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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

come unto Christ, and

lay hold upon every good gift, and 

touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing.

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

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

strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever,

that thou mayest no more be confounded,

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

may be fulfilled.

Verse 32:  Yea, come unto Christ, and

be perfected in Him, and 

deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and

if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and 

love God with all your might, mind and strength,

then is His grace sufficient for you,

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

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

ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

Verse 33: And again,

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

deny not His power,

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

through the shedding of the blood of Christ,

which is in the covenant of the Father

unto the remission of your sins,

that ye become holy,

without spot.

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

I soon go to rest in the paradise of God,

until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and

I am brought forth triumphant through the air,

to meet you

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

of both quick and dead.  Amen.

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

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

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

Dani

3 Nephi 17: 11 – 17

Verse 11: And it came to pass that He commanded that their little children should be brought.

Verse 12: So they brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about Him, and Jesus stood in the midst; and the multitude gave way till they had all been brought unto Him.

Verse 13: And it came to pass that when they had all been brought, and Jesus stood in the midst, He commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.

Verse 14: And it came to pass that when they had knelt upon the ground, Jesus groaned within himself, and said: Father, I am troubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel.

Verse 15: And when He had said these words, He himself also knelt upon the earth; and behold He prayed unto the Father, and the things which He prayed cannot be written, and the multitude did bear record who heard Him.

Verse 16: And after this manner do they bear record: The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard, before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;

Verse 17: And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things as we both saw and heard Jesus speak; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.

            This scene seems beautiful to me, I enjoy imagining parents bringing their little ones. Having experienced days of destruction previously, this experience with Jesus praying for them must have wiped away a lot of terror that these children and their families had experienced.

            Jesus was concerned at the choices His covenant people had made. His prayer for the future of these children and their descendants was so beautiful it could not be written but filled those who heard it with joy. Surely the love they felt as Jesus talked to Heavenly Father about them gave them greater understanding of God’s work and glory for them.

            His greatness and power touched their hearts as they saw first hand His relationship to God. As His words opened an eternal view to their minds and hearts, surely hope and faith and love increased within them. The precious worth of each individual must have been borne out in His words. Surely none could have doubted that His sacrifice was completed out of love for each one.

            I imagine that Jesus continues to talk to Heavenly Father in our day about us on the earth today. His love is as great for each one of us as it was for the House of Israel whom He visited. Time does not change His concern for His little ones nor their families. His sacrifice includes all people. Will we allow His love and prayers to enter our hearts and change our behavior? Will we kneel at His feet in our lives and worship Him who cares so much about us?

            May we each be open to hear His words and feel His love.

Dani

3 Nephi 14: 15 – 20, 21 – 23, 24 – 27

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

3 Nephi 12: 27 – 32, 33 – 37, 38 – 42, 43 – 45, 46 – 48

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Helaman 11: 4 – 7, 9 – 18

Nephi’s prayer in behalf of his people:

Verse 4:  O Lord, do not suffer that this people shall be destroyed by the sword; but O Lord, rather let there be a famine in the land, to stir them up in remembrance of the Lord their God, and perhaps they will repent and turn unto Thee.

Verse 5: And so it was done, according to the words of Nephi. And there was a great famine upon the land, among all the people of Nephi. And thus in the seventy and fourth year the famine did continue, and the work of destruction did cease by the sword but became sore by famine.

Verse 6: And this work of destruction did also continue in the seventy and fifth year. For the earth was smitten that it was dry, and did not yield forth grain in the season of grain; and the whole earth was smitten, even among the Lamanites as well as among the Nephites, so that they were smitten that they did perish by thousands in the more wicked parts of the land.

Verse 7: And it came to pass that the people saw that they were about to perish by famine, and they began to remember the Lord their God; and they began to remember the words of Nephi.

            It is usual for our memories to get longer when we have trials. We more often think of God when things around us are out of our control. We begin to realize our own limitations and rely upon Him for those things that matter most in our lives.

