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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

come unto Christ, and

lay hold upon every good gift, and 

touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

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

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

strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever,

that thou mayest no more be confounded,

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

may be fulfilled.

Verse 32:  Yea, come unto Christ, and

be perfected in Him, and 

deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and

if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and 

love God with all your might, mind and strength,

then is His grace sufficient for you,

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

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

ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Verse 33: And again,

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

deny not His power,

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

through the shedding of the blood of Christ,

which is in the covenant of the Father

unto the remission of your sins,

that ye become holy,

without spot.

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

I soon go to rest in the paradise of God,

until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and

I am brought forth triumphant through the air,

to meet you

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

of both quick and dead.  Amen.

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25 And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and

baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and

the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;

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

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

which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love,

which love endureth by diligence unto prayer,

until the end shall come,

when all the saints shall dwell with God.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

 

Ether 13: 2 – 3, 4 – 5, 8, 9 – 12

Verse 2: For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve Him who dwell upon the face thereof;

Verse 3: And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.

      Ether taught his people the history of the earth from its beginning. He taught that after the flood of Noah that the land which is known as the Americas became a chosen land by the Lord. It was chosen as a place where God would be served by those who dwelt upon it. It was the place where a New Jerusalem would be built and where the righteous would dwell with the Lord.

Verse 4: Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.

Verse 5: And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel

Verse 8: Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.

            The Jerusalem of Jesus’ earthly life would be destroyed and built again to be a holy city unto the Lord for the house of Israel. The house of Joseph would be given the land of the Americas for their inheritance. They will build a New Jerusalem, or holy city, unto the Lord on the Americas. For the Thousand Years of the Lord’s Millennial reign, the house of Joseph will live in the New Jerusalem and the house of Israel shall live in Israel’s Jerusalem. 

Verse 9: And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.

Verse 10: And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel.

Verse 11: And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.

Verse 12: And when these things come, bringeth to pass the scripture which saith, there are they who were first, who shall be last; and there are they who were last, who shall be first.

            After the millennial reign, the heaven and earth shall become new. Those who dwell in the Jerusalems will be those who love the Lord, have repented of their sins, and have used His Atonement to become clean. They will be the descendants of Abraham from, the whole earth, who made and kept covenants with God during their lives. Those who, throughout the history of the earth, loved the Lord and sought to serve Him and obey His commandments, both before and after His coming, will dwell in the two Jerusalems. Their righteous choices and lives will make the cities holy. They will be worthy to dwell with the Lamb.

            Will we choose to be among them? Will we choose Jesus Christ over everything else earth life offers? Will we be willing to change and choose to love God with all of our hearts, might, minds, and strength. Will we participate in His work of bringing to pass the immortality ad eternal life of man?

            I pray we will choose eternal happiness. I pray that we will choose Jesus Christ above all material things. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Only Way Home to Heavenly Father.

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

3 Nephi 14: 15 – 20, 21 – 23, 24 – 27

Verse 15: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Verse 16: Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Verse 17: Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Verse 18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Verse 19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Verse 20: Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.

            We will know people who seek to lead others by the way they act in private as well as public. What we put into our hearts by our thoughts and choices is what grows and eventually comes out in our words and actions. Good will produce good and evil will produce evil – this is a natural law as well as a spiritual one. We can know others inward motives by the outward products of their lives. While we all have weaknesses as well as strengths, there is a difference between sincerely trying to be better and the hypocrisy of pretending for outward appearances.

Verse 21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Verse 22: Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Verse 23: And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart me from, ye that work iniquity.

            These verses help me see that for us to know the Lord we must do the kinds of acts He did with the same type of love and motivation He had. I learned a few years ago that I must always be kind in my dealing with others because He was kind. This understanding has changed my choices when interacting with those who aren’t easy for me to be kind to. And in choosing to follow Jesus Christ in this way, I have changed; my love for others has increased, and I have become kinder to all people.

            Jesus came to do His Father’s work – to help everyone on their pathway Home to Heavenly Father. If we have any other motive, we cannot know the Savior in the way we need to to live in the kingdom of heaven after this life is over. Like King Lamoni’s father, I want to give away all my sins so that I can return Home to our Heavenly Father and stay there. It’s not always easy to do what I know is right but I’ll keep trying so that our Savior can say that I seek to know Him and He knows me when it is time to enter that heavenly kingdom.

Verse 24: Therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will like him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock

Verse 25: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.

Verse 26: And every one that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand

Verse 27: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

            Hearing and doing what Jesus teaches builds our lives upon a firm foundation that will safely get us through the storms of life even when storms beat upon us. We all have storms, or adversity, in our lives. Whether or not we survive them depends upon what we build our lives upon. True principles of belief and behavior becomes strength for us when the too hard or too easy times come. When we are committed in our hearts and actions to follow Jesus Christ in all situations, we will have the solid foundation that will keep us through unbelievable challenges.

            I’ve been amazed at what turning to the Savior and striving to hear and do what His teachings and commandments during the challenges I’ve faced has done for my faith in Him, my love for others, and my increased understanding and empathy and patience for my fellow travelers. I have experienced the solidness in building upon the Rock of our Redeemer.

            May we have willingness to listen and obey His loving voice.

Dani

3 Nephi 13: 19 – 21, 22 – 24, 25 – 34

Verse 19: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;

Verse 20: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Verse 21: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

            What do we treasure? We can tell because where we put our time and what we think about show our priorities. Heaven’s treasures are not material things but are eternal things, or things that God values. To learn to value what God does helps us lay up treasures in heaven.   We learn what He values by seeking His truth from the scriptures and the words of His prophets. Daily immersing ourselves in His words helps us to recognize what is important to Him. Doing what we learn helps it to increase in value to us. This is a day by day process which changes us and continues through one’s life.

Verse 22: The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

Verse 23: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

Verse 24: No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

            What is light? That which helps us see, understand, or know. Jesus Christ is called the light in the scriptures. The eye helps us see light. The light being single means motive is pure which helps our whole selves be full of light, seeking that which is good and pure. If a person’s purpose is evil then his eye is filled with darkness.  

           Darkness and light do not exist together. We choose which we serve. This seems to imply motive to me. What are the reasons we do what we do? Are we seeking God’s will and His purposes or something else? Evaluation of ourselves helps us know ourselves better and enables us to choose what we truly desire.

Verse 25: And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words He looked upon the twelve whom He had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Verse 26: Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

Verse 27: Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

Verse 28: And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;

Verse 29: And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

Verse 30: Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will He clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

Verse 31: Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

Verse 32: For your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

Verse 33: But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Verse 34: Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

            These words to the Lord’s chosen servants help me realize that as we participate in His work that our motive needs to be to serve, or help, others. We don’t need to worry about ourselves but can trust God to take care of our needs as we do His work. What we eat or wear is not the priority; how we minister and seek God’s ways should be the priority for His servants. Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and letting our physical needs work out in the Lord’s ways is His instruction for those who do His work.

            God is capable of doing His work. He invites others to assist in His work because of the way it blesses them. Learning to do His will His way is a good goal. It helps us be malleable in His hands and allows Him to bless us and those we serve. A desire to do His work enables Him to work through us. He wants our hearts to be one with His. He wants us to learn to love those we serve as He loves them.

            Learning to be servants of God is a daily long term work. It feels good when we are able to see His efforts work in us to help others. Joy comes from learning to let His will work through our hands and efforts.

            May we seek to bring peace and relief to those around us.

Dani

3 Nephi 12: 14 – 18, 19 – 20, 21 – 24, 25 – 26

Verse 14: Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

Verse 15: Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;

Verse 16: Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Verse 17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil;

Verse 18: For verily I say unto you, one jot nor one tittle hath not passed away from the law, but in me it hath all been fulfilled.

            Those who have the light of truth, the testimony of Jesus Christ, are to live so that the gospel in their lives might bless others’ lives. We are to be an example of His way in the ways we live so that our knowledge will bless others. We are to be living examples of His teachings so others can know how to live righteously.   We are to honor God by the way we live.

            Jesus Christ came to the earth to fulfill all that the prophets had testified regarding Him and His mission on the earth. He is the One who came to make Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness operable. His Atonement fulfilled the Plan. All the words that He has spoken will be verified even to the tiniest one. He speaks truth. His truth will be completed. His Atonement enables the completion of the purpose of life on earth.

            What marvelous thoughts and ideas and truth were spoken by Jesus to the people of ancient America as well as to those in Jerusalem. His words have blessed people through earth’s history. They have blessed my life and continue to do so. They bring me light and peace and hope and love and strength. I want to be part of His work. I want to live and do as He taught. I love Him and our Father in Heaven.

Verse 19:  And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law is fulfilled.

Verse 20: Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

            I feel the Savior’s love in these verses. He tells us that the commandments He gives are of His Father – our Father. The commandments and the law are to help us believe in Him. Believing in Jesus Christ and keeping the commandments help us to want to repent of our sins.

            Believing, obeying, and repenting is the process of coming unto Jesus. These help our hearts to be broken because we realize that we need Him to change, to obey, to believe, and to be healed. We need Him to get Home to Heavenly Father.

            He obeyed Heavenly Father in every commandment. We must strive to do the same in order to fulfill Heavenly Father’s law and to go Home to Him. Fulfilling Heavenly Father’s law for us is to seek Jesus and to learn how to fulfill our individual missions given to us in the premortal life. It is learning to submit our will to His because we love Him.

Verse 21:  Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, and it is also written before you, that thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of God;

Verse 22: But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of His judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Verse 23: Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee—

Verse 24: Go thy way unto thy brother, and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I will receive you.

            The commandments are given to help us become pure and clean. It is through our obedience and the Savior’s Atonement that we choose to become ready to live in God’s presence. It is not just our actions, but also our motivations, we need to change. When our full purpose of our heart is to be willing to do all Heavenly Father asks of us, then we are preparing to be received into His presence.

            Changing the heart takes a lot of work especially in our relationships with each other. No matter my desires to do right, it is my thoughts, words, and actions that show the degree to which I’m living my desires.

Verse 25: Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee, and thou shalt be cast into prison.

Verse 26: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost senine. And while ye are in prison can ye pay even one senine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, Nay.

            Verse 25 confused me for many years. Finally, I have understood it to mean to settle disagreements as they occur and not to leave them festering. Relationships need to be as positive as we can make them. It is our responsibility individually to make them as whole as we can. To resolve problems immediately frees us, and others, to continue individual growth. To leave them festering in hearts and minds imprisons our emotional and spiritual growth.

            May we seek His light and truth to bless our lives.

Dani

3 Nephi 12: 7 – 12

Verse 7: And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

            Webster’s 1828 Dictionary’s first definition of mercy is “That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant.”

            Grace is the nearest synonym to mercy implying benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity, or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Clemency is mildness; softness; or mildness of temper.

            These definitions immediately drew my thoughts to the Savior Jesus Christ. He treats us each better than we deserve. He offers to forgive our trespasses and to forbear punishment if we will accept His Atonement. He is tender and loving toward our weaknesses, hurt, and challenges. He wants to save us from the justice our own actions will bring upon us. He lovingly offers to share our burdens and to comfort us.

            He teaches us that if we are merciful, we shall obtain mercy. If we will forgive others, He will forgive us.   To me this means that if we will be patient with others’ weaknesses, He will be patient with ours. If we are mild, soft, and patient with those we interact with, He will be mild, soft, and patient as He interacts with us. I believe we will obtain mercy through the learning experiences of being merciful. By learning to forgive and empathize, which is not necessarily easy, we will begin to understand the depth of what the Savior offers us. Our characters will grow more like His. Our interactions will become merciful. These ten words of the Savior’s teachings are powerful and broad and deep. Pondering upon them will stretch our souls.

Verse 8: And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

           Who are the pure in heart? Why is the consequence of their purity, the privilege of seeing God?

            Pure means separate, clear, or free from heterogeneous or extraneous matter; free from mixture; free from moral defilement; genuine; real; true; incorrupt; innocent; chaste; free from vice or moral turpitude; free from any thing improper; absolute.

            This definition refers to those who choose goodness, purity of thought, words, and actions. Those who are sincere in doing right because they love right.

            All the pure in hear shall see God. God is pure. He is sincere in doing right. All goodness, truth, and purity comes from Him because that is what He is. He is completely, absolutely free from sin and evil. He is perfectly pure, completely pure. Those whose whole motive is to be good and right in all things shall have the privilege of seeing God.

            I think they will see God in others, in the beauty of the earth, in their daily lives. I believe they will feel His love and help and tender mercies. Yes, I also believe they will see Him with their eyes but before that they will know Him because they are choosing to live His way and having His presence as a result of their choices.

Verse 9:  And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

            Jesus is called the Prince of Peace. Peacemakers are following His attributes in their interactions with others. Peace, a state of quiet or tranquility, freedom from war, freedom from internal commotion, freedom from private disturbance or quarrels, freedom from agitation, heavenly rest, harmony, concord, or public tranquility, is an often sought state of sense or being. Jesus is the Prince, or Sovereign or Ruler, of that state. Living His way brings peace within and in relationships.

            Establishing peace on earth requires His peace in our hearts and minds. Learning to live in peace takes effort and selflessness. It takes following rules and thinking of others before ourselves. It means learning together how to meet each other’s needs. It takes communication and practice. It means literally living in God’s way as His followers – His children.

Verse 10:  And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 11:  And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

Verse 12:  For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.

            I think it is common to complain when people don’t like us.  When people treat us wrong because of our belief in the Savior, the Savior understands.  He who came to enable all men to be saved was despised and persecuted and eventually killed by those whom He came to help.  Even in our day people reject Him and falsely accuse Him and some have ulterior motives as pretend to serve Him.

            The Savior promises those who are persecuted because of their belief in and efforts to follow Him, that they will have great reward in heaven. B lessed means happiness or a means of happiness.  Sacrifice for those we love is good.  Sacrifice for those who persecute, revile, falsely accuse because we love the Savior is a means to happiness.  Happiness because the pure love of Christ towards others is the greatest of all attributes. It brings true oneness with God.

            No, one is not glad during persecution; however, the ability to love and do good to those who hate us shows unselfishness in great degree.  In this, we can have great joy and gladness as we share depths of love for others with the Savior.  Sacrifice is giving up something for something better. How marvelous to be able to give up human weakness and nature for Godlike kindness and love.  Joy is in developing Godlike qualities.  When we stand with the Savior in thought, behavior, and love, especially toward our enemies or those who persecute us, we will feel His joy.

            May we each choose to let our love extend to everyone through the love and grace Jesus Christ offers each of us.

Dani

3 Nephi 12: 1, 2, 3 – 4, 5 – 6, 13

Verse 1:  And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words unto Nephi, and to those who had been called, (now the number of them who had been called, and received power and authority to baptize, was twelve) and behold, He stretched forth His hand unto the multitude, and cried unto them, saying:

Blessed are ye if ye shall give heed unto the words of these twelve whom I have chosen from among you to minister unto you, and to be your servants; and unto them I have given power that they may baptize you with water; and after that ye are baptized with water, behold, I will baptize you with fire and with the Holy Ghost; therefore blessed are ye if ye shall believe in me and be baptized, after that ye have seen me and know that I am.

            I’m grateful for the teachings of Jesus for His recorded spoken words bless my life. I feel power from them as I read and ponder them. They give me strength. Jesus taught the twelve men He called and set apart as ministers to the people. Then He taught the people that they would be blessed if they gave heed – listened to and followed – these ministers’, or disciples, words. He told the people that He had given the ministers power to baptize with water so that He could baptize them with fire and the Holy Ghost.

            He told the people that they were blessed for believing in Him and being baptized after seeing Him and knowing that He was.

Verse 2: And again, more blessed are they who shall believe in your words because that ye shall testify that ye have seen me, and that ye know that I am. Yea, blessed are they who shall believe in your words, and come down into the depths of humility and be baptized, for they shall be visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and shall receive a remission of their sins.

            Jesus taught the people that they who believe in His words given to others as testimony of Him would be more blessed if they were humble and baptized. They would also be visited with fire and the Holy Ghost and receive a remission of their sins.

            These two verses tell me that all people who come unto Christ, believe in Him, and follow Him will be blessed. However, those who believe because of the testimony of others who believe in Him, will have a deeper blessing. Why? Perhaps because their belief takes faith instead of the knowledge of those who saw Him. Perhaps because it requires that they rely upon the witness of the Holy Ghost more completely in their lives.

            Since people in our day do not see Jesus in person, we rely upon the witness of those who have seen Him. I believe Jesus’ promise that we will be more blessed for believing others’ testimony applies to us also. We are blessed for having the faith to believe when it is the witness of someone else who testifies of Him. I think this extra blessing comes because of the humility and faith that allows us to receive that testimony. It is wonderful to believe in Jesus Christ and to have His strength and power operate in our lives as a result of that belief. It is a blessing of happiness.

Verse 3: Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 4: And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

            These verses teach us that those who are hurting or are in need, spiritually or emotionally, who come unto Jesus, will be blessed. When we sorrow, grieve, or are sad or depressed, life is harder. I believe that the Lord is asking us come to Him in our hurt to let Him lift these burdens from our spirits. He understands pain of soul and has carried it for us. If we come unto Him, He can lift our spirits, emotions, and hearts.

            He wants us to have joy in this life even though there are hard things. He will help us to get over the trials with less suffering. When we come unto Him, we look up and go toward a higher perspective. His love and perspective can help lighten the mourning of our hearts.

            The word “poor” in Webster’s 1828 dictionary has so many meanings. I think the Lord is saying that those who are poor in spirit are those who feel destitute or of little value, unhappy, dejected or in any other unhappy place. He promises that those who are poor in spirit who come unto Him will have the kingdom of heaven. He can help us feel our value to Him and His Father. He can help us not be poor but through Him have Eternal Life and thus enjoy the kingdom of heaven.

            These two verses are so small and simple but what rich promises they give to those who will believe and do them.

Verse 5:  And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Verse 6: And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost.

            The meek shall inherit the earth. Not the mighty and powerful, but the meek shall receive the best things from earth life. Earth life is our time of preparation for returning to Heavenly Father. It is the meek who will be humble enough to learn of Jesus Christ, to serve others as He did, and to obey God’s will. It is these who will be conditioned in their hearts and habits to receive the best eternal blessings of having come to earth.

            Those who seek righteousness in their daily lives have the blessing of the comfort and peace and teachings of the Holy Ghost. What a priceless treasure for our life’s journey. The Holy Ghost helps us learn to be holy; also preparing us for eternal life with Heavenly Father. It is good to be meek and to hunger and thirst to do right.

Verse 13: Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men.

            God needs us to do the work He sent us to earth to do. He gave us missions and we need to fulfill them. Other people need our help. God’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men. Our responsibility is to assist Him with those He puts into our lives. We are to lift and bless through service to others. Our families are the most important people who need our help.   We need them and they need us. We need to work together, help each other, and help those around us. We cannot do everything, but we can do something. We can add good flavor of goodness and love to others’ lives.

            May we each seek to come unto Jesus Christ and let His blessings distill upon us.

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