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

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 6: 6, 17, 21; 7: 3, 5 – 7, 8 – 9, 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

3 Nephi 22, 4 – 5, 7 – 8, 10, 13 – 14, 17; 3 Nephi 23: 1, 3 – 5, 9, 14

Verse 4:  Fear not, for thou shalt not be ashamed; neither be thou confounded, for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

Verse 5: For thy maker, thy husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israelthe God of the whole earth shall He be called.

            This verse comforts me because it helps me realize that no matter the circumstances of my life, when I put my focus into following Jesus Christ, all things shall work for my good because He is my Redeemer. Jesus Christ had power to overcome not only His trials, but also the trials of all who put their trust in Him. With faith in Him, the earthly cares and circumstances won’t matter in the eternities. He is the healer of hearts and souls. He will make all things right for those who put their faith in Him and follow Him.

Verse 7: For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee.

Verse 8: In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.

Verse 10:  For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

           The promises to those who are faithful are for eternity. No matter the trials and adversity experienced in this life, those faithful to their covenants with the Lord, shall have His reward of kindness, peace, and mercy. If repentance and change to learn and do God’s will is our effort and focus, the things we experience in this life will be for our blessing and eternal growth in the next.

Verse 13:  And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

Verse 14:  In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression for thou shalt not fear, and from terror for it shall not come near thee.

            During the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, wrongs will be made right.  Righteousness and peace will exist upon the earth. The Lord’s ways will govern. Children, and everyone, will be safe. Learning and living God’s ways now also brings safety and peace to our hearts and lives.

Verse 17:  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.

            The Lord’s servants, the prophets, and His faithful people will succeed in accomplishing the plan of salvation, the purpose of life. Even though there is adversity for all upon the earth, individual choice to follow Jesus Christ during hard and easy times, will enable us to pass through it and receive His blessings in the end. Righteousness and faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ will bless His followers forever. Obedience to His commands and ways, give us the best outcomes in all circumstances. Kindness, charity, forgiveness, and prayer for others are tools of strength we can use daily in our hearts and actions to bring about God’s purposes.

Chapter 23:

Verse 1:  And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.

            Jesus points to the words of Isaiah for study and learning because of the application they have to our lives and to the happenings of our day. They help give us courage and faith as we live our lives preparing for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. He is the One who gave them to Isaiah and they apply to our day as well.

Verse 3: And all things that he spake have been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake.

Verse 4: Therefore give heed to my words; write the things which I have told you; and according to the time and the will of the Father they shall go forth unto the Gentiles.

Verse 5: And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be that testify of these things.

            Jesus gives a command and a promise to His disciples of Ancient America. Their writing of His words would be given at a future time in the last days to the Gentiles. Those who seek His words and obey them, repent, and are baptized will be saved. To be saved is to obtain the state in which one can live forever with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

            It is the greatest thing we can seek during our lives. It comes from learning and doing the things Jesus Christ taught. It comes from being His disciple, doing His work of obedience and service. It is a wonderful state that we cannot even fully imagine now. It is where peace and love and righteousness exist. It is Zion.

Verse 14:  And now it came to pass that when Jesus had expounded all the scriptures in one, which they had written, He commanded them that they should teach the things which He had expounded unto them.

            How awesome it is to sit at the feet of the servants of God who understand the scriptures and how they apply to our lives. The scriptures are given for one purpose – to help us understand and believe the things of God. When we know His will and ways, we can live better. We can make better choices in our daily lives and treat others with more care and love. We can put our time and efforts into the things that matter most.

            I enjoy learning more of Jesus Christ through scripture study and hearing the words of the prophets. My mind has been opened with light bulb moments as I have heard the words of God and understood better how to live them. I have been blessed through my life with the change I have made in living the words of Christ as given to His servants. I’m grateful especially for modern day prophets whose teachings I have chosen to follow and which have shaped who I have become. I’m grateful for their service and sacrifice in the work of the Lord.

            I look forward to the time when His words will cover the whole earth and all will seek to live them. Then will peace abide in our hearts, minds, and lives forever.