            My understanding about trials and challenges has changed over the course of my life. I have learned that eternal truths go deeper in my heart when the only way to get through hard times is with God’s help. I like to feel peace in my life. I’ve learned through my experience that I can feel peace when my thoughts and motives are on God’s work and His love. No matter the heart-wrenching trials happening in my life, I’ve learned that when His peace is in my heart and I choose to “be still and know that He is God”, I feel deep peace and strength. I know that the outcome will be all right even if it isn’t what I thought I wanted.

            I’ve also learned that when I ask in prayer, “What am I to learn from this trial”, that His answers come to my heart and mind. I’m able to see how I can change and what I can do to become a better person as well as a better disciple of Jesus Christ. It is hard experience which has helped me know in the deep fibers of my being that God lives and loves me and that He is concerned for the welfare of all people. He loves each of us.

            By seeking God’s help, I have seen His influence work within me and in circumstances so that trials have become learning experiences and strengthening to relationships. I’m grateful for what I have learned through my trials. It has taken humility and faith and choice to turn to God and to seek for His will.   My choices have given me experience with Him. I’m grateful that I know that God lives and cares. His help has enabled me to choose better, to do better, and to become better as an individual.

Verse 9: And it came to pass that the judges did say unto Nephi, according to the words which had been desired. And it came to pass that when Nephi saw that the people had repented and did humble themselves in sackcloth, he cried again unto the Lord, saying:

Verse 10:  O Lord, behold this people repenteth; and they have swept away the band of Gadianton from amongst them insomuch that they have become extinct, and they have concealed their secret plans in the earth.

Verse 11: Now, O Lord, because of this their humility wilt thou turn away thine anger, and let thine anger be appeased in the destruction of those wicked men whom thou hast already destroyed.

Verse 12: O Lord, wilt thou turn away thine anger, yea, thy fierce anger, and cause that this famine may cease in this land.

Verse 13: O Lord, wilt thou hearken unto me, and cause that it may be done according to my words, and send forth rain upon the face of the earth, that she may bring forth her fruit, and her grain in the season of grain.

Verse 14: O Lord, thou didst hearken unto my words when I said, Let there be a famine, that the pestilence of the sword might cease; and I know that thou wilt, even at this time, hearken unto my words, for thou saidst that: If this people repent I will spare them.

Verse 15: Yea, O Lord, and thou seest that they have repented, because of the famine and the pestilence and destruction which has come unto them.

Verse 16: And now, O Lord, wilt thou turn away thine anger, and try again if they will serve thee? And if so, O Lord, thou canst bless them according to thy words which thou hast said.

           Nephi’s prayer is revealing. It helps me see the things that are important to God. It helps me understand what I can do to receive His blessings. I better understand the role of prophets between God and people.

            Nephi’s purpose was to help his people turn to the Lord. He didn’t like to see the people suffer, but he did want them to choose the right so they could have peace and happiness. His faith and prayers to the Lord for help were heard. They were answered. They made a difference to the people. The more wicked died and the others repented. They saw what they had done wrong, felt bad, and wanted to do better. They wanted to live. Nephi’s faith and prayers made a difference in the spiritual and eternal state of his people as well as the physical.

Verse 17: And it came to pass that in the seventy and sixth year the Lord did turn away his anger from the people, and caused that rain should fall upon the earth, insomuch that it did bring forth her fruit in the season of her fruit. And it came to pass that it did bring forth her grain in the season of her grain.

Verse 18: And behold, the people did rejoice and glorify God, and the whole face of the land was filled with rejoicing; and they did no more seek to destroy Nephi, but they did esteem him as a great prophet, and a man of God, having great power and authority given unto him from God.

Verse 19: And behold, Lehi, his brother, was not a whit behind him as to things pertaining to righteousness.

            There are many perspectives we can have about earth life and the things that happen in our lives. I believe that the eternal perspective gives us the fullest earth life experience. When we understand that this life is the time to prepare to meet God, which we do through our choices, then we are able to make the choices that change our weaknesses to strengths and build our relationships into strong bonds. We make the choices of service and love.

            We realize that when we serve others we are serving God. We experience the paradigm of happiness that comes from selflessly sacrificing our time and resources for the benefit of others. It is an amazing experience to realize one has lost oneself in service and found a deep source of satisfaction in the peace and joy that service brought to one’s life.

            One day at a time builds a life. The investments we make in our days build our habits and character. After decades have passed, we can look back and are able to identify where we have come from and how what we have chosen has shaped who we have become. Little things have allowed us to become better. Daily service has blessed others’ lives as well as our own. Happiness has been added perhaps a drop at a time over the days of our lives and joy has resulted.

            Prophets give service to the people God gives them responsibility for. They teach us His words and priorities and focus. I appreciate the prophets in my life who made a big difference to me as I listened to their counsel and sought to apply it in my life. I have felt their power and authority from God. I have felt the righteousness which developed within me and my life from following their counsel. I know they are men of God. I’m grateful for their sacrifice of time and priority to do God’s work. Their words have blessed my life with hope, faith, love, understanding, truth, and power.

            May we seek God’s word from His prophets so that we might receive His blessings in our lives.

Dani

Helaman 10: 4, 5 – 11, 16 – 17

Verse 4:  Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.

            God is commending Nephi for his faithfulness in unselfishly sharing the Gospel, seeking and doing His will, and keeping His commandments. These simple actions and motives have brought Nephi to God. Doing these things will also help bring us to God.      God is aware of what we do and how we do it. He knows our hearts as well as our actions. He loves us always but His opportunity to bless us is tied to what we choose to do and be.

Verse 5:  And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

Verse 6:  Behold, thou art Nephi, and I am God. Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power over this people, and shall smite the earth with famine, and with pestilence, and destruction, according to the wickedness of this people.

Verse 7:  Behold, I give unto you power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.

Verse 8: And thus, if ye shall say unto this temple it shall be rent in twain, it shall be done.

Verse 9: And if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou cast down and become smooth, it shall be done.

Verse 10: And behold, if ye shall say that God shall smite this people, it shall come to pass.

Verse 11: And now behold, I command you, that ye shall go and declare unto this people, that thus saith the Lord God, who is the Almighty: Except ye repent ye shall be smitten, even unto destruction.

            These verses are amazing as God tells Nephi the blessings and power he will have because of his diligence, faithfulness, and endurance in seeking and doing God’s will in obedience. Nephi’s forever blessings include being mighty in word, deed, faith, and works. God will give Nephi anything Nephi asks because God and Nephi both know that Nephi will only ask according to God’s will.

            God gives Nephi the same priesthood authority that Jesus Christ gave Peter that that which Nephi seals and looses on earth will be the same in heaven. He gives Nephi physical as well as spiritual power. After God tells Nephi what blessings of authority He gives him, God commands him to take the important message to Nephi’s people that they must repent or God will destroy them. A huge task to be sure but with God’s power and authority nothing is impossible. Nephi did what the Lord asked him to do.

Verse 16: But behold, the power of God was with him, and they could not take him to cast him into prison, for he was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away out of the midst of them.

Verse 17: And it came to pass that thus he did go forth in the Spirit, from multitude to multitude, declaring the word of God, even until he had declared it unto them all, or sent it forth among all the people.

            In these verses, Moroni describes Nephi’s life as God protects him on the assignment or mission God gave him. He had physical safety as he went forth with God’s Spirit to the multitudes and declared God’s word to them. He was true to God’s purpose.

            As we learn to do God’s will, as Nephi did with full purpose of heart, we also can become instruments in God’s hands to bless those around us. As we live worthily, we can be an influence of good to others. We can help them hear and understand God’s His word and feel His love.

            My experience has helped me learn that as I seek to love and serve God with all of my heart, might, mind, and strength as well as to love others as myself, I am strengthened in righteousness and can help lift others too. It is the motive and the effort to “unwearyingly” do what God asks that brings His help in our efforts. He does more with us than we can do on our own.

            He knows needs and methods of others we don’t know anything about. He will lead and guide us as our hearts and minds are willing. His way is a way of joy and happiness. It takes effort on our part but He sustains us. He allows us to do so much more than we can on our own. As we unite with others in working together to serve and bless others in God’s work, our ability is multiplied and even greater miracles are accomplished.

            May we feel God’s power in our lives as we serve Him with all our heart and our might and our mind and our strength. Begin with where we are and seek to increase in doing more. I know that each of us will feel His power in our lives for I have felt it in mine. His promises are true.

Dani

Helaman 3: 27 – 30, 35

Verse 27: Thus we may see that the Lord is merciful unto all who will, in the sincerity of their hearts, call upon His holy name.

Verse 28: Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.

Verse 29: Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—

Verse 30: And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.

       To believe and act upon God’s word in sincerity bring priceless blessings. To pray for His help and come unto Jesus Christ is an act of faith that brings the power of Heaven into one’s life. God’s word helps us see–to understand–truth and righteousness. As we follow it, it leads us to, and along, the strait and narrow way to the safety of God’s presence. The strait and narrow way leads us safely past the devil’s cunning traps. It keeps us on the Lord’s side of the line during the journey of our lives.

            To arrive, or land, at the right hand of God in His kingdom with those great souls, our holy fathers and mothers, who have also followed the strait and narrow path there, will be a marvelous blessing worth great sacrifice on our part. To be able to stay in the kingdom of heaven, because we are worthy to be there, and have paid the price to get there and not to have to leave it, is a gift and joy to hope and live for.

            The Lord’s mercy, our sincere hearts, and prayers are what opens the gate of heaven to those who will. It is our choice whether or not to go the distance. Will we believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God? Will we lay hold upon the word of God which leads Christ’s followers in a strait and narrow course to the right hand of God? Will we? I choose that path. It is the path of happiness and righteousness. It is the path Home. I pray for help as I walk along it.

Verse 35: Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.

            Here is help along the path: fasting and prayer, humility, firmness in faith of Jesus Christ. These choices fill our souls with joy and consolation. Consolation which is needed for the hurt and pain that comes through others’ less righteous choices. Fasting, prayer, humility, and faith in Jesus Christ lead us to purification and sanctification of our hearts.

            Sanctification comes because we choose to yield our hearts unto God. When we are humble enough during the events of our lives to pray for help; when we fast for strength and cling tightly in faith to the words of Life given by our Savior Jesus Christ; when we feel joy at His loving gifts which allow us to grow and overcome our weaknesses, we allow the simple yet profound process which has the power to purify our souls and sanctify our hearts.

            No unclean thing can enter God’s kingdom. We need to become pure, clean, and sanctified. Sanctified because as we passed through trials, we yielded our hearts to God. We trusted Him and His ways as we made our choices.

            May we each let God’s mercy lead our paths to His kingdom.

Dani

Alma 41: 2, 3 – 7, 8

Verse 2: I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself.

            Indispensable with the justice of God is the plan of restoration. It is essential that all things should be restored to their proper order. It is necessary and just that the soul of man is restored to its body and that every part of the body should be restored to itself. This restoration is according to the power and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

            Restating Verse 2 helps me form better ideas for its meaning. God’s justice governs in the plan of restoration. The restoration of man’s soul and body is according to the power and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The body is important and vital to our lives both on earth and after earth life. This verse helps me understand that I need to take care of it but I don’t need to worry about my body. No matter the conditions that happen to our bodies in this life (many which are beyond our control), all our bodies will be restored to wholeness in the next. They will no longer be subject to death, decay, and decline.   That which is naturally mortal and corruptible in our bodies is changed to immortal and incorruptible.     

Verse 3: And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.

Verse 4: And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—

Verse 5: The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.

Verse 6: And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness.

Verse 7: These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or do evil.

            I like the truth about justice that these verses teach. Mankind will be judged according to the works we do in this life and to the desires of our hearts. If these are good, individuals will be restored to good. If these are evil, individuals will be restored to evil. The proper order is that every thing is restored to its natural frame.  

            What becomes natural for us on earth life will be what is natural to us in the life hereafter. If goodness and happiness are our way of life on earth, they will be comfortable in the kingdom of God. If evil is our way of life on earth, it will be comfortable after this life is over.   Those who have chosen evil will have chosen darkness after this life is over.

Verse 8:  Now, the decrees of God are unalterable; therefore, the way is prepared that whosoever will may walk therein and be saved.

           Whosoever will – what we want – good or evil – is what we will receive. The way is prepared for each of us to be saved but it is our choice. Do we choose to follow Jesus Christ Home to Heavenly Father or do we choose another way? Jesus Christ is the only name under heaven through whom we can be saved. Why do so many resist His love and sacrifice? He invites all to come unto Him.   He loves us deeply. Why do we resist His invitations? The decrees of God are unalterable. There is only His way to receive His happiness and joy.

            May we choose to be redeemed of God.

Dani

Alma 30: 41, 44; 31: 5, 31, 34 – 35, 38

Original Post: 7/3/2014 2:29:06 PM

Verse 41: Behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto you that they are true; and will ye deny them? Believest thou that these things are true?

Verse 44: But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God?

Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets?

The scriptures are laid before thee,

yea, and all things denote there is a God:

yea, even the earth, and

all things that are upon the face of it,

yea, and its motion,

yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

All things – laws, systems, creations of the earth show evidence of being created or set in motion. Things of the earth work out so well that they could not occur on their own. Man’s efforts too often interfere with the things of the earth and show that our ways are not necessarily beneficial to the earth or ourselves. The beauty and majesty of God’s creations testify of Him.

The scriptures themselves are amazing. Although written in a past time and place, they still apply to us today. Their teachings are universal; their truths profound. The scriptures bring comfort to me. They give me direction. They make sure my belief in Jesus Christ and God’s purposes. My reading and study of the scriptures over the course of my life has blessed me deeply with understanding of truth and helped me learn the ways I need to behave and think to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I’ve sought to follow Him and to change the ways I learned and thought that are not in accordance with His principles. It’s hard to learn to be different, but He has helped me and continues to help me. The scriptures, the words of the prophets, and His Spirit guide me as I live my life and seek to live the best I can in righteousness.

Chapter 31, Verse 5: And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just

yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—

therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.

I have found the principle of this scripture to be true in my life. When I read the scriptures myself or in my family, the desire to do right increases; the negative feelings lesson. The word of God is virtuous. It is true and blesses our lives as we include it in our lives by daily study.

Verse 31: O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people.

Verse 34: O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.

Verse 35: Behold, O Lord their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto Thee.

Every person is precious. Every person has the right to hear and understand the truth of God. Not everyone has God’s revealed truth in their lives, but God has provided a way for all to be able to hear in their own language and understanding. He sends us out to share the truth He has given us with others and to testify of the difference it makes in our lives. This sharing allows us to show our appreciation for the truth God gives us and to love our fellow men and women by serving them with our time. It is an opportunity for all to be strengthened.

Some of my greatest joy in life has been the opportunity I have had to tell others about the truth that God has witnessed to me through His Spirit. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and His church have blessed my life. They have helped me and guided me as I have lived, married, raised my children. They have helped me know what to do when I didn’t know what to do. They have strengthened me as I have made choices based on the truth I have found in them. I have found in them the answers to my life’s challenges.

My own personal dilemmas have answers found in the teachings of Jesus Christ. I have looked and seen other ways that did not bring happiness or good results. I have chosen to live Christ’s gospel because it has brought me the desires of my heart. It has brought me closer to Him through His Spirit. It has brought happiness in my family. In fact, the greatest sorrows that have come to my family are not in death or illness but in family members who have rejected the teachings of Jesus Christ and of living His way.   These have brought pain to relationships. These have incurred hurt to the heart.

Love doesn’t go away when loved ones make choices against God but as Alma has said sorrow and suffering come to the heart because of iniquity. Love pleads for others to understand God’s truth. Love doesn’t give up but continues to serve and pray for those we care about.

Verse 38: And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst;

yea, and He also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ.

Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

The Lord does provide for His servants. Perhaps not always in the way we think He will but always in the ways that best help us grow and understand what we need to learn. The joy of Christ does swallow up all manner of afflictions. Knowing that through His Atonement, all will be healed, forgiven, and mercy will meet justice, gives me great joy. He has taken away my pain and hurt many times. He continues to do so. When I feel weighed down and turn to Him, He lifts me up. I find solace in His words given to prophets and through serving others. Peace comes in spite of problems and challenges. He answers me and I have faith that He always will.

May His joy fill our hearts. May we feel His love and care for us.

Dani

Alma 27: 26 – 28, 30; 29: 2, 5, 8

Original Post: 7/1/2014 4:08:21 PM

Verse 26: And it came to pass that it did cause great joy among them. And they went down into the land of Jershon, and took possession of the land of Jershon; and they were called by the Nephites the people of Ammon; therefore they were distinguished by that name ever after.

Verse 27: And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who were of the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.

Verse 28: And they did look upon shedding the blood of their brethren with the greatest abhorrence; and they never could be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren; and they never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it.

Verse 30: And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.

            Joy came to the converted Lamanites from sharing their conversion stories with others and from the acceptance of the Nephites who allowed these Lamanites to join them. The Lamanites had eagerness and enthusiasm in worshipping God and serving others. They had faith in Jesus Christ and did all they could to be His disciples. They kept their covenants and were firm in mind and faith toward Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness.

            I like Mormon’s summary of these people – they were a highly favored people of the Lord. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have challenges, but I believe they sought God during their trials and sought to do His will in all things. I appreciate their example of changing their priorities and lives once they learned and understood the gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Chapter 29, Verse 2: Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

            I like Alma’s expression of what became important to him after his conversion. He wanted people to hear clearly and loudly God’s plan of happiness for them. He wanted all to have the opportunity to change their ways to God’s ways that there would be no more sorrow.

            What an awesome existence life would be if people sought only righteousness and repentance from things that were not good. God does give all people who want it that opportunity to hear His plan, but it is usually softly through the Spirit that He reaches out to them and through the kindness and service of others. It is through sacrifice of missionaries going two by two that He offers His way to people.

Verse 5: Yea, and I know that good and evil have come before all men; he that knoweth not good from evil is blameless; but he that knoweth good and evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desireth good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.

            All who can reason and understand have the opportunity to choose. We can choose good and God’s ways or evil and spiritual death. Each person has the choice. Our thoughts and our lives show our choices. What we become is a result of our choices.

            I choose joy but it comes at high cost of God’s will over my natural tendencies. I want to do God’s commandments but sometimes it’s hard to let go of the natural physical woman within me. I’ll keep seeking and striving to choose good, life, and joy because I know that through Jesus Christ’s grace, my sincere desires for right will overcome my weaknesses.

Verse 8: For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach His word, yea, in wisdom, all that He seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.

            Trusting the Lord helps us learn to focus on His word, His ways, and to do what we can, where we are, to live right and serve Him.

Verse 9: I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.

Verse 10: And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that He hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember His merciful arm which He extended towards me.

            Alma’s experiences from wicked to righteous taught him of God’s mercy and love and joy. He learned repentance and forgiveness and to desire for others the blessings God gave him because of the prayers of his father and the church members on his behalf.

            Experiencing the process of the gospel and understanding the power of repentance, enable our desire to share these miracles, that come individually through the power of Christ’s Atonement, with others. When we have been forgiven, we want to share the joyful change with others. We want to tell of this miracle so that all can experience it. When we have learned by our own experience that God hears and answers prayers, we want our loved ones to have their prayers answered too.

            I have joy in my life because the power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement works within me helping to change, to heal, to forgive, and lending me strength, when I am weak, to be stronger. It is a real power to me which I use as I live. I need it because I make mistakes, because I want to do better than I do, and because I want to live the vision given by the Lord’s prophets and apostles of serving with sacrifice as Jesus did. Jesus Christ’s Atonement is precious to me; it is a priceless gift.

            May we each utilize His sacrifice in our lives to become the best child of God that we can be.

Dani