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 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 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: 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

Mormon 8: 1, 5, 12, 14 – 15, 22, 33 – 40

Verse 1: Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father.

Verse 5: Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.

            Moroni is writing to finish what his father asked him to do. Then he writes about his state of being without kinsfolk and friends because they have all been killed. He is alone and doesn’t know what is going to happen to him. In this condition he is completing what his father, the prophet, asked of him.

            How many of us focus on doing what the prophet has asked of us when we are in trouble and having trials? Do we have the faith, like Moroni, when life is tough to obey God’s commandments given through His prophets?

Verse 12: And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.

            Moroni identifies that he knows more than is contained in the record but that it is not possible for him to share it all with us. He promises that if we will treasure the record made that we will know of even greater things. That is a promise I want to receive. I want to treasure the Book of Mormon so much that at some point I’ll receive the greater things that the Lord has for those who utilize the truths He has given.

Verse 14:  And I am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord; the plates thereof are of no worth, because of the commandment of the Lord. For He truly saith that no one shall have them to get gain; but the record thereof is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless.

Verse 15: For none can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to His glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

            By the time Moroni writes this verse, he knows that he’ll finish the record as the Lord has commanded. He has confidence that the plates will be kept safe and will be brought forth to us for our benefit. He testifies that only God’s power will bring the record to us. The purpose of the record is for God’s glory and the keeping of His promises to His ancient covenant people. Moroni has strength and confidence in his writing at this point. He is doing God’s will and knows it.

Verse 22: For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all His promises shall be fulfilled.

            Let us seek the eternal purposes of God so that we can receive His promises and be part of his work. We can trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises.

Verse 33: O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.

Verse 34: Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.

Verse 35: Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.

Verse 36: And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yea, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts.

Verse 37: For behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.

Verse 38: O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

Verse 39: Why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life, and yet suffer the hungry, and the needy, and the naked, and the sick and the afflicted to pass by you, and notice them not?

Verse 40: Yea, why do ye build up your secret abominations to get gain, and cause that widows should mourn before the Lord, and also orphans to mourn before the Lord, and also the blood of their fathers and their husbands to cry unto the Lord from the ground, for vengeance upon your heads?

          Moroni speaks his heart as he writes his final words to the descendants of his people who live in our day. His words are a help to all of us today to understand where danger lies in walking in pride, loving money more than people, focusing on those things which have no worth while ignoring the things of God which have eternal benefit.

            He reminds us that in the revelations God gave to His prophets are God’s words which will all be fulfilled. It is Jesus Christ who is the hope for our day as in all generations since the beginning of time. He is the only One who can save us. He is the only Truth, Way, and Life who can give us Eternal Life. Let us come unto Him and be saved.

            Moroni testifies of Jesus Christ and our hope for salvation. Will we listen? Will we seek Jesus and come unto Him so that He will be able to receive us when He comes again in His glory?

            It is my prayer that we will do so.

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 26: 12 – 14, 15, 16, 17 – 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

 

3 Nephi 25: 1, 2, 5, 6

Verse 1:  For behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

            When the Lord comes again to the earth in His glory, those who were too proud to change from their wicked ways will be burned with the dross of the earth. I’ve always liked the promise of paying tithing which will keep one from burning. When we have enough faith and humility to give the Lord His tenth, it is enough to keep us from being destroyed when He comes. Of course, we will be a whole lot more welcoming to Him if we have learned to love and obey His ways in all things.

Verse 2: But unto you that fear my name, shall the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall.

          Those who love the Lord and respect Him will be healed by Him and able to follow Him wherever He leads. My dad was a cowboy. I’ve seen him herd and direct a lot of cattle. Calves go into a stall easiest when they have been trained to and when the passage way fits their size so that there isn’t a lot of room for turning. When we live the Gospel, we learn to fit into it and it becomes comfortable to us. How much easier it is for the Lord to work with us when we are willing to work within His guidelines and commandments.

Verse 5: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;

Verse 6: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

            A joyful way to appreciate and fit into the Lord’s ways is through the Spirit of Elijah as we turn our hearts to our ancestors. I have found that by learning about their lives and choices, I have more appreciation for my own life and challenges. I have learned to love and appreciate their choices which have blessed mine. They dealt with hard things so that I don’t have so many hard things to deal with. Life is so much better for me because they chose the best they could.

            My love for my ancestors has grown as I have become more acquainted with their families, their circumstances, and their losses. So many people died during their lives. I’m grateful that disease and illness is much less common in my life. Loss before someone is old hurts. It is hard. Many people died in families of disease and sometimes accident and wars. I’m grateful that death comes less often in my day than in it did in theirs.

            Appreciating my ancestors helps me be mindful of what I can do to honor their memory and to share the story of their lives with others.

            May each of us evaluate the path we walk in our daily lives. May we seek His path and His blessings in our lives now so that we are comfortable to continue it in the next with our extended families.

Dani