Dani

3 Nephi 20: 27 – 29, 30 – 39, 40 – 43, 46

Verse 27: And after that ye were blessed then fulfilleth the Father the covenant which He made with Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed—unto the pouring out of the Holy Ghost through me upon the Gentiles, which blessing upon the Gentiles shall make them mighty above all, unto the scattering of my people, O house of Israel.

Verse 28:  And they shall be a scourge unto the people of this land. Nevertheless, when they shall have received the fulness of my gospel, then if they shall harden their hearts against me I will return their iniquities upon their own heads, saith the Father.

Verse 29: And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people; and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in mine own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the land of Jerusalem, which is the promised land unto them forever, saith the Father.

          The Lord’s plan and covenants will be fulfilled. Both the house of Israel and the Gentiles have place in His plan. Individuals choose their parts consciously or unconsciously, purposefully or thoughtlessly. Our choices affect our part in God’s plan because His plan includes each of us. Families are important. The whole plan of God involves families, individually, and as linked from one generation to the next. His timing will be met in His plan. Families can trust in the covenants made with Him.

Verse 30:  And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fulness of my gospel shall be preached unto them;

Verse 31: And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.

Verse 32:  Then shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye.

Verse 33:  Then will the Father gather them together again, and give unto them Jerusalem for the land of their inheritance.

Verse 34: Then shall they break forth into joy—Sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the Father hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem.

Verse 35: The Father hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father; and the Father and I are one.

Verse 36: And then shall be brought to pass that which is written: Awake, awake again, and put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city, for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.

Verse 37: Shake thyself from the dust; arise, sit down, O Jerusalem; loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.

Verse 38: For thus saith the Lord: Ye have sold yourselves for naught, and ye shall be redeemed without money.

Verses 39: Verily, verily, I say unto you, that my people shall know my name; yea, in that day they shall know that I am He that doth speak.

            Those who believe the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and pray in His name will have prophets to lead them, in unity will they be gathered, and they will have joy. They will see God’s hand in their lives and will see salvation in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father who are one in purpose and strength.

            When the covenant people of God are obedient and faithful to Him, they become strong and beautiful. They become clean through repentance and obedience. Those who love the Lord will recognize Him and His prophets. They will value His word from the scriptures, the living prophets, and through the Holy Ghost. This process is a marvelous thing to behold.

Verse 40: And then shall they say: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings unto them, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings unto them of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion: Thy God reigneth!

Verse 41: And then shall a cry go forth: Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch not that which is unclean; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.

Verse 42: For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward.

Verse 43: Behold, my servant shall deal prudently; he shall be exalted and extolled and be very high.

            In these last days, we are asked to leave the unclean ways of the world and become clean through our efforts of obedience and sacrifice. God asks us to sacrifice of our own will to His will so that we are able to bear His vessels and do His work with worthiness. We are to do as He asks with order and prudence. People will know truth through God’s ways. Jesus Christ will be known by His people.

Verse 46: Verily, verily, I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with His people be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance.

            God’s covenant with His people will be fulfilled and His people will inhabit their inheritance. His temples will be honored by those who love Him. Jesus Christ will complete the work that Heavenly Father gave Him. Those who love Him and keep their covenants are participants in fulfilling the sacred work of saving individuals and families.

            What an opportunity we have in our lives to immerse ourselves in the Lord’s work of saving His children. We can help each other. We can make and keep sacred covenants. We can connect our families through family history and temple work. We can build temples unto the Lord and use them daily.

            We are preparing for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth. We are preparing for HIs great millennium reign upon the earth. We have been given the opportunity to be His hands and do His work in these last days.

            Oh, let us be willing and work diligently and with joy to be ready to receive our King, Jesus Christ, as He comes again!

Dani

3 Nephi 20: 1, 2 – 5, 6 – 9, 10 – 14

Verse 1: And it came to pass that He commanded the multitude that they should cease to pray, and also His disciples. And He commanded them that they should not cease to pray in their hearts.

            Even though we aren’t actively focused on prayer, Jesus teaches us that we should be aware of and have the attitude of prayer in our hearts. To me this means that we should reach to heaven during our days. If we are joyful, give thanks to Heavenly Father. If we are struggling, plead for His help. If we are perplexed, ask for inspiration.

            As we go through our days, let Heavenly Father be our first place to turn. He will not force His will upon us but He will be right there for us when we ask. This is what I believe that Jesus Christ is teaching about prayer in our hearts. What other understanding of this commandment is there?

Verse 2: And He commanded them that they should arise and stand up upon their feet. And they arose up and stood upon their feet.

Verse 3: And it came to pass that He brake bread again and blessed it, and gave to the disciples to eat.

Verse 4: And when they had eaten He commanded them that they should break bread, and give unto the multitude.

Verse 5: And when they had given unto the multitude He also gave them wine to drink, and commanded them that they should give unto the multitude.

            After their prayer, He gave them the sacrament which is that special remembrance of His sacrifice given through tokens of bread and drink. He gave it to His disciples and instructed them to give it to the congregation. He was teaching by example how to serve. He lets people be His hands, or do His work, upon the earth for their growth. I think it is because of what we learn as we serve others and as others serve us.

            Bonds of understanding and love are constructed as we interact with one another in this capacity of giving and receiving help and assistance. Jesus is our perfect example of that. No one love us as He does because of His service to us. We learn to love others as He loves as we serve as His hands.

Verse 6: Now, there had been no bread, neither wine, brought by the disciples, neither by the multitude;

Verse 7: But He truly gave unto them bread to eat, and also wine to drink.

Verse 8: And He said unto them: He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul; and he that drinketh of this wine drinketh of my blood to his soul; and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled.

Verse 9: Now, when the multitude had all eaten and drunk, behold, they were filled with the Spirit; and they did cry out with one voice, and gave glory to Jesus, whom they both saw and heard.

            The Sacrament is sacred because of what it represents. By partaking of the bread and drink, we are remembering what He gave for us. He took upon Himself each of our sins, hurts, weaknesses, and sickness so that He understands personally how we feel. He will help us overcome our challenges and/or help us bear them because He understands them personally. He has the power, because of His sacrifice, to help us and to teach us through the process.

            We learn eternal principles as we allow Him to be our guide in difficulty. When we utilize His sacrifice as represented by the bread and drink, our spiritual selves are fed. We worship and honor Him through this process.

Verse 10: And it came to pass that when they had all given glory unto Jesus, He said unto them: Behold now I finish the commandment which the Father hath commanded me concerning this people, who are a remnant of the house of Israel.

Verse 11: Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled—behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them—

Verse 12: And verily, verily, I say unto you, that when they shall be fulfilled then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto His people, O house of Israel.

Verse 13: And then shall the remnants, which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth, be gathered in from the east and from the west, and from the south and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God, who hath redeemed them.

           The Old Testament scriptures teach us the words of the ancient prophets. Many of these ancient prophets saw our day and prophesied concerning it. Isaiah’s words concerning the last days will be fulfilled. A major portion of what happens in these last days has to do with God’s fulfilling His covenants with the descendants of Israel. They will be gathered in to the Lord’s kingdom. They will recognize their Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

            Our opportunity as well as our challenge is to seek, hear, and obey the commands of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. Heavenly Father has things for each of us to do upon the earth. When we keep the commandments of Jesus Christ, we learn to hear the voice of God and we begin to understand how to be part of His work upon the earth.

            May we each seek open our hearts and minds to hear and obey.

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

3 Nephi 19: 1 – 3, 6 – 9, 10 – 14, 15, 16 – 18, 19 – 23

Verse 1:  And now it came to pass that when Jesus had ascended into heaven, the multitude did disperse, and every man did take his wife and his children and did return to his own home.

Verse 2: And it was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that He had ministered unto them, and that He would also show Himself on the morrow unto the multitude.

Verse 3: Yea, and even all the night it was noised abroad concerning Jesus; and insomuch did they send forth unto the people that there were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show Himself unto the multitude.

            What conversation families must have had as they talked about the marvelous experiences of the day. To have heard the teachings of Jesus and seen the miracles He performed would have been so joyful. After the destruction of the earth, Jesus’ touch would have been so healing replacing terror and fear caused by darkness and storms with peace and joy.

            The people who had experienced the day with Jesus were talking about it and sharing with those who had not been there. Many labored all night – most likely on foot in the dark – to get to where Jesus was going to be the next day. What an experience of joy to anticipate and prepare for.

Verse 6: And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.

Verse 7: And the disciples did pray unto the Father also in the name of Jesus. And it came to pass that they arose and ministered unto the people.

Verse 8: And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken—nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken—behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus.

Verse 9: And they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them.

            The leaders whom Jesus had chosen began leading the next day. They organized the people into twelve groups so they were small enough to hear what was told them. The leaders, the twelve Jesus called, taught the people and prayed for and with them. There were new people to hear and teach – those who had traveled all night to be there.

            I like the statement that they prayed for that which they most desired. To pray for what we most desire in righteousness is a good thing. To receive the gift of the Holy Ghost is the greatest gift a person can have to help them during their life, as the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead and helps individuals in the ways of God for their specific needs. To have individual tutoring and guidance and comfort and healing through the Holy Ghost is a strength and help of marvelous proportions.

Verse 10:  And when they had thus prayed they went down unto the water’s edge, and the multitude followed them.

Verse 11:  And it came to pass that Nephi went down into the water and was baptized.

Verse 12: And he came up out of the water and began to baptize. And he baptized all those whom Jesus had chosen.

Verse 13: And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

Verse 14: And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.

            The desires of their hearts were fulfilled as the disciples were baptized and received the Holy Ghost. The people saw what seemed like fire encircling the disciples. Angels came down out of heaven and ministered to them as well. What a joyous experience for those who had been there the day before and what amazement for those who had labored all night to get to the place where they could have this heavenly experience. Imagine literally seeing the completed baptism of water and spirit!

Verse 15: And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.

            Jesus came and ministered unto them. To have His presence, to have His care and teachings. What peace and joy and love must have surrounded this multitude. The leaders prepared the multitude through their ministering and teaching for the multitude to have marvelous experiences and to prepare for Jesus Christ’s visit.

            This is what the leaders whom are called to lead should do. Their service should prepare those they are called to serve to receive Jesus Christ. Our service should strengthen and teach people. It should lead them to Jesus. Each of us is a leader and a follower. Each of us has responsibilities to serve and to be served. Both roles are important in the learning process.

            There is something to be learned individually in following Jesus Christ both as a leader and as one of the multitude. Each role leads to more complete understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Verse 16: And it came to pass that He spake unto the multitude, and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that His disciples should kneel down upon the earth.

Verse 17: And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, He commanded His disciples that they should pray.

Verse 18: And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God.

            The multitude were willingly obedient to Jesus Christ’s commands. They worshipped Him. Good questions for us each to ask ourselves are, “Am I willingly obedient to Him who provides the only way Home to Heavenly Father?” and “Do I reverence He who suffered personally for each of my hurts, mistakes, and sins?”

Verse 19: And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth, and he said:

Verse 20: Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.

Verse 21: Father, I pray Thee that Thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe in their words.

Verse 22: Father, Thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and Thou seest that they believe in me because Thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.

Verse 23: And now Father, I pray unto Thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as Thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one.

            Then Jesus did as He taught and He prayed to Heavenly Father. He humbly thanked Heavenly Father for the blessings being experienced, then asked for blessings upon others who would be influenced by His chosen servants’ words of testimony. He prayed for unity of purpose of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and those who believe.

            I love unity. I am grateful for the strength, understanding of purpose and people it gives. I also recognize that being One takes sacrifice and humility by seeking God’s will instead of our own. It takes willingness to cooperate with others to fulfill a greater role than one’s own purposes. It brings a wonderful feeling of closeness to others and to God.

            May we each seek Jesus, hear Him, and let Him lead us to our Father Above together.

Dani