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

Ether 5: 4 – 6; 6: 9, 12, 17 – 18, 30

Chapter 5, Verse 4: And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also His word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day.

Verse 5: And if it so be that they repent and come unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they shall be received into the kingdom of God.

Verse 6: And now, if I have no authority for these things, judge ye; for ye shall know that I have authority when ye shall see me, and we shall stand before God at the last day. Amen.

            I’m grateful for the witnesses of truth which I have experienced. I’m grateful for the power which is in God’s word. The testimonies I have received of our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost bless my life every day. I’m grateful for my experiences of repentance and the joy I have received from my efforts to come unto Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ. These have changed me because of the renewed focus to my life to walk with the Savior toward our Eternal Home.

            I still make mistakes of judgment but not of sin. I make mistakes of omission but I continually try to repent and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to know how to act as an instrument in the hands of God. My purpose is to learn and do God’s will in my daily living and with the people whom I associate. It is still a learning process for me. It is a refining process which helps me become more like my Savior in service, kindness, obedience, and love.

Chapter 6:

Verse 9: And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.

Verse 12: And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of His tender mercies over them.

            It is right to praise God through song, prayer, and gratitude. He is the source of our blessings. He gives us so much. He has so much more to give us if we will just be open to receive. I’m grateful for the promised land He has given to me. He has blessed me with great blessings and tender mercies for which I praise His name in gratitude forever.

Verse 17: And they were taught to walk humbly before the Lord; and they were also taught from on high.

Verse 18: And it came to pass that they began to spread upon the face of the land, and to multiply and to till the earth; and they did wax strong in the land.

Verse 30: And it came to pass that Orihah did walk humbly before the Lord, and did remember how great things the Lord had done for his father, and also taught his people how great things the Lord had done for their fathers.

            To be humble before the Lord allows us to learn His ways and to live our lives in a manner which prepares us to live with Heavenly Father in the next life. It helps us develop the attitudes of charity, service, obedience, trust, unselfishness, work, gratitude, and appreciation for others. To teach children, especially by example, helps adults to practice these attributes and to repent when mistakes are made.

            To walk humbly helps us remember the Lord, the blessings given to our ancestors, and the blessings we receive at the hand of the Lord. This increases our gratitude for what Heavenly Father has done to and for us. It allows us to be led toward Him in our eternal progression.

            May we humbly seek the Lord’s way for our lives.

Dani

3 Nephi 19: 24, 25 – 26, 27 – 30, 31 – 36

Verse 24: And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, He came unto His disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto Him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.

        From this scripture I learn that learning to pray for the desires of our hearts without many words is possible. The feelings and thoughts of our hearts can be expressed concisely with clarity to God. The Spirit of God can guide us what to pray for. Then truly our prayers are experiences of sincerity and unity.

Verse 25: And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto Him; and His countenance did smile upon them, and the light of His countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.

Verse 26: And Jesus said unto them: Pray on; nevertheless they did not cease to pray.

            I am grateful when I feel the Savior smile upon me. When my heart is right, my efforts the best I can give, I feel His gratitude and joy. I want to feel His smile more often and so I continue to seek His will and ways in my daily choices. I know that He always loves me. I want to show that I always love and remember Him.

            I also feel His smile even when I turn to Him in my weaknesses and failures. His smile of love and encouragement helps me to keep striving (to get back up after falling). He doesn’t criticize but encourages.

            I want my obedience to Him to be as complete as I can make it as evidence to Him that I love Him and will always remember Him and keep His commandments. Sometimes life gets in the way of my remembrance. I keep trying. It is my deepest desire to be a true disciple of my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.

            Jesus wants us to continue praying because it is through our prayers that we can understand, change, and receive Heaven’s help because we seek it.

Verse 27: And He turned from them again, and went a little way off and bowed Himself to the earth; and He prayed again unto the Father, saying:

Verse 28: Father, I thank thee that thou hast purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me.

Verse 29: Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them.

Verse 30: And when Jesus had spoken these words He came again unto His disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and He did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.

            Jesus’ prayer to Heavenly Father teaches us a few things. When Jesus choses disciples or servants, they are or become pure vessels to do His work. It is a person’s faith in God which allows them to do God’s work as disciples of Jesus Christ. God’s work is to save souls and His disciples are instruments in teaching His words for that purpose. People who believe on the words of God’s servants may also become purified in Jesus Christ because of their faith.

            The words of God whether by His own voice, or by the voice of His servants, has the same power to increase our faith in God and to, as we follow His words, purify our hearts and minds. With faith in God and purified souls, people come out of the world, in other words, choose God’s ways over the world’s ways. They do His works. They help others. They become His disciples. They seek God through prayer, studying His words, and doing His works. This brings the smile of God upon His disciples. When they make mistakes, they repent, and keep striving.

            Surely God’s smile is joyful as He watches His children increase in their love for and desire to follow His ways. He loves each one of us but joy comes as we progress toward Him through following His words and obeying His ways. Let us bring joy to God by striving in our daily lives to listen to His servants, live His word, increase our faith, and live His way.

Verse 31:  And it came to pass that He went again a little way off and prayed unto the Father;

Verse 32: And tongue cannot speak the words which He prayed, neither can be written by man the words which He prayed.

Verse 33: And the multitude did hear and do bear record; and their hearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which He prayed.

Verse 34:  Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which He prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man.

            To hear and understand words so marvelous that they cannot be uttered by others or written would indeed be a marvelous experience. To be taught by Jesus Christ’s example of service would impact the hearts of humble people. Because of their experiences, these people had broken hearts. They were ready to be taught. They had opportunity to learn in marvelous ways both as Jesus taught those He called to serve and as He served the multitude.

            Do we value the marvelous words of God which He gives to us in our day and that are written in the scriptures? Do we value the words of His called servants? Are our hearts humble and our spirits contrite so that we are able to hear the great and marvelous things of our time?

Verse 35: And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying He came again to the disciples, and said unto them: So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews; wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief.

Verse 36: Verily I say unto you, there are none of them that have seen so great things as ye have seen; neither have they heard so great things as ye have heard.

            The experiences the called Ancient American disciples of Jesus had in the few days that He was with them were a result of their faith. Jesus compared it to the lack of faith among the Jews whom He spent His whole life with. If we are not experiencing great miracles in our own lives, we need to look inward. Do we use faith to navigate our days or do we dwell in unbelief?

            The gathered multitude observed what Jesus did and how He taught the disciples. They had their sick and infirm healed and their young children surrounded by angels and spoke marvelous things. They heard Jesus pray marvelous words. They had many sacred experiences that touched their hearts, deepened their faith, and would change their actions.

            Jesus Christ can visit us as well. In the scriptures, the words of living prophets, the voice of His Spirit in our hearts and minds, and in answer to our prayers, we can feel His presence, His love, and His invitation to Come Unto Him. As we seek Him, we will find.

            We can know that He is aware of us individually and loves each of us. I know this is true because I have experienced it in my life. I have seen it in others’ lives. It is our willingness to walk along His path, and to be open to receive His words, that allows changes to happen in our hearts and minds.

            It is a marvelous thing to see one’s life changed day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, and decade by decade because of the choice to have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, individually one by one.

            May our desire and our faith lead us to the miracles of Jesus in our hearts, minds, and lives.

Dani

3 Nephi 19: 1 – 3, 6 – 9, 10 – 14, 15, 16 – 18, 19 – 23

Verse 1:  And now it came to pass that when Jesus had ascended into heaven, the multitude did disperse, and every man did take his wife and his children and did return to his own home.

Verse 2: And it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that He had ministered unto them, and that He would also show Himself on the morrow unto the multitude.

Verse 3: Yea, and even all the night it was noised abroad concerning Jesus; and insomuch did they send forth unto the people that there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show Himself unto the multitude.

            What conversation families must have had as they talked about the marvelous experiences of the day. To have heard the teachings of Jesus and seen the miracles He performed would have been so joyful. After the destruction of the earth, Jesus’ touch would have been so healing replacing terror and fear caused by darkness and storms with peace and joy.

            The people who had experienced the day with Jesus were talking about it and sharing with those who had not been there. Many labored all night – most likely on foot in the dark – to get to where Jesus was going to be the next day. What an experience of joy to anticipate and prepare for.

Verse 6: And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.

Verse 7: And the disciples did pray unto the Father also in the name of Jesus. And it came to pass that they arose and ministered unto the people.

Verse 8: And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken—nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken—behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus.

Verse 9: And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.

            The leaders whom Jesus had chosen began leading the next day. They organized the people into twelve groups so they were small enough to hear what was told them. The leaders, the twelve Jesus called, taught the people and prayed for and with them. There were new people to hear and teach – those who had traveled all night to be there.

            I like the statement that they prayed for that which they most desired. To pray for what we most desire in righteousness is a good thing. To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift a person can have to help them during their life, as the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead and helps individuals in the ways of God for their specific needs. To have individual tutoring and guidance and comfort and healing through the Holy Ghost is a strength and help of marvelous proportions.

Verse 10:  And when they had thus prayed they went down unto the water’s edge, and the multitude followed them.

Verse 11:  And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water and was baptized.

Verse 12: And he came up out of the water and began to baptize. And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen.

Verse 13: And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Verse 14: And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.

            The desires of their hearts were fulfilled as the disciples were baptized and received the Holy Ghost. The people saw what seemed like fire encircling the disciples. Angels came down out of heaven and ministered to them as well. What a joyous experience for those who had been there the day before and what amazement for those who had labored all night to get to the place where they could have this heavenly experience. Imagine literally seeing the completed baptism of water and spirit!

Verse 15: And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.

            Jesus came and ministered unto them. To have His presence, to have His care and teachings. What peace and joy and love must have surrounded this multitude. The leaders prepared the multitude through their ministering and teaching for the multitude to have marvelous experiences and to prepare for Jesus Christ’s visit.

            This is what the leaders whom are called to lead should do. Their service should prepare those they are called to serve to receive Jesus Christ. Our service should strengthen and teach people. It should lead them to Jesus. Each of us is a leader and a follower. Each of us has responsibilities to serve and to be served. Both roles are important in the learning process.

            There is something to be learned individually in following Jesus Christ both as a leader and as one of the multitude. Each role leads to more complete understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Verse 16: And it came to pass that He spake unto the multitude, and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that His disciples should kneel down upon the earth.

Verse 17: And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, He commanded His disciples that they should pray.

Verse 18: And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.

            The multitude were willingly obedient to Jesus Christ’s commands. They worshipped Him. Good questions for us each to ask ourselves are, “Am I willingly obedient to Him who provides the only way Home to Heavenly Father?” and “Do I reverence He who suffered personally for each of my hurts, mistakes, and sins?”

Verse 19: And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth, and he said:

Verse 20: Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.

Verse 21: Father, I pray Thee that Thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.

Verse 22: Father, Thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and Thou seest that they believe in me because Thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.

Verse 23: And now Father, I pray unto Thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as Thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.

            Then Jesus did as He taught and He prayed to Heavenly Father. He humbly thanked Heavenly Father for the blessings being experienced, then asked for blessings upon others who would be influenced by His chosen servants’ words of testimony. He prayed for unity of purpose of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and those who believe.

            I love unity. I am grateful for the strength, understanding of purpose and people it gives. I also recognize that being One takes sacrifice and humility by seeking God’s will instead of our own. It takes willingness to cooperate with others to fulfill a greater role than one’s own purposes. It brings a wonderful feeling of closeness to others and to God.

