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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and

baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and

the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

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

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

which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love,

which love endureth by diligence unto prayer,

until the end shall come,

when all the saints shall dwell with God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

 

Moroni 8: 1 – 3, 4 – 6, 7 – 12, 13 – 16

Verse 1: An epistle of my father Mormon, written to me, Moroni; and it was written unto me soon after my calling to the ministry. And on this wise did he write unto me, saying:

Verse 2: My beloved son, Moroni, I rejoice exceedingly that your Lord Jesus Christ hath been mindful of you, and hath called you to His ministry, and to His holy work.

Verse 3: I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of His Holy Child, Jesus, that He, through His infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on His name to the end.

            His father’s expression of love and gratitude that his son is doing the Lord’s work must have touched Moroni’s heart and increased his own faith and gratitude. These words probably gave Moroni comfort many times during the years he was alone hiding from the Lamanites who sought to kill him. Knowing His father’s faith and trust both in the Lord and in him would have given him solace. I know that my parents’ expression of gratitude for my choices and efforts gave me strength to endure and continue doing my best. Good parents are an unmeasurable blessing to their children.

            It is interesting that Mormon spoke of Heavenly Father and His Son in his expression of prayer, thought, and faith for Moroni. We can understand Heavenly Father’s love a little better when we become parents.

Verse 4: And now, my son, I speak unto you concerning that which grieveth me exceedingly; for it grieveth me that there should disputations rise among you.

Verse 5: For, if I have learned the truth, there have been disputations among you concerning the baptism of your little children.

Verse 6: And now, my son, I desire that ye should labor diligently, that this gross error should be removed from among you; for, for this intent I have written this epistle.

            A gentle but determined encouragement to Moroni to work hard to put things right in an important spiritual matter. No blame is used in this strong language and command of correction. Faith in and love for his son is evidence as Mormon expresses strong feeling with respect. A good example of effective, constructive communication.

Verse 7: For immediately after I had learned these things of you I inquired of the Lord concerning the matter. And the word of the Lord came to me by the power of the Holy Ghost, saying:

Verse 8: Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in Me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in Me.

Verse 9: And after this manner did the Holy Ghost manifest the word of God unto me; wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children.

Verse 10: Behold I say unto you that this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children.

Verse 11: And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.

Verse 12: But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

            The truths that Jesus gave Mormon to teach to Moroni about the innocence of little children have brought great comfort to many parents’ hearts. The grief at losing a child is comforted somewhat in knowing that their little children are saved because they are pure. Baptism is necessary to enter the kingdom of heaven but little children who die without that ordinance are pure before God and will be in His kingdom.

            I also like the reminder here that the humility of a child is the state adults need to be saved in God’s kingdom. Repentance and baptism require humility to accept God’s will and way. Obedience to God is compared to a child’s obedience and submission to his or her parents.

Verse 13: Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell.

Verse 14: Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.

Verse 15: For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.

Verse 16: Wo be unto them that shall pervert the ways of the Lord after this manner, for they shall perish except they repent. Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear.

            Strong words spoken by God toward those who teach untruth as His words. Again, repentance is the way to change from wickedness and perversion. Repentance is a gift given to every person so each can choose to live in the Lord’s way and return Home to Him. Baptism follows repentance in the process of change. Little children are pure and do not need repentance nor baptism.

            May we seek to be humble in learning and living God’s truth.

Dani

Moroni 7: 35 – 39, 40 – 43, 44 – 48

Verse 35:  And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased?

Verse 36: Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has He withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will He, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

Verse 37:  Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

Verse 38:  For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in His name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.

Verse 39:  But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in Him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of His church.

            The connection between miracles, angels, the power of the Holy Ghost, mankind, faith, salvation, the words of Christ, and redemption is about God’s purpose to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Mankind is on earth because God has a plan of happiness for us. Faith in Jesus Christ is what allows that plan to work in our individual lives. Angels, miracles, and meekness, are the connection for Jesus Christ’s followers as they learn and live the plan of happiness.

            God doesn’t hide from us. He has given truth and His words have been recorded. Those who seek Him and His way find it, usually through another person but sometimes through angels and miracles. Meekness is the condition of heart and mind that allows a person to acknowledge the hand of God in their lives.

