Monday, July 21, 2014

Mosiah 5 and 6

Mosiah 5:  Faith brings us to a knowledge of the infinite goodness of God and our glorious future in the eternities with Him.  And that knowledge, born of faith, brings us overwhelming happiness and joy.  We are admonished to be "steadfast and immoveable, always abounding in good works" that we may be sealed up to salvation and eternal life with Christ.
APPLICATION: Have I felt the joy of the gospel and experienced the gift of revelation?  If not I must work to strengthen my faith for it is though faith that they are given.

Mosiah 6:  Everyone has his name officially recorded on the records of the church as having entered into a covenant with Christ.  Mosiah is made king, priests are appointed to teach and lead the people (wards made) Mosiah is a righteous man and king and there was no contentions among the people for 3 years.
APPLICATION:  If given a position of power and authority (ie king) would I remain humble and continue to labor alongside my fellow men?  Do I dream of or seek to move to a better neighborhood, bigger house, newer car in order to get involved with a "better class" of people? Or am I able to see each and all as a daughter or son of God no better or worse than myself?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Mosiah 2,3,&4

Mosiah 2: King Benjamin addresses his people: A few of his main points- "when you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God" "If ye should serve Him (God) with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants"  "If ye keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you"  "Beware lest there be contentions among you and ye list to obey the evil spirit" "Consider the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God, for behold they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual: and if they hold out to the end they are received...into a state of never ending happiness."
APPLICATION: Do I acknowledge God's hand in all of my life?  Am I grateful and obedient?

Mosiah 3:  King Benjamin continues: Jesus will come down and do many miracles and he will suffer temptations, pain, hunger, thirst and fatigue.  Even after all the miracles many will still consider him just a man and will scourge and crucify him.  But he will rise on the third day! He can now stand in righteous judgment and also his blood will atone for Adam's transgression and for those who have never heard the gospel or those who have ignorantly sinned (also children).  Salvation comes to those who have knowingly sinned ONLY through repentance and faith in Christ.  "there is no other way or name given".  The natural man is an enemy to God.  There will be a time when the gospel will spread though out every nation, kindred, tongue and people and then those words will stand as a testimony at the judgment day.  Where the people will be judged by their works. Their own guilt is what separates them from God and creates their torment.
APPLICATION:  Have I put off the natural man becoming like a child--submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all thing which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon me.    Also if Christ was at my door today--would I shrink to invite him in...or would my heart soar with love and acceptance as I flew to the door to embrace him?

Mosiah 4:  More of King Benjamin's address:  The Lord provides all to us and we are mandated to give to the poor, sick,  and widowed both temporally and spiritually.  If we deny a petition we sin the sin of covetness.  We must continually watch our thoughts, word, and deeds continuing in forth and enduring to the end for the ways and means to fall into sin are many.  He gives advice on how to raise our children---Caring for them physically and teaching them to love one another and not to quarrel and fight.  We can't judge others or justify ourselves in rejecting someone's plea for assistance for we are all beggars and all dependent on God. 
APP:ICATION.: Do I turn my eyes from the poor or homeless?  Do I justify myself in not giving because "they'll just buy drugs/alcohol/cigarettes?

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Words of Mormon: Mosiah 1

The Words of Mormon:  The Book of Mormon up to this point has been taken/translated from the small plates of Nephi.  Only after Mormon had made his abridgement and had completed it did he discover these "small" plates of Nephi which he then translated in their entirety and preserved along with his abridgement of all the other records.  He did so because the Lord commanded him specifically to include this record. They became the FIRST 143 pages of the Book of Mormon because after Joseph Smith had translated the first portion of Momon's abridgement, Martin Harris begged/insisted/badgered Joseph Smith to let him take the translation to show to his wife.  Joseph Smith after being told no by the Lord a couple of times goes again to the Lord and gets qualified permission.  Joseph lets Martin take the pages and subsequently the portion of the manuscript that Martin Harris takes is either lost or stolen.  The Lord commands that the original translation NOT be retranslated because of the evil designs of men to alter/corrupt and challenge the authenticity of the manuscript if republished.  The small plates give a parallel account of those same years and are focused on the more spiritual part of their journey and are substituted for the lost record.

Application:  Sometimes we must obey the Lord even when his purposes are not clear.  Do I seek, listen and then obey??? Or do I rationalize, weigh, balance and then proceed only if I think it is right?  It is OK to study it out etc. but then one must return to the Lord for the confirmation that their decision is right BEFORE one acts upon it.

Mosiah 1:  King Benjamin was a righteous king and he labored tirelessly until he established peace in all of his land.  He educates his sons in the language of their fathers, their history and the prophesies regarding their people.  He teaches them of this that they may be "men of understanding".  It is the written record that keeps men civilized.  He tells them (and us) to search the scriptures diligently and to keep the commandments of God.  Benjamin is nearing the end of his life so he desires to speak to his people one last time.  He calls his people together to give them a name and a blessing.  He passes the records and sacred artifacts to his son Mosiah.

Application:  Do I honor the name I have been given>  Do I honor my parents? Do I honor the name of Christ which I took upon me at baptism.  Do I honor the new name given me in the temple>  Remember the George A Smith story where he sees his granfather in a vision/dream and his (namesake) grandfather asks him what he has done with his name.  Elder Smith relates he was relieved and glad  that he was able to report that he had never did anything to dishonor it.  Will I endure to the end like King Benjamin living a righteous life of service?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jarom, Omni

Jarom is the son of Enos, he passes the plates on without adding his spiritual experiences because he feels they are so similar to what has already been written and the plates are small and he states "what more could I write than my fathers have written?"  But he does give a synopsis of Nephi's story up to his present day (238 years)  He states much of it has been spent in wars, contentions and dissensions.  Jarom states the intent of the law of Moses was to persuade the people "to look forward unto the Messiah and believe in him to come as though he already was"

Application: How do I imagine l'lI live my life differently during the millenium--ie doing genealogy, attending the temple, increased sisterhood, increased service, enjoying nature.--can I live this way now?

Omni is the son of Jarom.  He is a soldier who adds his name to the plates for the sole purpose of fulfilingl his father's comandment to keep the plates. He then passes the plates to his son Amaron.  Amaron states that the more wicked Nephites have been killed or taken captive by their enemies fulfilling the prophecy that warns "Inasmuch as you will not keep my commandments, ye shall not prosper in the land.  This warning--that this is a promised land, preserved and blessed by the Lord for the use of the righteous--is frequently emphasized in the Book of Mormon.  Amaron passes the plates to his brother Chemish.  Chemish adds his testimony of his brother and passes the plates to Abinadom his son.  Abinadom is a soldier who records his name and passes it onto his son Amaleki.  Amaleki records the story of one King Mosiah who being warned to flee out of the land, takes those people who will join him and leaves the land of Nephi.  They are led by the Lord to the land of Zarahemla where they meet a another group of people who had been led out of Jerusalem by the Lord as Lehi had.  However, they had brought no records with them and their language had become corrupted.  They rejoiced when they learned of the records that King Mosiah had.  Mosiah unites with this people and becomes their king.  A large stone with engravings is brought to Mosiah for him to translate.  It is the record of Coriantumr and his fathers who came out of Jerusalem at the time of the tower of Babel.  Amaleki lived during the days of Mosiah and knows and admires King Mosiah and his son Benjamin.  Since he himself has no son to pass the plates to he gives them to King Benjamin.  He closes his writings by asking all to believe in prophesy, revelations and the ministering of angels.  the gift of tougues the the interpretation of languages and in all things that are good.  We should continue in fasting and prayer and endure to the end so we can be saved.  He recounts how several groups have gone into the wilderness to try and find and reclaim the Land of Nephi.  One who left was his brother who he has not seen since.

Application:  When the history/genealogy of my line is written will I just be a name added or will I have my righteousness or counsel etc recorded for the benefit of my posterity.?  Am I keeping a journal, recording the goodness and blessings of the Lord?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Enos 1

Enos writes of his "wrestle" before God to have his calling and election made sure
  1. He remembered (pondered) all the words and testimonies he had read and heard
  2. He desired (hungered) to know for himself about eternal life
  3. He went to the Lord in mighty prayer-continuing all day.
  4. He recieved a remission of his sins through Christ.
  5. He recieved a great love and desire towards his brethern and then even his enemies the Lamanites.
  6. Because of all he recieved in this experience, he had a perfect faith in the Lord and His power to answer prayer
  7. Enos continues righteously and becomes a prophet--teaching and testifying
  8. He endured to the end
The tendency of the rest of us is a quick decline into sin and destruction if we are not continually "stirred up" to a rememberence of the Lord.  Enos tells of the joy he will have when he dies and will see His Lord.  His testimony reminds me of Elder Bruce R McConkie's testimony.

Application: How sweet to gain a truly personal relationship with the Lord.  Am I willing to do what I need to do to secure my own calling and election?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Jacob 7

Jacob 7
An antichrist named Sherem seeks to destroy the Nephites belief in Christ.  He is educated, charismatic and quite a talker! He is having significant  success and his pride and ambition lead him to frequently and consistently try to obtain a meeting with Jacob.  He believes in Satan's support and power and believes he can shake Jacob's testimony  and feels if he "converts" Jacob he will then have power over all the people.  Finally they meet and Sherem greets Jacob as "Brother Jacob" but despite his smooth talking, Jacob is able to confound Sherem in all of his words and arguments.  Sherem finally insists that Jacob "PROVE IT!" by giving him a sign.  Jacob refuses but when presses tell him the if you want to continue to seek a sign and if God smites you then so be it.  Sherem is struck down and falls to the ground, and after being cared for for many days, he knows he is about to die and he recants his previous teachings and further he testifies of Christ.  All who hear him are very moved and the Spirit of God moves upon them and they all repent.  The Lamanites reject any attempts to reconcile and accept the gospel.  So preparations to protect the people against a war are made.  Enos is given the plates by his father Jacob, and Jacob, who is nearing the end of his life, bids farewell.

Application:  We must hold to the rod and to the prophets that "ye be not decieved". (verse 25) Do all you can and trust God and you will come out conquerors in the end. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Jacob 4-6

Jacob 4: Jacob writes upon the plates so that his posterity may know that; he knew of Christ, that the law of Moses points to Christ,that through the atonement of Christ, the only Begotten son we may obtain a resurrection and with faint ontain a glory and the prophets testify of Christ. We have weaknesses so that God can show His grace. Verse 10 is one of my favorites: "Seek not to counsel the Lord but to accept counse from his hand. For ye yourselves know that He counseleth in wisdom and in justice, and in great mercy, over all His works." Jacob teaches of Christ's Atonement and resurrection. The Spirit always speaks the truth. We are warned agaist "looking beyound the mark" (seeking things we can not understand).

Application: Do I keep my heart and mind open the the Lord's will or do I want/insist on things being "my" way? Also, I should always focus on perfecting the basics and gaining knowledge of Jesus Christ rather than seeking to know the mysteries of God.

Jacob 5: Jacob quotes from the prophet Zenos' writings (brass plates). He tells the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees (Israel and the Gentiles) This chapter is a great overview of the Lord's dealings with Israel and his chosen people. He reveals the falling away, the restoration of the Gospel, the final gathering of Israel in the last days, and the end/burning of the vineyard(earth).

  Application: Am I diligent in "digging, pruning,and dunging" my small portion of the vineyard? Do I nourish and instruct my family? Do I try to bring my neighbors to a knowledge of Christ that they may become "tame" and that the fruits of their lives be sweet?

Jacob 6: Jacob adds his testimony to Zenos' He testifies of the truthfulness of the prophesies concerning the House of Israel. He implores his peopleto soften their hearts and come unto Christ. He speaks of the Lof of Christ's mercy but the reality of the law of justice. Choose life and Christ or choose shame, guilt and death!

  Application: "O be wise; what more can I say?"