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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

come unto Christ, and

lay hold upon every good gift, and 

touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

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

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

strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever,

that thou mayest no more be confounded,

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

may be fulfilled.

Verse 32:  Yea, come unto Christ, and

be perfected in Him, and 

deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and

if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and 

love God with all your might, mind and strength,

then is His grace sufficient for you,

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

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

ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Verse 33: And again,

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

deny not His power,

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

through the shedding of the blood of Christ,

which is in the covenant of the Father

unto the remission of your sins,

that ye become holy,

without spot.

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

I soon go to rest in the paradise of God,

until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and

I am brought forth triumphant through the air,

to meet you

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

of both quick and dead.  Amen.

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 5: 4 – 6; 6: 9, 12, 17 – 18, 30

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 6:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Mormon 9: 21 – 25, 26 – 28

Verse 21: Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Verse 22:  For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto His disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all His disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;

Verse 23: And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned;

Verse 24: And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

Verse 25: And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

            What marvelous promises are these for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Those who ask the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, doubting nothing, shall have it granted to him. Have you taken advantage of this promise? Have you received through your faith in Jesus Christ what you have asked of Heavenly Father in His name?

            I have had answers to my prayers, both large and small. I know God hears and cares about what matters to us. He has heard my pleas and given me so many things for which I have sought. I haven’t received everything that I have wanted, but I have received a majority of my requests. Sometimes the answers have come almost immediately; some answers have come within a week or a month. Some answers have come after years of prayers. Each has been a miracle to me. I have recognized God’s hand in the answer received. In His wisdom, He has given the answer that was best for me.

            These many experiences with prayer to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ have become a solid foundation to my faith in Jesus Christ and my testimony of God’s love and goodness. I know that God cares about each of us. I know that as we seek, we will find. I know that we can trust in His timing. I know that we can get through hard experiences with increased understanding and improvement by seeking God’s help.

            We change and grow through our sincere prayers to Heavenly Father. Our souls expand, our understanding increases, we learn to trust Him through our experiences of prayer in the name of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

            His words have been confirmed in my soul through my life’s experiences. He lives. He loves us. He wants us to come unto Him.

Verse 26: And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny His sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.

Verse 27:  O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before Him.

Verse 28: Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

         Moroni identifies that those who fight against and despise the Lord’s work will perish unless they change, or repent. The simple act of sincere prayer and desire to believe will help people begin to come unto the Lord. The way is laid out in the scriptures. Humble study of the scriptures will lead to the Lord. This will aid in understanding how to serve God. Following this path helps one learn that God is true and He does live.

            I have utilized this proccess in my life, and I know it works. Simple humble prayer and honest sincere study of the scriptures has helped me know what to say and how to act in God’s way. The changes these daily activities have brought about in my heart and mind have brought me closer to God. Continued seeking over decades has brought me many answers to prayers, tender mercies of the Lord, and knowledge of His goodness. I know God lives and loves us because I have followed His plan and it has brought me closer to Him. I’m not perfect but I have become more worthy than I was.

            We can each change if we come unto Jesus Christ with broken hearts and contrite spirits. He will make more of us than we can make of ourselves. I know this is true.

Dani

Mormon 9: 2—9, 11-14, 16-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

3 Nephi 28: 9 – 10, 11, 18, 23, 33, 34 – 35

Verse 9:  And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world; and all this will I do because of the thing which ye have desired of me, for ye have desired that ye might bring the souls of men unto me, while the world shall stand.

Verse 10:  And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;

            This promise to the Nephite disciples to whom Jesus was speaking teaches me not only what is important for my focus and motive but the joy to be had forever by helping other people understand Heavenly Father’s plan for our happiness.

            To desire to bring souls unto Christ and to have this as our motive and where we put our thoughts and efforts will allow us to share the joy of God with those who love Him.

            There are so many ways we can help people know Jesus Christ better. We can treat them with love and kindness as He taught us to. We can serve unselfishly. We can use forgiveness, repentance, compassion, love, respect, faith, prayer, love, work, and wholesome recreation activities to build and strengthen relationships with others. We can be honest and true and caring with others. We can testify of Him and how living His Gospel blesses us.

Verse 11: And the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and the Father giveth the Holy Ghost unto the children of men, because of me.

            Each person can come to know him or herself of Heavenly Father’s love because the Holy Ghost will bear record to those who seek this marvelous truth. Every person is valued by God because we are each one His spirit child. Every person is valued by Jesus Christ because He suffered the pains of every person out of His love for us and so He can heal us and help us through mortality.

            Oh, to seek to know for oneself is a wondrous journey that brings great joy. It has for me. I know Heavenly Father loves each of us for He has taught me so. So many tender mercies have shown me the love and care Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for me. I know They love each person. You can know that yourself if you will seek.