40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?

41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of His resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in Him according to the promise.

42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.

43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.

            Hope leads us to faith. Hope through Jesus Christ’s Atonement and faith in His resurrection raises us unto life eternal, or life with God after this earth life is over. These attributes of hope and faith lead us to be willing to develop the attribute of charity, the greatest of all the gifts of God. This change within individuals is a miracle which is done through God’s help and one’s own desire.

44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

45 And charity 

suffereth long, and

is kind, and 

envieth not, and

is not puffed up,

seeketh not her own,

is not easily provoked,

thinketh no evil, and

rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth,

beareth all things,

believeth all things,

hopeth all things,

endureth all things.

46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing,

for charity never faileth.

Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and

it endureth forever; and

whoso is found possessed of it at the last day,

it shall be well with him.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, 

pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart,

that ye may be filled with this love,

which He hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ;

that ye may become the sons of God;

that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is;

that we may have this hope;

that we may be purified even as He is pure. Amen.

           Faith and hope are important, but it is charity that will enable us to become most like Jesus Christ. To love others as He has loved them and as well as we love ourselves takes more than we can give. It is a gift of God that we must seek for, strive for, and endure for with all the energy of our heart.

            It is what allows us to truly become sons and daughters of God by choice. We are spirit children of Heavenly Father. Charity will allow us to become like Jesus Christ is to Heavenly Father in submitting our will unto Them with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. The sacrifices made to do this will incur the condition that will allows us to receive this greatest of all gifts, charity.

            May we humbly seek to become true followers of our Savior and Redeemer, even Jesus the Christ.

Dani

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

Verse 27:  Wherefore, my beloved brethren,

have miracles ceased because

Christ hath ascended into heaven, and

hath sat down on the right hand of God,

to claim of the Father

His rights of mercy which

He hath upon the children of men?

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

He claimeth all those who have faith in Him; and

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

He dwelleth eternally in the heavens.

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

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

Verse 29:  And because He hath done this,

my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased?

Behold I say unto you, Nay;

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

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

to minister according to the word of His command,

showing themselves unto them of strong faith and

a firm mind in every form of godliness.

Verse 31: And the office of their ministry is

to call men unto repentance, and

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

which He hath made unto the children of men,

to prepare the way among the children of men,

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

that they may bear testimony of Him.

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

Verse 32:  And by so doing,

the Lord God prepareth the way

that the residue of men may have faith in Christ,

that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts,

according to the power thereof; and

after this manner bringeth to pass the Father,

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

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

Verse 33:  And Christ hath said

If ye will have faith in me

ye shall have power

to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

Verse 34:  And He hath said

Repent all ye ends of the earth, and

come unto me, and

be baptized in my name, and

have faith in me,

that ye may be saved.

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 4: 3; 5: 2

Moroni 4

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

            in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this bread

            to the souls of all those who partake of it;

that they may eat in remembrance

            of the body of thy Son,

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

that they are willing

            to take upon them the name of Thy Son, and

            and always remember Him,

            and keep His commandments which He hath given them,

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

Amen.

            As we remember what the Savior did for us

in teaching true principles,

living them Himself,

showing us how to go Home to Heavenly Father, then

making it possible for us to return by

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

suffering incomprehensible pain, grief, and hurt so that

He can help us through our own suffering,

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

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

Moroni 5:

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

            In the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this wine

            to the souls of all those who drink of it,

that they may do it in remembrance

            of the blood of Thy Son,

            which was shed for them;

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

            that they do always remember Him,

            that they may have His Spirit to be with them.

Amen.

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

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

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

            I am a child of God

            and so are you.

            Let us help each other obey

            and learn to live the Gospel true.

           

            Lead me, guide me

            Walk beside me

            Help me find the way

            Teach me all that I must do

            To live with Him some day.

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

Dani

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

Moroni 1

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

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

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

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

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

Moroni 2

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

in might prayer;

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

Ye shall give the Holy Ghost;

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

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

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

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

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

Moroni 3

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

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

To preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 15: 3, 13, 19, 34

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani