Moroni 6: 1 – 3, 4, 5 – 6, 7 – 8, 9

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Moroni 4: 3; 5: 2

Moroni 4

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

            in the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this bread

            to the souls of all those who partake of it;

that they may eat in remembrance

            of the body of thy Son,

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

that they are willing

            to take upon them the name of Thy Son, and

            and always remember Him,

            and keep His commandments which He hath given them,

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

Amen.

            As we remember what the Savior did for us

in teaching true principles,

living them Himself,

showing us how to go Home to Heavenly Father, then

making it possible for us to return by

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

suffering incomprehensible pain, grief, and hurt so that

He can help us through our own suffering,

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

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

Moroni 5:

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

            In the name of Thy Son, Jesus Christ,

to bless and sanctify this wine

            to the souls of all those who drink of it,

that they may do it in remembrance

            of the blood of Thy Son,

            which was shed for them;

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

            that they do always remember Him,

            that they may have His Spirit to be with them.

Amen.

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

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

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

            I am a child of God

            and so are you.

            Let us help each other obey

            and learn to live the Gospel true.

           

            Lead me, guide me

            Walk beside me

            Help me find the way

            Teach me all that I must do

            To live with Him some day.

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

Dani

Moroni 1: 1, 3 – 4; 2: 1 – 3; 3: 1 – 4

Moroni 1

1: Now, I Moroni, after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jared, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me.

  1. And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.
  2. Wherefore, I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more; but I write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day, according to the will of the Lord.

            These verses help me understand Moroni a little more. He believes in Jesus Christ. He has been of service in his life to others and seems a little at a loss of what to do during this time when there is no one who wants his service. He turns to the things he can do now to help in the future – which is recording some of the things he has testimony and understanding of. He believes the things that he has learned of the Lord and writes for the future of his brethren’s descendants.

            Moroni doesn’t know all that will happen in his life or how it will end but he does express his faith in Jesus Christ and His plan for the earth and specifically for the future of his brethren the Lamanites descendants.

            I often do not know what my future will hold or the future of my descendants. I trust the Lord and try to do the best I can with what I know and believe now. These things help me get through until I receive further assignments for the Lord on which to focus.

Moroni 2

  1. The words of Christ, which He spake unto His disciples, the twelve whom He had chosen, as He laid His hands upon them—
  2. And He called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name,

in might prayer;

And after ye have done this ye shall have power that to him upon whom ye shall lay your hands,

Ye shall give the Holy Ghost;

And in my name shall y give it, for thus do mine apostles.

  1. Now Christ spake these words unto them at the time of His first appearing; and the multitude heard it not, but the disciples heard it; and on as many as they laid their hands, fell the Holy Ghost.

            Why did Moroni feel it important to write these words of Christ at this time?

            I believe it may be because it teaches us of the power that Jesus Christ gave to the twelve disciples whom He called to teach the people of His ways. He was helping them to understand the priesthood authority and power more fully. He was teaching them of His disciples he had called in Jerusalem. He was teaching them of the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He was teaching them of their responsibility and opportunity as they did His work in His name. They were to be humble and prayerful. They were to seek from God for help and instruction.

            These were all things that Moroni had experienced himself. One of the original twelve disciples had written these instructions from Jesus Christ down in order for Moroni to have had his teachings over 400 years later. Moroni wanted those who would hold the priesthood in the future to have this instruction and understanding. He had faith that there would be more priesthood holders in the future who would need understanding of how to give the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands.           

Moroni 3

  1. The manner which the disciples, who were called the elders of the church, ordained priests and teachers—
  2. After they had prayed unto the Father in the name of Christ, they laid their hands upon them, and said:
  3.  In the name of Jesus Christ

I ordain you to be a priest (or if he be a teacher, I ordain you to be a teacher)

To preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ,

By the endurance of faith on His name to the end. Amen.

  1. And after this manner did they ordain priests and teachers, according to the gifts and callings of God unto men; and they ordained them by the power of the Holy Ghost which was in them.

            Moroni further explains, priesthood responsibilities through the ordaining of those called to help the elders of the church. He gave the example of the disciples, who did humble themselves and pray to Heavenly Father before they participated in the work Jesus Christ had given them to do.

            Each helper is individually called and given power to do the Lord’s work. Faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, and remission of sins through Jesus Christ’s Atonement, as well as enduring to the end with His help has been the challenge and responsibility of all disciples of Jesus Christ since the world began. The principles are the same for each person. There is strength in this, the Lord’s way. There is power and light in His work. He lets men and women on earth participate in His work with the power of the Holy Ghost.

            While men are the ones who are the conduits of the Holy Priesthood, it is the Lord’s power which blesses all people who follow the Lord’s way and value His gifts: men and women and children.

            May we each seek to learn, understand, and follow the Lord’s way and teachings so that it may bless our lives and the lives of our families and others around us.

Dani

Ether 15: 3, 13, 19, 34

Verse 3: He began to repent of the evil which he had done; he began to remember the words which had been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets, and he saw them that they were fulfilled thus far, every whit; and his soul mourned and refused to be comforted.

            Why must some people experience hardship from their choices before they are willing to hear and accept the Lord’s words through His prophets? The difference of belief and faith to begin with rather than believing after the hard effects of one’s choices have hurt others and society is using wisdom rather than self will.

            It is wise to look at the impact of choices on one’s own life and the lives of those around us. It is unselfish to seek to understand how one’s decisions will affect others’ lives before making them. Willing to act for the benefit of those close to you, as well as your community, is willingness to follow Jesus Christ with unselfish heart and soul.

            Each person makes many decisions in a day. Our decisions affect our future and other people. Some have small impact but many have large implications. It is unselfish and wise to see ways we can act to help others and to impact our future in positive ways. Jesus Christ’s whole life was spent in doing God’s will and serving the people around Him. He helped others in ways no one else had. He helped them physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

            When we seek to follow Jesus Christ through helping others, we not only bless their lives, but we also change our own lives by beginning to feel love and unselfishness in Christ-like ways. We begin preparing for eternal life with God. What a better difference that makes for society than willful evil that selfish actions bring.

Verse 13: And it came to pass that Ether did behold all the doings of the people; and he beheld that the people who were for Coriantumr were gathered together to the army of Coriantumr; and the people who were for Shiz were gathered together to the army of Shiz.

            Ether, the last of the prophets of his people, lived to see the effect of his nation turning from God to their own selfish desires. He saw two groups of evil trying to take control of the people through fighting army against army. The ordinary people had to choose which army to join. The purpose of the groups was to take control through killing more of the people in the other army.

            What a waste of resources, of individuals, of the good which could have been done in people’s lives because two people wanted to control, or be king of, their society. When life descends to fighting, so much is lost that is never regained. God’s commandments are to help us learn to deal with our problems in His way. His commandments are given to bless all people to have the best experience of learning that is possible.

            People learn differently so life experiences are not the same. However, God’s ways bring the greatest potential outcome for individuals. He loves each of us and all of us. He wants us to succeed in life through learning the principles that allow us to return Home to Him. He wants our souls to seek the ways of happiness by living the laws of heaven. He wants us to freely choose happiness.

            Living His higher laws of repenting, forgiving, working, kindness, compassion, service, creating, etc. lifts our minds and hearts to Him. These prepare us for life with Him after earth life is over. These actions change us for good and build the character of God in our hearts and minds and wills.

Verse 19: But behold, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed; wherefore they went again to battle.

            When people continually ignore the Lord’s Spirit, the still small voice of goodness, that whispers in their minds and hearts, they will stop receiving its direction. Freedom to choose is one of God’s great gifts to individuals. He will lead and guide as long as we want Him to. When we do not listen for and follow His promptings, eventually they will cease. We can get them back through sincere prayer and repentance. Sincere means that we intend to follow the promptings of God that we receive.

            Real intent doesn’t mean we are perfect but that we are willing to let God lead us and teach us. It means that we are willing to do what is right even when it is hard for us. It means that we are willing to keep trying after we make mistakes. Goodness takes practice. It takes wanting to get where God is so that we are committed to keep trying.

            We will have challenges. We will sometimes feel alone in our efforts. But despite all of this, if we have the sincere heart and real intent of doing all that is in our power to follow God and do the best we can, He will help us. After we are stretched as far as He knows that we need to be stretched, He will give us what is needed to stretch further. We cannot give up. We must keep trying and trusting Him.

Verse 34: Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.

            The prophet Ether did as the Lord asked of Him; his desire was to be saved in the kingdom of God. Each of us can do what the Lord asks of us in fulfilling our earthly responsibilities. Doing so enables our being saved in the kingdom of God. There is no greater reward. There is no greater happiness.

            May we each search our hearts for the good we truly desire and trust God to help us achieve it.

Dani

Ether 13: 2 – 3, 4 – 5, 8, 9 – 12

Verse 2: For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve Him who dwell upon the face thereof;

Verse 3: And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.

      Ether taught his people the history of the earth from its beginning. He taught that after the flood of Noah that the land which is known as the Americas became a chosen land by the Lord. It was chosen as a place where God would be served by those who dwelt upon it. It was the place where a New Jerusalem would be built and where the righteous would dwell with the Lord.

Verse 4: Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.

Verse 5: And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel

Verse 8: Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.

            The Jerusalem of Jesus’ earthly life would be destroyed and built again to be a holy city unto the Lord for the house of Israel. The house of Joseph would be given the land of the Americas for their inheritance. They will build a New Jerusalem, or holy city, unto the Lord on the Americas. For the Thousand Years of the Lord’s Millennial reign, the house of Joseph will live in the New Jerusalem and the house of Israel shall live in Israel’s Jerusalem. 

Verse 9: And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.

Verse 10: And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel.

Verse 11: And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.

Verse 12: And when these things come, bringeth to pass the scripture which saith, there are they who were first, who shall be last; and there are they who were last, who shall be first.

            After the millennial reign, the heaven and earth shall become new. Those who dwell in the Jerusalems will be those who love the Lord, have repented of their sins, and have used His Atonement to become clean. They will be the descendants of Abraham from, the whole earth, who made and kept covenants with God during their lives. Those who, throughout the history of the earth, loved the Lord and sought to serve Him and obey His commandments, both before and after His coming, will dwell in the two Jerusalems. Their righteous choices and lives will make the cities holy. They will be worthy to dwell with the Lamb.

            Will we choose to be among them? Will we choose Jesus Christ over everything else earth life offers? Will we be willing to change and choose to love God with all of our hearts, might, minds, and strength. Will we participate in His work of bringing to pass the immortality ad eternal life of man?

            I pray we will choose eternal happiness. I pray that we will choose Jesus Christ above all material things. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the Only Way Home to Heavenly Father.

Dani

 

Ether 12: 32 – 41

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 12: 19 – 21, 22 – 26, 27 – 28, 29 – 31, 32 – 34, 37, 38 – 41

Verse 19:  And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.

Verse 20: And behold, we have seen in this record that one of these was the brother of Jared; for so great was his faith in God, that when God put forth His finger He could not hide it from the sight of the brother of Jared, because of His word which He had spoken unto him, which word he had obtained by faith.

Verse 21: And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore He showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil.

            Faith, acting on our belief of truth, allows God’s work to be done in our lives because we desire it and seek it.   Our individual faith must give great joy to God because it allows Him to bless us in delightful ways. It allows us to become one with Him in accomplishing good. It allows us to come closer to His thinking, His purpose, His motives, and His love.

            No wonder faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the Gospel. It is through our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ that all the other wonderful principles of Gospel truth enter into our lives. Since Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and The Life – our only way Home to Heavenly Father – faith in Him, His word, and His Atonement, enters us in the way that will allow us to receive all that Heavenly Father wants to give us.

            As I’ve acted upon my faith in Jesus Christ to obey His commandments, utilize His Atonement, and serve others, I’ve been blessed with the Spirit of God, with peace, with increased understanding, and greater love. My faith increases as I use it. I think faith has different avenues of growth in the different areas of our lives. Faith in spiritual things strengthens my spirit. Faith in physical principles strengthens my physical body. Faith in mental principles increases my mental capacities.

            Remember, faith is acting on one’s belief of true principles. There are many areas of faith for us to incorporate into our daily lives. Spiritual faith gives a foundation that helps all the other areas in which we need to utilize our faith.

Verse 22: And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.

Verse 23: And I said unto Him: Lord, the Gentiles will mock at these things, because of our weakness in writing; for Lord Thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but Thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for Thou hast made all this people that they could speak much, because of the Holy Ghost which Thou hast given them;

Verse 24: And Thou hast made us that we could write but little, because of the awkwardness of our hands. Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as Thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.

Verse 25: Thou hast also made our words powerful and great, even that we cannot write them; wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.

Verse 26: And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying: Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;

            These verses teach me several principles. First, all people have weaknesses even in doing the Lord’s work. The Lord’s words when spoken through His servants by the power of the Holy Ghost are powerful and great. I know for I have felt their power in my own life. People are foolish when they point out others’ weaknesses and excuse their own behavior because of the actions of others. Those who humbly seek to know the Lord’s words and will and to do it, will be generous and compassionate about the efforts of others. Lastly, the Lord is aware of our weaknesses and compensates for them in our honest efforts.

Verse 27: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

Verse 28: Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto methe fountain of all righteousness.

            These verses have blessed my life since I first became aware of them. Our weaknesses are part of the Lord’s tool for helping us learn eternal principles. My weaknesses do make me humble. I have also learned that with the Lord’s help I can do what He asks even with mistakes I make. He has strengthened me in amazing ways during my life. He continues to do so.   His strength has given me power beyond my own. I know He lives and loves us because of His grace in my life.

            I have experienced my faith, hope, and charity bringing me to the Savior. I know HE is the fountain of all righteousness. His righteousness blesses my life as I seek Him. His tender mercies have increased my faith and my hope. I cannot even express how His charity has changed me both in how I think and feel and how I act. His power of salvation is real as we allow it to operate in our hearts and mind.

Verse 29: And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, Thy righteous will be done, for I know that Thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith;

Verse 30: For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore Thou workest after men have faith.

Verse 31: For thus didst Thou manifest thyself unto Thy disciples; for after they had faith, and did speak in Thy name, thou didst show Thyself unto them in great power.

            When I think of all that Moroni accomplished in his life on earth with God’s help, and what he accomplished in restoring his and his father’s record in the latter days, I’m amazed that he also had doubts in his own ability. He had need of comfort from the Lord. I’m grateful that he shared his thoughts and faith as well as the examples that strengthened him.

            His testimony of the Lord came from his experiences, his faith, and the scriptures. My testimony of the Lord has come from my experiences, my faith, the scriptures and words of the prophets. The pattern of faith is a principle that reaches across time and place to all individuals who will follow the pattern.

            According to our faith, we are able to participate in the Lord’s work. We are able to move the mountains in our lives to accomplish the Lord’s work. We don’t do it alone but with the Holy Ghost as our guide, we can go forward. We can accomplish our missions in the Lord’s work.

            May we each trust the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives and as we help in His work of serving and blessing others.

Dani

Ether 12: 2 – 4, 6 -11, 12 – 18

Verse 2: And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him.

Verse 3: For he did cry from the morning, even until the going down of the sun, exhorting the people to believe in God unto repentance lest they should be destroyed, saying unto them that by faith all things are fulfilled

Verse 4: Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

           The Spirit of the Lord leads us to speak righteously. It helps us speak the things of God. It helps us to testify of Him and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It helps us see our need for repentance and strengthens our faith.

            Belief in God, hope for His promises to be active in our lives now and in the future, comes from faith in His plan, His truth, and His word. Faith is acting on our belief that allows our focus to be on God and His work. His purpose anchors our souls to glorify God and do His works. I’m grateful for prophets who testify of the things of God. Their words have blessed my life from its beginning. They help me see and understand purpose in life and the Holy Spirit testifies to me of how to act upon their words.

Verse 6:  And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

Verse 7: For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after He had risen from the dead; and He showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in Him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in Him, for He showed Himself not unto the world.

Verse 8: But because of the faith of men He has shown Himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.

Verse 9: Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.

Verse 10: Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.

Verse 11: Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of His Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.

            Moroni’s definition and description of faith helps me understand the necessity of believing before I see. By hoping for the result I want and believing Jesus Christ’s words to His prophets, my faith helps me act obediently to the commandments and to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. My continued efforts to have faith, keep me hoping and believing. Then the miracles and tender mercies that come to me as a result, strengthen my faith and help me know that God is aware of me and His promises are true.

            Over the years, in the challenges of my life, I have chosen to hope and to believe in Jesus Christ and His words. I have acted in faith as best as I could and miracles and answers to my prayers have happened over and over. Sometimes these answers have been immediate, and some small, but sometimes they have taken years to come about. Many of these heavenly gifts have been big to me because they fulfilled the desires of my heart. No matter the length of time they take to come, I know that they will come according to Heavenly Father’s will.

            I have learned to trust His will above my own because His timing and gifts work better than my own limited understanding. Over and over I have seen this in my life. I continue to act with faith that current challenges will be worked out through His will and timing. I wait upon the Lord and seek to do my best. I make mistakes, but He patiently teaches me through the Holy Ghost. I’m grateful for the examples of faith that Moroni gives because these add to my own understanding and experiences.

Verse 12:  For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, He showed not Himself until after their faith.

Verse 13: Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.

Verse 14: Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.

Verse 15: Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.

Verse 16: Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after.

Verse 17: And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.

Verse 18: And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.

            These reminders of what faith can do for individuals helps me realize that faith is something to be chosen and the choice makes a difference. Faith makes a difference for me and for those around me. The individuals whose faith Moroni cites were ordinary people who choose to have faith in Jesus Christ. Their choices of faith created miracles. I believe our choices of faith in Jesus Christ can also create miracles. In fact, I know they do, for I have seen it myself.

            Let us choose faith in Jesus Christ and let His work be done in our lives and the lives of people around us, especially our families. The world will be better as we do so. Our world will be better as we choose faith in Jesus Christ.

Dani

Ether 7: 26 – 27; 8: 23 – 26

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter 8

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dani

Ether 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