Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, February 26

“Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 19:18—Why Do the Disciples Pray to Jesus instead of God the Father?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 19:18—Why Do the Disciples Pray to Jesus instead of God the Father?”

grego
(c) 2009

The Book of Mormon teaches more than once that we need to ask the Father, in the name of Jesus, for the things that we need (references at end of article).

Yet we see in a supreme example, so to say, that the twelve disciples pray to Jesus:
3 Nephi 19:13 And it came to pass when they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall upon them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire.
3 Nephi 19:14 And behold, they were encircled about as if it were by fire; and it came down from heaven, and the multitude did witness it, and did bear record; and angels did come down out of heaven and did minister unto them.
3 Nephi 19:15 And it came to pass that while the angels were ministering unto the disciples, behold, Jesus came and stood in the midst and ministered unto them.
3 Nephi 19:16 And it came to pass that he spake unto the multitude, and commanded them that they should kneel down again upon the earth, and also that his disciples should kneel down upon the earth.
3 Nephi 19:17 And it came to pass that when they had all knelt down upon the earth, he commanded his disciples that they should pray.
3 Nephi 19:18 And behold, they began to pray; and *they did pray unto Jesus*, calling him their Lord and their God.

So, what happened??

First of all, note that the disciples had just been filled with the Holy Ghost and had the ministering of angels.

Then, note that there is no rebuke or even correction from Jesus:
3 Nephi 19:19 And it came to pass that Jesus departed out of the midst of them, and went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth, and he said:

Jesus actually confirms the relationship between the disciples’ prayer and the Holy Ghost and the disciples’ belief in Jesus (as Savior):
3 Nephi 19:20 Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen; and it is because of their belief in me that I have chosen them out of the world.
3 Nephi 19:22 Father, thou hast given them the Holy Ghost because they believe in me; and thou seest that they believe in me because thou hearest them, and they pray unto me; and they pray unto me because I am with them.

Their prayer purifies them even further, and Jesus once more testifies of their faith in Him:
3 Nephi 19:24 And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him; and they did not multiply many words, for it was given unto them what they should pray, and they were filled with desire.
3 Nephi 19:25 And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness, yea, even there could be nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof.
3 Nephi 19:26 And Jesus said unto them: Pray on; nevertheless they did not cease to pray.
3 Nephi 19:27 And he turned from them again, and went a little way off and bowed himself to the earth; and he prayed again unto the Father, saying:
3 Nephi 19:28 Father, I thank thee that thou hast purified those whom I have chosen, because of their faith, and I pray for them, and also for them who shall believe on their words, that they may be purified in me, through faith on their words, even as they are purified in me.

3 Nephi 19:29 Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them.
3 Nephi 19:30 And when Jesus had spoken these words he came again unto his disciples; and behold they did pray steadfastly, without ceasing, unto him; and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.
3 Nephi 19:31 And it came to pass that he went again a little way off and prayed unto the Father;
3 Nephi 19:32 And tongue cannot speak the words which he prayed, neither can be written by man the words which he prayed.
3 Nephi 19:33 And the multitude did hear and do bear record; and their hearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which he prayed.
3 Nephi 19:34 Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which he prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man.
3 Nephi 19:35 And it came to pass that when Jesus had made an end of praying he came again to the disciples, and said unto them: So great faith have I never seen among all the Jews; wherefore I could not show unto them so great miracles, because of their unbelief.

One of the points of the unbelieving Jews was they proclaimed to believe in God more than anyone, but rejected Jesus more than anyone. This was the reason for their great curse and scattering.

Even the believing Jews had a hard time accepting that he was more than a teacher or someone sent from God whose teachings had to be accepted to gain eternal life.

The purpose of the Holy Ghost is mainly to testify of two personages: God the Father and God the Son, or Jesus Christ (2 Nephi 31:18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received *the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son*, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.).

The culmination of the disciples’ faith in Jesus Christ, gained through faith and obedience, their experiences with Jesus, the gift and the receiving of the Holy Ghost, the ministering of angels, and appearance of Jesus, resulted in a certain spiritual knowledge that Jesus Christ the Savior was God, perfected now in all ways, one with the Father and the Holy Ghost. This prayer to Jesus was a testimony of that knowledge.

Here are some references to praying to the Father in the Name of Jesus:

2 Nephi 25:16 And after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind–and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things.

2 Nephi 32:9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.

2 Nephi 33:12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day.

Jacob 4:5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.

3 Nephi 16:4 And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fulness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer.

3 Nephi 17:3 Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.

3 Nephi 18:19 Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;

3 Nephi 18:20 And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.
3 Nephi 18:21 Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.
3 Nephi 18:22 And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;
3 Nephi 18:23 But ye shall pray for them, and shall not cast them out; and if it so be that they come unto you oft ye shall pray for them unto the Father, in my name.

3 Nephi 18:30 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood.

3 Nephi 19:6 And the twelve did teach the multitude; and behold, they did cause that the multitude should kneel down upon the face of the earth, and should pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus.
3 Nephi 19:7 And the disciples did pray unto the Father also in the name of Jesus. And it came to pass that they arose and ministered unto the people.
3 Nephi 19:8 And when they had ministered those same words which Jesus had spoken–nothing varying from the words which Jesus had spoken–behold, they knelt again and prayed to the Father in the name of Jesus.

3 Nephi 20:31 And they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name.

3 Nephi 21:27 Yea, the work shall commence among all the dispersed of my people, with the Father to prepare the way whereby they may come unto me, that they may call on the Father in my name.

3 Nephi 27:7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake.
3 Nephi 27:9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;
3 Nephi 27:28 And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.

Ether 4:15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you–yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel.

Moroni 2:2 And he called them by name, saying: Ye shall call on the Father in my name, in mighty 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 ye give it, for thus do mine apostles.

Moroni 7:26 And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.

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2010, February 25

“Book of Mormon: Ammon and the Waters of Sebus” by grego

Book of Mormon: Ammon and the Waters of Sebus

grego
(c) 2008-9

Brant Gardner has written:

“The account of Ammon at the waters of Sebus is both well-known and entirely misunderstood. If we strip the story of its faith-inspiring aspects it becomes nearly nonsensical. Allow me to retell the story in a way that highlights its anomalous aspects.

Ammon, a traditional enemy, volunteers to be a servant for a Lamanite king. Instead of killing or jailing this enemy, the king immediately offers one of his daughters in marriage.

The Lamanite king has an ongoing problem with his flocks at the waters of Sebus. Several times a band of men has scattered the flocks. (See Alma 17:28.) In spite of the repeated scatterings, it never occurs to the king to send armed guards to protect them. He could have done so, because in the aftermath of these events, he suggests that armies could protect Ammon (Alma 18:21). Strangely enough, however, they couldn’t protect the flocks.

