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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 9: 6, 18, 22, 25, 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but may Christ lift thee up, and

may His sufferings and death, and

the showing His body unto our fathers, and

His mercy and long-suffering, and

the hope

of His glory and of eternal life,

rest in your mind forever.

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and

baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and

the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

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

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

which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love,

which love endureth by diligence unto prayer,

until the end shall come,

when all the saints shall dwell with God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

 

Moroni 7: 1 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

Moroni 1

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

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

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

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

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

Moroni 2

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

in might prayer;

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

Ye shall give the Holy Ghost;

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

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

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

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

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

Moroni 3

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

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

To preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 3: 2, 4 – 5, 12 – 14, 15 – 16, 19 – 20, 25

Verse 2: O Lord, thou hast said that we must be encompassed about by the floods. Now behold, O Lord, and do not be angry with thy servant because of his weakness before thee; for we know that thou art holy and dwellest in the heavens, and that we are unworthy before thee; because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires.

Verse 4:  And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.

Verse 5: Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.

           In this prayer, Jared’s brother identifies his faith in the Lord and His abilities. He is seeking to obey the Lord’s commandments in spite of his weaknesses. He recognizes his responsibility to do the best he can in obeying the commandments while trusting the Lord’s power and purpose.

            This faithful prayer helps strengthen my faith in the Lord and His purposes. I’ve also sought to rely upon the Lord in my challenges and seen His power in my behalf despite my own weaknesses. My very specific prayer requests have often been answered to the detail within a short period of time. As I reflect upon them, I am humbled and grateful that the Lord cares about me in such a personal way.

            I know that He cares about every person. He desires to bless us. When we show our faith in Him, we enable Him to bless us. Let us be faithful unto the Lord and willing to receive His blessings.

Verse 12: And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.

Verse 13: And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.

Verse 14: Behold, I am He who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.

            Belief brings miracles into our lives. Believing the words of God enough to follow them, allows us to be redeemed from the fall of Adam. Adam fell from God’s presence. Being redeemed from that falls means being back in God’s presence. Jesus Christ was prepared from the premortal life to redeem those who will believe on His name. In His role as a spiritual father to us and in his role as an obedient Son to Heavenly Father, He invites us to follow Him Home to Heavenly Father by being one with Them.

            Learning to be one with God is the process of a lifetime and brings the greatest joy man can experience. Freely giving up our own wills to choose Their way is the sacrifice that will allow us to live in Their presence forever after this life is over. It also allows us to have the Holy Ghost’s continual presence and guidance in our lives.

            We become sons and daughters of Jesus Christ by choice through our obedience in choosing His Way. As His disciples, we follow His path Home to Heavenly Father. These choices brings miracles to our lives.

Verse 15: And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.

Verse 16: Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.

            Mankind is created after the image of God. One of our challenges in life is to use our physical bodies as God intended us to use them to do His work. Our spirits which make our bodies alive are in the image of our bodies. Death is the separation of body from spirit. Resurrection is the eternal reuniting of body and spirit to live forever.

            The choices we make in this life determine the kingdom level we will live in during the next life. We will live where we are most comfortable. If we are comfortable because we chose God’s ways on earth, we will be comfortable living in His presence and will be worthy to do so.

            This plan of happiness is so clear and simple. It isn’t necessarily easy to do because of the distractions that get in our way. We do have the power to choose. We can repent when our choices aren’t obedience. Sincere repentance will bring the required changes to our hearts and actions. It is a process of learning to love righteousness and choosing to live it.

Verse 19:  And because of the knowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the veil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had faith no longer, for he knew, nothing doubting.

Verse 20: Wherefore, having this perfect knowledge of God, he could not be kept from within the veil; therefore he saw Jesus; and He did minister unto him.

            I appreciate Moroni’s comments about Jared’s brother’s experience with the premortal Savior. It feels like Moroni had understanding of knowing what it felt like to have seen the Savior, as if he knew also. What a wonderful state to have a perfect knowledge of God.

            Life’s journey can lead us that way if we choose it to. We can know Him better by our own choice to follow His ways. We can walk the path that leads to Heavenly Father and through our experiences on the way, we can know Him through Jesus Christ His Only Begotten Son.

Verse 25: And when the Lord had said these words, he showed unto the brother of Jared all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be; and He withheld them not from his sight, even unto the ends of the earth.

           Jared’s brother had the experience of seeing all the people who would live on the earth. He saw us and our time. He saw his ancestors and descendants and their choices. He saw the ends of the earth. It is comforting to me to know that God knows the end and the beginning. There is a plan in place to which we contribute.      

            God is an influence in our lives to help us complete the missions He has given to us in His plan. He knows each of us. Imagine the billions of people who have inhabited this planet. He knows each one. He loves each one. He wants us to return Home to Him. This earth life is a school for us and we choose our grade.

            We choose by our daily choices the degree which we will obtain. Our course work is individual. Our subject experiences are service, relationships, and obedience. Our influence is great in our individual sphere and has eternal impact.

            May we each choose to follow Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, Home to our Heavenly Father who loves us and wants us to come to Him.

Dani

Ether 2: 11 – 12, 14, 15

Verse 4:  And it came to pass that when they had come down into the valley of Nimrod the Lord came down and talked with the brother of Jared; and He was in a cloud, and the brother of Jared saw Him not.

Verse 5:  And it came to pass that the Lord commanded them that they should go forth into the wilderness, yea, into that quarter where there never had man been. And it came to pass that the Lord did go before them, and did talk with them as He stood in a cloud, and gave directions whither they should travel.

            The time period of the book of Ether was the Tower of Babel from the Bible. It is about one group who asked God not to confound the language of family and friends and the Lord’s dealings with them.