            May we each seek Jesus, hear Him, and let Him lead us to our Father Above together.

Dani

3 Nephi 13: 19 – 21, 22 – 24, 25 – 34

Verse 19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

Verse 20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Verse 21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

            What do we treasure? We can tell because where we put our time and what we think about show our priorities. Heaven’s treasures are not material things but are eternal things, or things that God values. To learn to value what God does helps us lay up treasures in heaven.   We learn what He values by seeking His truth from the scriptures and the words of His prophets. Daily immersing ourselves in His words helps us to recognize what is important to Him. Doing what we learn helps it to increase in value to us. This is a day by day process which changes us and continues through one’s life.

Verse 22: The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Verse 23: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Verse 24: No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

            What is light? That which helps us see, understand, or know. Jesus Christ is called the light in the scriptures. The eye helps us see light. The light being single means motive is pure which helps our whole selves be full of light, seeking that which is good and pure. If a person’s purpose is evil then his eye is filled with darkness.  

           Darkness and light do not exist together. We choose which we serve. This seems to imply motive to me. What are the reasons we do what we do? Are we seeking God’s will and His purposes or something else? Evaluation of ourselves helps us know ourselves better and enables us to choose what we truly desire.

Verse 25: And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words He looked upon the twelve whom He had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Verse 26: Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Verse 27: Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Verse 28: And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;

Verse 29: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

Verse 30: Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will He clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

Verse 31: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Verse 32: For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Verse 33: But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Verse 34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

            These words to the Lord’s chosen servants help me realize that as we participate in His work that our motive needs to be to serve, or help, others. We don’t need to worry about ourselves but can trust God to take care of our needs as we do His work. What we eat or wear is not the priority; how we minister and seek God’s ways should be the priority for His servants. Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and letting our physical needs work out in the Lord’s ways is His instruction for those who do His work.

            God is capable of doing His work. He invites others to assist in His work because of the way it blesses them. Learning to do His will His way is a good goal. It helps us be malleable in His hands and allows Him to bless us and those we serve. A desire to do His work enables Him to work through us. He wants our hearts to be one with His. He wants us to learn to love those we serve as He loves them.

            Learning to be servants of God is a daily long term work. It feels good when we are able to see His efforts work in us to help others. Joy comes from learning to let His will work through our hands and efforts.

            May we seek to bring peace and relief to those around us.

Dani

3 Nephi 12: 7 – 12

Verse 7: And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

            Webster’s 1828 Dictionary’s first definition of mercy is “That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.”

            Grace is the nearest synonym to mercy implying benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity, or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Clemency is mildness; softness; or mildness of temper.

            These definitions immediately drew my thoughts to the Savior Jesus Christ. He treats us each better than we deserve. He offers to forgive our trespasses and to forbear punishment if we will accept His Atonement. He is tender and loving toward our weaknesses, hurt, and challenges. He wants to save us from the justice our own actions will bring upon us. He lovingly offers to share our burdens and to comfort us.

            He teaches us that if we are merciful, we shall obtain mercy. If we will forgive others, He will forgive us.   To me this means that if we will be patient with others’ weaknesses, He will be patient with ours. If we are mild, soft, and patient with those we interact with, He will be mild, soft, and patient as He interacts with us. I believe we will obtain mercy through the learning experiences of being merciful. By learning to forgive and empathize, which is not necessarily easy, we will begin to understand the depth of what the Savior offers us. Our characters will grow more like His. Our interactions will become merciful. These ten words of the Savior’s teachings are powerful and broad and deep. Pondering upon them will stretch our souls.

Verse 8: And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

           Who are the pure in heart? Why is the consequence of their purity, the privilege of seeing God?

            Pure means separate, clear, or free from heterogeneous or extraneous matter; free from mixture; free from moral defilement; genuine; real; true; incorrupt; innocent; chaste; free from vice or moral turpitude; free from any thing improper; absolute.

            This definition refers to those who choose goodness, purity of thought, words, and actions. Those who are sincere in doing right because they love right.

            All the pure in hear shall see God. God is pure. He is sincere in doing right. All goodness, truth, and purity comes from Him because that is what He is. He is completely, absolutely free from sin and evil. He is perfectly pure, completely pure. Those whose whole motive is to be good and right in all things shall have the privilege of seeing God.

            I think they will see God in others, in the beauty of the earth, in their daily lives. I believe they will feel His love and help and tender mercies. Yes, I also believe they will see Him with their eyes but before that they will know Him because they are choosing to live His way and having His presence as a result of their choices.

Verse 9:  And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

            Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. Peacemakers are following His attributes in their interactions with others. Peace, a state of quiet or tranquility, freedom from war, freedom from internal commotion, freedom from private disturbance or quarrels, freedom from agitation, heavenly rest, harmony, concord, or public tranquility, is an often sought state of sense or being. Jesus is the Prince, or Sovereign or Ruler, of that state. Living His way brings peace within and in relationships.

            Establishing peace on earth requires His peace in our hearts and minds. Learning to live in peace takes effort and selflessness. It takes following rules and thinking of others before ourselves. It means learning together how to meet each other’s needs. It takes communication and practice. It means literally living in God’s way as His followers – His children.

Verse 10:  And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 11:  And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

Verse 12:  For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

            I think it is common to complain when people don’t like us.  When people treat us wrong because of our belief in the Savior, the Savior understands.  He who came to enable all men to be saved was despised and persecuted and eventually killed by those whom He came to help.  Even in our day people reject Him and falsely accuse Him and some have ulterior motives as pretend to serve Him.

            The Savior promises those who are persecuted because of their belief in and efforts to follow Him, that they will have great reward in heaven. B lessed means happiness or a means of happiness.  Sacrifice for those we love is good.  Sacrifice for those who persecute, revile, falsely accuse because we love the Savior is a means to happiness.  Happiness because the pure love of Christ towards others is the greatest of all attributes. It brings true oneness with God.

            No, one is not glad during persecution; however, the ability to love and do good to those who hate us shows unselfishness in great degree.  In this, we can have great joy and gladness as we share depths of love for others with the Savior.  Sacrifice is giving up something for something better. How marvelous to be able to give up human weakness and nature for Godlike kindness and love.  Joy is in developing Godlike qualities.  When we stand with the Savior in thought, behavior, and love, especially toward our enemies or those who persecute us, we will feel His joy.

            May we each choose to let our love extend to everyone through the love and grace Jesus Christ offers each of us.

Dani

3 Nephi 11: 13 – 17, 18 – 22, 23 – 28

 

Verse 13: And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:

Verse 14: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

Verse 15: And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into His side, and did feel the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was He, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

Verse 16: And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:

Verse 17: Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship Him.

            Jesus asks us to have individual interaction with His words, commandments, Gospel, truth, and Spirit so that we might know Him and be able to testify of Him. Do we know that He is the Savior of the world because He has saved us from our sins and weaknesses. Can we testify of His love because He has healed our hurt? He has invited us to come unto Him. Do we accept His invitation every day? Are we able to worship Him with Hosannas because we know for ourselves of His divinity? I do.

            I know that Jesus Christ is real because of the spiritual witness given me as I’ve sought to learn and live His teachings. I know He lives because of personal seeking and resulting interactions wit Him for over fifty years. In both quiet moments of my life, in the hard challenges, and the deepest trials, I have sought Him. He has been there to to comfort me, to encourage me, and to rejoice with me. He has led and I seek to follow Him.

            Very often it is while I’m reading in the Book of Mormon that His peace comes to my heart.  Answers to my problems have entered my mind. I have felt peace in the midst of storm in reading His words to ancient prophets. The truths of the Book of Mormon have enlarged my perspective, deepened my understanding, and strengthened my knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, the Savior of those who come unto Him. He lives. He loves us. He invites us to let Him help carry our burdens.

Verse 18: And it came to pass that He spake unto Nephi (for Nephi was among the multitude) and He commanded him that he should come forth.

Verse 19: And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss His feet.

Verse 20: And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before Him.

 Verse 21:  And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.

Verse 22: And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and He gave unto them power to baptize. And He said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.

            The Lord knew the people of the multitude as He knows each of us. Many of them must have known Him for they recognized Him when He spake to them. They responded when He asked. Do we respond when we feel His Spirit speak to us?

Verse 23: Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.

Verse 24: And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:

Verse 25: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Verse 26: And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.

Verse 27: And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.

Verse 28: And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.

    The first thing Jesus taught and commanded after the people individually interacted with Him was baptism. He taught those whom He called how to baptize and gave them authority to do it. He must value this ordinance highly. Do we? Do we recognize the place baptism has in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost with ourselves? Does the symbolism of being buried and rising out of the water reflect reverence for Him who died and was resurrected on our behalf?

            Jesus taught the people that He and His Father (our Heavenly Father) were united in the purpose of Jesus Christ’s mission on the earth. Such a oneness is hard to live upon the earth. Jesus referred to the disputations about His Gospel the people had had and told them not to dispute any more. Disputing is not the Savior’s way. Being united is His way. Something for us to ponder.

            The baptism ordinance is sacred. Jesus commanded that there should be no disputations concerning it or His doctrine. Do we value His word? Do we seek to understand His meaning?

            To spend time reading and pondering His words to the ancient Nephites can help us learn much about Heaven’s way and what we need to change within ourselves to live more like Heaven.

            May we seek to do so thus more fully preparing for eternity.

Dani

3 Nephi 10: 10 – 12, 14 – 18, 19

Verse 10:  And the earth did cleave together again, that it stood; and the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer.

Verse 11: And thus far were the scriptures fulfilled which had been spoken by the prophets.

Verse 12: And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and it was they who received the prophets and stoned them not; and it was they who had not shed the blood of the saints, who were spared—

            How heart wrenching this destruction was for our Heavenly Father, for His Son Jesus Christ, and for their servants, the prophets. How hard for those who love to see people chose destruction rather than hope and life and goodness. The more righteous part – not perfect – but those who didn’t destroy others were not destroyed.

            The scriptures teach us of the last days and of those who will survive the destruction that will destroy the wickedness before Jesus Christ’s second coming. There is no secret about what is right and good and what is wicked. What we choose in our lives and hearts will be the determining factor as to whether or not we will be destroyed. What we value is what we become. Will we choose to be the more righteous part who are not destroyed at His coming?

Verse 14: And now, whoso readeth, let him understand; he that hath the scriptures, let him search them, and see and behold if all these deaths and destructions by fire, and by smoke, and by tempests, and by whirlwinds, and by the opening of the earth to receive them, and all these things are not unto the fulfilling of the prophecies of many of the holy prophets.

Verse 15: Behold, I say unto you, Yea, many have testified of these things at the coming of Christ, and were slain because they testified of these things.

Verse 16: Yea, the prophet Zenos did testify of these things, and also Zenock spake concerning these things, because they testified particularly concerning us, who are the remnant of their seed.

Verse 17: Behold, our father Jacob also testified concerning a remnant of the seed of Joseph. And behold, are not we a remnant of the seed of Joseph? And these things which testify of us, are they not written upon the plates of brass which our father Lehi brought out of Jerusalem?

            Do we value what the prophets have taught? Do we follow their counsel? Do we follow their example as disciples of Jesus Christ? Do we seek to understand what the scriptures teach?

Verse 18: And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year, behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them

Verse 19: Showing his body unto them, and ministering unto them; and an account of His ministry shall be given hereafter. Therefore for this time I make an end of my sayings.

          What marvelous experiences those who were more righteous had when Jesus Christ came to them. How joyful to be ministered to by the Savior of the world. How blessed to hear His words and to feel His touch. Can there be anything so exquisite as to be in the presence of Jesus Christ?

            May we each seek to live so that we might have the joy and light and love of that experience.

Dani

3 Nephi 5: 12 – 18, 21 – 26

Verse 12: And behold, I am called Mormon, being called after the land of Mormon, the land in which Alma did establish the church among the people, yea, the first church which was established among them after their transgression.

Verse 13: Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life.

Verse 14: And it hath become expedient that I, according to the will of God, that the prayers of those who have gone hence, who were the holy ones, should be fulfilled according to their faith, should make a record of these things which have been done—

Verse 15: Yea, a small record of that which hath taken place from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem, even down until the present time.

Verse 16: Therefore I do make my record from the accounts which have been given by those who were before me, until the commencement of my day;

Verse 17: And then I do make a record of the things which I have seen with mine own eyes.

Verse 18: And I know the record which I make to be a just and a true record; nevertheless there are many things which, according to our language, we are not able to write.

            Mormon’s personal information helps us understand him better. His parents must have been faithful to call him by the location name where Alma established the church after leaving wicked King Noah and his priests. Perhaps his parents wanted to remind Mormon that righteousness is a choice and isn’t bound by circumstances.

            Mormon’s description of why he is making the plates is somewhat of an understatement. Life in his time was getting dramatic. Perhaps he could no longer carry other records around with him as they were no longer safe from those seeking to destroy the righteous people. It must have taken him some time to make his own record from the others. Did he have the time because he was recovering from illness or injury? His was a busy life leading others. When did he take the time to do this great work of faith commanded by God in order to fulfill prophecies made by former prophets?

            Mormon is a person whose example I want to follow. He is a person whose life I want to know about. Like Joseph Smith, he lived to do the Lord’s work and experienced great challenges. I would like to meet his wife for she must have been a strong and faithful woman. She must have worked diligently to hold their family together in the trying times of their lives. She must have had a deep abiding faith in Jesus Christ as we see the results of her work in the life of their son Moroni. These people we know through the record of the Book of the Mormon have more to their lives than is mentioned. I look forward to learning “the rest of the story.”

Verse 20: I am Mormon, and a pure descendant of Lehi. I have reason to bless my God and my Savior Jesus Christ, that He brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem, (and no one knew it save it were himself and those whom he brought out of that land) and that He hath given me and my people so much knowledge unto the salvation of our souls.

Verse 21: Surely He hath blessed the house of Jacob, and hath been merciful unto the seed of Joseph.

Verse 22: And insomuch as the children of Lehi have kept His commandments He hath blessed them and prospered them according to His word.

           Mormon expresses gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for the blessings They gave to his ancestors and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ which blesses his life. He recognizes who his people are as descendants of Israel. He recognizes the power of God in his life.

Verse 23: Yea, and surely shall He again bring a remnant of the seed of Joseph to the knowledge of the Lord their God.

Verse 24: And as surely as the Lord liveth, will He gather in from the four quarters of the earth all the remnant of the seed of Jacob, who are scattered abroad upon all the face of the earth.

Verse 25: And as He hath covenanted with all the house of Jacob, even so shall the covenant wherewith He hath covenanted with the house of Jacob be fulfilled in His own due time, unto the restoring all the house of Jacob unto the knowledge of the covenant that He hath covenanted with them.

           Mormon is writing the overview history of his people and he expresses his faith that as God blessed his ancestors, He will also bless their descendants. He testifies that God’s words will be fulfilled in the future as they have been in the past. He expresses faith for the descendants of his ancestor Lehi in his time because of the promises given to their father, Jacob who was Israel.

Verse 26: And then shall they know their Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and then shall they be gathered in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands, from whence they have been dispersed; yea, as the Lord liveth so shall it be. Amen.

Mormon knows that safety for the descendants of Lehi lies in their knowing Jesus Christ. He trusts God’s promises that they will be part of those gathered in the last day. He expresses his trust in God’s ways.

            Mormon’s testimony is an example to me. His heart must be sore because of the choices of the people in his day, but He trusts God’s promises to his ancestors and the prophecies for the future. He is doing the best he can to obey God’s commandments and wants the word of God to be fulfilled.

            We live in the day when the prophecies of old are being fulfilled. Mormon’s words help the prophecies to come to pass. His belief in God and obedience is blessing his people now. They also bless my life. His testimony strengthens mine. His example helps me want to do my best in my life.

            May we allow Mormon’s words to bless our lives and lead us to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Dani

Helaman 13: 6 – 7, 11, 38 – 39

Verse 6: Yea, heavy destruction awaiteth this people, and it surely cometh unto this people, and nothing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ, who surely shall come into the world, and shall suffer many things and shall be slain for His people.

Verse 7: And behold, an angel of the Lord hath declared it unto me, and he did bring glad tidings to my soul. And behold, I was sent unto you to declare it unto you also, that ye might have glad tidings; but behold ye would not receive me.

            I believe and know that Jesus Christ came into the world to suffer and die for mankind to give us the opportunity to repent.   It is our faith on Him that will allow us to be saved. This is glad tidings to my soul as it was with ancient prophets.

            This knowledge of the Savior’s mission brings me great joy even when life’s problems seem overwhelming. I know there is a purpose to life and a way of salvation for people. There is a plan for this life which makes sense to me of the trials and pain that is so much a part of this existence. When I don’t understand the “why” of circumstances, I know God does. By turning to Him, I gain peace and help to get through or bear my trials. He has helped me over and over again through my life. I know He will continue to do so. Deep joy swells my soul with this knowledge.

Verse 11:  But if ye will repent and return unto the Lord your God I will turn away mine anger, saith the Lord; yea, thus saith the Lord, blessed are they who will repent and turn unto me, but wo unto him that repenteth not.

            Here is simple, vital truth. The Lord will bless us if we will repent and turn unto Him. We will be destroyed if we won’t repent. To act upon this truth is wisdom; to ignore it is foolishness.

Verse 38: But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.

Verse 39: O ye people of the land, that ye would hear my words! And I pray that the anger of the Lord be turned away from you, and that ye would repent and be saved.

   Nephi’s words to the people are words of sorrow because they would not see or understand God’s truth. He tells us another important truth that doing wrong does not bring happiness. Righteousness is God’s way and the only way to happiness. One cannot find happiness by doing that which is contrary, or opposite, of what produces happiness.

            The Lord gives us every opportunity to repent or change our ways to His ways. But there is a point at which repentance is no longer possible because the time of our salvation is over. We will need to face the results of our life choices. The Lord sends prophets to help people understand. When people ignore the prophets and keep going away from God refusing to hear His words, eventually they become so wicked that the only way to get rid of their wrongdoing is for God to destroy them.

            How sad that pride and stubbornness of individuals will keep them from receiving the goodness and blessings offered them. It is good for us to ask ourselves regularly whether we are refusing to receive some of the blessings of God because we will not hear His words. Sometimes I’ve been too stubborn to receive what Heavenly Father would give me. It has taken hard experience to realize that I was going my way and not His way. Once I realized that, with His help, I was able to repent and humble myself.

            This change of direction made all the difference for me. It helped me to receive happiness instead of misery. It brought peace and joy to into my soul. It has enabled me to receive righteous desires of my heart. God’s way is the way to happiness. His words are sure. No matter how hard it is to align our hearts and lives to His way, it is worth all the effort we make.

            May we make the choices of happiness. May we choose salvation which is in Jesus Christ.

Dani