Verse 18: But this much I know, according to the record which hath been given—they did go forth upon the face of the land, and did minister unto all the people, uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost.

            The servants of God seek to help each person return to live with God by teaching them His truth and helping them understand how to live it through selfless sacrifice. God’s servants are people who love Him and learn to seek to do His Will His Way. Their motivation is their love for God and their love for His children. Missionaries are examples of selfless servants who spend their time helping others. Leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ also give huge amounts of time to help Church members. Not one person is perfect but they seek to do the best they can where they are and as they grow.

            My life has been blessed through the service others have given me. I appreciate the time they have taken, without pay, to listen to me and strengthen my journey Home to Heavenly Father. I have been grateful for my opportunity to serve others in the Church for I have gained deeper understanding, appreciation, and love for individuals. Service ties our hearts together. Unity has increased, relationships strengthened, and the will of God accomplished through selfless service.

Verse 23: And it came to pass that thus they did go forth among all the people of Nephi, and did preach the gospel of Christ unto all people upon the face of the land; and they were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the church of Christ, and thus the people of that generation were blessed, according to the word of Jesus.

            The gospel of Christ has the healing power to solve each person’s, country’s, and society’s problems. No matter the challenges faced, learning to understand and live Christ’s gospel brings peace, love, and joy to individuals and communities. Of course it takes effort, self-discipline, and cooperation. We begin with ourselves and we reach out to those within our circle of influence especially our families, our neighbors, and our own communities.

            As we look at our how we can live our lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and pray to Heaven for help, God’s answers will come. We learn and understand how to be more kind, honest, forgiving, compassionate, loving, obedient, etc. We change. Others change. It is a beautiful cycle, simple, but requiring us to be willing give up our sins and weaknesses for the benefit of others as well as ourselves. It works, for I have seen it in my own life and the lives of others. It is a wondrous blessing.

Verse 33: And if ye had all the scriptures which give an account of all the marvelous works of Christ, ye would, according to the words of Christ, know that these things must surely come.

            We have many scriptures but we do not yet have them all. The promise is that those who treasure what they have will receive more. God has spoken to His prophets throughout time. Their records of His words are scripture. Scriptures bless us as we seek to understand and live the principles of truth that they contain. They help us hear God’s voice.

            I look forward to learning of all the marvelous works of Christ as given in all the scriptures written throughout earth’s time. Perhaps that time will be when Jesus Christ comes again to reign upon the earth for one thousand years of peace.

Verse 34: And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom He hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom He hath sent receiveth not Him; and therefore He will not receive them at the last day;

Verse 35: And it would be better for them if they had not been born. For do ye suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an offended God, who hath been trampled under feet of men, that thereby salvation might come?

            The only way Home to God is through Jesus Christ. Receiving Him through His word and through His servants is the pathway Home. Those who refuse this journey will not be received by Him who loves them most. He will not force His will upon anyone.

            Let us listen to and remember God’s words and rejoice and be glad.

Dani

3 Nephi 27: 28 – 29, 30 – 31, 32 – 33

Verse 28: And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.

Verse 29: Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

            Sometimes being humble enough to ask for the right things is harder than the asking and knocking. I have found it helpful to ask to want the right things and the right outcome as well as to be the right person and the right influence. So many things get in the way of willingly giving our heart to God. I have found that it begins with desire. What I truly, sincerely desire motivates me.

            Sometimes I need to evaluate what my desires are because the emotions surfacing in my heart are camouflaging them. It is a wrestle to identify where I am and where my desires are. But seeking the Lord’s help and understanding after days of struggling brings clarity and peace. It brings the knowledge of what to do and how to do it His way. It brings joy. It opens my mind and heart to understanding of what to do and how to do it.

Verse 30: And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fullness, because of you, and also this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost.

Verse 31: Behold, I would that ye should understand; for I mean them who are now alive of this generation; and none of them are lost; and in them I have fulness of joy.

            I would that I could so act that the Savior, Heavenly Father, and all the holy angels rejoice because of my choices. Then I would know that I truly am an instrument in God’s hand in doing His will. The controversy and contention that exists in the world makes it harder to find the joy and peace of the Savior: road rage, mud slinging, jockeying for first, etc. overcrowd “Do unto others as you would be done by,” “love your enemy,” “pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you,” etc. Each individual chooses which way to live his or her life. How we treat one another shows our discipleship. We are the ones who choose our own words and actions. These show what is in our heart and mind.

            Do we participate in seeking those who are lost? Do we have fullness of joy in our relationships with family, friends, and strangers? It isn’t an easy perspective or attitude to develop and live by. It is possible when we desire the things of God and seek them day by day. Oh, the difference between peace and adversity. I prefer the peace.

