Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2009, December 22

“Book of Mormon: Is Knowing the Truth Enough?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Is Knowing the Truth Enough?”

(c) 2009

There are a few scriptures in 3 Nephi especially that stress the importance of doing after knowing. Here are some:

3 Nephi 4:33 And their hearts were swollen with joy, unto the gushing out of many tears, because of the great goodness of God in delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; and they knew it was because of their repentance and their humility that they had been delivered from an everlasting destruction.
3 Nephi 5:1 And now behold, there was not a living soul among all the people of the Nephites who did doubt in the least the words of all the holy prophets who had spoken; for they knew that it must needs be that they must be fulfilled.
2 And they knew that it must be expedient that Christ had come, because of the many signs which had been given, according to the words of the prophets; and because of the things which had come to pass already they knew that it must needs be that all things should come to pass according to that which had been spoken.

3 Nephi 6:1 And now it came to pass that the people of the Nephites did all return to their own lands in the *twenty and sixth year…
10 But it came to pass in the *twenty and ninth year there began to be some disputings among the people; and some were lifted up unto pride and boastings because of their exceedingly great riches, yea, even unto great persecutions;
11 For there were many merchants in the land, and also many lawyers, and many officers.
12 And the people began to be distinguished by ranks, according to their riches and their chances for learning; yea, some were ignorant because of their poverty, and others did receive great learning because of their riches.
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.
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.
15 Now the cause of this iniquity of the people was this—Satan had great power, unto the stirring up of the people to do all manner of iniquity, and to the puffing them up with pride, tempting them to seek for power, and authority, and riches, and the vain things of the world.
16 And thus Satan did lead away the hearts of the people to do all manner of iniquity; therefore they had enjoyed peace but a few years.
17 And thus, in the commencement of the thirtieth year—the people having been delivered up for the space of a long time to be carried about by the temptations of the devil whithersoever he desired to carry them, and to do whatsoever iniquity he desired they should—and thus in the commencement of this, the thirtieth year, they were in a state of awful wickedness.
18 Now they did not sin ignorantly, for they knew the will of God concerning them, for it had been taught unto them; therefore they did wilfully rebel against God.

3 Nephi 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.  
8 And thus six years had not passed away since the more part of the people had turned from their righteousness, like the dog to his vomit, or like the sow to her wallowing in the mire.
14 And it came to pass in the *thirty and first year … nevertheless, their hearts were turned from the Lord their God, and they did stone the prophets and did cast them out from among them.
15 And it came to pass that Nephi—having been visited by angels and also the voice of the Lord, therefore having seen angels, and being eye-witness, and having had power given unto him that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ, and also being eye-witness to their quick return from righteousness unto their wickedness and abominations;
16 Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds—went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
17 … And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.
18 And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily.
19 And in the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits; and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people.
20 And the people saw it, and did witness of it, and were angry with him because of his power; and he did also do many more miracles, in the sight of the people, in the name of Jesus.
21 And it came to pass that the thirty and first year did pass away, and there were but few who were converted unto the Lord…

It only took three-four years for the Nephites to go from complete knowledge of the truth of, and acceptance of the gospel, and obedience to the gospel; to becoming so wicked that the church was broken up, leaving mainly individuals. 

These scriptures make it clear:  even *knowing* the gospel is true, beyond the ability to doubt in the least, is not enough; doing–along with faith and hope–is essential!  So many times we hope and concentrate on helping someone gain a testimony, as if that would solve all their problems of conversion; it won’t. True conversion takes more than a testimony or knowledge. In fact, even when the Nephites couldn’t disbelieve Nephi, they only got angry with all his preaching!

This account also supports another interesting concept: when people are not “forced” to be righteous, many won’t be (Helaman 12:3).

2009, December 18

“Book of Mormon: The Destruction at Christ’s Coming–The Significance of the Date” by grego

“Book of Mormon: The Destruction at Christ’s Coming–The Significance of the Date”

(c) 2009

I found one more interesting point about the destruction at Christ’s coming in 3 Nephi:8 in the Book of Mormon. It has to do with the date.

2 And now it came to pass, if there was no mistake made by this man in the reckoning of our time, the *thirty and third year had passed away;
3 And the people began to look with great earnestness for the sign which had been given by the prophet Samuel, the Lamanite, yea, for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the face of the land.
4 And there began to be great doubtings and disputations among the people, notwithstanding so many signs had been given.
5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.

It seems people were looking forward to this sign of darkness in the 33rd year, a time that must have been more or less given in the prophecy Samuel made but which didn’t make it into Mormon’s summary of Samuel’s prophecy (see the signs but not the time in Helaman 14:14, 20-27).

The sign didn’t come.

I imagine the majority (the wicked) were overjoyed at this failure of the sign to manifest.

Obviously the lesson from 33 or so years ago had been forgotten.

It was now the fourth day of the 34th year (3 Nephi 8:5). If the Mesoamerican New Year ceremony/ ritual of gods sitting on their thrones in triumph has any significance, the gods were in place for the year–or so the wicked might have imagined.
From : “The general ritual practice is something like this: a dummy king is put on the throne on New Year’s Eve, and then, through some kind of combat drama, he is killed, after which the real king appears on the throne as if resurrected, and everyone celebrates the king’s power over death and chaos, etc. Notice, though, what happens here: the Lamanites wake up, and, sure enough, the king has died. But they can’t rouse him, and he doesn’t bring himself back to life. On the very morning when he should have died and also risen, he simply dies. To any pagan society, this would have had one meaning: your gods have been conquered by the gods of your enemies.”
Also, was there anything in any Nephite religious culture that had to do with three days of death and then the spirit is gone, as in Jewish thought at the time of Jesus?

Suddenly, on the fourth day of the new year, all nature broke loose.

Once more, it was a surprising and strong testimony that Jesus Christ WAS God.

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