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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but may Christ lift thee up, and

may His sufferings and death, and

the showing His body unto our fathers, and

His mercy and long-suffering, and

the hope

of His glory and of eternal life,

rest in your mind forever.

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 7: 27 – 28, 29 – 31, 32, 33 – 34

Verse 27:  Wherefore, my beloved brethren,

have miracles ceased because

Christ hath ascended into heaven, and

hath sat down on the right hand of God,

to claim of the Father

His rights of mercy which

He hath upon the children of men?

Verse 28:  For He hath answered the ends of the law, and

He claimeth all those who have faith in Him; and

they who have faith in Him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore He advocateth the cause of the children of men; and

He dwelleth eternally in the heavens.

            Heavenly Father will give to Jesus Christ what He asks of Him because Jesus Christ did all the things that Heavenly Father asked Him to do. This means that those who seek to follow Jesus Christ in obedience can receive the mercy He would give them for their desires and efforts in righteousness. He claims everyone who will have faith in Him and cleave to the good He has given. He advocates for His followers with His Father.

            This concept is hard for me to get my heart around. It is because of His love that He will forgive us, help us, sustain us, lift burdens from us. He asks us only to use His gifts to go Home to Heavenly Father. This deep love is not only our only answer to receiving the greatest of al the gifts of God, it is the way our burdens of life are lifted along the way. Let us be humble and follow Him.

Verse 29:  And because He hath done this,

my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased?

Behold I say unto you, Nay;

neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.

Verse 30:  For behold, they are subject unto Him,

to minister according to the word of His command,

showing themselves unto them of strong faith and

a firm mind in every form of godliness.

Verse 31: And the office of their ministry is

to call men unto repentance, and

to fulfil and to do the work of the covenants of the Father,

which He hath made unto the children of men,

to prepare the way among the children of men,

by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord,

that they may bear testimony of Him.

          Jesus Christ went Home to Heavenly Father, but He does not forget us. He sends angels and prophets to teach and help us understand His Word and Gospel. He opens the way for us and answers our prayers, usually through other people. Let us strive to obey Him and help others along the way in the ways that we can.

Verse 32:  And by so doing,

the Lord God prepareth the way

that the residue of men may have faith in Christ,

that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts,

according to the power thereof; and

after this manner bringeth to pass the Father,

the covenants which He hath made unto the children of men.

            Those who have faith in Jesus Christ can help others to feel His love and power. They can keep covenants to continue His work of ministering upon the earth. We each have the opportunity to be His hands in serving our fellow beings. We can help lift burdens and share His Word and Ways kindly and happily.

Verse 33:  And Christ hath said

If ye will have faith in me

ye shall have power

to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

Verse 34:  And He hath said

Repent all ye ends of the earth, and

come unto me, and

be baptized in my name, and

have faith in me,

that ye may be saved.

            The Savior will answer our faith in Him with help and power to do all that He asks of us in following Him Home to Heavenly Father. If we will give our wills to Him and repent, obey His words, be baptized in His name, have faith in His way and help, He gives us the promise that we may be saved. Saved, not only to live again after this life is over through the resurrection of our bodies, but saved to live eternity in the presence of God, our Eternal Father, and Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son.

            Faith in Him will give the greatest of all rewards. We must have faith through the choices of our daily lives, through deep trials and suffering, as well as in the joy we enjoy in our lives through learning and in our relationships with each other. When we remember Him, obey His commandments, do His work, or make sincere efforts to do so, we have His promise of salvation.

            In addition, He helps us along the way. He strengthens us, He lets us share in the tender experiences of changing people’s lives through helping them and loving them. To be of service to others is an opportunity and blessing that brings us to understanding of the Savior perhaps better than anything else.

            Let us take time to understand Him through learning of Him, helping others, and praying for His Spirit.

Dani

Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 4: 3; 5: 2

Moroni 4

Verse 3: O God, the Eternal Father, we ask Thee

            in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this bread

            to the souls of all those who partake of it;

that they may eat in remembrance

            of the body of thy Son,

and witness unto Thee, O God, the Eternal Father,

that they are willing

            to take upon them the name of Thy Son, and

            and always remember Him,

            and keep His commandments which He hath given them,

that they may always have His Spirit to be with them.

Amen.

            As we remember what the Savior did for us

in teaching true principles,

living them Himself,

showing us how to go Home to Heavenly Father, then

making it possible for us to return by

offering His own self as a sacrifice for our sins and mistakes,

suffering incomprehensible pain, grief, and hurt so that

He can help us through our own suffering,

this sacred time of the week in which we listen to these prayers and recommit to following Jesus Christ should move us to change and improve.

            As we partake of bread broken in remembrance of His body, surely our witness to Heavenly Father should be given willingly. The recommitment to take Jesus Christ’s name upon us in thought and action, remembering Him when we think and act, and keeping His commandments both privately and publicly can be an anchor in our lives and hearts to His. This intent and effort on our part promises that His Spirit will be with us always, to help us, teach us, comfort us, and testify to us of His love and grace and truth.

Moroni 5:

Verse 2: O God, the Eternal Father, we ask Thee,

            In the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this wine

            to the souls of all those who drink of it,

that they may do it in remembrance

            of the blood of Thy Son,

            which was shed for them;

that they may witness unto Thee, O God, the Eternal Father,

            that they do always remember Him,

            that they may have His Spirit to be with them.

Amen.

            Jesus said, “As I have loved you, love one another. To personalize this, we commit, “As I love Jesus Christ, I will love [spouse, child, neighbor, sibling, parent, etc.]” when we insert someone who is hard to love into this commandment, we feel a change in us and in our own commitment.

            “If ye love Me, keep my commandments.” If ye love Me, love {person}. If ye love Me, help [person]. By taking the Savior’s commandments into our hearts in this simple way, we can begin the internalization that changes us from the way we are to the way He is.

            It is hard to change our habits from thinking from our own point of view to thinking and feeling in His way. But He helps our faltering efforts and we feel His approval that we are trying. He forgives us when we repent. He helps us when we want to do better.

            I am a child of God

            and so are you.

            Let us help each other obey

            and learn to live the Gospel true.

           

            Lead me, guide me

            Walk beside me

            Help me find the way

            Teach me all that I must do

            To live with Him some day.

            Let us remember Jesus Christ and keep our focus on Him as we live our lives day by day, helping others, being kind, and changing from our way and will to His.

Dani

Ether 12: 32 – 41

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 5: 4 – 6; 6: 9, 12, 17 – 18, 30

Chapter 5, Verse 4: And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also His word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day.

Verse 5: And if it so be that they repent and come unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they shall be received into the kingdom of God.

Verse 6: And now, if I have no authority for these things, judge ye; for ye shall know that I have authority when ye shall see me, and we shall stand before God at the last day. Amen.

            I’m grateful for the witnesses of truth which I have experienced. I’m grateful for the power which is in God’s word. The testimonies I have received of our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost bless my life every day. I’m grateful for my experiences of repentance and the joy I have received from my efforts to come unto Heavenly Father through His Son Jesus Christ. These have changed me because of the renewed focus to my life to walk with the Savior toward our Eternal Home.

            I still make mistakes of judgment but not of sin. I make mistakes of omission but I continually try to repent and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to know how to act as an instrument in the hands of God. My purpose is to learn and do God’s will in my daily living and with the people whom I associate. It is still a learning process for me. It is a refining process which helps me become more like my Savior in service, kindness, obedience, and love.

Chapter 6:

Verse 9: And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.

Verse 12: And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of His tender mercies over them.

            It is right to praise God through song, prayer, and gratitude. He is the source of our blessings. He gives us so much. He has so much more to give us if we will just be open to receive. I’m grateful for the promised land He has given to me. He has blessed me with great blessings and tender mercies for which I praise His name in gratitude forever.

Verse 17: And they were taught to walk humbly before the Lord; and they were also taught from on high.

Verse 18: And it came to pass that they began to spread upon the face of the land, and to multiply and to till the earth; and they did wax strong in the land.

Verse 30: And it came to pass that Orihah did walk humbly before the Lord, and did remember how great things the Lord had done for his father, and also taught his people how great things the Lord had done for their fathers.

            To be humble before the Lord allows us to learn His ways and to live our lives in a manner which prepares us to live with Heavenly Father in the next life. It helps us develop the attitudes of charity, service, obedience, trust, unselfishness, work, gratitude, and appreciation for others. To teach children, especially by example, helps adults to practice these attributes and to repent when mistakes are made.

            To walk humbly helps us remember the Lord, the blessings given to our ancestors, and the blessings we receive at the hand of the Lord. This increases our gratitude for what Heavenly Father has done to and for us. It allows us to be led toward Him in our eternal progression.

            May we humbly seek the Lord’s way for our lives.

Dani

Mormon 9: 21 – 25, 26 – 28

Verse 21: Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Verse 22:  For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto His disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all His disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature;

Verse 23: And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned;

Verse 24: And these signs shall follow them that believe—in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover;

Verse 25: And whosoever shall believe in my name, doubting nothing, unto him will I confirm all my words, even unto the ends of the earth.

            What marvelous promises are these for those who believe in Jesus Christ. Those who ask the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, doubting nothing, shall have it granted to him. Have you taken advantage of this promise? Have you received through your faith in Jesus Christ what you have asked of Heavenly Father in His name?

            I have had answers to my prayers, both large and small. I know God hears and cares about what matters to us. He has heard my pleas and given me so many things for which I have sought. I haven’t received everything that I have wanted, but I have received a majority of my requests. Sometimes the answers have come almost immediately; some answers have come within a week or a month. Some answers have come after years of prayers. Each has been a miracle to me. I have recognized God’s hand in the answer received. In His wisdom, He has given the answer that was best for me.

            These many experiences with prayer to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ have become a solid foundation to my faith in Jesus Christ and my testimony of God’s love and goodness. I know that God cares about each of us. I know that as we seek, we will find. I know that we can trust in His timing. I know that we can get through hard experiences with increased understanding and improvement by seeking God’s help.

            We change and grow through our sincere prayers to Heavenly Father. Our souls expand, our understanding increases, we learn to trust Him through our experiences of prayer in the name of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

            His words have been confirmed in my soul through my life’s experiences. He lives. He loves us. He wants us to come unto Him.

Verse 26: And now, behold, who can stand against the works of the Lord? Who can deny His sayings? Who will rise up against the almighty power of the Lord? Who will despise the works of the Lord? Who will despise the children of Christ? Behold, all ye who are despisers of the works of the Lord, for ye shall wonder and perish.

Verse 27:  O then despise not, and wonder not, but hearken unto the words of the Lord, and ask the Father in the name of Jesus for what things soever ye shall stand in need. Doubt not, but be believing, and begin as in times of old, and come unto the Lord with all your heart, and work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before Him.

Verse 28: Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

         Moroni identifies that those who fight against and despise the Lord’s work will perish unless they change, or repent. The simple act of sincere prayer and desire to believe will help people begin to come unto the Lord. The way is laid out in the scriptures. Humble study of the scriptures will lead to the Lord. This will aid in understanding how to serve God. Following this path helps one learn that God is true and He does live.

            I have utilized this proccess in my life, and I know it works. Simple humble prayer and honest sincere study of the scriptures has helped me know what to say and how to act in God’s way. The changes these daily activities have brought about in my heart and mind have brought me closer to God. Continued seeking over decades has brought me many answers to prayers, tender mercies of the Lord, and knowledge of His goodness. I know God lives and loves us because I have followed His plan and it has brought me closer to Him. I’m not perfect but I have become more worthy than I was.

            We can each change if we come unto Jesus Christ with broken hearts and contrite spirits. He will make more of us than we can make of ourselves. I know this is true.

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 20: 14, 15, 18, 20, 21 – 24, 25 – 26

Verse 14: And the Father hath commanded me that I should give unto you this land, for your inheritance.

Verse 18: And I will gather my people together as a man gathereth his sheaves into the floor.

Verse 15: And I say unto you, that if the Gentiles do not repent after the blessing which they shall receive, after they have scattered my people—

Verse 20: And it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that the sword of my justice shall hang over them at that day; and except they repent it shall fall upon them, saith the Father, yea, even upon all the nations of the Gentiles.

            Those who love the Lord will be gathered into His kingdom and be given a promised land. He gathers together all those who love Him and will covenant with Him. Those who will not covenant with Him, who do not repent of iniquities, will feel the judgment of God. This life is the time to prepare to live with God. Those who do not choose to prepare through their choices, including repentance, forgiveness, and service to others, will feel the Lord’s justice upon them. Wickedness never was happiness and will not provide safety.

            The Savior is sincere when He invites all to come unto Him. He knows that He is the only Way through which mankind can be saved. He loves each of us and desires each of us to accept His Atonement to prepare our hearts and minds to live with God again. His pleadings to us are a result of His love for us and for us to receive the blessings God has for us. Those who refuse His invitations will also receive the consequences of their choices.

Verse 21: And it shall come to pass that I will establish my people, O house of Israel.

Verse 22: And behold, this people will I establish in this land, unto the fulfilling of the covenant which I made with your father Jacob; and it shall be a New Jerusalem. And the powers of heaven shall be in the midst of this people; yea, even I will be in the midst of you.

Verse 23: Behold, I am He of whom Moses spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever He shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that every soul who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.

Verse 24: Verily I say unto you, yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have testified of me.

            There is a purpose for earth life. There is a plan and our choices have an influence on that plan for ourselves personally as well as for those around us. However, the plan is God’s and He has set the bounds which man cannot pass. When we act within His plan, we are assisting Him with His work of goodness and righteousness. Those who oppose the plan will not receive the blessings they might have had by choosing to follow the plan.  God’s people are those who hear Him and choose to live His way.

            The plan will be accomplished. It is our choice and the consequence of our participation in the plan that will affect our eternity. The plan of salvation is the plan of happiness. It was the plan Heavenly Father presented to all of us before this world was created. It is the plan that will enable those who chose to follow it to enjoy the greatest blessings of heaven, for they will have developed comfort with and enjoyment of the laws that govern there.

            There is a place prepared for all of God’s children according to their choices. What people chose to be comfortable with on earth will establish where they will live in eternity. Each part of heaven is greater than earth life as we know it now. What we seek for is what we will receive. That is why our choices on earth matter so much. What do we use to govern our lives? These are the laws that we will feel comfortable with in the next life.

            Heavenly Father will not force us to receive all that He has. He does invite us to join Him in His abode. No unclean thing can dwell with Him. To become clean, we must choose cleanliness on this earth in our lives now. We must use the Savior’s Atonement every day of our lives to change to become the best we can. His grace will be sufficient for us to overcome sin and weakness.

            Our intent must be real. It must be sincere. Our efforts must be the Best WE can do. Where there is weakness, our Savior will strengthen us. With our willingness, His grace will abound. He will plead to Heavenly Father for us. All things are possible for those who love God.

            Oh, let us love Him with all of our hearts, might, mind, and strength. Let us love one another as we love ourselves and be kind and help each other. The effort will be so worth the sacrifice.

Verse 25: And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

Verse 26: The Father having raised me up unto you first, and sent me to bless you in turning away every one of you from his iniquities; and this because ye are the children of the covenant

            God has promised great blessing to the house of Israel. These of His children will be a blessing to all the people of the earth. There is a responsibility here, a covenant to keep and fulfill. Will we stand and fulfill the covenant our fathers made with God? He will bless the righteous descendants of Israel with the fulfillment of the promises made to their ancestors.

 

            It is a wonderful opportunity to work with God in accomplishing His plan.  As we obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make and keep sacred covenants, serve and help one another, repent and change, listen for and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we are being righteous participants in the Plan of Salvation.

            May we look to Jesus Christ and learn to live His way and be part of His plan of happiness in these last days.

Dani

3 Nephi 19: 24, 25 – 26, 27 – 30, 31 – 36

Verse 24: And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, He came unto His disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto Him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.

        From this scripture I learn that learning to pray for the desires of our hearts without many words is possible. The feelings and thoughts of our hearts can be expressed concisely with clarity to God. The Spirit of God can guide us what to pray for. Then truly our prayers are experiences of sincerity and unity.

Verse 25: And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto Him; and His countenance did smile upon them, and the light of His countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.

Verse 26: And Jesus said unto them: Pray on; nevertheless they did not cease to pray.

            I am grateful when I feel the Savior smile upon me. When my heart is right, my efforts the best I can give, I feel His gratitude and joy. I want to feel His smile more often and so I continue to seek His will and ways in my daily choices. I know that He always loves me. I want to show that I always love and remember Him.

            I also feel His smile even when I turn to Him in my weaknesses and failures. His smile of love and encouragement helps me to keep striving (to get back up after falling). He doesn’t criticize but encourages.

            I want my obedience to Him to be as complete as I can make it as evidence to Him that I love Him and will always remember Him and keep His commandments. Sometimes life gets in the way of my remembrance. I keep trying. It is my deepest desire to be a true disciple of my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ.

            Jesus wants us to continue praying because it is through our prayers that we can understand, change, and receive Heaven’s help because we seek it.

Verse 27: And He turned from them again, and went a little way off and bowed Himself to the earth; and He prayed again unto the Father, saying:

Verse 28: Father, I thank thee that thou hast purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me.

Verse 29: Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them.

Verse 30: And when Jesus had spoken these words He came again unto His disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and He did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.

            Jesus’ prayer to Heavenly Father teaches us a few things. When Jesus choses disciples or servants, they are or become pure vessels to do His work. It is a person’s faith in God which allows them to do God’s work as disciples of Jesus Christ. God’s work is to save souls and His disciples are instruments in teaching His words for that purpose. People who believe on the words of God’s servants may also become purified in Jesus Christ because of their faith.

            The words of God whether by His own voice, or by the voice of His servants, has the same power to increase our faith in God and to, as we follow His words, purify our hearts and minds. With faith in God and purified souls, people come out of the world, in other words, choose God’s ways over the world’s ways. They do His works. They help others. They become His disciples. They seek God through prayer, studying His words, and doing His works. This brings the smile of God upon His disciples. When they make mistakes, they repent, and keep striving.

            Surely God’s smile is joyful as He watches His children increase in their love for and desire to follow His ways. He loves each one of us but joy comes as we progress toward Him through following His words and obeying His ways. Let us bring joy to God by striving in our daily lives to listen to His servants, live His word, increase our faith, and live His way.

Verse 31:  And it came to pass that He went again a little way off and prayed unto the Father;

Verse 32: And tongue cannot speak the words which He prayed, neither can be written by man the words which He prayed.

Verse 33: And the multitude did hear and do bear record; and their hearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which He prayed.

Verse 34:  Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which He prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man.

            To hear and understand words so marvelous that they cannot be uttered by others or written would indeed be a marvelous experience. To be taught by Jesus Christ’s example of service would impact the hearts of humble people. Because of their experiences, these people had broken hearts. They were ready to be taught. They had opportunity to learn in marvelous ways both as Jesus taught those He called to serve and as He served the multitude.

            Do we value the marvelous words of God which He gives to us in our day and that are written in the scriptures? Do we value the words of His called servants? Are our hearts humble and our spirits contrite so that we are able to hear the great and marvelous things of our time?

Verse 35: And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying He came again to the disciples, and said unto them: So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews; wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief.

Verse 36: Verily I say unto you, there are none of them that have seen so great things as ye have seen; neither have they heard so great things as ye have heard.

            The experiences the called Ancient American disciples of Jesus had in the few days that He was with them were a result of their faith. Jesus compared it to the lack of faith among the Jews whom He spent His whole life with. If we are not experiencing great miracles in our own lives, we need to look inward. Do we use faith to navigate our days or do we dwell in unbelief?

            The gathered multitude observed what Jesus did and how He taught the disciples. They had their sick and infirm healed and their young children surrounded by angels and spoke marvelous things. They heard Jesus pray marvelous words. They had many sacred experiences that touched their hearts, deepened their faith, and would change their actions.

            Jesus Christ can visit us as well. In the scriptures, the words of living prophets, the voice of His Spirit in our hearts and minds, and in answer to our prayers, we can feel His presence, His love, and His invitation to Come Unto Him. As we seek Him, we will find.

            We can know that He is aware of us individually and loves each of us. I know this is true because I have experienced it in my life. I have seen it in others’ lives. It is our willingness to walk along His path, and to be open to receive His words, that allows changes to happen in our hearts and minds.

            It is a marvelous thing to see one’s life changed day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year, and decade by decade because of the choice to have faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, individually one by one.

            May our desire and our faith lead us to the miracles of Jesus in our hearts, minds, and lives.

Dani