Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2018, November 13

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: The New Home Curriculum vs. Screens” by grego

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: “New Curriculum vs. Screens”


Recently, the bishopric was talking about implementing next year’s program. One of the questions asked was, “How do we fit it in when we are already so busy?”

I think it’s time to rethink our lives…

President Russell M. Nelson, April 2016, “The Price of Priesthood Power”
“I urgently plead with each one of us to live up to our privileges as bearers of the priesthood. In a coming day, only those men who have taken their priesthood seriously, by diligently seeking to be taught by the Lord Himself, will be able to bless, guide, protect, strengthen, and heal others. Only a man who has paid the price for priesthood power will be able to bring miracles to those he loves and keep his marriage and family safe, now and throughout eternity.”

President Nelson has spoken–THREE times!–about social media, news, etc. From April 2018, his first General Conference as prophet (I think we remember the other two, from the Youth fireside and the last General Conference Women’s Session):

President Nelson “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives”:
“We live in a world that is complex and increasingly contentious. The constant availability of social media and a 24-hour news cycle bombard us with relentless messages. If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation.

Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.

My beloved brothers and sisters, I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation. Let this Easter Sunday be a defining moment in your life. Choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly.”

It could be that the biggest block to the Lord’s work in the USA right now (and perhaps elsewhere) is screens.

How bad is the cell phone problem, especially in Utah? Was this written about any other city (adults, not children!) in the USA?:
‘SLC, you’re killing me:’ ‘Hamilton’ actor blasts audience for cellphone use
By Carter Williams, | Posted – Apr 30th, 2018 @ 1:12pm

We gave talks in church recently. I looked around “from the top”, and saw many on cell phones (even the guy in the front row, right in front of me!). Relatives gave talks recently, saw the same thing. Another ward, looking around, I saw the same thing. Is this the norm for LDS sacrament meetings?

President Russell M. Nelson, “Opening Remarks”, October 2018 GC:
“The long-standing objective of the Church is to assist all members to increase their faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and in His Atonement, to assist them in making and keeping their covenants with God, and to strengthen and seal their families. In this complex world today, this is not easy. The adversary is increasing his attacks on faith and upon us and our families at an exponential rate. To survive spiritually, we need counterstrategies and proactive plans. Accordingly, we now want to put in place organizational adjustments that will further fortify our members and their families.”

From almost two years ago:
Children turn Violent as Parents battle ‘Digital Heroin’ addiction
“OVER 200 PEER-REVIEWED STUDIES studies correlate excessive screen usage with a whole host of clinical disorders, including addiction. Recent brain-imaging research confirms that glowing screens affect the brain’s frontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in exactly the same way that drugs like cocaine and heroin do.”

It also seems like cell phones and screens are the new addiction. Unlike pornography, screen addiction is much more accepted (actually, encouraged), much more easily justified, but just as deadly (“death by a thousand cuts”, and car accidents due to texting and other phone uses are a start). And screens are probably worse than marijuana when it comes to pulling people out of life. Put pornography on screens… you’re getting multiple addictions served up at once. How bad could that be?

3 Nephi 6:14 And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord.

It’s about time that we give up the good, and even some of the better, for the best!! When 50% of the active members leave, where will you, your spouse, and your children be? When some of the very elect are deceived, will you and your family be among them?

It sounds to me that pretty soon (less than a decade?), the big storms will start.

Will we be ready?

That’s what the new curriculum is for.

2018, November 12

“Book of Mormon: How to Have Joy in Others’ Successes” by grego

“Book of Mormon: How to Have Joy in Others’ Successes”

by grego

The more we have the Spirit, the less we will look at someone else accomplishing good and feel sorrow or despair. We shouldn’t wish our grass were as green as we perceive theirs to be. Sometimes we can get to work and make our grass greener, or find out how they’re doing it and give it a try; but other times, we have to accept that God wants us to work on other things, or have a garden, or even a patio, and use it as He intended us to use it.

Alma has the perfect attitude regarding this. At first he says:
Alma 29:1 O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people!
2 Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth.

But then he says:
3 But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me.
4 I ought not to harrow up in my desires, the firm decree of a just God, for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.
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.
6 Now, seeing that I know these things, why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?
7 Why should I desire that I were an angel, that I could speak unto all the ends of the earth?
8 For behold, the Lord doth grant unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he seeth fit that they should have; therefore we see that the Lord doth counsel in wisdom, according to that which is just and true.
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage.
12 Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.
13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.
14 But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward!
16 Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.
17 And now may God grant unto these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of their labors that they may go no more out, but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.

Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it; and if you do, maybe it will interfere with God’s plan for you—and others. This might include your spouse, children, other family, friends, and many more. And if you don’t get what you wished for, you will have wasted resources on trying to accomplish your will instead of God’s.

That does not mean that it’s bad to wish or desire, because we don’t know if maybe there’s space and it will fit well. Sometimes, it might be a matter of timing. Perhaps that was the case with Alma, because we read:
Alma 45:18 And when Alma had done this he departed out of the land of Zarahemla, as if to go into the land of Melek. And it came to pass that he was never heard of more; as to his death or burial we know not of.
19 Behold, this we know, that he was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken up by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord, even as Moses. But behold, the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself; and we suppose that he has also received Alma in the spirit, unto himself; therefore, for this cause we know nothing concerning his death and burial.

It sounds like he did become an angel.

Concentrate on your current mission, instead of discontentedly dreaming of your future mission—that might or might not be. (My life has greatly improved after I decided not to deal in hypotheticals anymore.)

How is it possible to feel joy in others’ successes and missions?

I think Ammon helps us understand this even further. When he leads his people to the Nephites, he runs into Alma:
Alma 27:17 Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth.
18 Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.

Note that if you are truly penitent and humbly seek happiness, you will find joy (and not necessarily happiness?)…

Ammon had spent 14 years among the Lamanites, preaching the gospel. What were the Lamanites like? Alma 17:14 And assuredly it was great, for they had undertaken to preach the word of God to a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people; a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them; and their hearts were set upon riches, or upon gold and silver, and precious stones; yet they sought to obtain these things by murdering and plundering, that they might not labor for them with their own hands.
They had tried to kill him twice the first short period he was there, and they would have succeeded without God’s intervention! And when God worked miracles through and around him, some thought he was “a monster, who had been sent from the Nephites to torment them” (Alma 19:26). It was hard and difficult work, and many rejected the message he and his group had brought. How was it possible he filled with joy?

Like Alma, he received his calling and gloried in it, and did his best to bring souls and glory to God:
Alma 26:1 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?
2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?
3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

What was the key to their success? We are clearly told:
26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.
28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
29 [We labored diligently,] and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.
30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

When we have that love, you will find joy in the success of people doing good things.

2018, November 11

“’Thus Saith the Lord’–Necessary to Be a Prophet?” by grego

“‘Thus Saith the Lord’–Necessary to Be a Prophet” by grego

(c) 2018 by grego

There are some break-off LDS (at least figuratively speaking) that declare that unless a prophet uses the four words “thus saith the Lord”, he is not really a prophet; and that since Joseph Smith was the last one to use those words, he was the last true prophet; thus, from Brigham Young on down, the keys have been lost and the current LDS prophet, President Nelson, is not truly the (or even a) prophet of God.

So I figured, let’s check this out.

So I searched for what shows up in the LDS scriptures (Bible: Old Testament, Bible: New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price), Joseph Smith sermons/ discourses/ etc., and LDS prophets after him.

Bible: Old Testament: 162 verses/ tight groups of verses
Which prophets?
Moses/Aaron: 8 verses/ tight groups of verses
An unnamed prophet: 1 verse
Joshua: 1 verse
A prophet: 1 verse
A man of God: 1 verse (1 Samuel 2)
Samuel: 2 verses (one quoting Moses)
Nathan: 2 verses/ tight group of verses
Gad: 1 verse
Ahijiah: 1 verse
Shemaiah: 1 verse
A man of God: 1 verse (1 Kings 13:2)
Ahijah: 1 verse (1 Kings 14)
Elijah: 3 verses
A prophet: 1 verse/ tight group of verses (1 Kings 20)
A man of God: 1 verse (1 Kings 20)
A certain man of the sons of the prophets: 1 verse (1 Kings 20)
Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah: 1 verse
Elisha: 4 verses
Elisha, a young man the prophet, Jehu: 1 verse
Isaiah: 2 verses/ tight groups of verses
His servants the prophets: 1 verse/ tight groups of verses (2 Kings 21)
Huldah the prophetess: 1 verse/ tight groups of verses (2 Kings 22)
Jahaziel the son of Zechariah: 1 verse (2 Chronicles 20)
Isaiah: 19 verses/ tight groups of verses
Jeremiah: 46 verses/ tight groups of verses
Ezekiel: 27 verses/ tight groups of verses
Amos: 5 verses/ tight groups of verses
Obadiah: 1 verse/ tight groups of verses
Micah: 2 verses/ tight groups of verses
Nahum: 1 verse/ tight groups of verses
Haggai: 2 verses/ tight groups of verses
Zecheriah: 5 verses/ tight groups of verses
Malachi: 1 verses/ tight groups of verses

Which prophets do NOT?
and many more.

Bible: New Testament: 0 verses
Which prophets do NOT?
John the Baptist
Peter, James, John, Paul, etc.

Pearl of Great Price: 1 verse
Which prophet?

Which prophets didn’t?
Adam, Abel, Abraham, Moses

Book of Mormon: 25 verses/ tight groups of verses; 11 that aren’t quoting Old Testament prophets
Which prophets?
Nephi (1 time),
Jacob (3 times in the same sermon),
King Benjamin (1 time),
Abinadi (a few times),
King Mosiah (seems to be quoting a prophet),
an angel,
Alma (seems to be quoting a prophet),
Nephi 3 (2 times; commanded to say it one time; seems to be quoting a prophet the other),
and Samuel the Lamanite.

Which prophets do NOT?
King Mosiah
Many prophets
Alma the elder
Captain Moroni
Helaman 1
Helaman 2
Nephi 4
Brother of Jared
All the Jaredite prophets

Doctrine and Covenants: 51 verses/ tight groups of verses
Which prophets?
Joseph Smith

So, what does that mean to all the prophets that didn’t say it? Were they not really prophets? Do we throw their scriptures, sayings, and teachings out? What are scriptures?
DC 68: 2 And, behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth—
3 And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
4 And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.

That is from Joseph Smith, and he is talking not just about the BIG prophets, but about anyone ordained to the priesthood and called to preach.

What does that mean to all the prophets who say it, but only in front of a few things? Does that mean every other separate saying and teaching were NOT from God? Or only the things that came before they ever spoke “thus saith the Lord”?

What about Jesus? He only says the equivalent twice in his visit to the Nephites, and one was a reference to another prophet. Whew! Guess He made it by one verse… ;(

Joseph Smith called many people prophets who didn’t say “thus saith the Lord”–what are we to make of that??

Joseph Smith preached quite a bit without saying, “Thus saith the Lord”.

According to this thinking, the Book of Mormon would be false, because neither Mormon nor Moroni say “thus saith the Lord”.

What about other LDS prophets, after Joseph Smith?
From Woodruff often wrote in his journal such words as “Thus saith the Lord, to my servant Wilford.”[36] He also recorded many personal revelations in his journal, often writing them in the form and language of scripture. However, he did not often [publicly] use that language with the Saints. On October 25, 1891, he wrote:
“Some had thought that revelation had ceased, but this is not the case. The Lord is with us and gives us revelation. But I will say for myself that I wish to avoid saying “Thus saith the Lord” as far as I can when I give the will of the Lord to the people. In the days of Joseph Smith, it was “Thus saith the Lord” almost daily until the revelations now embodied in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants had been given. Since that day President Brigham Young, John Taylor, and myself have seldom used the words (thus saith the Lord) when giving the word of the Lord to the people.”[37]

I hope after all this it is very clear that a prophet does NOT need to say, “Thus saith the Lord” to be a prophet.

(Book of Mormon references
2 Nephi 5:22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

Jacob 2:23, 25, 28
23 But the word of God burdens me because of your grosser crimes. For behold, thus saith the Lord: This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms, because of the things which were written concerning David, and Solomon his son.
• • •
25 Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph.
• • •
28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.

King Benjamin:
Mosiah 3:24 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.

Mosiah 11: 20, 25
20 And it came to pass that there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi; *and he went forth among them, and began to prophesy, saying: Behold, thus saith the Lord, and thus hath he commanded me, saying, Go forth, and say unto this people, thus saith the Lord—Wo be unto this people, for I have seen their abominations, and their wickedness, and their whoredoms; and except they repent I will visit them in mine anger.
• • •
25 And except they repent in sackcloth and ashes, and cry mightily to the Lord their God, I will not hear their prayers, neither will I deliver them out of their afflictions; and thus saith the Lord, and thus hath he commanded me.

Mosiah 12: 2
2 Yea, wo be unto this generation! And the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thy hand and prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their flesh.

King Mosiah:
Mosiah 23:7 But he said unto them: Behold, it is not expedient that we should have a king; for thus saith the Lord: Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another; therefore I say unto you it is not expedient that ye should have a king.

Alma 8:17, 29
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.
• • •
29 And the word came to Alma, saying: Go; and also say unto my servant Amulek, go forth and prophesy unto this people, saying—Repent ye, for thus saith the Lord, except ye repent I will visit this people in mine anger; yea, and I will not turn my fierce anger away.

Alma 45:16 And he said: Thus saith the Lord God—Cursed shall be the land, yea, this land, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, unto destruction, which do wickedly, when they are fully ripe; and as I have said so shall it be; for this is the cursing and the blessing of God upon the land, for the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.

Nephi 3:
Helaman 7:23 For behold, thus saith the Lord: I will not show unto the wicked of my strength, to one more than the other, save it be unto those who repent of their sins, and hearken unto my words. Now therefore, I would that ye should behold, my brethren, that it shall be better for the Lamanites than for you except ye shall repent.
Helaman 10: 11, 14
11 And now behold, I command you, that ye shall go and declare unto this people, that thus saith the Lord God, who is the Almighty: Except ye repent ye shall be smitten, even unto destruction.
• • •
14 Therefore Nephi did declare unto them the word of the Lord, saying: Except ye repent, thus saith the Lord, ye shall be smitten even unto destruction.

Helaman 13: 8, 11
8 Therefore, thus saith the Lord: Because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of the Nephites, except they repent I will take away my word from them, and I will withdraw my Spirit from them, and I will suffer them no longer, and I will turn the hearts of their brethren against them.
• • •
11 But if ye will repent and return unto the Lord your God I will turn away mine anger, saith the Lord; yea, thus saith the Lord, blessed are they who will repent and turn unto me, but wo unto him that repenteth not.

In His visit to the Nephites, Jesus only says “saith the Father” or equivalent in two verses:
3 Nephi 16:10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.
3 Nephi 24:1 And it came to pass that he commanded them that they should write the words which the Father had given unto Malachi, which he should tell unto them. And it came to pass that after they were written he expounded them. And these are the words which he did tell unto them, saying: Thus said the Father unto Malachi—Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.)

2018, November 8

“The Calling of Suffering: Called to Serve, Called to Suffer” by grego

Filed under: Uncategorized — grego @ 2:30 am

“The Calling of Suffering: Called to Serve, Called to Suffer”
by grego (c)2018

My thoughts…

Most of us, at some time or another, are called to suffer. Just like being an elder means you are automatically “called” to minister, living in this life means you are automatically “called” to suffer.

For some more than others, this will take on a more prominent role as part of our life mission.

We have been told that when we suffer for God, we will be rewarded:
Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

3 Nephi 12:11 And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake;

1 Corinthians 4:12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:

3 Nephi 6:13 Some were lifted up in pride, and others were exceedingly humble; some did return railing for railing, while others would receive railing and persecution and all manner of afflictions, and would not turn and revile again, but were humble and penitent before God.

Acts 9:15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
And yes, Paul did suffer greatly for Jesus’ name.

I believe that one of Satan’s greatest weaknesses that led to his downfall was that he was NOT willing to suffer for salvation. He was the exact opposite of Jesus Christ, who was willing to suffer whatever was needed. Along these same lines, if we are not willing to suffer for salvation, we will suffer for damnation.

Did Jesus suffer as He fulfilled his calling and life mission?
Helaman 13:6 …the Lord Jesus Christ, who surely shall come into the world, and shall suffer many things and shall be slain for his people.

Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

Mark 8:31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mark 9:12 …it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought.
Luke 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

Luke 24:26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

Alma 16:19 … the coming of the Son of God, his sufferings and death, and also the resurrection of the dead.

Alma 22:14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth….

We are here to love God and our fellow man. When we serve others, we serve God:
Mosiah 2:16 Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.
17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

We are also told this:
DC 18:10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!

Nephi says that the words of Christ and the Holy Ghost will show us all things what [we] should do–whether they fit the lives we want, or not. Nephi doesn’t say God will give us explanations, especially at the time. We must just accept that some things were, are, and will be. On the other hand, some things will never be or get done, and will have to fall by the wayside for better and best things. There is too much in life to do it all; we must be committed to doing the Lord’s will, above all else. Some dreams will never come true (another part to the sacrifice and suffering).

Our lives might not be anywhere near as we wished—-but with the help of God, they will be better. It might take an entire lifetime for us to truly understand or even realize this. It might come sooner (See Garth Brooks, “Unanswered Prayers”.) I don’t doubt that for some of us, much of that realization and understanding will come after we die. Perhaps we will understand the chain of influence and events that occur in someone’s life when we serve them.

Part of service to God and others to pay for spirituality and a glorious life in this fallen world where Satan works, is that we will suffer. We might suffer deeply, or for years, or both. We will suffer innocently. It will require, as King Benjamin says,
Mosiah 3:19 [that we yield] to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.;

or as Alma says,
Alma 7:23 … be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things…
Alma 13:28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering…

Bringing people to repentance and joy, or justice and condemnation, always requires sacrifice. That might sound weird… I’ll explain a little, then give some examples.

There seem to be three main reasons for a calling to suffer:
1. that others might repent;
2. that others might be warned or condemned;
3. that we might experience, learn, do better, share, or perform another important work.

From the Book of Mormon:
1. *Alma and Amulek suffered to bring Zeezrom and many in Ammonihah to full repentance;
*most of the missionaries with Ammon suffered so that the Lamanites would be converted;
*the Anti-Nephi-Lehies suffered so that their Lamanite brethren could be brought to the truth;
2. *Gideon was slain so that Nehor could be stopped;
*the believers in Ammonihah suffered burning so that a just judgment would come upon their murderers;
*many prophets were slain for warning people to repent;
*Nephi and the other righteous members of his family suffered so that Laman and his would have opportunities to repent;
3. *Alma and his people were to bear testimony that God had delivered them;
*Mormon watched his people nearly destroyed;
*Moroni was a witness to the utter destruction of his people.

One semester I moved to a ward that was the worst I’ve ever been in. I could have been invisible and my voice silenced and not really been worse off. My roommates were okay, though. However, one of them was very cold to me all semester long. Ironically, he was the Elders Quorum President, and was getting married to a nice young lady. The last Sunday of the semester, he gave a scathing talk that ripped the ward members for being unfriendly. I thought that was interesting… As he was moving out that afternoon, he turned to me and said, “grego, I am sorry for how bad I have treated you. You did nothing to deserve it. You reminded me of someone who was mean to me, and so I treated you bad. Please forgive me.” I thought, “Wow, all semester long for that??” Oh well. I said, “Sure.” and meant it. I thought, maybe it was for the good, in the end. Maybe he needed to see and understand it, and maybe that gave him the understanding and drive to say what he had said in his talk, a talk I never would have been able to give and have accepted by any ward member. Maybe it helped me. I had a feeling that nothing about that situation was coincidence.

I had a long relationship that I didn’t understand. I really had the feeling I was called to suffer in that. Most all the time, I felt like I was walking in darkness. Figuratively, many times in that time period, I stumbled, stubbed my toes, tripped, fell, and wandered through the darkness, though every so often a voice would warn me so I wouldn’t fall and die. I remember a really rough period; one night, I was overwhelmed by bad feelings and left a church meeting, and went outside to sit on the curb and look up at the stars. “Heavenly Father, this situation is horrible. Nothing seems to be working out for me. I don’t know why I am here, nor what I am supposed to be doing. It’s really hard to feel the Spirit, and very easy to feel the devil and his angels and their temptations. Is this really where you want me to be??” “Yes.” That was it. I would have loved much more of an answer, but that was what God allotted me, and I felt strengthened. Like the young warriors, I made it through; like the young warriors, I still bear scars and injuries from that experience. (Ha ha, reminds me of my mission…)

Andy and Satto were roommates. Andy was big in many good ways. Satto was small in many ways, too. Satto was nice to me. He was a pain to Andy. (It’s usually opposite.) He didn’t go to church, he wouldn’t do much of anything spiritual. No one mentioned much about it. I didn’t understand it. One day after a severe uncalled-for berating from Satto, I asked him, “Why do you put up with it??” He just shook his head and hum-hawed. About a month after I had left the apartment, I went back to visit. I didn’t recognize Satto. He might not have grown any more physically, but he had grown incredibly in other ways. He was nice—NICE—to Andy. They read scriptures together, went to church together, and did other good things together. I asked Andy what had happened. He shook his head and hum-hawed. I understand. Andy was called to suffer for Satto, and had helped “bring [his] soul unto [Jesus]”.

Yes, part of our life mission is to suffer for others so that more good might happen. This is part of serving others. If we have been called to suffer so that mercy can come to others who might not “deserve” it, or so that justice and a just judgment comes to someone, we are only following the example of Jesus Christ, who suffered the will of the Father by suffering so that we could have eternal life.

3 Nephi 11:10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

DC 19:16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

Moroni 9:25 My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever.

And how are his disciples expected to act, and what are they expected to do, and why? Notice the one word that connects the following verses:

Gal. 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

2 Corinthians 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Colossians 3:12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Alma 7:23 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.

Alma 13:28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;

Alma 38:3 I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy faithfulness and thy diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering among the people of the Zoramites.

DC 121:41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

When we strive to follow the Spirit and do something hoping to do good, who knows what the results will be for us or others. Sometimes we find out a little, sometimes we never do. We might wonder, but at least we will hopefully be content of having been an instrument in the hands of God. God blesses us with the Spirit and blessings as we serve. These are some of the choicest experiences I have had.

We should be praying that all the good—for everyone—that can come from a situation of suffering, will be brought to pass.

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