Tuesday, May 26, 2009

II Nephi 28-29

II Nephi 28: The bringing forth of the Book of Mormon will be in a day when other churches deny the power of God. Many saying the Lord has done his work and has given his power to men. Man then builds up his own church (not unto the Lord)saying hearken unto “my precept, my church is the Lord’s and they contend with one another. The philosophy of "eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die—but God will forgive us and save us anyway" prevails. Churches have gone astray because of pride, false teachers and false doctrine and many call good evil and evil good. Babylon must fall in a great way in order to shake those that belong to it into repentance. The Lord will be merciful –his arms are outstretched still. Wo unto all those who are at ease in Zion; who hearken unto the precepts of men; who deny new revelation; who tremble and fear; who are angry with God’s plan; who puts his faith in the arm of man. The Lord says we should receive and live the gospel in gladness!

Application: Am I happy? Do I follow Pres. Hinkley’s admonition to be joyful and to let our countenances radiate the good news and gladness of the gospel. Do I fear the “day of the Lord” or will I run joyfully to greet it . Am I diligent in staying on the path? Do I deny God’s power by trusting in my own arm of flesh? How much does personal pride (independence, self-centeredness) influence me?

II Nephi 29: The Lord admonishes us that He speaks to all his children everywhere and commands them to write his word. We will someday have the writings of all the lost tribes and all of thier scriptures will stand as an additional testament of Jesus Christ. We should not harden our hearts against the coming forth of new scriptures.

Application: Our Heavenly Father is the God of this world. We should seek and accept truth whenever it is presented. Live close enough to the Lord that you will be able to distinguish between truth and error. Pres Benson stated that we as a church are under condemnation for not utilizing and honoring what scriptures we have and that those additional scriptures will not be given to us until we have lifted that condemnation from us.

Monday, May 25, 2009

II Nephi 26 and 27

II Nephi 26: Signs of the birth of Christ are given. Signs of his second coming also given (V10) the Book of Mormon and its coming forth are also prophesied--Gentiles lifted up in the pride of their eyes,--churches built up-but they deny the power of God. Evil secret combinations on the earth—Christ’s only purpose is to help us and for our benefit. His arms are always open-but we must have charity for all men. Our purposes and efforts should be for the building up of Zion and for God, NOT for ourselves or to get gain.

Application: Watch and pray that you be not deceived.

II Nephi 27: In the last days iniquity will abound. All those who fight against Zion will experience a nightmare in return. The Book of Mormon’s coming forth prophesied. Portions are sealed which reveal all things from the foundation of the earth unto the end, but the time will come when the sealed portions will be revealed and widely distributed. But for now, they are sealed up in God’s wisdom. His works are revealed according to the faith of his children. The Lord states that people fear him because of the precepts of men. He says that honest truth seekers will come to an understanding even if they erred in the past. The Lord testifies of himself by bringing about great and marvelous works from seemingly impossible circumstances--for example, the translation of the Book of Mormon and the establishment of His church by an uneducated, poor farm boy.

Application: 1) Do I use and study the revealed scriptures daily and do my part so that the Lord will deem his people worthy to receive more knowledge? 2) Do I have the faith that my Father can bring to pass great miracles in my own life and family? Or that His power is sufficient to accomplish all things?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

II Nephi 25

II Nephi 25: Nephi states the words of Isaiah are plain unto all those who are filled with the spirit of prophesy. Nephi deliberately did not teach his children about Jerusalem and the Jews—because of their (the Jew’s) sins and wickedness. Isaiah’s words were written for the last days. Before destroying any peoples, the Lord will warn and give opportunity to repent. Nephi’s words plainly prophesize of Christ. The Lord will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder to restore his people. V. 26 is a moving and beautiful verse—“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ and we write according to our prophecies that our children may know to what source they may look for the remission of their sins.” Nephi speaks so plainly that he cannot be misunderstood and his words will stand as a testament.

Application: Do I speak, talk, and write of Christ so plainly that my children cannot misunderstand? Do I keep wickedness out of my home as Nephi did so my children are not educated in the ways of wickedness?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

II Nephi 22-24

II Nephi 22: Nephi quotes Isaiah praising the Lord. All men will praise and sing to the Lord in the millennial day. V 2: “ Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation”.

Application: The Lord is my salvation today, I can praise his name and call upon him today. I don’t need to wait.

II Nephi 23: Isaiah tells more about the destruction prior to the coming of the Lord, when the wicked will be destroyed and the fall of Babylon. The Lord will be merciful unto his people but the wicked shall perish.

Application: Be not fainthearted, the Lord’s day will be a great day for those who love Him and love truth and peace.

II Nephi 24: Satan is brought down low, and those who followed him question how his power can be so inconsequential compared to the Lord’s power. V. 20 states that the wicked/sinful will not be sealed to their families in the eternities. There is a lot of imagery/symbolism that needs to be pondered and discovered in this chapter. Bruce R McConkie wrote the chapter heading which says “Israel shall be gathered and shall enjoy millennial rest---Lucifer cast out of heaven for rebellion---Israel shall triumph over Babylon (the world).

Application: Put your faith and trust in the Lord. Do not vary but stay firmly rooted in the gospel.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

II Nephi 19-21

II Nephi 19: the Messiah is prophesized in the memorable words of Isaiah. Leaders often lead their people into sin. In verse 18 Isaiah says “ for wickedness burneth as the fire”. I wonder about those prophesies of the second coming, when they state the earth shall be burned--if that could mean the earth will be steeped in wickedness or if it is a literal description.

Application: Salvation is individual; I must have my own testimony so I will not be led astray by any tradition, or religious or political ideology or leader. I must take the Holy Ghost as my guide not the arm of flesh. I tell all who ask me about my religion to not lean on my testimony alone or any other persons or ministers remarks, but to go to the Lord in prayer and get their own answers!! I can not save you nor can any man, the Lord will guide you and bring you to salvation.

II Nephi 20: The Lord decries hypocrisy and condemns those that take from the poor, widowed or fatherless. They will have no place to hide or to seek help during the desolation of the last days. The Lord will perform a “work” upon “mount Zion” and Jerusalem” He will cleanse the earth and the house of Israel and Jacob will return.

Application: I need to ponder on and consider where my day to day actions will lead me. Where will I be on that last day?? Shining in the Light OR smoldering in the dark?

II Nephi 21: (Compare to Isaiah 11) Christ shall come from the line of Jesse he shall judge with righteousness and peace shall fill the earth. All jealousy and animosity between the tribes of Israel will be dissolved and all will desire to come to him and he will set his hand a second time to recover the remnant of his people. The church (the gospel) will be set up as an ensign to all nations and a highway created for those traveling to Zion. This chapter describes the beginning of the millennial reign of Christ.

Application: We should ponder on our own preparedness for life during the millennium. Do we still harbor petty grievances towards someone? Does jealousy or envy mar our countenance? Think on the peace that will be there and try and bring some of that peace into your home today.