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 7: 26 – 27; 8: 23 – 26

Verse 26: And because the people did repent of their iniquities and idolatries the Lord did spare them, and they began to prosper again in the land. And it came to pass that Shule begat sons and daughters in his old age.

Verse 27: And there were no more wars in the days of Shule; and he remembered the great things that the Lord had done for his fathers in bringing them across the great deep into the promised land; wherefore he did execute judgment in righteousness all his days.

            This is the prescription of safety for dwelling in the land of America. It is to remember the great things that the Lord has done for our fathers in bringing them to this promised land. It is to repent of our iniquities and idolatries and worship the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to live in righteousness all of our days.

            If our society will do these things, we will prosper safely all of our days and accomplish the great work the Lord has for us to do in the world. We will be led by His Holy Spirit in what we do. The Book of Mormon teaches us these truths. It is one of the reasons it is needed in these last days. Other societies who have dwelt on this continent have perished because they didn’t follow this formula the Lord gave them.

            We are in the last days before the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth. Will our nation be ready to receive Him? Will we, in gratitude and humility, worship the God of this land? Will we have accomplished the mission He gave to all who are brought to and dwell in this special land? Will we have listened and acted more on what the still small voice of the Spirit whispered to our hearts than to the loud, pushy voices of the media and promoters of chaos? Daily the choice is ours. At the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the consequences of our choices will tell for us and those we have influenced.

Chapter 8

Verse 23: Wherefore, O ye Gentiles, it is wisdom in God that these things should be shown unto you, that thereby ye may repent of your sins, and suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you, which are built up to get power and gain—and the work, yea, even the work of destruction come upon you, yea, even the sword of the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon you, to your overthrow and destruction if ye shall suffer these things to be.

Verse 24: Wherefore, the Lord commandeth you, when ye shall see these things come among you that ye shall awake to a sense of your awful situation, because of this secret combination which shall be among you; or wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who built it up.

Verse 25: For it cometh to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people, for it is built up by the devil, who is the father of all lies; even that same liar who beguiled our first parents, yea, even that same liar who hath caused man to commit murder from the beginning; who hath hardened the hearts of men that they have murdered the prophets, and stoned them, and cast them out from the beginning.

Verse 26: Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved.

            Moroni outlines clearly the need of our day. He describes it as if he were here now. He describes it as he saw it by the power of God. He shows it with his words to us. The choice is up to us. We have let liars and murders gain power in our land. Will those who love right and justice stand up against those who are working destruction among us.

            Are we awake to our awful situation that the secret murderous combinations are in power? If we do not act for good, the justice of the Eternal God shall fall upon our nation. Let those who love the Lord stand together in righteous purpose to strengthen each other and govern our communities, states, and nations with God’s work as our desire. Let us help each other. Let us turn to the Lord and plead for His deliverance. Let us stand in His name for good in our daily words and actions.

Dani

Ether 4: 2, 7, 9, 10

Verse 1: And the Lord commanded the brother of Jared to go down out of the mount from the presence of the Lord, and write the things which he had seen; and they were forbidden to come unto the children of men until after that he should be lifted up upon the cross; and for this cause did king Mosiah keep them, that they should not come unto the world until after Christ should show himself unto His people.

Verse 2: And after Christ truly had showed Himself unto His people He commanded that they should be made manifest.

       We cannot always stay in spiritual experiences but the Lord does want us to write of His dealings with us so that we can remember them and so that we can share them with our posterity so that they can remember them and thus remember Him.

Verse 4: Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.

Verse 5: Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And He commanded me that I should seal them up; and He also hath commanded that I should seal up the interpretation thereof; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters, according to the commandment of the Lord.

Verse 6: For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

Verse 7: And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

            The Lord wants to manifest revelations unto us. When we exercise faith in Him enough to obey the commandments, and seek and do His will, we are preparing ourselves to receive the knowledge He would share with us.

Verse 9: And at my command the heavens are opened and are shut; and at my word the earth shall shake; and at my command the inhabitants thereof shall pass away, even so as by fire.

Verse 10: And he that believeth not my words believeth not my disciples; and if it so be that I do not speak, judge ye; for ye shall know that it is I that speaketh, at the last day.

Verse 11: But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.

Verse 12: And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.  

            God’s power operates on faith and truth. He has given His word to His disciples. Those who believe the words of the disciples will believe Jesus Christ. Those who believe Jesus Christ will believe Heavenly Father who sent Him. Father – one who takes care of, supports, takes responsibility for helping others. Jesus Christ is our spiritual father and represents Heavenly Father to us. He is the light, the life, and the truth of the world. He gives to us that which Heavenly Father has asked Him to give. He shows us the way Home. He loves us. His suffering for us is the bridge which we each need to cross to go back to Heavenly Father and stay there. Will we choose faith in Jesus Christ and in His words. Will we treasure the things of God?

Verse 13: Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the greater things, the knowledge which is hid up because of unbelief.

Verse 14: Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.

            Jesus Christ’s invitation is to each one of us to come unto Him so that we can see the things of eternity. Our willingness to believe Him makes the difference to our hearts and minds. Our small efforts to have faith in Jesus Christ change the outcome of our eternity.

            We come unto the Savior, Jesus Christ, through faith on His name, repentance, baptism as He was baptized, the Gift of the Holy Ghost which teaches and testifies of Him, prayer, obedience to His commandments, serving others, and enduring to the end. These things turn our hearts and minds to He who will lead us Home to Heavenly Father.

            We came to earth to learn and choose the things that would take us back to Heavenly Father so we could spend eternity in His kingdom. Will we choose to fulfill our mission to go Home or will we let the distractions of the world keep us from everlasting happiness? It is a choice we make daily.

            May we each seek Jesus and follow His invitation to Come unto Him.

Dani

Mormon 9: 29, 30 – 37

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Mormon 9: 2—9, 11-14, 16-20

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

4 Nephi 1: 23 – 26, 44 – 46, 47 – 49

Verse 23: And now I, Mormon, would that ye should know that the people had multiplied, insomuch that they were spread upon all the face of the land, and that they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ.

Verse 24: And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world.

Verse 25: And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.

Verse 26: And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ.

After two hundred years, the focus of some from the rising generation became selfish. Purpose changed from helping each other to individuals focusing on themselves. Material things became more important than people. People became divided instead of united.

The people allowed diversity to divide instead of to unite. Individuals weren’t appreciated for their differences but divided into classes depending on beliefs and resources. How sad. Reminds me of our own society. Money, clothes, wealth, education, and beliefs are used to divide instead of unite individuals, families, and groups. Some think they are better than others because of these temporary conditions. The cycle of the Ancient Americans is repeated in modern times. People aren’t so different no matter the day in which they live.

Pride is enmity (or hatred) between people; it does not allow love to grow. To love others as ourselves is a commandment meant to change us from the natural man as we seek to meet other people’s needs. We learn to love those we serve or help.  How sad our Savior must be when people think they are better than others and act selfishly with the things He has blessed them with.   He died for every person. He loves every person. To become like Him, we must learn to love others as He loves them.

Verse 44: And from this time the disciples began to sorrow for the sins of the world.

Verse 45: And it came to pass that when three hundred years had passed away, both the people of Nephi and the Lamanites had become exceedingly wicked one like unto another.

Verse 46: And it came to pass that the robbers of Gadianton did spread over all the face of the land; and there were none that were righteous save it were the disciples of Jesus. And gold and silver did they lay up in store in abundance, and did traffic in all manner of traffic.

Wickedness never was happiness. Sin brings sorrow to individuals, families, and communities. Sin steals peace. We each have choice over ourselves. We can choose God’s way and act with love and kindness toward others. Our choices are up to us. However, the consequences of our choices cannot be separated from them. Choosing not to obey God’s commandments cannot bring peace or love or goodness to individuals or societies.            

Verse 47: And it came to pass that after three hundred and five years had passed away, (and the people did still remain in wickedness) Amos died; and his brother, Ammaron, did keep the record in his stead.

Verse 48: And it came to pass that when three hundred and twenty years had passed away, Ammaron, being constrained by the Holy Ghost, did hide up the records which were sacred—yea, even all the sacred records which had been handed down from generation to generation, which were sacred—even until the three hundred and twentieth year from the coming of Christ.

Verse 49: And he did hide them up unto the Lord, that they might come again unto the remnant of the house of Jacob, according to the prophecies and the promises of the Lord. And thus is the end of the record of Ammaron.

Prophets, individually, do God’s will. They write of His revelations and dealings with mankind. They die and others are called. They act in accordance with God’s will to bless the people they are called to serve as well as for those who live in the future. Sacred records of the prophets are scriptures. They teach us how to obey God’s will. They teach us of His priorities and of His love for each of us.

            I’m grateful for the prophets of God and for scriptures. They have been and are my guide for life. They comfort me, direct me, and help me find answers to my concerns. They counteract my “natural man” self that fights against God. As the return of Jesus Christ comes closer, what the prophets teach us is vital for us to act upon. It is vital for ourselves and our families and loved ones because each person will have to choose whether to follow Jesus Christ and be part of the preparation of His coming or not. The consequences of this choice will be eternal for every individual.

            I pray that each of us will value what Jesus Christ brought to earth and offers us. I pray that we will let our values reflect in our daily lives and that we will unite ourselves to God’s ways and will.

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

3 Nephi 27: 2, 3 – 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 – 10, 13, 12 – 15

Verse 2:  And Jesus again showed Himself unto them, for they were praying unto the Father in his name; and Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and said unto them: What will ye that I shall give unto you?

            In answer to the disciples’ prayers, Jesus not only came to them, but He asked what they wanted Him to do. Jesus knew what they had been praying, but He wanted the disciples to identify their need or request. This helps me realize how important praying is for us as individuals. It is we who need to identify what we want the Lord to do for us. We need to think through our concerns and problems, pray about them, and listen for the answers.

            The Lord doesn’t do for us what we can do for ourselves. He is willing to assist us in what we want to accomplish that is right. When we know the outcome that we want, it is good to make our petitions to the Lord specific so that the answer to His question is plain. We need to identify what we want Him to do for us. This allows a specific answer to our prayers.

Verse 3: And they said unto Him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.

Verse 4: And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?

Verse 5: Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day;

            Why do people murmur and dispute instead of read the scriptures? Why do they look for their own interpretations instead of seeking the Lord’s words and will? Jesus Christ is our teacher; He is truth and right. He is the way and the light. Let us not murmur or dispute but look to Him and live.

Verse 6: And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.

            What a powerful promise to live by. Let us learn and take upon ourselves His name and live His way every day of our lives (with service and love). This process will save us at the last day because we will be changed by His Spirit and His will.

Verse 7: Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that He will bless the church for my sake.

            Jesus taught us to pray in His name to our Heavenly Father. He teaches that His church is called in His name and will be blessed by the Father for Jesus Christ’s sake as members seek Heavenly Father’s help.

Verse 8: And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.

       The Savior’s church is called in His name and built upon His gospel. Seeking to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and obey His commandments and do His will is following Jesus Christ.

Verse 9: Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;

Verse 10: And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.

We can know the Church that is built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ because God’s works will be done in it. God’s works are good and consistent with His commandments. His works strengthen individuals, families, and communities. The gospel of Jesus Christ promotes peace, respect, change, work, compassion, and service. It is taught in the scriptures for all to read.

Verse 13:  Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.

            This total submission to His Father’s will is an example for me. Jesus Christ didn’t need any other reason for coming to the world to experience earth life other than His Father sent Him. Jesus Christ was in complete harmony with the plan of salvation given by Heavenly Father for the benefit of all His spirit children. He was willing because Heavenly Father asked. He was also willing because He loved us. He didn’t have His own agenda or a personal one. He was doing His Father’s errand.

            My will is strong enough that it wants to enter in when others ask me to do something. My perspective of how to do the task is important to me. Giving up my perspective to try to do someone else’s completely is hard to even know how to do it. My will gets in the way of most of what I do.

            I am learning, though, that I do want to do Heavenly Father’s will even when it is most difficult. So I plead for His help do to His will and have found the miracle of change for me. I want to understand His requirements and do them in all things. It isn’t easy and I struggle daily with it. But the effort is changing me. I feel closer to my Savior because of my effort to follow His example in doing Our Father’s will in my own life.

Verse 14:  And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—

Verse 15: And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.

            Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to die for us through a difficult process that would allow all the rest of Father’s children to live forever. His sacrifice enabled His judgment of our lives.

            Because He lived on earth as we do, then suffered and died for us as individuals and knows our pains and hurting in earth life, He was given the opportunity to judge our lives at the end. He knows whether we gave our honest effort, were sincere, sought to do Heavenly Father’s will as He showed us, and whether we developed faith, hope, and charity through our choices of words and actions and service.

            May we each seek Jesus Christ and come unto Him, that we might know Him and feel His love for us.

Dani

3 Nephi 26: 12 – 14, 15, 16, 17 – 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani