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 9: 6, 18, 22, 25, 26

Verse 6:  And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

            Those who love the right have an obligation to stand for righteousness. To follow Jesus Christ is to do as He did in serving and helping other people. It is living and teaching His truths. It is easing others’ burdens and teaching correct principles so others can also know the path of happiness.

Verse 18:  O the depravity of my people! They are without order and without mercy. Behold, I am but a man, and I have but the strength of a man, and I cannot any longer enforce my commands.

            Order and mercy are God’s ways. Mormon laments for his people because they no longer listen to his words and commands as their leader. God gave mankind agency to choose. When people stop listening to God’s words, they loose the goodness that comes from God. When goodness is gone, wickedness is left. That is not a happy state of existence either personally or as a society.

Verse 22:  But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that He will spare thy life, to witness the return of His people unto Him, or their utter destruction; for I know that they must perish except they repent and return unto Him.

           Mormon’s words to his son, Moroni, sound comforted because of Moroni’s choices to follow Jesus Christ. Mormon’s faith expressed in prayer is that Moroni will continue doing God’s work. Mormon trusts that God will aid Moroni is his life.

Verse 25:  My son, be faithful in Christ; and

may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death;

but may Christ lift thee up, and

may His sufferings and death, and

the showing His body unto our fathers, and

His mercy and long-suffering, and

the hope

of His glory and of eternal life,

rest in your mind forever.

            Mormon gives counsel to Moroni that is helpful for all those who love the Lord. As we are faithful, despite our circumstances, Jesus Christ has the power to strengthen us, cheer us, and extend mercy, patience, and hope to us. In addition to the help that we receive on earth, Jesus Christ’s Atonement can give us eternal life and happiness.

            Mormon’s testimony of Jesus Christ gives me strength during my own challenges because it summarizes what Jesus Christ has suffered for us and how because of His suffering He can strengthen us. We can follow Jesus Christ in mercy, long-suffering, and hope. We can be patient in affliction and strengthen others in their trials. Jesus Christ lends us strength to do much more than we can do on our own.

Verse 26: And may the grace of God the Father, whose throne is high in the heavens, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who sitteth on the right hand of His power, until all things shall become subject unto Him, be, and abide with you forever. Amen.

            Mormon’s testimony to Moroni in this epistle expresses both hope and faith as a prayer for his son. Mormon’s faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Redeemer is felt. He trusts that his son will be all right because of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s grace and gifts and love.

            We can also feel Their protection in our lives as we seek to learn of and serve Them. May we choose to do so daily.

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: 1 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 12: 32 – 41

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 12: 19 – 21, 22 – 26, 27 – 28, 29 – 31, 32 – 34, 37, 38 – 41

Verse 19:  And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.

Verse 20: And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth His finger He could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared, because of His word which He had spoken unto him, which word he had obtained by faith.

Verse 21: And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore He showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil.

            Faith, acting on our belief of truth, allows God’s work to be done in our lives because we desire it and seek it.   Our individual faith must give great joy to God because it allows Him to bless us in delightful ways. It allows us to become one with Him in accomplishing good. It allows us to come closer to His thinking, His purpose, His motives, and His love.

            No wonder faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the Gospel. It is through our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ that all the other wonderful principles of Gospel truth enter into our lives. Since Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and The Life – our only way Home to Heavenly Father – faith in Him, His word, and His Atonement, enters us in the way that will allow us to receive all that Heavenly Father wants to give us.

            As I’ve acted upon my faith in Jesus Christ to obey His commandments, utilize His Atonement, and serve others, I’ve been blessed with the Spirit of God, with peace, with increased understanding, and greater love. My faith increases as I use it. I think faith has different avenues of growth in the different areas of our lives. Faith in spiritual things strengthens my spirit. Faith in physical principles strengthens my physical body. Faith in mental principles increases my mental capacities.

            Remember, faith is acting on one’s belief of true principles. There are many areas of faith for us to incorporate into our daily lives. Spiritual faith gives a foundation that helps all the other areas in which we need to utilize our faith.

Verse 22: And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.

Verse 23: And I said unto Him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord Thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but Thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for Thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which Thou hast given them;

Verse 24: And Thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as Thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.

Verse 25: Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.

Verse 26: And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

            These verses teach me several principles. First, all people have weaknesses even in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord’s words when spoken through His servants by the power of the Holy Ghost are powerful and great. I know for I have felt their power in my own life. People are foolish when they point out others’ weaknesses and excuse their own behavior because of the actions of others. Those who humbly seek to know the Lord’s words and will and to do it, will be generous and compassionate about the efforts of others. Lastly, the Lord is aware of our weaknesses and compensates for them in our honest efforts.

Verse 27: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Verse 28: Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto methe fountain of all righteousness.

            These verses have blessed my life since I first became aware of them. Our weaknesses are part of the Lord’s tool for helping us learn eternal principles. My weaknesses do make me humble. I have also learned that with the Lord’s help I can do what He asks even with mistakes I make. He has strengthened me in amazing ways during my life. He continues to do so.   His strength has given me power beyond my own. I know He lives and loves us because of His grace in my life.

            I have experienced my faith, hope, and charity bringing me to the Savior. I know HE is the fountain of all righteousness. His righteousness blesses my life as I seek Him. His tender mercies have increased my faith and my hope. I cannot even express how His charity has changed me both in how I think and feel and how I act. His power of salvation is real as we allow it to operate in our hearts and mind.

Verse 29: And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, Thy righteous will be done, for I know that Thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith;

Verse 30: For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore Thou workest after men have faith.

Verse 31: For thus didst Thou manifest thyself unto Thy disciples; for after they had faith, and did speak in Thy name, thou didst show Thyself unto them in great power.

            When I think of all that Moroni accomplished in his life on earth with God’s help, and what he accomplished in restoring his and his father’s record in the latter days, I’m amazed that he also had doubts in his own ability. He had need of comfort from the Lord. I’m grateful that he shared his thoughts and faith as well as the examples that strengthened him.

            His testimony of the Lord came from his experiences, his faith, and the scriptures. My testimony of the Lord has come from my experiences, my faith, the scriptures and words of the prophets. The pattern of faith is a principle that reaches across time and place to all individuals who will follow the pattern.

            According to our faith, we are able to participate in the Lord’s work. We are able to move the mountains in our lives to accomplish the Lord’s work. We don’t do it alone but with the Holy Ghost as our guide, we can go forward. We can accomplish our missions in the Lord’s work.

            May we each trust the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives and as we help in His work of serving and blessing others.

Dani

Ether 12: 2 – 4, 6 -11, 12 – 18

Verse 2: And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him.

Verse 3: For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled

Verse 4: Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

           The Spirit of the Lord leads us to speak righteously. It helps us speak the things of God. It helps us to testify of Him and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It helps us see our need for repentance and strengthens our faith.

            Belief in God, hope for His promises to be active in our lives now and in the future, comes from faith in His plan, His truth, and His word. Faith is acting on our belief that allows our focus to be on God and His work. His purpose anchors our souls to glorify God and do His works. I’m grateful for prophets who testify of the things of God. Their words have blessed my life from its beginning. They help me see and understand purpose in life and the Holy Spirit testifies to me of how to act upon their words.

Verse 6:  And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

Verse 7: For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after He had risen from the dead; and He showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in Him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in Him, for He showed Himself not unto the world.

Verse 8: But because of the faith of men He has shown Himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

Verse 9: Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

Verse 10: Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.

Verse 11: Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of His Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.

            Moroni’s definition and description of faith helps me understand the necessity of believing before I see. By hoping for the result I want and believing Jesus Christ’s words to His prophets, my faith helps me act obediently to the commandments and to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. My continued efforts to have faith, keep me hoping and believing. Then the miracles and tender mercies that come to me as a result, strengthen my faith and help me know that God is aware of me and His promises are true.

            Over the years, in the challenges of my life, I have chosen to hope and to believe in Jesus Christ and His words. I have acted in faith as best as I could and miracles and answers to my prayers have happened over and over. Sometimes these answers have been immediate, and some small, but sometimes they have taken years to come about. Many of these heavenly gifts have been big to me because they fulfilled the desires of my heart. No matter the length of time they take to come, I know that they will come according to Heavenly Father’s will.

            I have learned to trust His will above my own because His timing and gifts work better than my own limited understanding. Over and over I have seen this in my life. I continue to act with faith that current challenges will be worked out through His will and timing. I wait upon the Lord and seek to do my best. I make mistakes, but He patiently teaches me through the Holy Ghost. I’m grateful for the examples of faith that Moroni gives because these add to my own understanding and experiences.

Verse 12:  For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, He showed not Himself until after their faith.

Verse 13: Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.

Verse 14: Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Verse 15: Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.

Verse 16: Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.

Verse 17: And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.

Verse 18: And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.

            These reminders of what faith can do for individuals helps me realize that faith is something to be chosen and the choice makes a difference. Faith makes a difference for me and for those around me. The individuals whose faith Moroni cites were ordinary people who choose to have faith in Jesus Christ. Their choices of faith created miracles. I believe our choices of faith in Jesus Christ can also create miracles. In fact, I know they do, for I have seen it myself.

            Let us choose faith in Jesus Christ and let His work be done in our lives and the lives of people around us, especially our families. The world will be better as we do so. Our world will be better as we choose faith in Jesus Christ.

Dani