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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and

baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and

the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

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

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

which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love,

which love endureth by diligence unto prayer,

until the end shall come,

when all the saints shall dwell with God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

 

Moroni 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

Ether 12: 32 – 41

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 2: 11 – 12, 14, 15

Verse 4:  And it came to pass that when they had come down into the valley of Nimrod the Lord came down and talked with the brother of Jared; and He was in a cloud, and the brother of Jared saw Him not.

Verse 5:  And it came to pass that the Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been. And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them, and did talk with them as He stood in a cloud, and gave directions whither they should travel.

            The time period of the book of Ether was the Tower of Babel from the Bible. It is about one group who asked God not to confound the language of family and friends and the Lord’s dealings with them.

            We live in difficult times. I have experienced answers to my prayers when I have turned to the Lord in my struggles and difficulties and asked for His help. I know that the Lord will help us to do His will when we ask of Him and have faith to do what He tells us. Like the brother of Jared, we can talk with the Lord even though we do not see Him.

Verse 7:  And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but He would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.

Verse 8:  And He had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve Him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of His wrath should come upon them.

Verse 9: And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of His wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of His wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

Verse 10: For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

Verse 11: And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

Verse 12: Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

            These verses tell us that this land of America has a specific role. It was a land reserved for those who believed and served God. Lehi’s family, the Mulekites, the Jaredites, the Pilgrims, and groups from other countries have been allowed to come here to serve God in freedom. The Lord’s promise to those on this land is that as long as they serve Him, they will be free. If they turn from Him, when they are ripe in iniquity, they will lose that blessing.

            How simple a requirement to remain free from bondage, captivity, and from all other nations. Why does society not choose this freedom which comes from serving Jesus Christ. His arms are outstretched to each of us, to come unto Him and be saved. Salvation includes freedom in this life as well as eternal life in the next.

Verse 14: And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.

Verse 15:  And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And these are my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice above all other lands.

           This verse helps me understand many principles. I like the example of the way the Lord disciplines. After the great blessings He had given to Jared’s family through Jared’s brother’s prayers, Jared’s brother didn’t pray for four years. Prayer is talking with the Lord. It is a commandment to bring the Lord daily into our thoughts and lives. For four years, the brother of Jared didn’t take time for the Lord. When the Lord appeared to the brother of Jared after that time, He chastened him for not “remembering” to call upon Him.

            Prayer helps us remember the goodness of God in our lives. It helps us focus on His commandments so we can live His way. Repenting, or changing, of this evil, the brother of Jared prayed for his brethren. The Lord was merciful and forgave them with the reminder that to keep His Spirit with them, they needed to not sin and to worship the Lord and keep His commandments. This loving chastising from the Lord was teaching not punishment. We can teach others, especially children, the ways of the Lord, with love. That is His way.

Verse 25:  And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?

            The Lord had a plan that included a great undertaking for the people of Jared. It required their obedience, their faithfulness, and their prayers both in preparation and the almost year time it would take to accomplish it. He helped them with the preparation and asked them for ideas in meeting the needs they would have. This teaches us the ways the Lord helps us in our trials and challenges. Some things He just gives as a result of our prayers. Some things He wants us to think about how to solve and ask for His confirmation and help in accomplishing.  

            I’m grateful for these verses on learning how to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for the truth that teaches me to trust Him. It brings peace to my life. It helps me trust Him when I don’t know the outcome of a situation.

            The Book of Mormon prophets bless my life every day because they took the time to keep records of their interactions with God. Our daily journals will also bless our descendants.

            Let us obey the commandments and look to the future God has for us and our families.

Dani

3 Nephi 26: 12 – 14, 15, 16, 17 – 21

Verse 12:  Therefore I, Mormon, do write the things which have been commanded me of the Lord. And now I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings, and proceed to write the things which have been commanded me.

Verse 13: Therefore, I would that ye should behold that the Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of three days; and after that He did show Himself unto them oft, and did break bread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them.

Verse 14: And it came to pass that He did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and He did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than He had revealed unto the people; and He loosed their tongues that they could utter.

Verse 15: And it came to pass that after He had ascended into heaven—the second time that He showed Himself unto them, and had gone unto the Father, after having healed all their sick, and their lame, and opened the eyes of their blind and unstopped the ears of the deaf, and even had done all manner of cures among them, and raised a man from the dead, and had shown forth His power unto them, and had ascended unto the Father—

            Mormon summarizes what Jesus did for the first days in which He visited the people of Ancient America. Jesus visited them often and shared the Sacrament with them. He taught and ministered to the children and allowed them to speak. They taught their parents greater things than Jesus had. He healed the sick, lame, blind, deaf, and other illnesses as well as raised a man from the dead.

            The people felt the power of His love and care during His visits. He opened to their understanding the fullness of His Gospel. He taught them how to treat each other. The Book of Mormon teaches us how to deal with one another according to the teachings of Jesus Christ. It teaches us, through His words, the deeper obedience to the Gospel than the simple observance of living the Ten Commandments, such as treating others as we want to be treated and not just not doing evil but not even think evil. We are not to do “tit for tat” but to give good for the trespasses people make against us. I feel the power of His love through the attitudes that His teachings improve within me.

Verse 16: Behold, it came to pass on the morrow that the multitude gathered themselves together, and they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them.

Verse 17: And it came to pass that the disciples whom Jesus had chosen began from that time forth to baptize and to teach as many as did come unto them; and as many as were baptized in the name of Jesus were filled with the Holy Ghost.

Verse 18: And many of them saw and heard unspeakable things, which are not lawful to be written.

Verse 19: And they taught, and did minister one to another; and they had all things common among them, every man dealing justly, one with another.

 Verse 20: And it came to pass that they did do all things even as Jesus had commanded them.

Verse 21: And they who were baptized in the name of Jesus were called the church of Christ.

            From believing in Jesus Christ’s words and being baptized a member of His church by His disciples, being filled with the Holy Ghost, and seeing and hearing unspeakable things, to hearing the children and babes say things too marvelous to be written would have constituted a great day. Changing experiences of goodness for the tribulation and destruction experienced at Jesus Christ’s crucifixion would have been awesome teaching experiences. Surely this helped put the testimony of the Gospel plan deep into the people’s hearts.

            Seeing our Savior with the marks of wounds in His hands and feet and hearing Him teach and testify of Heavenly Father’s plan would soften the hearts of people. The One who makes it possible to return Home to Heavenly Father visited them, spoke to them, prayed for them and loved them. His pure love would have healed their souls, gladdened their hearts, and strengthened their lives. I look forward to the time when He comes again and we might have a similar opportunity.

            My faith in the Savior is strong. My belief in Him and His part of the Plan of Salvation has strengthened me, healed me, and provided miracles in my life. I’ve tried His way and it works. Love and kindness are enlarging to the heart. Humility and obedience are strengthening to the spirit. Clean and pure heart and hands give confidence before God and man.

            Goodness grows and worthiness increases when a person seeks God’s ways. These attributes work miracles in people as hearts and minds are changed from self serving to sacrificing for others. Selfishness is replaced by selflessness when one sincerely seeks Jesus of Nazareth. One rejoices in the experiences and lives of others. Giving unselfishly brings joy. Words cannot describe the wholeness I’ve feel as I seek to live the Gospel plan every day. I make mistakes. I repent. I know that repentance cleanses and heals. Jesus Christ is the way of truth, righteousness, and happiness. He is the way of Eternal Life.

            May we each strive sincerely as we seek Him and learn to live His ways. May we help others with pure motive as He helps us.

Dani

 

3 Nephi 21: 10, 11, 12, 14, 19 – 20, 22 – 25, 26 – 29

Verse 10: But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

            Those who seek to destroy the Lord’s servants may mar them but the Lord will heal them; however those who are instruments in the hands of the devil will find that he does not offer healing. Only Jesus Christ has the power to make things right.

Verse 11: Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.

            The Gentiles’ opportunity to join the House of Israel to be part of the Lord’s plan is given as a blessing of love. However, those Gentiles who reject it shall not receive the blessings of those who do accept the covenant of God.

Verse 12: And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

Verse 14:  Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;

Verse 19:  And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.

Verse 20:  For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;

            Heavenly Father blesses His children. When people reject His word and His work and turn away from His ways, He cuts them off from His followers. This warning to the Gentiles applies to our day and includes this country particularly. Those who lead based on lyings, deceivings, envyings, strifes, priestcrafts, and whoredoms who do not repent will be separated from those who love righteousness. Heavenly Father will cut off all who will not repent and follow Jesus Christ.

Verse 22:  But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

Verse 23:  And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.

Verse 24:  And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

Verse 25:  And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

            Heavenly Father wants us to follow Jesus Christ and be part of His eternal plan. We are each invited to repent and come unto Christ. As we do so we are blessed to be part of God’s covenant with Israel. We will receive His blessings.

            A wonderful promise given to those who choose to follow Jesus Christ in these latter days is participation in building the New Jerusalem in this land of America and to assist in the gathering work.

            This work is to prepare for Jesus Christ’s millennial reign. What a glorious opportunity to help prepare for the return of Jesus Christ as He comes in His glory to reign upon the earth for a thousand years. What joy to use our talents and abilities to help in this great endeavor.

Verse 26:  And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.

Verse 27:  Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.

Verse 28:  Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby His people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.

Verse 29:  And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

            The Lord’s work in the last days is to gather Israel through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every people will have the opportunity to hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who accept it will be gathered to Him and to the lands He will give them. The Gathering will be done by the hand of the Lord. He will be in it as He was in the setting up of this country.

            We can be part of that gathering by sharing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Especially by sharing the Book of Mormon and the pureness of the Gospel it contains. I have been amazed at the journey this Testimony of Jesus Christ has led me on.

            My faith in Jesus Christ and my understanding of His ways has deepened and broadened as I have studied this second Testament of Jesus Christ. I am blessed daily by its truths. My heart and actions have been softened and changed. My motivation has become more pure. My love for others has increased and become more charitable. Repentance has become a balm.

            May our hearts be touched with understanding of the role we each have in the Lord’s plan of happiness. May we choose to help in preparing our part of earth for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dani

3 Nephi 20: 27 – 29, 30 – 39, 40 – 43, 46

Verse 27: And after that ye were blessed then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which He made with Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed—unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel.

Verse 28:  And they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land. Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fulness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father.

Verse 29: And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.

          The Lord’s plan and covenants will be fulfilled. Both the house of Israel and the Gentiles have place in His plan. Individuals choose their parts consciously or unconsciously, purposefully or thoughtlessly. Our choices affect our part in God’s plan because His plan includes each of us. Families are important. The whole plan of God involves families, individually, and as linked from one generation to the next. His timing will be met in His plan. Families can trust in the covenants made with Him.

Verse 30:  And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them;

Verse 31: And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.

Verse 32:  Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye.

Verse 33:  Then will the Father gather them together again, and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance.

Verse 34: Then shall they break forth into joy—Sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Father hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem.

Verse 35: The Father hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father; and the Father and I are one.

Verse 36: And then shall be brought to pass that which is written: Awake, awake again, and put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Verse 37: Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

Verse 38: For thus saith the Lord: Ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money.

Verses 39: Verily, verily, I say unto you, that my people shall know my name; yea, in that day they shall know that I am He that doth speak.

            Those who believe the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and pray in His name will have prophets to lead them, in unity will they be gathered, and they will have joy. They will see God’s hand in their lives and will see salvation in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father who are one in purpose and strength.

            When the covenant people of God are obedient and faithful to Him, they become strong and beautiful. They become clean through repentance and obedience. Those who love the Lord will recognize Him and His prophets. They will value His word from the scriptures, the living prophets, and through the Holy Ghost. This process is a marvelous thing to behold.

Verse 40: And then shall they say: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings unto them of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!

Verse 41: And then shall a cry go forth: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.

Verse 42: For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward.

Verse 43: Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.

            In these last days, we are asked to leave the unclean ways of the world and become clean through our efforts of obedience and sacrifice. God asks us to sacrifice of our own will to His will so that we are able to bear His vessels and do His work with worthiness. We are to do as He asks with order and prudence. People will know truth through God’s ways. Jesus Christ will be known by His people.

Verse 46: Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with His people be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance.

            God’s covenant with His people will be fulfilled and His people will inhabit their inheritance. His temples will be honored by those who love Him. Jesus Christ will complete the work that Heavenly Father gave Him. Those who love Him and keep their covenants are participants in fulfilling the sacred work of saving individuals and families.

            What an opportunity we have in our lives to immerse ourselves in the Lord’s work of saving His children. We can help each other. We can make and keep sacred covenants. We can connect our families through family history and temple work. We can build temples unto the Lord and use them daily.

            We are preparing for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. We are preparing for HIs great millennium reign upon the earth. We have been given the opportunity to be His hands and do His work in these last days.

            Oh, let us be willing and work diligently and with joy to be ready to receive our King, Jesus Christ, as He comes again!

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani