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 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 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

Ether 12: 32 – 41

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 12: 2 – 4, 6 -11, 12 – 18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

Mormon 6: 6, 17, 21; 7: 3, 5 – 7, 8 – 9, 10

Verse 6: And it came to pass that when we had gathered in all our people in one to the land of Cumorah, behold I, Mormon, began to be old; and knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni.

       The older I get the more I relate to Mormon’s description of beginning to be old. Getting old is a process with a beginning. As he sees his physical capacities declining, he thinks of the records which he has had charge of during most of his life. He prepared his abridgement and gave it to his son. With the destruction of his people in his declining years, his son’s faithfulness must have brought great comfort to Mormon.

Verse 17: O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!

         Mormon’s anguish for the people he had loved and served all of his life can be felt in his exclamation. How can someone who has felt God’s love reject our Savior who loves them and invites them to come to Him for comfort, healing, safety, peace, and spiritual protection? Yet, even in our day, so many people reject the One who would help them to get Home to Heavenly Father.

Verse 21: And the day soon cometh that your mortal must put on immortality, and these bodies which are now moldering in corruption must soon become incorruptible bodies; and then ye must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, to be judged according to your works; and if it so be that ye are righteous, then are ye blessed with your fathers who have gone before you.

         Mormon reminds us that we will all die and all be resurrected. He reminds us that we will stand before Christ to be judged. Those who chose righteous works and the Savior’s Atonement will be blessed. The righteous will be united with their ancestors who also chose the Savior’s way. Oh, please come to the Savior. Learn of Him; take His yoke upon you; let Him be your Redeemer.

Chapter 7

Verse 3:  Know ye that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved.

Verse 5:  Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers, and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, and that He was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father He hath risen again, whereby He hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in Him is the sting of death swallowed up.

Verse 6: And He bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead, whereby man must be raised to stand before His judgment-seat.

Verse 7: And He hath brought to pass the redemption of the world, whereby He that is found guiltless before Him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to dwell in the presence of God in His kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.

            Mormon outlines here in a simple way what our responsibility is and what Jesus Christ has done for us so that we can fulfill our responsibility. We must repent. We must come to an understanding of the past, and of the things which need to be changed in our lives, giving up sins and iniquities, even those that were passed down in our families, and believe in who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us to give us resurrection and repentance.

            Because He knows us intimately and has experienced our pains and hurts Jesus Christ is qualified to judge us. He took upon Himself our iniquities so He can help us overcome them. He loves us. It is our responsibility to learn that for ourselves. It is our privilege to love Him.

Verse 8: Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you.

Verse 9:  For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe that; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them.

            Mormon clearly outlines what we can do to follow Jesus Christ. We can have faith in Him, repent, be baptized, live His gospel, and study God’s words in the Bible and the Book of Mormon so that we can know of the power of God for ourselves.

Verse 10:  And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant; and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which He hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.

            If we will believe in Jesus Christ, and choose to be baptized, follow the example of Jesus Christ, and obey His commandments, it will be well with us in the day of judgment. Simple, straight forward tasks each of us can do and work at to the best of our ability.

            Let us heed Mormon’s pleadings so that all can be eternally well for us and our families.

Dani

3 Nephi 26: 1, 2 – 7, 8, 9

Verse 1: And now it came to pass that when Jesus had told these things He expounded them unto the multitude; and He did expound all things unto them, both great and small.

Verse 2: And He saith: These scriptures, which ye had not with you, the Father commanded that I should give unto you; for it was wisdom in Him that they should be given unto future generations.

Verse 3: And He did expound all things, even from the beginning until the time that He should come in His glory—yea, even all things which should come upon the face of the earth, even until the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the earth should be wrapt together as a scroll, and the heavens and the earth should pass away;

Verse 4: And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

Verse 5: If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began.

Verse 6: And now there cannot be written in this book even a hundredth part of the things which Jesus did truly teach unto the people;

Verse 7: But behold the plates of Nephi do contain the more part of the things which he taught the people.

            I like to imagine what it would be like to have Jesus Christ expound the scriptures. To have the full meaning of the words and the intent of Heavenly Father’s purposes explained by He who gives them to the prophets would be a satisfying, soul-enriching experience to me. Truly then, full understanding would be possible and my perspective would rise as high as an eternal perspective could be.

            I’m grateful for the scriptures which teach us God’s words and which increase my understanding of His ways and His plan. I’m grateful for the words of prophets and scholars who love the scriptures and teach their understanding and meaning. I’m very grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost which testifies of truth to my soul and helps me understand the truths of God which are beyond my current level of understanding. This has helped me grow in knowledge and testimony.

            I have been taught of the Lord during my life which understanding has given me increased perspective and knowledge. It has enlarged my mind and my grasp of the truths of God. I do hope sometime to be able to sit at the feet of Jesus Christ and hear His expounding of all truths given to mankind. But I think that even then I won’t know more than I know now that His words are true. The power of the Holy Ghost has testified to my soul of the truth of the words of the prophets. They have guided my life and I have tried them. I know that they are God’s words.

            I look forward to receiving the full library of what God has spoken. I can’t imagine more joy than spending time studying His words given over time to His prophets through the ages. This would be pure delight to my soul.        

Verse 8: And these things have I written, which are a lesser part of the things which He taught the people; and I have written them to the intent that they may be brought again unto this people, from the Gentiles, according to the words which Jesus hath spoken.

Verse 9: And when they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.

            This seems like the pattern of Moses and the Ten Commandments. The Lord gave Moses the higher law of the Gospel when he first went upon the mountain. While he was talking to the Lord, the children of Israel were building a golden calf which represented their turning away from the Lord. Moses then received the lesser law, or the Ten Commandments, which focused more on actions to try the people’s faith to see whether they would accept and live the lessor law first. Mormon’s writings were of the lesser part of the things Jesus taught the people of Ancient America to see if in our day we would accept and live them. For those who do, the promise is of greater things to come.

            The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. Our study and acceptance (shown by how we live) of these Gospel principles prepares us to receive the greater things Jesus taught. The ways in which Book of Mormon study has changed my life makes me eager to receive the greater things of God. My faith in Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon has increased through my study of the Book of Mormon. How wonderful it will be to have the greater teachings of Jesus Christ to increase my knowledge of and faith in Him.

            May we each seek to learn of Jesus Christ, obey His words, and receive the blessings the Father will give the faithful.

Dani

 

3 Nephi 11: 13 – 17, 18 – 22, 23 – 28

 

Verse 13: And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:

Verse 14: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

Verse 15: And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into His side, and did feel the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was He, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

Verse 16: And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:

Verse 17: Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship Him.

            Jesus asks us to have individual interaction with His words, commandments, Gospel, truth, and Spirit so that we might know Him and be able to testify of Him. Do we know that He is the Savior of the world because He has saved us from our sins and weaknesses. Can we testify of His love because He has healed our hurt? He has invited us to come unto Him. Do we accept His invitation every day? Are we able to worship Him with Hosannas because we know for ourselves of His divinity? I do.

            I know that Jesus Christ is real because of the spiritual witness given me as I’ve sought to learn and live His teachings. I know He lives because of personal seeking and resulting interactions wit Him for over fifty years. In both quiet moments of my life, in the hard challenges, and the deepest trials, I have sought Him. He has been there to to comfort me, to encourage me, and to rejoice with me. He has led and I seek to follow Him.

            Very often it is while I’m reading in the Book of Mormon that His peace comes to my heart.  Answers to my problems have entered my mind. I have felt peace in the midst of storm in reading His words to ancient prophets. The truths of the Book of Mormon have enlarged my perspective, deepened my understanding, and strengthened my knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world, the Savior of those who come unto Him. He lives. He loves us. He invites us to let Him help carry our burdens.

Verse 18: And it came to pass that He spake unto Nephi (for Nephi was among the multitude) and He commanded him that he should come forth.

Verse 19: And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss His feet.

Verse 20: And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before Him.

 Verse 21:  And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.

Verse 22: And again the Lord called others, and said unto them likewise; and He gave unto them power to baptize. And He said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; and there shall be no disputations among you.

            The Lord knew the people of the multitude as He knows each of us. Many of them must have known Him for they recognized Him when He spake to them. They responded when He asked. Do we respond when we feel His Spirit speak to us?

Verse 23: Verily I say unto you, that whoso repenteth of his sins through your words, and desireth to be baptized in my name, on this wise shall ye baptize them—Behold, ye shall go down and stand in the water, and in my name shall ye baptize them.

Verse 24: And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying:

Verse 25: Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Verse 26: And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water.

Verse 27: And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.

Verse 28: And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.

    The first thing Jesus taught and commanded after the people individually interacted with Him was baptism. He taught those whom He called how to baptize and gave them authority to do it. He must value this ordinance highly. Do we? Do we recognize the place baptism has in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost with ourselves? Does the symbolism of being buried and rising out of the water reflect reverence for Him who died and was resurrected on our behalf?

            Jesus taught the people that He and His Father (our Heavenly Father) were united in the purpose of Jesus Christ’s mission on the earth. Such a oneness is hard to live upon the earth. Jesus referred to the disputations about His Gospel the people had had and told them not to dispute any more. Disputing is not the Savior’s way. Being united is His way. Something for us to ponder.

            The baptism ordinance is sacred. Jesus commanded that there should be no disputations concerning it or His doctrine. Do we value His word? Do we seek to understand His meaning?

            To spend time reading and pondering His words to the ancient Nephites can help us learn much about Heaven’s way and what we need to change within ourselves to live more like Heaven.

            May we seek to do so thus more fully preparing for eternity.

Dani

Helaman 14: 20 – 24, 25, 26 – 27, 28 – 31

Verse 20: But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of His death, behold, in that day that He shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that He shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that He shall rise again from the dead.

Verse 21: Yea, at the time that He shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;

Verse 22: Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.

Verse 23: And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

Verse 24: And many highways shall be broken up, and many cities shall become desolate.

            This destruction that would happen in America at the time of the Savior’s death, was tremendous. Often as I’ve driven in southern Utah and marveled at the beauty of that colorful desert, I have also seen the evidence of mountains raised up slanted where the underground layers are exposed. Massive force impacted that land at some point and created interesting landscape.   The heaven and earth gave a witness as a sign to the people of this land that their Creator had been rejected and killed.

Verse 25: And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many.

           This sign is a wonder as it would show that death had been overcome. How joyful for those who had lost loved ones for them to see them at this time when the earth was in an unpredictable state.

Verse 26: And behold, thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours.

Verse 27: And he said unto me that while the thunder and the lightning lasted, and the tempest, that these things should be, and that darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days.

            Even the earth, at the death of the Son of God, moaned over the wickedness of man who would kill their Creator. The systems of the physical world recognize the hand of God so much more easily than mankind does. We, who have the ability to think and act according to our wills, are so often behind in obedience to our Creator than His creations that follow His directions instinctively.

Verse 28: And the angel said unto me that many shall see greater things than these, to the intent that they might believe that these signs and these wonders should come to pass upon all the face of this land, to the intent that there should be no cause for unbelief among the children of men—

Verse 29:  And this to the intent that whosoever will believe might be saved, and that whosoever will not believe, a righteous judgment might come upon them; and also if they are condemned they bring upon themselves their own condemnation.

Verse 30: And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, ye are free; ye are permitted to act for yourselves; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and He hath made you free.

Verse 31: He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and He hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.

            What great extent was made with the signs in heaven and earth to help people believe in Jesus Christ. How much Heavenly Father wants us to come Home to Him. We will each be judged. Only through accepting and using the Atonement of Jesus Christ to repent and do good will that judgment result in a positive outcome.

            We are free. God made us free. We act for ourselves. God gave us knowledge. We know good from evil. We choose life or death. Our actions save or condemn us. What we do on earth will be restored to us. Good or evil, our choices will be our judgment.

            It is with love that God gave mankind freedom and knowledge. Because of His love for us, He wants us to come Home to Him to live with Him forever. He lets us choose whether or not we will. He let us choose whether or not we will love Him and each other.

            Oh, let us show our love for Him by our choices.

Dani