Verse 32: But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

Verse 33: And it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings He said unto His disciples: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein no man can work.

            We can let ourselves be led away captive by satan, the adversary of mankind. We can sell ourselves for those things that are of this earth by letting them be our focus, our motive, and our pursuits. Or, we can choose to enter the strait gate of Christlike behavior, building wholesome eternal relationships, enlarging our spiritual knowledge, and giving temporal service that leads us Home to Heavenly Father. We choose each day, and our words and actions show our choices.

            Sometimes, this choice for me has been a battle. Sometimes it still is. But my effort will continue to be to give my heart and my will to God. To seek to be an instrument in His hands to help and bless those around me, especially my family. I have much selfishness of the “natural man” to overcome. I’m seeing progress. I’m letting the Spirit of God change me. I love the peace that comes to my heart and mind when I submit to God’s will in my actions, my words, my heart, and my soul.

            May each seek to let our Savior be the guide for our daily choices. I know that as we do so, we will receive His peace in our hearts. He can calm the seas and He can calm us.

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

3 Nephi 20: 1, 2 – 5, 6 – 9, 10 – 14

Verse 1: And it came to pass that He commanded the multitude that they should cease to pray, and also His disciples. And He commanded them that they should not cease to pray in their hearts.

            Even though we aren’t actively focused on prayer, Jesus teaches us that we should be aware of and have the attitude of prayer in our hearts. To me this means that we should reach to heaven during our days. If we are joyful, give thanks to Heavenly Father. If we are struggling, plead for His help. If we are perplexed, ask for inspiration.

            As we go through our days, let Heavenly Father be our first place to turn. He will not force His will upon us but He will be right there for us when we ask. This is what I believe that Jesus Christ is teaching about prayer in our hearts. What other understanding of this commandment is there?

Verse 2: And He commanded them that they should arise and stand up upon their feet. And they arose up and stood upon their feet.

Verse 3: And it came to pass that He brake bread again and blessed it, and gave to the disciples to eat.

Verse 4: And when they had eaten He commanded them that they should break bread, and give unto the multitude.

Verse 5: And when they had given unto the multitude He also gave them wine to drink, and commanded them that they should give unto the multitude.

            After their prayer, He gave them the sacrament which is that special remembrance of His sacrifice given through tokens of bread and drink. He gave it to His disciples and instructed them to give it to the congregation. He was teaching by example how to serve. He lets people be His hands, or do His work, upon the earth for their growth. I think it is because of what we learn as we serve others and as others serve us.

            Bonds of understanding and love are constructed as we interact with one another in this capacity of giving and receiving help and assistance. Jesus is our perfect example of that. No one love us as He does because of His service to us. We learn to love others as He loves as we serve as His hands.

Verse 6: Now, there had been no bread, neither wine, brought by the disciples, neither by the multitude;

Verse 7: But He truly gave unto them bread to eat, and also wine to drink.

Verse 8: And He said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.

Verse 9: Now, when the multitude had all eaten and drunk, behold, they were filled with the Spirit; and they did cry out with one voice, and gave glory to Jesus, whom they both saw and heard.

            The Sacrament is sacred because of what it represents. By partaking of the bread and drink, we are remembering what He gave for us. He took upon Himself each of our sins, hurts, weaknesses, and sickness so that He understands personally how we feel. He will help us overcome our challenges and/or help us bear them because He understands them personally. He has the power, because of His sacrifice, to help us and to teach us through the process.

            We learn eternal principles as we allow Him to be our guide in difficulty. When we utilize His sacrifice as represented by the bread and drink, our spiritual selves are fed. We worship and honor Him through this process.

Verse 10: And it came to pass that when they had all given glory unto Jesus, He said unto them: Behold now I finish the commandment which the Father hath commanded me concerning this people, who are a remnant of the house of Israel.

Verse 11: Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled—behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them—

Verse 12: And verily, verily, I say unto you, that when they shall be fulfilled then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto His people, O house of Israel.

Verse 13: And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them.

           The Old Testament scriptures teach us the words of the ancient prophets. Many of these ancient prophets saw our day and prophesied concerning it. Isaiah’s words concerning the last days will be fulfilled. A major portion of what happens in these last days has to do with God’s fulfilling His covenants with the descendants of Israel. They will be gathered in to the Lord’s kingdom. They will recognize their Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Our opportunity as well as our challenge is to seek, hear, and obey the commands of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. Heavenly Father has things for each of us to do upon the earth. When we keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, we learn to hear the voice of God and we begin to understand how to be part of His work upon the earth.

            May we each seek open our hearts and minds to hear and obey.

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani