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 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 7: 26 – 27; 8: 23 – 26

Verse 26: And because the people did repent of their iniquities and idolatries the Lord did spare them, and they began to prosper again in the land. And it came to pass that Shule begat sons and daughters in his old age.

Verse 27: And there were no more wars in the days of Shule; and he remembered the great things that the Lord had done for his fathers in bringing them across the great deep into the promised land; wherefore he did execute judgment in righteousness all his days.

            This is the prescription of safety for dwelling in the land of America. It is to remember the great things that the Lord has done for our fathers in bringing them to this promised land. It is to repent of our iniquities and idolatries and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to live in righteousness all of our days.

            If our society will do these things, we will prosper safely all of our days and accomplish the great work the Lord has for us to do in the world. We will be led by His Holy Spirit in what we do. The Book of Mormon teaches us these truths. It is one of the reasons it is needed in these last days. Other societies who have dwelt on this continent have perished because they didn’t follow this formula the Lord gave them.

            We are in the last days before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth. Will our nation be ready to receive Him? Will we, in gratitude and humility, worship the God of this land? Will we have accomplished the mission He gave to all who are brought to and dwell in this special land? Will we have listened and acted more on what the still small voice of the Spirit whispered to our hearts than to the loud, pushy voices of the media and promoters of chaos? Daily the choice is ours. At the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the consequences of our choices will tell for us and those we have influenced.

Chapter 8

Verse 23: Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

Verse 24: Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

Verse 25: For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

Verse 26: Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

            Moroni outlines clearly the need of our day. He describes it as if he were here now. He describes it as he saw it by the power of God. He shows it with his words to us. The choice is up to us. We have let liars and murders gain power in our land. Will those who love right and justice stand up against those who are working destruction among us.

            Are we awake to our awful situation that the secret murderous combinations are in power? If we do not act for good, the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon our nation. Let those who love the Lord stand together in righteous purpose to strengthen each other and govern our communities, states, and nations with God’s work as our desire. Let us help each other. Let us turn to the Lord and plead for His deliverance. Let us stand in His name for good in our daily words and actions.

Dani

Mormon 9: 2—9, 11-14, 16-20

Verse 2: Behold, will ye believe in the day of your visitation—behold, when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God?

Verse 3: Then will ye longer deny the Christ, or can ye behold the Lamb of God? Do ye suppose that ye shall dwell with Him under a consciousness of your guilt? Do ye suppose that ye could be happy to dwell with that holy Being, when your souls are racked with a consciousness of guilt that ye have ever abused His laws?

Verse 4: Behold, I say unto you that ye would be more miserable to dwell with a holy and just God, under a consciousness of your filthiness before Him, than ye would to dwell with the damned souls in hell.

Verse 5: For behold, when ye shall be brought to see your nakedness before God, and also the glory of God, and the holiness of Jesus Christ, it will kindle a flame of unquenchable fire upon you.

            These verses give me hope. They are a description of the end of the earth as we know it now. My hope comes because of the description of when the Lord shall come. It is not left to chance; it is known. We shall each stand before Jesus. He knows us. If we know Him we will be happy to dwell with Him. If we have repented of our sins and mistakes, we won’t have guilt. We will be happy to dwell with Him if we value His laws in our lives now.

            My efforts, though short of perfection, are helping me prepare to see myself as God sees me. They are preparing me to become holy, which can only happen through the great sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ in behalf of all those who believe in His name. I feel that these verses are asking those who don’t believe to choose to believe now so they will change direction toward God. He wants them to come Home to stay with Him.

Verse 6: O then ye unbelieving, turn ye unto the Lord; cry mightily unto the Father in the name of Jesus, that perhaps ye may be found spotless, pure, fair, and white, having been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, at that great and last day.

Verse 7: And again I speak unto you who deny the revelations of God, and say that they are done away, that there are no revelations, nor prophecies, nor gifts, nor healing, nor speaking with tongues, and the interpretation of tongues;

Verse 8: Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them.

Verse 9: For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in Him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?

            The scriptures help us to learn the ways of God. They help us to understand His motive and purpose. They contain revelations, prophecies, identify God’s gifts, His healing power, and the miracles His power wrought in the lives of those who believe. God doesn’t change. His purposes are the same now as from the beginning. His plan is to enable all of us to come Home to Him, clean and worthy to live with Him forever. He invites all to walk the path. He loves each of us. Those who will answer His invitation and seek Him will find Him. He will guide them to Him.

Verse 11: But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

Verse 12:  Behold, He created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.

Verse 13: And because of the redemption of man, which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awakened by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death.

Verse 14: And then cometh the judgment of the Holy One upon them; and then cometh the time that he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still.

            Herein is stated the purpose of life and the hope of mankind. Jesus Christ redeemed us all. We will all be resurrected. We will all live again with perfect bodies. In this state we shall be judged by the Holy One, even Jesus Christ, who has made it possible for us to become clean and able to live again in the presence of Heavenly Father.

            We can become righteous as a result of our choices to follow Jesus Christ and repent (change) from the ways of the world to the ways of God. We can be happy when we stand before the judgment bar. This choice is up to us.

Verse 16:  Behold, are not the things that God hath wrought marvelous in our eyes? Yea, and who can comprehend the marvelous works of God?

Verse 17: Who shall say that it was not a miracle that by His word the heaven and the earth should be; and by the power of His word man was created of the dust of the earth; and by the power of His word have miracles been wrought?

Verse 18: And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.

Verse 19: And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you He changeth not; if so He would cease to be God; and He ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

Verse 20: And the reason why He ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

            The marvelous works of God are miracles to us. By His power mighty miracles are wrought whether by His own hand or by the hand of His apostles. As miracles were done by His power in former times, they continue to be done in modern times. He is God and changes not. Those who believe in Him and do His work in His way see His miracles. They know the God in whom they should trust.

            The things that God hath wrought are marvelous in our eyes. His tender mercies given to me help me feel His love for me and to know that He is aware of and cares about me. The tender mercies He gives to others also witness of His love.

            May we be humble and willing to see, open to learn and know the things of God in our lives.

Dani

Mormon 4: 5; 5: 8 – 11, 12 – 15

Chapter 4

Verse 5:  But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed.

Chapter 5:

Verse 8:  And now behold, I, Mormon, do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes; but I, knowing that these things must surely be made known, and that all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops

Verse 9: And also that a knowledge of these things must come unto the remnant of these people, and also unto the Gentiles, who the Lord hath said should scatter this people, and this people should be counted as naught among them—therefore I write a small abridgment, daring not to give a full account of the things which I have seen, because of the commandment which I have received, and also that ye might not have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of this people.

Verse 10:  And now behold, this I speak unto their seed, and also to the Gentiles who have care for the house of Israel, that realize and know from whence their blessings come.

Verse 11:  For I know that such will sorrow for the calamity of the house of Israel; yea, they will sorrow for the destruction of this people; they will sorrow that this people had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus.

            Mormon’s explanation as to his purpose in writing of the destruction of his people gives me comfort in knowing that God has a plan and prepares for His work to be done no matter the choices people make. He knows His children. He prepares for the needful things to be known so that future generations can understand the ways of happiness. He wants each of us to succeed in returning Home to Him. He wants each of us to be clasped in the arms of Jesus during the hard times of our lives for this will give us the strength and help to continue on the path Home.

Verse 12:  Now these things are written unto the remnant of the house of Jacob; and they are written after this manner, because it is known of God that wickedness will not bring them forth unto them; and they are to be hid up unto the Lord that they may come forth in His own due time.

Verse 13:  And this is the commandment which I have received; and behold, they shall come forth according to the commandment of the Lord, when He shall see fit, in His wisdom.

Verse 14:  And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God; that the Father may bring about, through His most Beloved, His great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of His covenant;

Verse 15: And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe His gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles; for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.

          God gives His prophets revelation to help not only the present generation but those who will seek Him in the future. Mormon’s writings would go forth to the Jews, the descendants of Lehi and Mulek, and to the Gentiles who would live upon this land in the latter days. The purpose would to persuade all that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God through Whom Heavenly Father’s purpose for our lives on earth would be brought to pass. No wonder the Book of Mormon is so powerful – its very existence is to help all who receive it to understand and gain a testimony of our Beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, through Whom Heavenly Father’s work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of mankind would be accomplished.

            From the time I was a child, my efforts to read and understand the Book of Mormon have blessed me in learning to know what was right. My first haltering attempts to read the Book of Mormon all the way through didn’t get very far. However, they increased my desire. As a teenager I read it all the way through and realized as I read, first, of the peace reading it gave me and, then, as I neared the end of it, that I knew that it was true. This knowing shaped my life by the choices I made as a teenager and a young adult. It put me firmly on the path that leads Home and kept me coming back to it when I took a step or two away.  

            I’m grateful for the sacrifices Mormon made to abridge the record of his people for our day. His efforts were not in vain for me. I know through my study of the Book of Mormon and the resulting whisperings of the Holy Spirit to me that Heavenly Father loves me and loves every person. I know that Jesus Christ lived and died to fulfill Heavenly Father’s plan of enabling each of us to return Home. He made it possible through His Atonement for us to repent, change, and become clean. This process happens one small step at a time in our lives as we make the choices to obey God’s commandments and serve others as we walk the straight and narrow path back to Heavenly Father.

            May we be humble enough to let the Holy Spirit work in us and choose to walk the path Home to Heavenly Father following His Beloved Son.

Dani

3 Nephi 26: 12 – 14, 15, 16, 17 – 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

3 Nephi 17: 1, 4, 2 – 3, 5 – 8, 9 – 10

Verse 1:  Behold, now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words He looked round about again on the multitude, and He said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.

Verse 4: But now I go unto the Father, and also to show myself unto the lost tribes of Israel, for they are not lost unto the Father, for He knoweth whither He hath taken them.

            Jesus had other assignments to do and needed to leave the people. These were important assignments as He had other tribes of Israel to visit. He was about His Father’s work of bringing to pass the eternal life of mankind.

Verse 2: I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.

Verse 3: Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.

            Jesus understood that the people needed time to ponder upon the things He had taught them. They needed to take time to understand what His words meant for them, and how to live the truths He was teaching. He wanted them to take time to pray for help in understanding and to open their hearts and minds for the additional things He had to teach them.

Verse 5: And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, He cast His eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon Him as if they would ask Him to tarry a little longer with them.

Verse 6: And He said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.

Verse 7: Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.

Verse 8: For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your faith is sufficient that I should heal you.

            No matter what tasks still needed His attention, Jesus was aware of the desires of those He was with. He had compassion on them. He did for them what was in their hearts. He had them bring their hurt and broken loved ones to Him. Their faith in Him was enough for them to receive this blessing.

            Jesus would give each of us the righteous desires of our hearts according to our faith and understanding. We need to always remember to submit our desires according to God’s will because He knows all the circumstances needed for our eternal growth. Our willingness to submit our will to His helps us be most like the Savior.

Verse 9: And it came to pass that when He had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their blind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and He did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto Him.

Verse 10: And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at His feet, and did worship Him; and as many as could come for the multitude did kiss His feet, insomuch that they did bathe His feet with their tears.

            What joy the people must have experienced as their afflicted loved ones were brought to Jesus and healed. What an immediate difference in lives occurred as His love touched theirs personally and individually. No wonder they all knelt at His feet and cried. He will also heal us today if we will come unto Him. We also can lay our burdens at His feet, figuratively, and be healed in body and soul. His love and power extend to every person who will bring their burdens to Him.

            I have been healed by His power both through my faith and with His sacred priesthood power given to men on earth. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually His love has changed my life and made me whole. In gratitude, I look forward to the time when my tears can bathe His feet.

            May we let Him – our Savior Jesus Christ – heal our hearts, bodies, and souls.

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani