Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2010, March 29

“‘Energy Work’ (EFT—Emotional Freedom Technique) Helps LDS/ Mormon Woman Overcome Negativity towards Marriage” by grego

‘Energy Work’ (EFT—Emotional Freedom Technique) Helps LDS/ Mormon Woman Overcome Negativity towards Marriage

grego
(c) 2010

In the April 2010 Ensign, there are many articles about marriage. Anyway, reading this part (I’ve been asking the stake here to do this type of fireside for the single adults…): “Choosing to Take My Own Path”, I was reminded of an experience a single adult sister and I had.

Her mother and stepfather had divorced, and she wanted nothing to do with marriage. She was a great member in other aspects; she just couldn’t do marriage.

I asked her point blank about getting married (not to me, eh, I was already married, my wife was there!), and she shared her very strong feelings.

I asked if she wanted to get over those feelings. She surprised me by saying yes, so we sat down.

At the end of an hour, she had gone, on a scale of 0-10, from a “0” to a “10” on a scale of desire and possibility. What was the trick? EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). (You can search “energy” on this blog for more info.)

I strongly suggest energy work like EFT for anyone who has any type of negativity towards marriage.

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2010, March 26

“Book of Mormon: Alma 62:41–Same Experience, Different Results by Choice of Reaction” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Alma 62:41–Same Experience, Different Results by Choice of Reaction”

grego
(c) 2010

Here’s a verse in the Book of Mormon after the great war:

Alma 62:41 But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility.

We see that same experience, different results. Why? People’s choices! You don’t *have* to be a way because something happened. It often is, when going through a negative experience, you can either harden or soften your heart; the difference is up to you.

2010, March 25

“Book of Mormon | Alma’s Prophecy in Alma 45 of the Remaining Nephites to be Hunted and Killed Is Fulfilled in Mormon 6 and Mormon 8” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma’s Prophecy in Alma 45 of the Remaining Nephites to be Hunted and Killed Is Fulfilled in Mormon 6 and Mormon 8

grego
(c) 2010

Alma 45:8 Then Alma said unto him: …
9 I have somewhat to prophesy unto thee…
10 And these are the words: Behold, I perceive that this very people, the Nephites, according to the spirit of revelation which is in me, in four hundred years from the time that Jesus Christ shall manifest himself unto them, shall dwindle in unbelief.
11 Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed, even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct—
12 Yea, and this because they shall dwindle in unbelief and fall into the works of darkness, and lasciviousness, and all manner of iniquities; yea, I say unto you, that because they shall sin against so great light and knowledge, yea, I say unto you, that from that day, even the fourth generation shall not all pass away before this great iniquity shall come.
13 And when that great day cometh, behold, the time very soon cometh that those who are now, or the seed of those who are now numbered among the people of Nephi, shall no more be numbered among the people of Nephi.
14 But whosoever remaineth, and is not destroyed in that great and dreadful day, shall be numbered among the Lamanites, and shall become like unto them, all, save it be a few who shall be called the disciples of the Lord; and them shall the Lamanites pursue even until they shall become extinct. And now, because of iniquity, this prophecy shall be fulfilled.

Mormon 6:15 And it came to pass that there were ten more who did fall by the sword, with their ten thousand each; yea, even all my people, save it were those twenty and four who were with me, and also a few who had escaped into the south countries, and a few who had deserted over unto the Lamanites, had fallen…

Mormon 8:1 Behold I, Moroni…
2 And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed.
3 And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people…

Alma 45 is on page 321; Mormon 6 is on page 479–a difference of 158 pages; yet the Book of Mormon connects Alma’s prophecy and its fulfillment witnessed by Moroni. Critics who believe that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, that’s one more great memory feat of Joseph Smith…

2010, March 24

Book of Mormon | “Opportunity to Repent Carries Consequences: Ether and Coriantumr” by grego

Book of Mormon | “Opportunity to Repent Carries Consequences: Ether and Coriantumr”

grego
(c) 2010

In Ether 13, we read:
20 And in the second year the word of the Lord came to Ether, that he should go and prophesy unto Coriantumr that, if he would repent, and all his household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the people—
21 Otherwise they should be destroyed, and all his household save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr.
22 And it came to pass that Coriantumr repented not, neither his household, neither the people; and the wars ceased not; and they sought to kill Ether, but he fled from before them and hid again in the cavity of the rock.

There was the opportunity to repent. Had he done so, he would not only have his people, he would still have his kingdom. He chooses to not repent, but to try to kill Ether instead.

Later, in Ether 15, we read:
1 And it came to pass when Coriantumr had recovered of his wounds, he began to remember the words which Ether had spoken unto him.
2 He saw that there had been slain by the sword already nearly two millions of his people, and he began to sorrow in his heart; yea, there had been slain two millions of mighty men, and also their wives and their children.
3 He began to repent of the evil which he had done; he began to remember the words which had been spoken by the mouth of all the prophets, and he saw them that they were fulfilled thus far, every whit; and his soul mourned and refused to be comforted.
4 And it came to pass that he wrote an epistle unto Shiz, desiring him that he would spare the people, and he would give up the kingdom for the sake of the lives of the people.
5 And it came to pass that when Shiz had received his epistle he wrote an epistle unto Coriantumr, that if he would give himself up, that he might slay him with his own sword, that he would spare the lives of the people.
6 And it came to pass that the people repented not of their iniquity; and the people of Coriantumr were stirred up to anger against the people of Shiz; and the people of Shiz were stirred up to anger against the people of Coriantumr; wherefore, the people of Shiz did give battle unto the people of Coriantumr.

18 And it came to pass that Coriantumr wrote again an epistle unto Shiz, desiring that he would not come again to battle, but that he would take the kingdom, and spare the lives of the people.
19 But behold, the Spirit of the Lord had ceased striving with them, and Satan had full power over the hearts of the people; for they were given up unto the hardness of their hearts, and the blindness of their minds that they might be destroyed; wherefore they went again to battle.
30 And it came to pass that when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz.
32 And it came to pass that Coriantumr fell to the earth, and became as if he had no life.
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…

When Coriantumr finally wanted to repent, likely over four million of his people had been destroyed. But the conditions of repentance had changed: not only would he lose the kingdom, he would lose his life; yet, the people would be spared. What?!! This had never happened in the history of the Jaredites! The conquered king *never* died, he was just taken captive—just when he thought it would all be the same, things changed in a harsh way… Coriantumr counted this new price too high, and wasn’t willing to sacrifice. So, he tried to surrender twice, but since his life was required as a condition, he refused—and the time for favorable conditions had passed, due also to other people and their conditions.

So he continues to fight, until his life—what he wasn’t willing to sacrifice in order to save the people—was ultimately spared, but his people and the entire Jaredites (millions and millions) had been destroyed… Such irony in our choices, huh?

There are those that say “I can repent anytime, it will be all right”; “If I repent now or later, it will be the same”; etc. This clearly shows that will likely not be the case.
Failure to repent, especially when moved upon by the Spirit, will always carry negative consequences.

After wading and laboring through http://www.LDS.org Search (please, please someone fix that!!), I chanced upon the article I was searching for, “Do Not Delay”, by Elder Henry B. Eyring ( http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=c63a6a4430c0c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD ) . Here is an excerpt:

“When he was 12 he was ordained a deacon. Some of his friends tempted him to begin to smoke. He began to feel uncomfortable in church. He left his little town, not finishing high school, to begin a life following construction jobs across the United States. He was a heavy-equipment operator. He married. They had children. The marriage ended in a bitter divorce. He lost his children. He lost an eye in an accident. He lived alone in boardinghouses. He lost everything he owned except what he could carry in a trunk.

One night, as he prepared to move yet again, he decided to lighten the load of that trunk. Beneath the junk of years, he found a book. He never knew how it got there. It was the Book of Mormon. He read it through, and the Spirit told him it was true. He knew then that all those years ago he had walked away from the true Church of Jesus Christ and from the happiness which could have been his.

Later, he was my more-than-70-year-old district missionary companion. I asked the people we were teaching, as I testified of the power of the Savior’s Atonement, to look at him. He had been washed clean and given a new heart, and I knew they would see that in his face. I told the people that what they saw was evidence that the Atonement of Jesus Christ could wash away *all* the corrosive effects of sin.

That was the only time he ever rebuked me. He told me in the darkness outside the trailer where we had been teaching that I should have told the people that while God was able to give him a new heart, He had not been able to give him back his wife and his children and what he might have done for them.”

Don’t delay; repent now.

2010, March 22

“Book of Mormon: Why Many Americans Want a King” by grego

Book of Mormon: Why Many Americans Want a King

grego
(c) 2010

In Mosiah 29, king Mosiah is pleading for the Nephite people to relinquish their desires for a king (similar to Samuel in the Bible). First the verses, then a little commentary: 30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and *that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads*.
31 For behold I say unto you, *the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings*.
32 And now I desire that this inequality should be no more in this land, especially among this my people; but *I desire that this land be a land of liberty, and every man may enjoy his rights and privileges alike*, so long as the Lord sees fit that we may live and inherit the land, yea, even as long as any of our posterity remains upon the face of the land.
33 And many more things did king Mosiah write unto them, unfolding unto them all the trials and troubles of a righteous king, yea, all the travails of soul for their people, and also all the murmurings of the people to their king; and he explained it all unto them.
34 And he told them that these things ought not to be; but that *the burden should come upon all the people, that every man might bear his part*.
35-37 [bad kings are bad, listen]
38 Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that *every man should have an equal chance* throughout all the land; yea, and *every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins*.
39 Therefore, it came to pass that they assembled themselves together in bodies throughout the land, to cast in their voices concerning who should be their judges, to judge them according to the law which had been given them; and *they were exceedingly rejoiced because of the liberty which had been granted unto them*.
40 And they did wax strong in love towards Mosiah; yea, they did esteem him more than any other man; for they did not look upon him as a tyrant who was seeking for gain, yea, for that lucre which doth corrupt the soul; for he had not exacted riches of them, neither had he delighted in the shedding of blood; but he had established peace in the land, and *he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage*; therefore they did esteem him, yea, exceedingly, beyond measure.

Some points:
–people don’t have to take personal responsibility with a king.
–they don’t want equality, because when the playing field is fair, only the best work ethics win (no cronies allowed!).
–in other words, people want to be *cared* for, especially when it’s free for them.
–being free requires work and responsibility, and is a burden.

2010, March 19

“Book of Mormon: Nephite Government Balance of Powers and Judgment” by grego

Book of Mormon: Nephite Government Balance of Powers and Judgment

grego
(c) 2010

In the Book of Mormon, the Nephite government has balance of powers, but instead of being horizontal like the constitution of the USA, it is vertical.

King Mosiah :
25 Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.
26 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
27 And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
28 And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge.
29 If your higher judges do not judge righteous judgments, ye shall cause that a small number of your lower judges should be gathered together, and they shall judge your higher judges, according to the voice of the people.

A lower judge’s decision can be appealed to a higher judge, and a higher judge’s opinion can be appealed to a group of lower judges.

There is also another very interesting judgment here, since the Nephites were under a social contract with God: the majority judges the minority by choosing the laws; but if/ when the majority chooses iniquity over righteousness, God judges them.

Later, sometime after Alma, there is also a split between the government and the military, and each has its own powers (especially seen in the Amalickiah war).

2010, March 17

“Elder Cook Shows LDS Church Supports Senator Harry Reid in His Campaign” by grego

Elder Cook Shows LDS Church Supports Senator Harry Reid in His Campaign

grego
(c) 2010

(Well, seeing I couldn’t find any real info on this, so… When I hear clearer witness remarks, I’ll redo this, if merited.)

I heard Elder Cook very recently (March 2010) told Saints in Las Vegas that Senator Harry Reid is an outstanding guy, temple-recommend worthy, etc., and that there will be many “Harry Reid Shares His Testimony” firesides in Las Vegas–held in LDS Church meetinghouses.

What?!?!

If the LDS Church wants the members to support him, they should say so.

If not, they shouldn’t be doing this. It’s *obviously* politically-motivated. How about waiting after the elections to do this? How about letting the other candidates do this?

How about…? What would you say?

2010, March 15

“Book of Mormon: A Leader’s Golden Standard” by grego

Book of Mormon: A Leader’s Golden Standard

grego
(c) 2010

Reading the Book of Mormon, I was impressed by a wonderful standard all leaders could use to measure themselves by. It is found in Mosiah 29:40:

Mosiah 49:40 And they did wax strong in love towards Mosiah; yea, they did esteem him more than any other man; for they did not look upon him as a tyrant who was seeking for gain, yea, for that lucre which doth corrupt the soul; for he had not exacted riches of them, neither had he delighted in the shedding of blood; but he had established peace in the land, and *he had granted unto his people that they should be delivered from all manner of bondage*; therefore they did esteem him, yea, exceedingly, beyond measure.

A great leader seeks to liberate his people from bondage, not put them under it. They seek to make the people as free as possible, as independent as possible, as rich as possible, as long-lived as possible, as equal as possible.

As King Mosiah does those things, his people “esteem [respected and held highly] him, yea, exceedingly, beyond measure”. Pretty nice returns for a ruler…

2010, March 9

“How Did the Book of Mormon ‘Golden Plates’ Get to New York?” by grego

“How Did the Book of Mormon ‘Golden Plates’ Get to New York?: ‘One Cumorah’ Theory; ‘Two Cumorahs’ Theory; or THIS?”

grego
(c) 2010

There are a few theories that I am aware of about how the Book of Mormon plates got from Moroni’s original location to the hill Cumorah in New York, where Joseph Smith found them:

1. The Book of Mormon setting is *in* or nearby New York; and the hill Cumorah that Moroni hid the plates in, is the same as the hill Cumorah that Joseph Smith found the plates in; so, one hill Cumorah.
2. Moroni traveled from Central America (where he was originally) to New York, where he hid them in the hill where Joseph Smith found them; so, one hill Cumorah.
3. The box the plates were buried in was whisked away from the original hill Cumorah to the hill in New York; so, two hill Cumorahs.
4. The Three Nephites carried them from Central America to New York and buried them; so, two hill Cumorahs.

After reading quite a bit of compiled research about this topic, I find that there is nothing in LDS church history that says that the hill Cumorah in New York *is* the hill Cumorah in the Book of Mormon, or that even implies that; nor is there anything that says the contrary, either. There seemed to have been a whole lot of assumption, misunderstanding, misinterpretation, staunch personal viewpoints parading as doctrine and teachings, complete unquestioning acceptance, hearsay, blind leading the blind, contradictions, and especially illogical and false conclusions on lots of people’s parts (including many church leaders), over the years, for many different possibilities.

I believe #1 and 4 are the most likely of those proposals; yet even then, there seem to be problems. #1 has seeming problems. #2 has the problem that Moroni traveled a very long distance, through all kinds of other peoples; but actually, no huge problem (have you ever heard of “shadow scout”?). But Joseph Smith gives an account of Moroni’s death, saying that he was killed by Indians, or was that Lamanites?; which means he either returned (traveling back 3,000 miles or so) to Lamanite land, which makes me wonder, why?; or, that he was pursued the 3,000 miles by Lamanites who wanted to kill him; hmmm…. Wait! In this reference (I can’t find any other account of Moroni’s death at the moment, sorry), there is mention of “Indians”, but not “Lamanites” in particular, so maybe that would be fine: “At a meeting at Spanish Fork, Utah Co., in the winter of 1896, Brother Higginson stated in my presence that Thomas B. Marsh told him that the Prophet Joseph Smith told him (Thomas B. Marsh, he being then President of the Twelve), that he became very anxious to know something of the fate of Moroni, and in answer to prayer the Lord gave Joseph a vision, in which appeared a wild country and on the scene was Moroni after whom were six Indians in pursuit; he stopped and one of the Indians stepped forward and measured swords with him. Moroni smote him and he fell dead; another Indian advanced and contended with him; this Indian also fell by his sword; a third Indian then stepped forth and met the same fate; a fourth afterwards contended with him, but in the struggle with the fourth, Moroni, being exhausted, was killed. Thus ended the life of Moroni.” -Charles D. Evans, LDS Church Archives, as quoted in H. Donl Peterson, Moroni: Ancient Prophet, Modern Messenger, p. 77

I add a new possibility, which like any of the others, might or might not be true.

In Ether 12, Moroni lists a few miracles that were accomplished by people’s faith:
6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; …
7 For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
10 Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God.
11 Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled.
13 Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth.
14 Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
15 Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites.
17 And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith.
19 And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad.
22 And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me, yea, even Jesus Christ.

Interestingly, note that Moroni himself has had many of those and other miracles occur in his life:
Christ showed himself unto;
called after the holy order of God;
received commandments directly from the Lord;
escaped enemies and death;
baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost;
preached by the power of the Spirit;
special promises of his written word and eternal life given and fulfilled;
read the brother of Jared’s account of his vision of all things;
obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles (through him).

Later in Ether 12, Moroni adds another miracle performed by the brother of Jared:
29 And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith;
30 For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved; wherefore thou workest after men have faith.

I propose (as a thought) that the box that the golden plates were in was moved from its original location to New York by a miracle performed by Moroni, perhaps even a “moving-the-mount” which would make the hill Cumorah that Moroni hid the plates in, the same hill Cumorah in New York, relocated.

2010, March 3

“Holy Bible and Book of Mormon: The Destruction of the Promised Land People” by grego

“Holy Bible and Book of Mormon: The Destruction of the Promised Land People”

grego
(c) 2010

There is lots of flack about an unloving Old Testament God because he killed people to make way for his “promised” people.

Not so, really.

The Book of Mormon throws clear light on the situation:
1 Nephi 17:23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying:…
32 And after they had crossed the river Jordan he did make them mighty unto the driving out of the children of the land, yea, unto the scattering them to destruction.
33 And now, do ye suppose that the children of this land, who were in the land of promise, who were driven out by our fathers, do ye suppose that they were righteous? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
34 Do ye suppose that our fathers would have been more choice than they if they had been righteous? I say unto you, Nay.
35 Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God. But behold, this people had rejected every word of God, and they were ripe in iniquity; and the fulness of the wrath of God was upon them; and the Lord did curse the land against them, and bless it unto our fathers; yea, he did curse it against them unto their destruction, and he did bless it unto our fathers unto their obtaining power over it.
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.

Notwithstanding the fickleness and unstableness of Moses’ people, they were still way above others at the time. The people who had been living in the promised land had been “ripe in iniquity”, having “rejected every word of God”, and their destruction at the hand of the Israelites/ Hebrews (not “the Jews”) led by Moses/ Joshua was his judgment upon them.

Does the Bible have anything to say?

Yes, it does. However, it seems to be missed by most readers, maybe because it occurs much earlier than the Exodus; it’s in Genesis 15:16. Here it is, with a little context:
Genesis 15:7 And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee (Abraham) out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
8 And he said, Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

God is clear here that while the land has been promised, the time is not yet for Abraham’s seed to inherit the land, because “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full”. Even though God knew that the Amorites and all others living there would fully reject his word, His judgment and destruction would not be righteous until that happened. After they were “ripe in iniquity”, Abraham’s seed would inherit the land, as there wasn’t space for them at the time; so until that time, Abraham’s covenant seed would be in Egypt.

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