Mormon indicates that it is thieves who are after the flocks, but they pick a particularly
difficult target. The text specifically mentions that the flocks “scattered . . . insomuch that they fled many ways” (Alma 17:27).

Ammon suggests that the he and servants round up the flocks. It does not appear that this has ever occurred to anyone before. That they were successful (Alma 17:32) confirms that the so-called thieves did not get anything for their effort. We must assume that other servants could have gathered the flocks. However, they preferred to lose their lives rather than track down the errant animals.

Apparently only after the flocks are scattered do the servants give Ammon the bad news: “Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren because their flocks were scattered by the wickedness of these men.” (Alma 17:28). First the king offers him a daughter, then he sends Ammon into a situation where it is virtually certain he will be executed.

Ammon seems to be the only one to whom it occurred to fight back. Just as the king never supplied armed guards, there is no record of any other servant resisting. None of Ammmon’s companion servants joined in the fight.

In the spiritual aftermath, the king and queen are lying as though dead. When the servant Abish gathers people to see the miracle, several of those who come are relatives of those who scattered the flocks, including the brother of a man who was slain. (Alma 19:21-22) The text doesn’t tell us why the king lives among thieves.

Of course the spiritual message is the same in spite of all of these oddities. However, in a historical document we expect that the actions of the participants in the events would make some kind of sense. This is where the lack of cultural context for this tale becomes dramatically obvious. Everything that we ought to know to fill in these blanks of nonsense is missing. The motivations and reasons are not clearly explained as they would be in a science fiction story that attempted to create an unusual situation. This story is either the result of a very poor writer, or of unexplained cultural context.

Mesoamerican political tensions supply the missing content. Maya kings balanced their own power base against competing lineages. The translated texts tell of some instances that appear to indicate a change in the power balance, with a new lineage assuming the throne and creating a new dynasty. Historian David Drew describes the problem for the Maya kings:

Increasingly recognized today . . . is the likelihood of a constant, dynamic tension
between the ruler, along with the family group, the royal lineage that surrounded him,
and other powerful and long-established lineages within a city state. The centralizing
success of royal dynasties almost certainly obscures the extent to which kings
depended upon and negotiated with other political factions. For each dynasty of the
Classic period had in earlier centuries been merely one among many such
patrilineages or kin-groups. It is impossible to know with any precision how ruling
lines established themselves at the end of the Preclassic period—as war-leaders,
perhaps, or as mediators in local disputes. However they came by their authority,
they could only have maintained it through consent and co-operation, despite the
impression of absolute power that their monuments create. From the eighth century,
at Copán in particular, there is some evidence of the negotiation that must have gone
on behind the scenes. There is little reason to believe that this kind of jostling was not
seen in earlier centuries too. (Drew, David. The Lost Chronicles of the Maya Kings.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.)

All aspects of the story of Ammon at the waters of Sebus make perfect sense
against the backdrop of a Mesoamerican king struggling with competition from a
powerful rival lineage. Note that when the king is discussing the incident with
Ammon he asks: “tell me by what power ye slew and smote off the arms of my
brethren that scattered my flocks” (Alma 18:20, emphasis added) While it is
possible that the phrase “my brethren” is extremely generic, it would be very unusual
to presume robbers as “brothers” of a King, and equally as unusual to include
anyone outside of the city as one’s “brothers.” These thieves really are “brethren”, and that is the whole reason for the trouble. Now let me retell the story against the backdrop of political tensions with Lamoni’s “brethren.”

Ammon comes before the king and asks to be a servant. Ammon is a Nephite and
therefore not only an outsider but an enemy. The king offers to make him family by
marrying one of his daughters. If Ammon had accepted, he would also have
accepted rule by the new family and therefore be under the king’s control. By
refusing, Ammon continues to be an outsider and therefore potentially uncontrollable.
The king decides to place Ammon in a position where this condition of being outside
the city’s political intrigues might be advantageous. He sends him to water the flocks
at Sebus.

The dumb thieves who don’t get much from their raids are actually getting everything they want. Key to understanding the story is that whatever ruse was employed to allow the fiction that they were robbers, the reality was that they were well-known to the servants and to the king. They were members of the rival lineage who were attempting to alter the balance of power. By scattering the king’s flocks they were embarrassing the king and therefore diminishing his appearance of total control.

Because the rival lineage was sufficiently powerful, the king could not move against
them directly without creating civil war. Therefore, the king could not send armed
guards. If he killed the members of the competing lineage it would break whatever
illusion of cooperation there was and instigate civil disorder. The guards
cannot defend themselves for the same reason that the king could not send
troops.

The king could not, however, allow the situation to completely embarrass him.
Therefore the fiction of thievery is either created or allowed to remain. Because something had to be done to restore the king’s honor in the situation, the guards are punished for their “failure.” The king places the failure on the guards and executes them to demonstrate that he is still controlling the situation.

Along comes Ammon, who is an outsider to the political intrigue. Ammon is not a member of either lineage and as an outsider would be unaware of the identities of these “brethren” thieves or the delicate political situation. He is a wildcard in a high stakes game. The king deliberately puts him into a situation where it is possible—even probable—that he will use his sword, where all other servants have held theirs. It is quite possible that the king expected Ammon to do some damage, but ultimately fail to protect the flocks. From the king’s perspective, any damage that Ammon did would improve the king’s standing in the political impasse by gaining more revenge without the political cost–because it was done by an outsider.

When Abish finds many relatives of the robbers as well as the brother of the slain “thief” close by, we have our confirmation that this is a delicate political dance. Only if the family is part of the royal court would so many relatives of outlaws be that close to the home compound of a king. That a family of a thief is that close to the king tells us that the thieves were also that close. The thieves at the waters of Sebus were not from another city. They were not miscreants ostracized from this city. They were of a family that was sufficiently prestigious that it spent time in close proximity to the king. It had to be a competing royal lineage.

This reinterpretation of the events against a Mesoamerican cultural background
creates sense from the near nonsense of the contextless account. Our analysis of
Book of Mormon politics tells us that not only do the structural elements trace more firmly to a Mesoamerican context, but that the Mesoamerican context provides needed information that fills in the gaps between the assumed understanding of the writer and the reader.” (Brant Gardner, a talk given at the 2004 FAIR conference)

-=-=-=
grego’s response:

Well, it seems long before Brant Gardner unraveled the great mystery here about the waters of Sebus, I got most of it from watching the video “Ammon, Missionary to the Lamanites”, one video of the “Animated Stories from the Book of Mormon” video series. It seems that Scott Orson Card pretty much “did the work”, long before 2004. Here are some other things to think about, that support this idea:

-=
I think it safe to say that the king would send either his best, or his worst servants on this water-the-flocks mission. He probably sent the worst/ most expendable, which means they weren’t very up there in the social ladder. Besides, it seems that it could mean those who were part of the Laman/ Lemuel group, but who weren’t directly descended from them–perhaps servants, or other minors in the story, or “others”.

-=
Perhaps king Lamoni killed the servants not because they couldn’t fight for him, but because they chose not to (a la “Ammon, Missionary to the Lamanites” says), perhaps not wanting to join sides in this friendly dispute of life and death; and to the king, “not for” = “against”—“you didn’t defend my sheep, but let my enemies take them” = “you’re a traitor, bye-bye”.

-=
Alma 18:3 is interesting, because the king’s servants say “…he cannot be slain by the enemies of the king”—not “*our* enemies”; also, “we know that he is a friend to the king”—showing the loyalty not to the Lamanites or the Ishmaelites or the king’s kingdom or group, but to the leader. Because of this and the previous episodes, it also is clear these are not just ordinary robbers out for a pillage, but the king’s enemies.

-=
Note that this robbery takes place right before the big Lamanite king’s feast:
Alma 20:8 And it came to pass that as Ammon and Lamoni were journeying thither, they met the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.
9 And behold, the father of Lamoni said unto him: Why did ye not come to the feast on that great day when I made a feast unto my sons, and unto my people?

King Lamoni’s father is the king of all the Lamanites; that puts him in a very good position, and I wonder what family, even if powerful, would dare go against that…? King Lamoni’s brother becomes king (name changed to Anti-Nephi-Lehi) when his father steps down. So, these robbers et. al. would not have to worry just about Lamoni, but his father, too.

Another supporting part in this story is that Lamoni says that the king of Middoni is “a friend unto [Lamoni]”; which means ruling lesser (perhaps like vassal) kings *aren’t* all in the family, and often might even be among non-friends. If Lamoni’s father has sons, where are they all? One becomes king after his father, the other is a king (Lamoni); then what? How come there might be lower non-friendly kings under Lamoni’s father? Think along the lines of a big king and minor kings–vying for position and rank under the big king? Who will “move up” in power? And if that king is Lamoni’s friend, which king isn’t?

-=
Alma 19:20-21
17 …by making known unto the people what had happened among them… therefore she (Abish) ran forth from house to house, making it known unto the people.
18 And they began to assemble themselves together unto the house of the king. And there came a multitude…
19 And now the people began to murmur among themselves; some saying that it was a great evil that had come upon them, or upon the king and his house, because he had suffered that the Nephite should remain in the land.
20 But others rebuked them, saying: The king hath brought this evil upon his house, because he slew his servants who had had their flocks scattered at the waters of Sebus.
21 And they were also rebuked by those men who had stood at the waters of Sebus and scattered the flocks which belonged to the king, for they were angry with Ammon because of the number which he had slain of their brethren at the waters of Sebus, while defending the flocks of the king.
22 Now, one of them, whose brother had been slain with the sword of Ammon, being exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword and went forth that he might let it fall upon Ammon, to slay him; and as he lifted the sword to smite him, behold, he fell dead.

First, Abish doesn’t just tell everyone in the royal compound; in fact, there is no mention of a royal compound, she just “ran forth from house to house, making it known unto the people”.

There are no guards or servants–they’re all on the floor with the king and queen–so what will happen?

Three groups of people complaining are mentioned, the latter two being:
–those who blame the king for killing his servants (their families?), and
–those mad at Ammon for killing the robbers, “their brethren[,] at the waters of Sebus” (their families?).

Ammon killed seven, and wounded many others; and yet, there were still many that escaped unhurt. That’s a lot of enemies to be hanging around.

-=
Alma 19:31 And [Lamoni] immediately, seeing the contention among his people, went forth and began to rebuke them, and to teach them the words which he had heard from the mouth of Ammon; and as many as heard his words believed, and were converted unto the Lord.
32 But there were many among them who would not hear his words; therefore they went their way.

Who were those “many”? I imagine most would have been the competing families, who had little respect for the king and his words.

-=
Alma 20:5 Therefore, if this is the case, I would that ye should go in and see my husband, for he has been laid upon his bed for the space of two days and two nights; and some say that he is not dead, but others say that he is dead and that he stinketh, and that he ought to be placed in the sepulchre; but as for myself, to me he doth not stink.

Here, it seems that there are people up there that are trying to get rid of king Lamoni.
Who thought he stunk and needed to be buried?

-=
And a question:
Alma 20:14 Now the father of Lamoni commanded him that he should slay Ammon with the sword. And he also commanded him that he should not go to the land of Middoni, but that he should return with him to the land of Ishmael.
15 But Lamoni said unto him: I will not slay Ammon, neither will I return to the land of Ishmael, but I go to the land of Middoni that I may release the brethren of Ammon, for I know that they are just men and holy prophets of the true God.

What were they going to do in the land of Ishmael?

2010, February 24

“A Short Look at ‘Good vs. X’ in the Book of Mormon” by grego

“A Short Look at ‘Good vs. X’ in the Book of Mormon”

grego
(c) 2010

How many times do they appear in the Book of Mormon?
–good vs. bad: 3
–good vs. evil: 28
–good vs. wicked: 0
–righteous vs. wicked: 18
–good, natural vs. bad, corrupted, evil, bitter: 1 section (Jacob 5)

and more! But this is just a short look, right?

-=

Good vs. Bad

1. 2 Ne. 2: 11
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
2. Jacob 5: 32, 65-66, 75, 77
32 But behold, this time it hath brought forth much fruit, and there is none of it which is good. And behold, there are all kinds of bad fruit; and it profiteth me nothing, notwithstanding all our labor; and now it grieveth me that I should lose this tree.
65 And as they begin to grow ye shall clear away the branches which bring forth bitter fruit, according to the strength of the good and the size thereof; and ye shall not clear away the bad thereof all at once, lest the roots thereof should be too strong for the graft, and the graft thereof shall perish, and I lose the trees of my vineyard.
66 For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard.
75 And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.
77 And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end; and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.
3. Alma 3: 26
26 And in one year were thousands and tens of thousands of souls sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one.

-=-=

Good vs. Evil

1. 2 Ne. 2: 5, 18, 26
5 And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.
18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.
26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
2. 2 Ne. 15: 20
20 Wo unto them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
3. 2 Ne. 17: 15-16
15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and to choose the good.
16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.
4. Jacob 5: 59, 77
59 And this I do that, perhaps, the roots thereof may take strength because of their goodness; and because of the change of the branches, that the good may overcome the evil.
77 And when the time cometh that evil fruit shall again come into my vineyard, then will I cause the good and the bad to be gathered; and the good will I preserve unto myself, and the bad will I cast away into its own place. And then cometh the season and the end; and my vineyard will I cause to be burned with fire.
5. Jacob 6: 7
7 For behold, after ye have been nourished by the good word of God all the day long, will ye bring forth evil fruit, that ye must be hewn down and cast into the fire?
6. Omni 1: 25
25 And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord; and that which is evil cometh from the devil.
7. Mosiah 3: 24
24 And thus saith the Lord: They shall stand as a bright testimony against this people, at the judgment day; whereof they shall be judged, every man according to his works, whether they be good, or whether they be evil.
8. Mosiah 5: 2
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.
9. Mosiah 16: 3, 10-11
3 For they are carnal and devilish, and the devil has power over them; yea, even that old serpent that did beguile our first parents, which was the cause of their fall; which was the cause of all mankind becoming carnal, sensual, devilish, knowing evil from good, subjecting themselves to the devil.
10 Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil—
11 If they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation—
10. Alma 5: 40-41
40 For I say unto you that whatsoever is good cometh from God, and whatsoever is evil cometh from the devil.
41 Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.
11. Alma 11: 44
44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.
12. Alma 12: 31-32
31 Wherefore, he gave commandments unto men, they having first transgressed the first commandments as to things which were temporal, and becoming as Gods, knowing good from evil, placing themselves in a state to act, or being placed in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good—
32 Therefore God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption, that they should not do evil, the penalty thereof being a second death, which was an everlasting death as to things pertaining unto righteousness; for on such the plan of redemption could have no power, for the works of justice could not be destroyed, according to the supreme goodness of God.
13. Alma 13: 3
3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained—being called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God, on account of their exceeding faith and good works; in the first place being left to choose good or evil; therefore they having chosen good, and exercising exceedingly great faith, are called with a holy calling, yea, with that holy calling which was prepared with, and according to, a preparatory redemption for such.
14. Alma 29: 5
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.
15. Alma 40: 11, 13
11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.
16. Alma 41: 5, 7, 13
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.
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.
13 O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.
17. Alma 42: 3
3 Now, we see that the man had become as God, knowing good and evil; and lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat and live forever, the Lord God placed cherubim and the flaming sword, that he should not partake of the fruit—
18. Hel. 5: 2
2 For as their laws and their governments were established by the voice of the people, and they who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good, therefore they were ripening for destruction, for the laws had become corrupted.
19. Hel. 12: 4, 26
4 O how foolish, and how vain, and how evil, and devilish, and how quick to do iniquity, and how slow to do good, are the children of men; yea, how quick to hearken unto the words of the evil one, and to set their hearts upon the vain things of the world!
26 Yea, who shall be consigned to a state of endless misery, fulfilling the words which say: They that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation. And thus it is. Amen.
20. Hel. 14: 31
31 He hath given unto you that ye might know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.
21. 3 Ne. 12: 45
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.
22. 3 Ne. 14: 11, 17-18
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
23. 3 Ne. 26: 4-5
4 And even unto the great and last day, when all people, and all kindreds, and all nations and tongues shall stand before God, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
5 If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began.
24. 3 Ne. 27: 14
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
25. Morm. 3: 20
20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;
26. Ether 8: 26
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.
27. Moro. 7: 6, 10, 12, 14-17, 19
6 For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing.
10 Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift.
12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.
14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.
15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.
16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.
17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.
19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.
28. Moro. 10: 30
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.

-=-=

Righteous vs. Wicked:

1. 1 Ne. 4: 13
13 Behold the Lord slayeth the wicked to bring forth his righteous purposes. It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief.
2. 1 Ne. 15: 30, 36
30 And I said unto them that our father also saw that the justice of God did also divide the wicked from the righteous; and the brightness thereof was like unto the brightness of a flaming fire, which ascendeth up unto God forever and ever, and hath no end.
36 Wherefore, the wicked are rejected from the righteous, and also from that tree of life, whose fruit is most precious and most desirable above all other fruits; yea, and it is the greatest of all the gifts of God. And thus I spake unto my brethren. Amen.
3. 1 Ne. 16: 2
2 And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center.
4. 1 Ne. 17: 37-38
37 And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.
5. 1 Ne. 22: 16
16 For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for he will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.
6. 2 Ne. 15: 23
23 Who justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
7. 2 Ne. 21: 4
4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
8. 2 Ne. 30: 9
9 And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
9. Alma 5: 57
57 And now I say unto you, all you that are desirous to follow the voice of the good shepherd, come ye out from the wicked, and be ye separate, and touch not their unclean things; and behold, their names shall be blotted out, that the names of the wicked shall not be numbered among the names of the righteous, that the word of God may be fulfilled, which saith: The names of the wicked shall not be mingled with the names of my people;
10. Alma 11: 44
44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.
11.
Alma 40: 14, 19, 26
14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.
• • •
19 Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ.
26 But behold, an awful death cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God; but they are cast out, and consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors or their works, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.
12. Alma 46: 10
10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.
13. Alma 50: 39
39 Behold, it came to pass that the son of Nephihah was appointed to fill the judgment-seat, in the stead of his father; yea, he was appointed chief judge and governor over the people, with an oath and sacred ordinance to judge righteously, and to keep the peace and the freedom of the people, and to grant unto them their sacred privileges to worship the Lord their God, yea, to support and maintain the cause of God all his days, and to bring the wicked to justice according to their crime.
14. Alma 60: 13
13 For the Lord suffereth the righteous to be slain that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord their God.
15. Hel. 6: 31, 38
31 And now behold, he had got great hold upon the hearts of the Nephites; yea, insomuch that they had become exceedingly wicked; yea, the more part of them had turned out of the way of righteousness, and did trample under their feet the commandments of God, and did turn unto their own ways, and did build up unto themselves idols of their gold and their silver.
38 And it came to pass on the other hand, that the Nephites did build them up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations.
16. Hel. 7: 5
5 Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—
17. 3 Ne. 7: 7
7 And they did cause a great contention in the land, insomuch that the more righteous part of the people had nearly all become wicked; yea, there were but few righteous men among them.
18. 3 Ne. 24: 18
18 Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

2010, February 22

“Holy Bible: Lot and His Daughters in Genesis 19” by grego

Holy Bible: Lot and His Daughters in Genesis 19

grego
(c) 2010

Sunday we discussed Lot and his daughters (shocked me!), in Genesis 19.

Lot was told to leave Sodom and Gomorrah; he didn’t want to.
He was told to escape to the mountain; he didn’t want to.
He preferred Zoar, a nearby city. The Lord said ok, go there, the city will be safe because of your wish, I’ve prepared the way.
Lot flees there, then after Sodom and Gommorah are destroyed, he goes up to the mountain and dwells in a cave, because of fear. (I imagine he was afraid because Abraham had battled Zoar and rescued him, and Abraham wasn’t there anymore; why would a stranger settle in Zoar? I can imagine his mind: “What if they find out?
‘Lot–you mean *the* Lot Abraham saved’ as they sharpen their swords…”)
His daughters live in the cave far away from others; their husbands have been destroyed (Genesis 19:14) in the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah.
They lose hope, sleep with their father, and have children.

This made me think about them and the contrast with Abraham and his desire for seed; the promises of the Lord; Abraham’s faithfulness and patience.
It made me think about wanting X so much, then when the Lord gives us X, we get scared and give it up for something else.
It made me think about Lot: first he goes where he shouldn’t, then he goes where he shouldn’t, then he goes where he shouldn’t; likely all because of fear. Contrast that with Abraham, who went everywhere he should, even in the face of great fear and danger. By following the Spirit, he nevertheless avoided all danger, and was even deeply blessed in many ways.
It made me think, if mother had been faithful instead of looking back and becoming a pillar of salt, her daughters wouldn’t have slept with father.
Anything else?

2010, February 18

“Book of Mormon | Insight into Satan’s Thoughts and Ways: Alma 8” by grego

“Book of Mormon | Insight into Satan’s Thoughts and Ways: Alma 8”

grego
(c) 2010

We learn from the Book of Mormon, Bible, and other scriptures, that Satan wants to bring every person down. But there is a better way…

In Alma 8 we read about one:
Alma 8:8 And it came to pass that when Alma had come to the city of Ammonihah he began to preach the word of God unto them.
9 Now *Satan had gotten great hold upon the hearts of the people of the city of Ammonihah*; therefore they would not hearken unto the words of Alma.
11 …they hardened their hearts…
He leaves, and
14 … behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto him, saying:
16 …return to the city of Ammonihah, and preach again unto the people of the city… except they repent the Lord God will destroy them.
17 For behold, *they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people*, (for thus saith the Lord) which is contrary to the statutes, and judgments, and commandments which he has given unto his people.

Satan had great hold on their hearts, but he didn’t try to bring them all down. He tried to use them to bring down as many others as possible with them. (When they didn’t repent, they did cause lots of pain to others, but in the end, due to the promises and conditions of the Lord, the unrepentant were all slaughtered by the Lamanites.)

This is the best plan: instead of bringing down each individual, bring down the entire structure.

This is the beauty of taking over government: take that down, and you can take down thousands or even billions of people in one fell swoop, without having to worry about each individual. It’s like trying to get 1,000 people to swim in dangerous circumstances and drown them all, one by one, versus just sinking a ship.

This is a reason the control and maintenance of government and freedom is so important.

2010, February 17

“Book of Mormon: What is the Purpose of Life?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: What is the Purpose of Life?”

grego
(c) 2010

So, what’s the purpose of life?

1. Enlightenment?
No. What does that really mean, anyway? Any consensus on that? Does it mean to become one with light? And what does that get you? Happy only when you meditate? Emotionless? So you spend your life away from society and be quiet and do nothing? Or is enlightenment the starting point, or a part of the path?

2. Reincarnation?
No. And generally the purpose of reincarnation is to finally become one with “God” in all ways, after living good lives to be able to get your there… I am unsure how to put these reincarnation doctrines of “life is an illusion”, “all is all”, “be good”, and “become one with God” all together to make sense. (It makes less sense to me than the basic Calvanistic “doesn’t matter what you do, you’re already saved or damned” thinking.) If it’s all set, how can the end be our purpose?

3. Attaining knowledge?
No. Knowledge can be good and useful, but while it’s part of life, it’s not the purpose of life. Get knowledge, and then die?

4. Living healthily?
No. Health can be good and useful, but while it’s part of life, it’s not the purpose of life.

5. Immortality, or at least a long life?
No. While nice, it’s not the purpose, and might even be contrary to the purpose. Many great humans lived much shorter than a long life, yet still achieved the purpose of life.

6. Taking care of the earth?
No. Granted that is part of our responsibility, but it’s not the purpose of life.

7. Here is some insight as to the purpose of life, along with some reasons why:

Jacob 2:21 Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should *keep his commandments and glorify him forever*.

Keep God’s commandments. The Book of Mormon is full of this instruction and many of its aspects.

2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be; and *men are, that they might have joy*.

And how does one get this joy?
2 Nephi 2:26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.
27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;
By making choices that lead to eternal life.

I guess you could say our purpose is to become more like the dust:
Helaman 12:6 Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them, should *rule and reign over them*; notwithstanding his great goodness and his mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that *he should be their guide*.
7 O how great is the nothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are less than the dust of the earth.
8 For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.
This could be stated as obedience, which come from humility.

Mosiah 2:19 … O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!
20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
24 And secondly, *he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you*; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
25 And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. *Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth*; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.
26 And I, even I, whom ye call your king, am no better than ye yourselves are; for I am also of the dust. And ye behold that I am old, and am about to yield up this mortal frame to its mother earth.
27 Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me, when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you.
28 I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might rid my garments of your blood, at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God.
Living a life of obedience prepares one for the coming judgment and brings peace.

Nephi says our purpose is to inhabit the earth; then he gives clues by how that happens, and what we do for it:
1 Nephi 17:36 Behold, the Lord hath created the earth that it should be inhabited; and he hath created his children that they should possess it.
37 And he raiseth up a righteous nation, and destroyeth the nations of the wicked.
38 And he leadeth away the righteous into precious lands, and the wicked he destroyeth, and curseth the land unto them for their sakes.
39 He ruleth high in the heavens, for it is his throne, and this earth is his footstool.
40 And he loveth those who will have him to be their God. Behold, he loved our fathers, and he covenanted with them, yea, even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and he remembered the covenants which he had made; wherefore, he did bring them out of the land of Egypt.

8. From the Pearl of Great Price:
Abraham 3:22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was…
24 And … [Jesus] said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;
25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;
26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.
Once more, the purpose of life is to keep the commandments of God.

And finally, for here:
Moroni 9:6 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for *we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God*.
(Note how their salvation is tied into the salvation of others.)

“Book of Mormon: ‘But I Earned It’–AND?!” by grego

“Book of Mormon: ‘But I Earned It!!’–AND?!”

grego
(c) 2010

Jacob chastizes the Nephites in Jacob 2 for being proud when it was providence/ luck/ God that blessed them with fortune:
Jacob 2:12 … many of you have begun to search for gold, and for silver, and for all manner of precious ores, in the which this land, which is a land of promise unto you and to your seed, doth abound most plentifully.
13 And *the hand of providence hath smiled upon you most pleasingly, that you have obtained many riches*;
20 And now, my brethren, I have spoken unto you concerning pride; and those of you which have afflicted your neighbor, and persecuted him because ye were proud in your hearts, of *the things which God hath given you*, what say ye of it?

But, what about when we earn our fortune through our own sweat and blood? Alma says:
Alma 4:6 … the people of the church began to wax proud, because of their exceeding riches, and their fine silks, and their fine-twined linen, and because of their many flocks and herds, and their gold and their silver, and all manner of precious things, *which they had obtained by their industry*; and in all these things were they lifted up in the pride of their eyes, for they began to wear very costly apparel.

There it is: no matter whether God or someone gave it to us, or we found it, or we “earned” it, the same wealth and spiritual principles apply.

2010, February 12

“Book of Mormon: Alma’s Meaning of ‘Murderers’ in Alma 5” by grego

Book of Mormon: Alma’s Meaning of ‘Murderers’ in Alma 5

grego
(c) 2010

Alma, speaking to a church congregation in Zarahemla, says this:
Alma 5:22 And now I ask of you, my brethren, how will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? Behold, what will these things testify against you?
23 Behold will they not testify that ye are *murderers*, yea, and also that ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness?

Were these members really murderers? Is this what Alma is saying?
First, if they were members and murderers, there wouldn’t be much use in preaching salvation to them, right? And the law would have them, and the language seems a little strong for what is going on. So, how does “murderer” fit?

The key is in Alma 36:
Alma 36:13 Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments.
14 Yea, and I had *murdered* many of his children, or rather *led them away unto destruction*; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror.

When we look back at Alma 4, we read this:
Alma 4:6 … the people of the church began to wax proud… lifted up in the pride of their eyes…
8 … the people of the church began to be lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and to set their hearts upon riches and upon the vain things of the world, that they began to be scornful, one towards another, and they began to persecute those that did not believe according to their own will and pleasure.
9 …there began to be great contentions among the people of the church; yea, there were envyings, and strife, and malice, and persecutions, and pride, even to exceed the pride of those who did not belong to the church of God.
10 … the wickedness of the church was a great stumbling-block to those who did not belong to the church; and thus the church began to fail in its progress.
11 …Alma saw the wickedness of the church, and he saw also that the example of the church began to lead those who were unbelievers on from one piece of iniquity to another, thus bringing on the destruction of the people.
12 Yea, he saw great inequality among the people, some lifting themselves up with their pride, despising others, turning their backs upon the needy and the naked and those who were hungry, and those who were athirst, and those who were sick and afflicted.
13 Now this was a great cause for lamentations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy, feeding the hungry, and suffering all manner of afflictions, for Christ’s sake, who should come according to the spirit of prophecy;
15 And now it came to pass that Alma, having seen the afflictions of the humble followers of God, and the persecutions which were heaped upon them by the remainder of his people, and seeing all their inequality, began to be very sorrowful…
19 …that he (re:Alma) might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.

I think there are two things in particular here that relate to murder: 1. belittling, devaluing, and persecuting others; 2. being a bad example and giving an excuse to someone. These are things that Alma did himself in his youth. Doing these things is, in essence, murder.

Crime is, basically, speaking of law, to take away someone’s freedom; the largest/ most serious crime, so to say, being murder.

Those who use a lower crime to arrive at the same end, could in essence be called murderers, though they never shot or killed someone directly. We all know there is more than one way to murder someone, other than with just a gun… For example, King David didn’t technically murder Uriah with a sword, yet he was still guilty of murder.

Spiritually speaking, it’s the same; all sins (crimes) are linked to an end: eternal life, and what one does to keep someone (self or another) from it.

Alma’s meaning is to spiritually murder someone, by causing them to not arrive at eternal life.

“Book of Mormon: Are Saved Christians in Any Better Position than Atheists?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Are Saved Christians in Any Better Position than Atheists?”

grego
(c) 2010

Reading about Nehor the “All Are Saved” preacher in Alma 1 in the Book of Mormon last night, I contemplated the position of the All-Saved—and their cousins the Once-Saved—relative to the Atheist, and didn’t find as much difference as I had imagined.

The atheist doesn’t believe in God. Many people, including many Christians, claim that this lack of belief leads to sinful living. No doubt in most cases it does. No God, no judgment, do as I please…

Some atheists, however, say that the lack of a future life helps them to live a meaningful life right here and now, and that while they don’t feel a responsibility to God, they feel a responsibility to mankind for living a good life.

Many Christians scoff at those ideas. But, are many of the Christians in any better position?

They believe that either through grace everyone is saved, or that through predestination they are saved, or that through reciting the sentence “I accept Jesus as my Savior” or such, or that just by being baptized once, etc., all is forever fine.

What moral support does that give? Or does this also lead to a life of sin? Or a life lacking in responsibility?

I once asked a such-believing Christian why, if he was saved, would he bother trying to live a Godly life? He answered that though he was saved, he felt a responsibility to God to do so. I don’t doubt that.

Reading about Nehor made me wonder about others, though. If heaven was already locked and set, and all people would be saved alike, what else is there?

Why, this life! Make money the easy way, lie, shop well, live the “good” life, do what you want, make yourself big, kill someone (Gideon) if they stand in your way of enjoyment, you are saved anyway!

Similar to the effect of Korihor’s atheistic preaching on the Nephites (Alma 30).

And the other Nehorites, such as in the city of Ammonihah? Someone tries to burst your bubble? Break the law; lie; kill them–cast the women and children and scriptures into a holocaust! Kill the prophets Alma and Amulon!

Is there any real difference in motivation for the Saved Christian than the atheist?

Anyone? Saved Christians… Atheists… anyone?

2010, February 10

“Book of Mormon: You Never Know about Bearing Testimony… Lamoni and His Father” by grego

“Book of Mormon: You Never Know about Bearing Testimony… Lamoni and His Father”

grego
(c) 2010

Lamoni shares his conversion story and bears his testimony of the gospel to his father, and his father is *not* happy:
Alma 20:9 And behold, the father of Lamoni said unto him: Why did ye not come to the feast on that great day when I made a feast unto my sons, and unto my people?
10 And he also said: Whither art thou going with this Nephite, who is one of the children of a liar?
12 And he also told him all the cause of his tarrying in his own kingdom, that he did not go unto his father to the feast which he had prepared.
13 And now when Lamoni had rehearsed unto him all these things, behold, to his astonishment, his father was angry with him, and said: Lamoni, thou art going to deliver these Nephites, who are sons of a liar. Behold, he robbed our fathers; and now his children are also come amongst us that they may, by their cunning and their lyings, deceive us, that they again may rob us of our property.
14 Now the father of Lamoni commanded him that he should slay Ammon with the sword. And he also commanded him that he should not go to the land of Middoni, but that he should return with him to the land of Ishmael.

Lamoni stands by his words and knowledge, and bears testimony:
15 But Lamoni said unto him: I will not slay Ammon, neither will I return to the land of Ishmael, but I go to the land of Middoni that I may release the brethren of Ammon, for I know that they are just men and holy prophets of the true God.

His father is very, very unhappy, and wants to kill him:
16 Now when his father had heard these words, he was angry with him, and he drew his sword that he might smite him to the earth.

Ammon has a few words, they fight, Ammon wins, and:
17 But Ammon stood forth and said unto him: Behold, thou shalt not slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved.
18 And again, it is expedient that thou shouldst forbear; for if thou shouldst slay thy son, he being an innocent man, his blood would cry from the ground to the Lord his God, for vengeance to come upon thee; and perhaps thou wouldst lose thy soul.
19 Now when Ammon had said these words unto him, he answered him, saying: I know that if I should slay my son, that I should shed innocent blood; for it is thou that hast sought to destroy him.
20 And he stretched forth his hand to slay Ammon. But Ammon withstood his blows, and also smote his arm that he could not use it.
23 Now the king, fearing he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.
24 Now when Ammon saw that he had wrought upon the old king according to his desire, he said unto him: If thou wilt grant that my brethren may be cast out of prison, and also that Lamoni may retain his kingdom, and that ye be not displeased with him, but grant that he may do according to his own desires in whatsoever thing he thinketh, then will I spare thee; otherwise I will smite thee to the earth.
25 Now when Ammon had said these words, the king began to rejoice because of his life.

The king is happy for his life! Then he realizes what is happening and what he is experiencing, and that perhaps his frame is off–Ammon could have had half the kingdom (and the king likely would have raised up the other half of the kingdom to war against him), but Ammon took so much less:
26 And when he saw that Ammon had no desire to destroy him, and when he also saw the great love he had for his son Lamoni, he was astonished exceedingly, and said: Because this is all that thou hast desired, that I would release thy brethren, and suffer that my son Lamoni should retain his kingdom, behold, I will grant unto you that my son may retain his kingdom from this time and forever; and I will govern him no more—
27 And I will also grant unto thee that thy brethren may be cast out of prison, and thou and thy brethren may come unto me, in my kingdom; for I shall greatly desire to see thee. For the king was greatly astonished at the words which he had spoken, and also at the words which had been spoken by his son Lamoni, therefore he was desirous to learn them.

This experience really opens his eyes; he is humble enough to admit it, especially to himself.

The missionaries go visit him:
Alma 22:3 And now, O king, if thou wilt spare our lives, we will be thy servants. And the king said unto them: Arise, for I will grant unto you your lives, and I will not suffer that ye shall be my servants; but I will insist that ye shall administer unto me; for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon; and I desire to know the cause why he has not come up out of Middoni with thee.
5 Now the king said unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me.
6 And also, what is this that Ammon said—If ye will repent ye shall be saved, and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at the last day?

Note that Ammon does not speak about the Spirit of the Lord; it must have been Lamoni. So, while in this situation bearing a testimony seems to mean death for the bearer, in the end it is a way to eternal life for the hearer.

2010, February 9

“Book of Mormon: Alma 21: Go Free Your Brothers but Don’t Go See the King because He Will Try to Kill You–Here’s the King!” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Alma 21: Go Free Your Brothers but Don’t Go See the King because He Will Try to Kill You–Here’s the King!”

grego
(c) 2010

There is a funny way of things happening sometimes…

In this part of the story, God tells Ammon to not go to the land of Nephi because Lamoni’s father will try to kill him, but to go free his brethren. So, he goes to free his brethren, with Lamoni accompanying him; on the way, who do they run into? King Lamoni’s father! Who tries to kill Ammon? King Lamoni’s father!

Alma 20:1 And it came to pass that when they had established a church in that land, that king Lamoni desired that Ammon should go with him to the land of Nephi, that he might show him unto his father.
2 And the voice of the Lord came to Ammon, saying: Thou shalt not go up to the land of Nephi, for behold, the king will seek thy life; but thou shalt go to the land of Middoni; for behold, thy brother Aaron, and also Muloki and Ammah are in prison.
3 Now it came to pass that when Ammon had heard this, he said unto Lamoni: Behold, my brother and brethren are in prison at Middoni, and I go that I may deliver them.
4 Now Lamoni said unto Ammon: I know, in the strength of the Lord thou canst do all things. But behold, I will go with thee to the land of Middoni; for the king of the land of Middoni, whose name is Antiomno, is a friend unto me; therefore I go to the land of Middoni, that I may flatter the king of the land, and he will cast thy brethren out of prison. Now Lamoni said unto him: Who told thee that thy brethren were in prison?
5 And Ammon said unto him: No one hath told me, save it be God; and he said unto me—Go and deliver thy brethren, for they are in prison in the land of Middoni.
6 Now when Lamoni had heard this he caused that his servants should make ready his horses and his chariots.
7 And he said unto Ammon: Come, I will go with thee down to the land of Middoni, and there I will plead with the king that he will cast thy brethren out of prison.
8 And it came to pass that as Ammon and Lamoni were journeying thither, they met the father of Lamoni, who was king over all the land.
9 And behold, the father of Lamoni said unto him: Why did ye not come to the feast on that great day when I made a feast unto my sons, and unto my people?
10 And he also said: Whither art thou going with this Nephite, who is one of the children of a liar?
11 And it came to pass that Lamoni rehearsed unto him whither he was going, for he feared to offend him.
12 And he also told him all the cause of his tarrying in his own kingdom, that he did not go unto his father to the feast which he had prepared.
13 And now when Lamoni had rehearsed unto him all these things, behold, to his astonishment, his father was angry with him, and said: Lamoni, thou art going to deliver these Nephites, who are sons of a liar. Behold, he robbed our fathers; and now his children are also come amongst us that they may, by their cunning and their lyings, deceive us, that they again may rob us of our property.
14 Now the father of Lamoni commanded him that he should slay Ammon with the sword. And he also commanded him that he should not go to the land of Middoni, but that he should return with him to the land of Ishmael.
15 But Lamoni said unto him: I will not slay Ammon, neither will I return to the land of Ishmael, but I go to the land of Middoni that I may release the brethren of Ammon, for I know that they are just men and holy prophets of the true God.
16 Now when his father had heard these words, he was angry with him, and he drew his sword that he might smite him to the earth.
17 But Ammon stood forth and said unto him: Behold, thou shalt not slay thy son; nevertheless, it were better that he should fall than thee, for behold, he has repented of his sins; but if thou shouldst fall at this time, in thine anger, thy soul could not be saved.
18 And again, it is expedient that thou shouldst forbear; for if thou shouldst slay thy son, he being an innocent man, his blood would cry from the ground to the Lord his God, for vengeance to come upon thee; and perhaps thou wouldst lose thy soul.
19 Now when Ammon had said these words unto him, he answered him, saying: I know that if I should slay my son, that I should shed innocent blood; for it is thou that hast sought to destroy him.
20 And he stretched forth his hand to slay Ammon. But Ammon withstood his blows, and also smote his arm that he could not use it.
21 Now when the king saw that Ammon could slay him, he began to plead with Ammon that he would spare his life.
22 But Ammon raised his sword, and said unto him: Behold, I will smite thee except thou wilt grant unto me that my brethren may be cast out of prison.
23 Now the king, fearing he should lose his life, said: If thou wilt spare me I will grant unto thee whatsoever thou wilt ask, even to half of the kingdom.
24 Now when Ammon saw that he had wrought upon the old king according to his desire, he said unto him: If thou wilt grant that my brethren may be cast out of prison, and also that Lamoni may retain his kingdom, and that ye be not displeased with him, but grant that he may do according to his own desires in whatsoever thing he thinketh, then will I spare thee; otherwise I will smite thee to the earth.
25 Now when Ammon had said these words, the king began to rejoice because of his life.
26 And when he saw that Ammon had no desire to destroy him, and when he also saw the great love he had for his son Lamoni, he was astonished exceedingly, and said: Because this is all that thou hast desired, that I would release thy brethren, and suffer that my son Lamoni should retain his kingdom, behold, I will grant unto you that my son may retain his kingdom from this time and forever; and I will govern him no more—
27 And I will also grant unto thee that thy brethren may be cast out of prison, and thou and thy brethren may come unto me, in my kingdom; for I shall greatly desire to see thee. For the king was greatly astonished at the words which he had spoken, and also at the words which had been spoken by his son Lamoni, therefore he was desirous to learn them.
28 And it came to pass that Ammon and Lamoni proceeded on their journey towards the land of Middoni. And Lamoni found favor in the eyes of the king of the land; therefore the brethren of Ammon were brought forth out of prison.
29 And when Ammon did meet them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for behold they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords. And they also had suffered hunger, thirst, and all kinds of afflictions; nevertheless they were patient in all their sufferings.
30 And, as it happened, it was their lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardened and a more stiffnecked people; therefore they would not hearken unto their words, and they had cast them out, and had smitten them, and had driven them from house to house, and from place to place, even until they had arrived in the land of Middoni; and there they were taken and cast into prison, and bound with strong cords, and kept in prison for many days, and were delivered by Lamoni and Ammon.

Alma 22:1 Now, as Ammon was thus teaching the people of Lamoni continually, we will return to the account of Aaron and his brethren; for after he departed from the land of Middoni he was led by the Spirit to the land of Nephi, even to the house of the king which was over all the land save it were the land of Ishmael; and he was the father of Lamoni.
2 And it came to pass that he went in unto him into the king’s palace, with his brethren, and bowed himself before the king, and said unto him: Behold, O king, we are the brethren of Ammon, whom thou hast delivered out of prison.
3 And now, O king, if thou wilt spare our lives, we will be thy servants. And the king said unto them: Arise, for I will grant unto you your lives, and I will not suffer that ye shall be my servants; but I will insist that ye shall administer unto me; for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and the greatness of the words of thy brother Ammon; and I desire to know the cause why he has not come up out of Middoni with thee.
4 And Aaron said unto the king: Behold, the Spirit of the Lord has called him another way; he has gone to the land of Ishmael, to teach the people of Lamoni.
5 Now the king said unto them: What is this that ye have said concerning the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, this is the thing which doth trouble me.
6 And also, what is this that Ammon said—If ye will repent ye shall be saved, and if ye will not repent, ye shall be cast off at the last day?

2010, February 6

“Book of Mormon: Contrasting Results of Jacob’s versus Laman and Lemuel’s Heavenly Witnesses” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Contrasting Results of Jacob’s versus Laman and Lemuel’s Heavenly Witnesses”

grego
(c) 2010 in this form

Nephi says about Laman and Lemuel:
1 Nephi 17:45 Ye are swift to do iniquity but slow to remember the Lord your God. *Ye have seen an angel, and he spake unto you*; yea, *ye have heard his [the Lord’s] voice from time to time*; and *he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice*, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words; wherefore, *he has spoken unto you like unto the voice of thunder*, which did cause the earth to shake as if it were to divide asunder.

1 Nephi 3:29 And it came to pass as they smote us with a rod, behold, an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.
30 And after the angel had spoken unto us, he departed.
(1 Nephi 7:10)

(1 Nephi 16:39 And it came to pass that the Lord was with us, yea, even the voice of the Lord came and did speak many words unto them, and did chasten them exceedingly; and after they were chastened by the voice of the Lord they did turn away their anger, and did repent of their sins, insomuch that the Lord did bless us again with food, that we did not perish.)

Contrast this with what Jacob says:
Jacob 7:5 And he had hope to shake me from the faith, notwithstanding the many revelations and the many things which I had seen concerning these things; for *I truly had seen angels*, and they had ministered unto me. And also, *I had heard the voice of the Lord speaking unto me in very word, from time to time*; wherefore, I could not be shaken.

Results? Laman and Lemuel lied and left the Lord, and Jacob could not be shaken from the true faith in the Lord.

2010, February 4

“Book of Mormon: The Meaning of Moroni’s Transition from Ether to Moroni” by grego

Book of Mormon: The Meaning of Moroni’s Transition from Ether to Moroni

grego
(c) 2010

Going through my old copy of my Book of Mormon (mid-90’s), I’ve found lots of notes to write out and share. Here’s one. It has to do with the meaning of Moroni’s transition from the book of Ether to the book of Moroni.

The last two verses of the book of Ether read:
Ether 15:33 And the Lord spake unto Ether, and said unto him: Go forth. And he went forth, and beheld that the words of the Lord had all been fulfilled; and he finished his record; (and the hundredth part I have not written) and he hid them in a manner that the people of Limhi did find them.
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.

In addition to Ether 12, Moroni took this last part quite personally, too. He could relate to Ether:
-being the witness to the fulfilling of the word of the Lord;
-being witness of the destruction of his people;
-being kept by the Lord;
-finishing his record, some of which would not be translated;
-hiding the plates so that they would be found by the next people;
-and after that being done, acceptance of whatever might come.

For even more, one must read on:
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.
2 For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ.
3 And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life.
4 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.

Note that Moroni mentions twice that he thought Ether 15:34 would be his last written words. And how fitting they were, and what a beautiful ending! And yet, he wrote on, hoping to give more.

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