            We live in difficult times. I have experienced answers to my prayers when I have turned to the Lord in my struggles and difficulties and asked for His help. I know that the Lord will help us to do His will when we ask of Him and have faith to do what He tells us. Like the brother of Jared, we can talk with the Lord even though we do not see Him.

Verse 7:  And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but He would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people.

Verse 8:  And He had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve Him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of His wrath should come upon them.

Verse 9: And now, we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of His wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of His wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity.

Verse 10: For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth possess it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is the everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.

Verse 11: And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done.

Verse 12: Behold, this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written.

            These verses tell us that this land of America has a specific role. It was a land reserved for those who believed and served God. Lehi’s family, the Mulekites, the Jaredites, the Pilgrims, and groups from other countries have been allowed to come here to serve God in freedom. The Lord’s promise to those on this land is that as long as they serve Him, they will be free. If they turn from Him, when they are ripe in iniquity, they will lose that blessing.

            How simple a requirement to remain free from bondage, captivity, and from all other nations. Why does society not choose this freedom which comes from serving Jesus Christ. His arms are outstretched to each of us, to come unto Him and be saved. Salvation includes freedom in this life as well as eternal life in the next.

Verse 14: And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him. And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.

Verse 15:  And the brother of Jared repented of the evil which he had done, and did call upon the name of the Lord for his brethren who were with him. And the Lord said unto him: I will forgive thee and thy brethren of their sins; but thou shalt not sin any more, for ye shall remember that my Spirit will not always strive with man; wherefore, if ye will sin until ye are fully ripe ye shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And these are my thoughts upon the land which I shall give you for your inheritance; for it shall be a land choice above all other lands.

           This verse helps me understand many principles. I like the example of the way the Lord disciplines. After the great blessings He had given to Jared’s family through Jared’s brother’s prayers, Jared’s brother didn’t pray for four years. Prayer is talking with the Lord. It is a commandment to bring the Lord daily into our thoughts and lives. For four years, the brother of Jared didn’t take time for the Lord. When the Lord appeared to the brother of Jared after that time, He chastened him for not “remembering” to call upon Him.

            Prayer helps us remember the goodness of God in our lives. It helps us focus on His commandments so we can live His way. Repenting, or changing, of this evil, the brother of Jared prayed for his brethren. The Lord was merciful and forgave them with the reminder that to keep His Spirit with them, they needed to not sin and to worship the Lord and keep His commandments. This loving chastising from the Lord was teaching not punishment. We can teach others, especially children, the ways of the Lord, with love. That is His way.

Verse 25:  And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come. Therefore what will ye that I should prepare for you that ye may have light when ye are swallowed up in the depths of the sea?

            The Lord had a plan that included a great undertaking for the people of Jared. It required their obedience, their faithfulness, and their prayers both in preparation and the almost year time it would take to accomplish it. He helped them with the preparation and asked them for ideas in meeting the needs they would have. This teaches us the ways the Lord helps us in our trials and challenges. Some things He just gives as a result of our prayers. Some things He wants us to think about how to solve and ask for His confirmation and help in accomplishing.  

            I’m grateful for these verses on learning how to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ. I’m grateful for the truth that teaches me to trust Him. It brings peace to my life. It helps me trust Him when I don’t know the outcome of a situation.

            The Book of Mormon prophets bless my life every day because they took the time to keep records of their interactions with God. Our daily journals will also bless our descendants.

            Let us obey the commandments and look to the future God has for us and our families.

Dani

Mormon 9: 29, 30 – 37

Verse 29: See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily; but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out.

            As we partake of the tokens of faith and covenant, in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, we need to do with real intent, desire, and clean hands and heart. Worthy – honestly trying the best we can to honor and follow Jesus Christ. He has already suffered for us, taking upon Himself our sins, mistakes, weaknesses, hurt, pain, etc. To mock that loving sacrifice, mocks our Savior and Redeemer’s gift and love and casts us out from its saving influence.

Verse 30: Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words.

Verse 34: But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore He hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.

Verse 35: And these things are written that we may rid our garments of the blood of our brethren, who have dwindled in unbelief.

Verse 36: And behold, these things which we have desired concerning our brethren, yea, even their restoration to the knowledge of Christ, are according to the prayers of all the saints who have dwelt in the land.

Verse 37: And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which He hath made with the house of Israel; and may He bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

           These final words of Moroni identify that he knew he was writing for future readers who would speak a different language than he was writing. Moroni knew that descendants of the Lamanites would be readers of the record because of those who had prayed for them to have these truths. Moroni’s prayer was that the faithful prayers would be answered and the covenant people of the Lord would be remembered through their faith on Jesus Christ.

            Moroni had seen the destruction of his people because they rejected Jesus Christ and His servants. Moroni desired the words of his father’s record to bring people to a remembrance of Jesus Christ, His commandments, and His covenant with Israel. He wanted people to be saved by believing in Jesus Christ, repenting of their sins, valuing their covenants with God: Something his own people had not done.

            Surely, hope as well as despair filled his heart in his circumstances. He was alone of his race, persecuted by his enemies, unsure how the end of his years would play out. But still he testified of Jesus Christ as the hope of Israel, the place of peace, and wanting the record he was finishing to make a difference for future generations.

            Does Moroni’s writings make a difference to us? Do they change our understanding of how to live righteously? Do they give us strength to do what we know is right? They have changed my life. They have given me purpose and knowledge and sureness in following Jesus Christ. They give me hope in doing better and faith for our future as we prepare for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth in our day.

            I’m grateful for Moroni’s efforts and sacrifice. They bless my life. Will you let them bless yours?

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