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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

come unto Christ, and

lay hold upon every good gift, and 

touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

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

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

strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever,

that thou mayest no more be confounded,

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

may be fulfilled.

Verse 32:  Yea, come unto Christ, and

be perfected in Him, and 

deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and

if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and 

love God with all your might, mind and strength,

then is His grace sufficient for you,

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

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

ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Verse 33: And again,

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

deny not His power,

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

through the shedding of the blood of Christ,

which is in the covenant of the Father

unto the remission of your sins,

that ye become holy,

without spot.

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

I soon go to rest in the paradise of God,

until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and

I am brought forth triumphant through the air,

to meet you

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

of both quick and dead.  Amen.

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 7: 27 – 28, 29 – 31, 32, 33 – 34

Verse 27:  Wherefore, my beloved brethren,

have miracles ceased because

Christ hath ascended into heaven, and

hath sat down on the right hand of God,

to claim of the Father

His rights of mercy which

He hath upon the children of men?

Verse 28:  For He hath answered the ends of the law, and

He claimeth all those who have faith in Him; and

they who have faith in Him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore He advocateth the cause of the children of men; and

He dwelleth eternally in the heavens.

            Heavenly Father will give to Jesus Christ what He asks of Him because Jesus Christ did all the things that Heavenly Father asked Him to do. This means that those who seek to follow Jesus Christ in obedience can receive the mercy He would give them for their desires and efforts in righteousness. He claims everyone who will have faith in Him and cleave to the good He has given. He advocates for His followers with His Father.

            This concept is hard for me to get my heart around. It is because of His love that He will forgive us, help us, sustain us, lift burdens from us. He asks us only to use His gifts to go Home to Heavenly Father. This deep love is not only our only answer to receiving the greatest of al the gifts of God, it is the way our burdens of life are lifted along the way. Let us be humble and follow Him.

Verse 29:  And because He hath done this,

my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased?

Behold I say unto you, Nay;

neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

Verse 30:  For behold, they are subject unto Him,

to minister according to the word of His command,

showing themselves unto them of strong faith and

a firm mind in every form of godliness.

Verse 31: And the office of their ministry is

to call men unto repentance, and

to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father,

which He hath made unto the children of men,

to prepare the way among the children of men,

by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord,

that they may bear testimony of Him.

          Jesus Christ went Home to Heavenly Father, but He does not forget us. He sends angels and prophets to teach and help us understand His Word and Gospel. He opens the way for us and answers our prayers, usually through other people. Let us strive to obey Him and help others along the way in the ways that we can.

Verse 32:  And by so doing,

the Lord God prepareth the way

that the residue of men may have faith in Christ,

that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts,

according to the power thereof; and

after this manner bringeth to pass the Father,

the covenants which He hath made unto the children of men.

            Those who have faith in Jesus Christ can help others to feel His love and power. They can keep covenants to continue His work of ministering upon the earth. We each have the opportunity to be His hands in serving our fellow beings. We can help lift burdens and share His Word and Ways kindly and happily.

Verse 33:  And Christ hath said

If ye will have faith in me

ye shall have power

to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

Verse 34:  And He hath said

Repent all ye ends of the earth, and

come unto me, and

be baptized in my name, and

have faith in me,

that ye may be saved.

            The Savior will answer our faith in Him with help and power to do all that He asks of us in following Him Home to Heavenly Father. If we will give our wills to Him and repent, obey His words, be baptized in His name, have faith in His way and help, He gives us the promise that we may be saved. Saved, not only to live again after this life is over through the resurrection of our bodies, but saved to live eternity in the presence of God, our Eternal Father, and Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son.

            Faith in Him will give the greatest of all rewards. We must have faith through the choices of our daily lives, through deep trials and suffering, as well as in the joy we enjoy in our lives through learning and in our relationships with each other. When we remember Him, obey His commandments, do His work, or make sincere efforts to do so, we have His promise of salvation.

            In addition, He helps us along the way. He strengthens us, He lets us share in the tender experiences of changing people’s lives through helping them and loving them. To be of service to others is an opportunity and blessing that brings us to understanding of the Savior perhaps better than anything else.

            Let us take time to understand Him through learning of Him, helping others, and praying for His Spirit.

Dani

Moroni 7: 14 – 17, 18 – 19, 20 – 22, 23 – 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 7: 1 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 4: 3; 5: 2

Moroni 4

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

            in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this bread

            to the souls of all those who partake of it;

that they may eat in remembrance

            of the body of thy Son,

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

that they are willing

            to take upon them the name of Thy Son, and

            and always remember Him,

            and keep His commandments which He hath given them,

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

Amen.

            As we remember what the Savior did for us

in teaching true principles,

living them Himself,

showing us how to go Home to Heavenly Father, then

making it possible for us to return by

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

suffering incomprehensible pain, grief, and hurt so that

He can help us through our own suffering,

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

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

Moroni 5:

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

            In the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this wine

            to the souls of all those who drink of it,

that they may do it in remembrance

            of the blood of Thy Son,

            which was shed for them;

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

            that they do always remember Him,

            that they may have His Spirit to be with them.

Amen.

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

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

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

            I am a child of God

            and so are you.

            Let us help each other obey

            and learn to live the Gospel true.

           

            Lead me, guide me

            Walk beside me

            Help me find the way

            Teach me all that I must do

            To live with Him some day.

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

Dani

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

Moroni 1

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

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

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

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

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

Moroni 2

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

in might prayer;

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

Ye shall give the Holy Ghost;

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

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

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

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

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

Moroni 3

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

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

To preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 15: 3, 13, 19, 34

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 12: 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