as I have said before,

that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God

or if ye have known of His goodness and have tasted of His love,

and have received a remission of your sins,

which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls,

even so I would that ye should remember, and

always retain in remembrance,

the greatness of God,

and your own nothingness,

and His goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures,

and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility,

calling on the name of the Lord daily,

and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come,

which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.

Verse 12: And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this

ye shall always rejoice, and

be filled with the love of God, and

always retain a remission of your sins; and

ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of Him that created you, or

in the knowledge of that which is just and true.

            Again, the reminder, that we as people are less than the dust of the earth except for what God gives us. He gives us so much so that we can have joy and help each other during our earth life.

Verse 13: And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.

Verse 14: And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked, neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

Verse 15: But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness;

ye will teach them to love one another,

and to serve one another.

            Here are some of the ways that we follow Christ. Here is our directive for living and for governing in our families. Teach with love for each to serve one another and to walk in the ways of truth and soberness. How profound. What a different world this would be if this was the structure of every home throughout the world.

Verse 16: And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

Verse 17: Perhaps thou shat say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor import unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishment are just

Verse 18: But I say unto, O Man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

            Jesus taught us to love and serve one another. Here King Benjamin teaches us specific ways that each of us is responsible to do this as we seek to be disciples of Jesus Christ.

            He teaches that as disciples we will succor [literally “to run to, or run to support; hence, to help or relieve when in difficulty, want, or distress; to assist and deliver from suffering; aid, help, assistance; particularly, assistance that relieves and delivers from difficulty, want or distress.” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Webster 1828)] each other.

            It is our individual responsibility, as disciples of Jesus Christ, to run to the support and to help or relieve when others are in difficulty, want or distress.  King Benjamin teaches that we will administer [to contribute; to bring aid or supplies to (Webster 1828)] of our substance unto him that standeth in need. That we will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to us in vain, and turn him out to perish.

            These directives are clear as to our personal responsibility to help others. We cannot excuse ourselves because we think someone brought his misery on himself. In fact, king Benjamin says that we need to repent (or change) from that kind of attitude or we will perish forever and have “no interest” in the kingdom of God.

            Personally, I would like to have great interest in God’s kingdom and so one of my responsibilities to enable this is to help all those that stand in need of my succor. This is a big responsibility and obviously an important one to my standing with God.

Verse 19: For behold, are we not all beggars? do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

Verse 20: and behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on His name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has He suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; He has poured out His Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

Verse 21: And now, if God who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

            So here we are given the eternal perspective: we are all beggars before God because we all depend upon Him for everything we have to eat and wear and spend as well as for forgiveness of our sins, receiving His Spirit and being filled with joy so great that we can’t speak. So because God grants us our lives, all that we have and are, and gives us what we ask in faith that is right, then we ought to impart of what He gives us to each other.

            In other words, God isn’t giving us what we have because we are better than anyone else or because He wants us to have more than others. He gives us what we have because He loves us and wants us to share it with others. He wants us to learn to be selfless (like He is) and not selfish, which is often human tendency.

            As I think on this, I think of the humanitarian efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is an example of giving of what the members have to anyone around the world who is in need of succor. When there is a disaster, the Church runs to the aid of the people impacted to relieve them both immediately and to put in plans so they have help over time seeking to help restore their independence.

            It changes my perspective on what my needs are and how I manage my resources. What I have is not just for me but is a gift or stewardship given by God to me so that I might bless those around me. This is big. It’ll take some thought to absorb it. Truly it is what Jesus Christ did with His very life. To have an interest in His kingdom, I must do it also.

            May we each desire and develop great interest in God’s kingdom.

Dani