Moroni 7: 1 – 4, 5 – 9, 10 – 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            It is my prayer that we will do so.

Dani

 

3 Nephi 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 21: 10, 11, 12, 14, 19 – 20, 22 – 25, 26 – 29

Verse 10: But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

            Those who seek to destroy the Lord’s servants may mar them but the Lord will heal them; however those who are instruments in the hands of the devil will find that he does not offer healing. Only Jesus Christ has the power to make things right.

Verse 11: Therefore it shall come to pass that whosoever will not believe in my words, who am Jesus Christ, which the Father shall cause him to bring forth unto the Gentiles, and shall give unto him power that he shall bring them forth unto the Gentiles, (it shall be done even as Moses said) they shall be cut off from among my people who are of the covenant.

            The Gentiles’ opportunity to join the House of Israel to be part of the Lord’s plan is given as a blessing of love. However, those Gentiles who reject it shall not receive the blessings of those who do accept the covenant of God.

Verse 12: And my people who are a remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, yea, in the midst of them as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he go through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.

Verse 14:  Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;

Verse 19:  And it shall come to pass that all lyings, and deceivings, and envyings, and strifes, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, shall be done away.

Verse 20:  For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel;

            Heavenly Father blesses His children. When people reject His word and His work and turn away from His ways, He cuts them off from His followers. This warning to the Gentiles applies to our day and includes this country particularly. Those who lead based on lyings, deceivings, envyings, strifes, priestcrafts, and whoredoms who do not repent will be separated from those who love righteousness. Heavenly Father will cut off all who will not repent and follow Jesus Christ.

Verse 22:  But if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance;

Verse 23:  And they shall assist my people, the remnant of Jacob, and also as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem.

Verse 24:  And then shall they assist my people that they may be gathered in, who are scattered upon all the face of the land, in unto the New Jerusalem.

Verse 25:  And then shall the power of heaven come down among them; and I also will be in the midst.

            Heavenly Father wants us to follow Jesus Christ and be part of His eternal plan. We are each invited to repent and come unto Christ. As we do so we are blessed to be part of God’s covenant with Israel. We will receive His blessings.

            A wonderful promise given to those who choose to follow Jesus Christ in these latter days is participation in building the New Jerusalem in this land of America and to assist in the gathering work.

            This work is to prepare for Jesus Christ’s millennial reign. What a glorious opportunity to help prepare for the return of Jesus Christ as He comes in His glory to reign upon the earth for a thousand years. What joy to use our talents and abilities to help in this great endeavor.

Verse 26:  And then shall the work of the Father commence at that day, even when this gospel shall be preached among the remnant of this people. Verily I say unto you, at that day shall the work of the Father commence among all the dispersed of my people, yea, even the tribes which have been lost, which the Father hath led away out of Jerusalem.

Verse 27:  Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.

Verse 28:  Yea, and then shall the work commence, with the Father among all nations in preparing the way whereby His people may be gathered home to the land of their inheritance.

Verse 29:  And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.

            The Lord’s work in the last days is to gather Israel through the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every people will have the opportunity to hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those who accept it will be gathered to Him and to the lands He will give them. The Gathering will be done by the hand of the Lord. He will be in it as He was in the setting up of this country.

            We can be part of that gathering by sharing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Especially by sharing the Book of Mormon and the pureness of the Gospel it contains. I have been amazed at the journey this Testimony of Jesus Christ has led me on.

            My faith in Jesus Christ and my understanding of His ways has deepened and broadened as I have studied this second Testament of Jesus Christ. I am blessed daily by its truths. My heart and actions have been softened and changed. My motivation has become more pure. My love for others has increased and become more charitable. Repentance has become a balm.

            May our hearts be touched with understanding of the role we each have in the Lord’s plan of happiness. May we choose to help in preparing our part of earth for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Dani

3 Nephi 18: 33 – 35, 36 – 37, 38 – 39

Verse 33: Therefore, keep these sayings which I have commanded you that ye come not under condemnation; for wo unto him whom the Father condemneth.

Verse 34: And I give you these commandments because of the disputations which have been among you. And blessed are ye if ye have no disputations among you.

Verse 35: And now I go unto the Father, because it is expedient that I should go unto the Father for your sakes.

            Jesus had other responsibilities but He took time to teach His disciples, called as leaders, as well as the multitude who gathered to be with Him. Using our time to serve and help others is one way to follow Jesus Christ. We have many choices for activities each day. Jesus teaches us priorities: people and service, obedience and repenting, ministering and healing. We have much opportunity in our lives to do good.

Verse 36: And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of these sayings, He touched with His hand the disciples whom He had chosen, one by one, even until He had touched them all, and spake unto them as he touched them.

Verse 37: And the multitude heard not the words which He spake, therefore they did not bear record; but the disciples bare record that He gave them power to give the Holy Ghost. And I will show unto you hereafter that this record is true.

            Everyone does not need to experience everything to know what is true. We can believe because of the witness of others. The power to give the Holy Ghost is God’s priesthood power or the power to act in God’s name. The power is given to allow those who receive it to bless others’ lives. The Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead comprising Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.

            What a priceless gift to receive the Holy Ghost as a companion to guide us in our seeking to follow Jesus Christ. What a strength, a help, a comfort this Gift is. As I contemplate how the Gift of the Holy Ghost has affected my life during the last fifty years, I marvel at the influence, strength, help, and understanding it has given me. I am blessed because of His companionship. I have been refined by its influence. I am grateful for its enlightenment and understanding. I want to continue to strive to be worthy of this Gift.

Verse 38: And it came to pass that when Jesus had touched them all, there came a cloud and overshadowed the multitude that they could not see Jesus.

Verse 39: And while they were overshadowed He departed from them, and ascended into heaven. And the disciples saw and did bear record that He ascended again into heaven.

            Jesus blessed each leader and each person who had gathered. He let each feel His love and care. He taught them truth and gave them light. He served them in individual ways. He helped them understand how to become a better community. He chose out of their group leaders to show them the way and help them work together to help each other.

            Jesus’ disciples have a perspective to see things the multitude does not. They bear record of Him to help and bless others. They point us toward Jesus Christ and use His power to increase our understanding of Him and His ways.

            I have been blessed to hear and understand the teachings of Jesus Christ through His priesthood leaders and those called by them to minister to me. My perception has been lifted to see Him and His ways more clearly. I am grateful for sacrifice of time and effort on my behalf from busy people who understand the importance of serving and testifying of Jesus Christ.

            May we each allow God’s blessings to come into our lives by allowing others to serve and teach us as well as through our service to others.

Dani

3 Nephi 17: 18 – 22, 23 – 24, 25

Verse 18: And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying unto the Father, He arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.

Verse 19: And it came to pass that Jesus spake unto them, and bade them arise.

Verse 20: And they arose from the earth, and He said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.

Verse 21: And when He had said these words, He wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.

Verse 22: And when He had done this He wept again;

            The joy shared between Jesus and the multitude was individually felt. The faith of the multitude filled Jesus with so much joy that His tears overflowed. Joy and unity were shared. What a tender scene as He blessed each child one at a time. What sacred words were said as He prayed to Heavenly Father on behalf of each child. Even at their tender ages, His love was felt. His tender words and prayers helped each realize how vitally important they were in the eyes of God.

            Do we also value each child? Do our words and prayers fill their hearts with love and faith? Do they feel important in our eyes? Do we help them feel important to God?

Verse 23:  And He spake unto the multitude, and said unto them: Behold your little ones.

Verse 24: And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.

            Sacred experience built upon sacred experience as Jesus showed the multitude His tender mercies of healing. His individual care of the sick, afflicted, and children and His prayers for each one evidenced His love. Who were these angels that descended out of heaven and encircled those little ones and ministered to them? Surely it was the Spirits of their ancestors and maybe their progenitors who came to encourage them to have faith and live right no matter the challenges of their lives.

            Every person is a link between family who have lived before and those who will follow after. Great concern is important in family for each member to do their best and to succeed in the mission Heavenly Father has for them. We need heaven’s help in living our lives and in our relationships. Surely there is unseen influence for good in our lives by angels we do not see.

Verse 25: And the multitude did see and hear and bear record; and they know that their record is true for they all of them did see and hear, every man for himself; and they were in number about two thousand and five hundred souls; and they did consist of men, women, and children.

            Two thousand five hundred souls experienced for themselves time with Jesus as He showed unto them compassion. He answered their faith on Him with tender mercies. He gave them what was in their hearts. He took time to minister to them individually. He helped them prepare to ponder upon the things He had taught them by serving them first.

            He had other assignments to fulfill but He took the time to make a difference in the lives of these faithful. He strengthened them with His love, faith, and healing.

            This recorded experience helps us learn how important each person is to God. Every man and woman, boy and girl has a place in God’s heart. We each can feel His love as we come unto Jesus Christ. We can know for ourselves that He cares about us when we are willing to reach out to Him. We will find Him, for He is there and wants us to feel His love.

            This helps me know how important that each person should be to us. If God cares about everyone, as He does, then we who love God should care about each one also. We can follow Jesus’ example by taking time in our daily lives to minister to others. We can serve and help them feel our love. We can let our love and kindness make a difference in others’ lives. We can pray for those around us. We can lift their burdens by caring for and about them.

            We can let the record of our lives be full of truth, faith, caring, and sharing. We can follow Jesus Christ. Doing so will help us feel fullness of joy.

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: 27 – 32, 33 – 37, 38 – 42, 43 – 45, 46 – 48

Verse 27:  Behold, it is written by them of old time, that thou shalt not commit adultery;

Verse 28:  But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery already in his heart.

Verse 29: Behold, I give unto you a commandment, that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart;

Verse 30: For it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell.

Verse 31:  It hath been written, that whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement.

Verse 32: Verily, verily, I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; and whoso shall marry her who is divorced committeth adultery.

            The most sacred of relationships is between husband and wife. This relationship requires effort for two people to become one of motive and purpose. As we work at it, it teaches us to be unselfish by putting another’s needs before our own. Marriage is for us to learn essential principles as we help each other on our mortal path Home to Heavenly Father.  

            The unfaithfulness of adultery betrays one’s most important relationship as well as the family. It is a path away from God and goodness. It embodies that which is dishonorable. To stop unclean thoughts in the heart ensure they won’t become action. The breaking of trust through adultery blocks path toward God in serious ways.

Verse 33: And again it is written, thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths;

Verse 34: But verily, verily, I say unto you, swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne;

Verse 35: Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;

Verse 36: Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair black or white;

Verse 37: But let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever cometh of more than these is evil.

            Swearing has become a common practice in society. It dishonors those who do it as well as those around them. It cheapens covenants made with God. Forswear means to swear falsely or commit perjury. Since our words are important, to use them falsely or to injure others, makes what one says worthless and harmful. The commandment to agree or disagree with yes and no is simple and straightforward. It is respectful. We can let our actions validate our words without swearing.

Verse 38:  And behold, it is written, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;

Verse 39: But I say unto you, that ye shall not resist evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also;

Verse 40:  And if any man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also;

Verse 41: And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Verse 42: Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away.

            The Savior teaches us to not worry about revenge but to help one another. He teaches us that material things aren’t as important as people. An attitude of giving and service is much more beneficial than fighting about possessions. While the world might think that those who have most are better, our Savior taught us that those who give service to others are closer in attitude and action to Heavenly Father. He instructs us to help one another and share what He has given us.

Verse 43:  And behold it is written also, that thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy;

Verse 44: But behold I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you;

Verse 45: That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

            Every person is a child of God and therefore each has the divine within. The best way to get rid of enemies is to make them our friends. To do this requires us to be humble and kind. We must think of others before ourselves realizing that everyone’s perspective has value to them.

            Learning to understand others and seeing them through God’s perspective helps us see their divine qualities. Friendship is much more satisfying to the soul than disturbance from enemies. We can bless others with our own happy attitude, creativity, and well wishes.

Verse 46: Therefore those things which were of old time, which were under the law, in me are all fulfilled.

Verse 47: Old things are done away, and all things have become new.

Verse 48: Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

            Jesus Christ teaches us that the law of Moses was fulfilled in Him. We are to keep the commandments Jesus gave and let them be our guide in our relationships and in our thoughts and actions. We are to live the law that lets us grow closer to Heavenly Father and His ways. We can repent or change because Jesus Christ gave us the gift of His Atonement. We are to do right because we love right and want to do our Father’s will.

            To love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength requires that we love others as ourselves. This love requires us to use the attributes of goodness, humility, faith, hope, repentance, and good works for the benefit of others. When we serve others, we are serving God.

            Jesus’ teachings to people in both the Old World and the New World are vital to us today in the Modern World. God does not change. He wants each of us to learn and live the principles that will allow us to return Home to live with Him. Developing the practices Jesus taught helps us to become consistent to the goodness that is in God. These attributes help us learn to love God by honoring and obeying Him and by loving and serving the people around us.

            May we follow Jesus Christ’s teachings to become the children of God that we have the potential to become.

Dani