Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2017, September 28

“Book of Mormon: Names–They Did It Also” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Names–They Did It Also” by grego
(c) 2017 grego

3 Nephi 19:4 And it came to pass that on the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, behold, Nephi and his brother whom he had raised from the dead, whose name was Timothy, and also his son, whose name was Jonas, and also Mathoni, and Mathonihah, his brother, and Kumen, and Kumenonhi, and Jeremiah, and Shemnon, and Jonas, and Zedekiah, and Isaiah—now these were the names of the disciples whom Jesus had chosen—and it came to pass that they went forth and stood in the midst of the multitude.

Nephi
Timothy
Jonas, Jonas
Mathoni
Mathonihah
Kumen
Kumenonhi
Jeremiah
Shemnon
Zedekiah
Isaiah

When I used to read names of modern people like Moroni, Mormon, Ammon, etc., I thought it a little weird. Well, looks like it’s been happening for a long, long time. Nephi, Jonas (Jonah), Jeremiah, Zedekiah, and Isaiah–all names of famous prophets and a king! And, they were called as apostles, to boot!

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2017, September 27

“Book of Mormon: Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob–Three Promised Witnesses to Jerusalem’s Destruction” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Lehi, Nephi, and Jacob–Three Promised Witnesses to Jerusalem’s Destruction” by grego
(c) 2017 grego

Lehi prophesies of Jerusalem’s coming-soon destruction:
1 Nephi 1:13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon.

The Lord’s promise to them:
1 Nephi 17:14 Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall know that I, the Lord, am God; and that I, the Lord, did deliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem.

They arrive in the promised land:
1 Nephi 18:23 And it came to pass that after we had sailed for the space of many days *we did arrive at the promised land; and we went forth upon the land, and did pitch our tents; and we did call it the promised land.

Nephi seems to know that Jerusalem has been destroyed:
1 Nephi 19:20 For behold, I have workings in the spirit, which doth weary me even that all my joints are weak, for those who are at Jerusalem; for had not the Lord been merciful, to show unto me concerning them, even as he had prophets of old, I should have perished also.

Lehi has seen that Jerusalem is destroyed:
2 Nephi 1:4 For, behold, said he, I have seen a vision, in which I know that Jerusalem is destroyed; and had we remained in Jerusalem we should also have perished.

Jacob sees that Jerusalem is destroyed:
2 Nephi 6:8 And now I, Jacob, would speak somewhat concerning these words. For behold, the Lord has shown me that those who were at Jerusalem, from whence we came, have been slain and carried away captive.

Nephi says the spirit has told him Jerusalem has been destroyed:
2 Nephi 25:10 Wherefore, it hath been told them concerning the destruction which should come upon them, immediately after my father left Jerusalem; nevertheless, they hardened their hearts; and according to my prophecy they have been destroyed, save it be those which are carried away captive into Babylon.
11 And now this I speak because of the spirit which is in me…

Nephi (the third) says the Nephites knew Jerusalem had been destroyed because of the Mulekites:
Helaman 8:20 And behold, also Zenock, and also Ezias, and also Isaiah, and Jeremiah, (Jeremiah being that same prophet who testified of the destruction of Jerusalem) and now we know that Jerusalem was destroyed according to the words of Jeremiah. O then why not the Son of God come, according to his prophecy?
21 And now will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem? But behold, this is not all—

This makes me wonder… Could it be that the daughters of Zedekiah fled with Mulek, also?

2017, September 20

“Book of Mormon: Nephi–‘A Ruler and a Teacher to [His] Brethren’” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Nephi–‘A Ruler and a Teacher to [His] Brethren’” by grego
(c) 2017 grego

2 Nephi 5:18 And it came to pass that they would that I should be their king. But I, Nephi, was desirous that they should have no king; nevertheless, I did for them according to that which was in my power.
19 And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the commandments of the Lord, until the time they sought to take away my life.

I remember reading this verse (years ago), and thinking, “Really??” Even though I’d seen it after that–since that has stuck in the back of my mind for many years, I figured I’d go through and actually count and record how many times, in the Book of Mormon, it happened. Since it’s apparent that Nephi would be a ruler and a teacher over those that followed him, and because the verse says “until they time they sought to take away my life,” this is talking about his being a ruler and a teacher to Laman and Lemuel. This connects back to:
1 Nephi 2:22 And inasmuch as thou shalt keep my commandments, thou shalt be made a ruler and a teacher over thy brethren.
23 For behold, in that day that they shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse,

Here they are.

1:
1 Nephi 2:16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers.
17 And I spake unto Sam, making known unto him the things which the Lord had manifested unto me by his Holy Spirit. And it came to pass that he believed in my words.
18 But, behold, Laman and Lemuel would not hearken unto my words; and being grieved because of the hardness of their hearts I cried unto the Lord for them.

2.
1 Nephi 3:14 But Laman fled out of his presence, and told the things which Laban had done, unto us. And we began to be exceedingly sorrowful, and my brethren were about to return unto my father in the wilderness.
15 But behold I said unto them that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us.
16 Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.
17 For he knew that Jerusalem must be destroyed, because of the wickedness of the people.
18 For behold, they have rejected the words of the prophets. Wherefore, if my father should dwell in the land after he hath been commanded to flee out of the land, behold, he would also perish. Wherefore, it must needs be that he flee out of the land.
19 And behold, it is wisdom in God that we should obtain these records, that we may preserve unto our children the language of our fathers;
20 And also that we may preserve unto them the words which have been spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets, which have been delivered unto them by the Spirit and power of God, since the world began, even down unto this present time.
21 And it came to pass that after this manner of language did I persuade my brethren, that they might be faithful in keeping the commandments of God.

3.
1 Nephi 4:1 And it came to pass that I spake unto my brethren, saying: Let us go up again unto Jerusalem, and let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; for behold he is mightier than all the earth, then why not mightier than Laban and his fifty, yea, or even than his tens of thousands?
2 Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.
3 Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians.
4 Now when I had spoken these words, they were yet wroth, and did still continue to murmur; nevertheless they did follow me up until we came without the walls of Jerusalem.

4.
1 Nephi 7:6 And it came to pass that as we journeyed in the wilderness, behold Laman and Lemuel, and two of the daughters of Ishmael, and the two sons of Ishmael and their families, did rebel against us; yea, against me, Nephi, and Sam, and their father, Ishmael, and his wife, and his three other daughters.
7 And it came to pass in the which rebellion, they were desirous to return unto the land of Jerusalem.
8 And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying, yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel: Behold ye are mine elder brethren, and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?
9 How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord?
10 How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord?
11 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten what great things the Lord hath done for us, in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record?
12 Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.
13 And if it so be that we are faithful to him, we shall obtain the land of promise; and ye shall know at some future period that the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; for all things which the Lord hath spoken concerning the destruction of Jerusalem must be fulfilled.
14 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison. And they have sought to take away the life of my father, insomuch that they have driven him out of the land.
15 Now behold, I say unto you that if ye will return unto Jerusalem ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go ye will also perish; for thus the Spirit of the Lord constraineth me that I should speak.
16 And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me. And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me, for behold, they were exceedingly wroth, and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness to be devoured by wild beasts.
17 But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
18 And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again.
19 And it came to pass that they were angry with me again, and sought to lay hands upon me; but behold, one of the daughters of Ishmael, yea, and also her mother, and one of the sons of Ishmael, did plead with my brethren, insomuch that they did soften their hearts; and they did cease striving to take away my life.
20 And it came to pass that they were sorrowful, because of their wickedness, insomuch that they did bow down before me, and did plead with me that I would forgive them of the thing that they had done against me.
21 And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so. And after they had done praying unto the Lord we did again travel on our journey towards the tent of our father.

5.
1 Nephi 15:6 And it came to pass that after I had received strength I spake unto my brethren, desiring to know of them the cause of their disputations.
7 And they said: Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken concerning the natural branches of the olive-tree, and also concerning the Gentiles.
8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?
9 And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.
10 Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?
11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.
12 Behold, I say unto you, that the house of Israel was compared unto an olive-tree, by the Spirit of the Lord which was in our father; and behold are we not broken off from the house of Israel, and are we not a branch of the house of Israel?
13 And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men, then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed—
14 And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.
15 And then at that day will they not rejoice and give praise unto their everlasting God, their rock and their salvation? Yea, at that day, will they not receive the strength and nourishment from the true vine? Yea, will they not come unto the true fold of God?
16 Behold, I say unto you, Yea; they shall be remembered again among the house of Israel; they shall be grafted in, being a natural branch of the olive-tree, into the true olive-tree.
17 And this is what our father meaneth; and he meaneth that it will not come to pass until after they are scattered by the Gentiles; and he meaneth that it shall come by way of the Gentiles, that the Lord may show his power unto the Gentiles, for the very cause that he shall be rejected of the Jews, or of the house of Israel.
18 Wherefore, our father hath not spoken of our seed alone, but also of all the house of Israel, pointing to the covenant which should be fulfilled in the latter days; which covenant the Lord made to our father Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
19 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake much unto them concerning these things; yea, I spake unto them concerning the restoration of the Jews in the latter days.
20 And I did rehearse unto them the words of Isaiah, who spake concerning the restoration of the Jews, or of the house of Israel; and after they were restored they should no more be confounded, neither should they be scattered again. And it came to pass that I did speak many words unto my brethren, that they were pacified and did humble themselves before the Lord.
21 And it came to pass that they did speak unto me again, saying: What meaneth this thing which our father saw in a dream? What meaneth the tree which he saw?
22 And I said unto them: It was a representation of the tree of life.
23 And they said unto me: What meaneth the rod of iron which our father saw, that led to the tree?
24 And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.
25 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did exhort them to give heed unto the word of the Lord; yea, I did exhort them with all the energies of my soul, and with all the faculty which I possessed, that they would give heed to the word of God and remember to keep his commandments always in all things.
26 And they said unto me: What meaneth the river of water which our father saw?
27 And I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water.
28 And I said unto them that it was an awful gulf, which separated the wicked from the tree of life, and also from the saints of God.
29 And I said unto them that it was a representation of that awful hell, which the angel said unto me was prepared for the wicked.
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.
31 And they said unto me: Doth this thing mean the torment of the body in the days of probation, or doth it mean the final state of the soul after the death of the temporal body, or doth it speak of the things which are temporal?
32 And it came to pass that I said unto them that it was a representation of things both temporal and spiritual; for the day should come that they must be judged of their works, yea, even the works which were done by the temporal body in their days of probation.
33 Wherefore, if they should die in their wickedness they must be cast off also, as to the things which are spiritual, which are pertaining to righteousness; wherefore, they must be brought to stand before God, to be judged of their works; and if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God; if so, the kingdom of God must be filthy also.
34 But behold, I say unto you, the kingdom of God is not filthy, and there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God; wherefore there must needs be a place of filthiness prepared for that which is filthy.
35 And there is a place prepared, yea, even that awful hell of which I have spoken, and the devil is the preparator of it; wherefore the final state of the souls of men is to dwell in the kingdom of God, or to be cast out because of that justice of which I have spoken.
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.
16:1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had made an end of speaking to my brethren, behold they said unto me: Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.
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.
3 And now my brethren, if ye were righteous and were willing to hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it, that ye might walk uprightly before God, then ye would not murmur because of the truth, and say: Thou speakest hard things against us.
4 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did exhort my brethren, with all diligence, to keep the commandments of the Lord.
5 And it came to pass that they did humble themselves before the Lord; insomuch that I had joy and great hopes of them, that they would walk in the paths of righteousness.

6.
1 Nephi 17:15 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did strive to keep the commandments of the Lord, and I did exhort my brethren to faithfulness and diligence.

7.
1 Nephi 17:22 And we know that the people who were in the land of Jerusalem were a righteous people; for they kept the statutes and judgments of the Lord, and all his commandments, according to the law of Moses; wherefore, we know that they are a righteous people; and our father hath judged them, and hath led us away because we would hearken unto his words; yea, and our brother is like unto him. And after this manner of language did my brethren murmur and complain against us.
23 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, spake unto them, saying: Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the Egyptians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?
24 Yea, do ye suppose that they would have been led out of bondage, if the Lord had not commanded Moses that he should lead them out of bondage?
25 Now ye know that the children of Israel were in bondage; and ye know that they were laden with tasks, which were grievous to be borne; wherefore, ye know that it must needs be a good thing for them, that they should be brought out of bondage.
26 Now ye know that Moses was commanded of the Lord to do that great work; and ye know that by his word the waters of the Red Sea were divided hither and thither, and they passed through on dry ground.
27 But ye know that the Egyptians were drowned in the Red Sea, who were the armies of Pharaoh.
28 And ye also know that they were fed with manna in the wilderness.
29 Yea, and ye also know that Moses, by his word according to the power of God which was in him, smote the rock, and there came forth water, that the children of Israel might quench their thirst.
30 And notwithstanding they being led, the Lord their God, their Redeemer, going before them, leading them by day and giving light unto them by night, and doing all things for them which were expedient for man to receive, they hardened their hearts and blinded their minds, and reviled against Moses and against the true and living God.
31 And it came to pass that according to his word he did destroy them; and according to his word he did lead them; and according to his word he did do all things for them; and there was not any thing done save it were by his word.
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.
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.
41 And he did straiten them in the wilderness with his rod; for they hardened their hearts, even as ye have; and the Lord straitened them because of their iniquity. He sent fiery flying serpents among them; and after they were bitten he prepared a way that they might be healed; and the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.
42 And they did harden their hearts from time to time, and they did revile against Moses, and also against God; nevertheless, ye know that they were led forth by his matchless power into the land of promise.
43 And now, after all these things, the time has come that they have become wicked, yea, nearly unto ripeness; and I know not but they are at this day about to be destroyed; for I know that the day must surely come that they must be destroyed, save a few only, who shall be led away into captivity.
44 Wherefore, the Lord commanded my father that he should depart into the wilderness; and the Jews also sought to take away his life; yea, and ye also have sought to take away his life; wherefore, ye are murderers in your hearts and ye are like unto them.
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 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.
46 And ye also know that by the power of his almighty word he can cause the earth that it shall pass away; yea, and ye know that by his word he can cause the rough places to be made smooth, and smooth places shall be broken up. O, then, why is it, that ye can be so hard in your hearts?
47 Behold, my soul is rent with anguish because of you, and my heart is pained; I fear lest ye shall be cast off forever. Behold, I am full of the Spirit of God, insomuch that my frame has no strength.
48 And now it came to pass that when I had spoken these words they were angry with me, and were desirous to throw me into the depths of the sea; and as they came forth to lay their hands upon me I spake unto them, saying: In the name of the Almighty God, I command you that ye touch me not, for I am filled with the power of God, even unto the consuming of my flesh; and whoso shall lay his hands upon me shall wither even as a dried reed; and he shall be as naught before the power of God, for God shall smite him.
49 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto them that they should murmur no more against their father; neither should they withhold their labor from me, for God had commanded me that I should build a ship.
50 And I said unto them: If God had commanded me to do all things I could do them. If he should command me that I should say unto this water, be thou earth, it should be earth; and if I should say it, it would be done.
51 And now, if the Lord has such great power, and has wrought so many miracles among the children of men, how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship?
52 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said many things unto my brethren, insomuch that they were confounded and could not contend against me; neither durst they lay their hands upon me nor touch me with their fingers, even for the space of many days. Now they durst not do this lest they should wither before me, so powerful was the Spirit of God; and thus it had wrought upon them.
53 And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thine hand again unto thy brethren, and they shall not wither before thee, but I will shock them, saith the Lord, and this will I do, that they may know that I am the Lord their God.
54 And it came to pass that I stretched forth my hand unto my brethren, and they did not wither before me; but the Lord did shake them, even according to the word which he had spoken.
55 And now, they said: We know of a surety that the Lord is with thee, for we know that it is the power of the Lord that has shaken us. And they fell down before me, and were about to worship me, but I would not suffer them, saying: I am thy brother, yea, even thy younger brother; wherefore, worship the Lord thy God, and honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God shall give thee.

8.
1 Nephi 18:9 And after we had been driven forth before the wind for the space of many days, behold, my brethren and the sons of Ishmael and also their wives began to make themselves merry, insomuch that they began to dance, and to sing, and to speak with much rudeness, yea, even that they did forget by what power they had been brought thither; yea, they were lifted up unto exceeding rudeness.
10 And I, Nephi, began to fear exceedingly lest the Lord should be angry with us, and smite us because of our iniquity, that we should be swallowed up in the depths of the sea; wherefore, I, Nephi, began to speak to them with much soberness; but behold they were angry with me, saying: We will not that our younger brother shall be a ruler over us.

9.
1 Nephi 19:22 Now it came to pass that I, Nephi, did teach my brethren these things; and it came to pass that I did read many things to them, which were engraven upon the plates of brass, that they might know concerning the doings of the Lord in other lands, among people of old.
23 And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.
24 Wherefore I spake unto them, saying: Hear ye the words of the prophet, ye who are a remnant of the house of Israel, a branch who have been broken off; hear ye the words of the prophet, which were written unto all the house of Israel, and liken them unto yourselves, that ye may have hope as well as your brethren from whom ye have been broken off; for after this manner has the prophet written.

10.
1 Nephi 22:1 And now it came to pass that after I, Nephi, had read these things which were engraven upon the plates of brass, my brethren came unto me and said unto me: What meaneth these things which ye have read? Behold, are they to be understood according to things which are spiritual, which shall come to pass according to the spirit and not the flesh?
2 And I, Nephi, said unto them: Behold they were manifest unto the prophet by the voice of the Spirit; for by the Spirit are all things made known unto the prophets, which shall come upon the children of men according to the flesh.
3 Wherefore, the things of which I have read are things pertaining to things both temporal and spiritual; for it appears that the house of Israel, sooner or later, will be scattered upon all the face of the earth, and also among all nations.
4 And behold, there are many who are already lost from the knowledge of those who are at Jerusalem. Yea, the more part of all the tribes have been led away; and they are scattered to and fro upon the isles of the sea; and whither they are none of us knoweth, save that we know that they have been led away.
5 And since they have been led away, these things have been prophesied concerning them, and also concerning all those who shall hereafter be scattered and be confounded, because of the Holy One of Israel; for against him will they harden their hearts; wherefore, they shall be scattered among all nations and shall be hated of all men.
6 Nevertheless, after they shall be nursed by the Gentiles, and the Lord has lifted up his hand upon the Gentiles and set them up for a standard, and their children have been carried in their arms, and their daughters have been carried upon their shoulders, behold these things of which are spoken are temporal; for thus are the covenants of the Lord with our fathers; and it meaneth us in the days to come, and also all our brethren who are of the house of Israel.
7 And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.
8 And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the Gentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders.
9 And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles but unto all the house of Israel, unto the making known of the covenants of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.
10 And I would, my brethren, that ye should know that all the kindreds of the earth cannot be blessed unless he shall make bare his arm in the eyes of the nations.
11 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations, in bringing about his covenants and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel.
12 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel.
13 And the blood of that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads; for they shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood.
14 And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all that fight against Zion shall be destroyed, and that great whore, who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord, yea, that great and abominable church, shall tumble to the dust and great shall be the fall of it.
15 For behold, saith the prophet, the time cometh speedily that Satan shall have no more power over the hearts of the children of men; for the day soon cometh that all the proud and they who do wickedly shall be as stubble; and the day cometh that they must be burned.
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.
17 Wherefore, he will preserve the righteous by his power, even if it so be that the fulness of his wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.
18 Behold, my brethren, I say unto you, that these things must shortly come; yea, even blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke must come; and it must needs be upon the face of this earth; and it cometh unto men according to the flesh if it so be that they will harden their hearts against the Holy One of Israel.
19 For behold, the righteous shall not perish; for the time surely must come that all they who fight against Zion shall be cut off.
20 And the Lord will surely prepare a way for his people, unto the fulfilling of the words of Moses, which he spake, saying: A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass that all those who will not hear that prophet shall be cut off from among the people.
21 And now I, Nephi, declare unto you, that this prophet of whom Moses spake was the Holy One of Israel; wherefore, he shall execute judgment in righteousness.
22 And the righteous need not fear, for they are those who shall not be confounded. But it is the kingdom of the devil, which shall be built up among the children of men, which kingdom is established among them which are in the flesh—
23 For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.
24 And the time cometh speedily that the righteous must be led up as calves of the stall, and the Holy One of Israel must reign in dominion, and might, and power, and great glory.
25 And he gathereth his children from the four quarters of the earth; and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd; and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture.
26 And because of the righteousness of his people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.
27 And now behold, I, Nephi, say unto you that all these things must come according to the flesh.
28 But, behold, all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.
29 And now I, Nephi, make an end; for I durst not speak further as yet concerning these things.
30 Wherefore, my brethren, I would that ye should consider that the things which have been written upon the plates of brass are true; and they testify that a man must be obedient to the commandments of God.
31 Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore, if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen.

11.
2 Nephi 4:13 And it came to pass that not many days after his death, Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael were angry with me because of the admonitions of the Lord.
14 For I, Nephi, was constrained to speak unto them, according to his word; for I had spoken many things unto them, and also my father, before his death; many of which sayings are written upon mine other plates; for a more history part are written upon mine other plates.

It’s possible there is more that isn’t recorded, but these 11 examples are enough to show that the word of the Lord had been fulfilled.

2017, September 13

“Book of Mormon: Mosiah 29: How King Mosiah Peacefully and Smoothly Transitions the Nephites from Kings to Judges” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Mosiah 29: How King Mosiah Peacefully and Smoothly Transitions the Nephites from Kings to Judges”
(c)2017 grego

I want to take a look at Mosiah 29 here. Before we start, however, it’s important to set the context with a few previous scriptures:

Mosiah 28:10 Now king Mosiah had no one to confer the kingdom upon, for there was not any of his sons who would accept of the kingdom.
King Mosiah already knew earlier that his sons would not accept the kingdom.

Next… All the records that king Mosiah had recently read all pointed towards one thing–don’t have kings! That includes the brass plates (Saul, David, and many more wicked kings); Zeniffites (Noah); Almaites, and Jaredites (the majority of kings). It is likely he read about king problems in the Nephite plates, too.

Alma speaks both about king Noah (the record of the Zeniffites) and his own people:
Mosiah 23:6 And the people were desirous that Alma should be their king, for he was beloved by his people.
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.
8 Nevertheless, if it were possible that ye could always have just men to be your kings it would be well for you to have a king.
9 But remember the iniquity of king Noah and his priests; and I myself was caught in a snare, and did many things which were abominable in the sight of the Lord, which caused me sore repentance;
10 Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth.
11 Nevertheless, in this I do not glory, for I am unworthy to glory of myself.
12 And now I say unto you, ye have been oppressed by king Noah, and have been in bondage to him and his priests, and have been brought into iniquity by them; therefore ye were bound with the bands of iniquity.
13 And now as ye have been delivered by the power of God out of these bonds; yea, even out of the hands of king Noah and his people, and also from the bonds of iniquity, even so I desire that ye should stand fast in this liberty wherewith ye have been made free, and that ye trust no man to be a king over you.

It wasn’t just Mosiah that read these things; he had them read to all his people:
Mosiah 25:5 And it came to pass that Mosiah did read, and caused to be read, the records of Zeniff to his people; yea, he read the records of the people of Zeniff, from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until they returned again.
6 And he also read the account of Alma and his brethren, and all their afflictions, from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until the time they returned again.

Mosiah 28:11 Therefore he took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, and also the plates of Nephi, and all the things which he had kept and preserved according to the commandments of God, after having translated and caused to be written the records which were on the plates of gold which had been found by the people of Limhi, which were delivered to him by the hand of Limhi;

17 Now after Mosiah had finished translating these records, behold, it gave an account of the people who were destroyed, from the time that they were destroyed back to the building of the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people and they were scattered abroad upon the face of all the earth, yea, and even from that time back until the creation of Adam.
18 Now this account did cause the people of Mosiah to mourn exceedingly, yea, they were filled with sorrow; nevertheless it gave them much knowledge, in the which they did rejoice.

These were the plates of the Jaredites (found by king Limhi’s people), which gave account after account of problems with kings and with the succession of kings. They were also known to Mosiah’s people.

Ok, now on to the change.

1 Now when Mosiah had done this he sent out throughout all the land, among all the people, desiring to know their will concerning who should be their king.
2 And it came to pass that the voice of the people came, saying: We are desirous that Aaron thy son should be our king and our ruler.
3 Now Aaron had gone up to the land of Nephi, therefore the king could not confer the kingdom upon him; neither would Aaron take upon him the kingdom; neither were any of the sons of Mosiah willing to take upon them the kingdom.
4 Therefore king Mosiah sent again among the people; yea, even a written word sent he among the people. And these were the words that were written, saying:
5 Behold, O ye my people, or my brethren, for I esteem you as such, I desire that ye should consider the cause which ye are called to consider—for ye are desirous to have a king.
6 Now I declare unto you that he to whom the kingdom doth rightly belong has declined, and will not take upon him the kingdom.
7 And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people.
8 Now I say unto you let us be wise and consider these things, for we have no right to destroy my son, neither should we have any right to destroy another if he should be appointed in his stead.
9 And if my son should turn again to his pride and vain things he would recall the things which he had said, and claim his right to the kingdom, which would cause him and also this people to commit much sin.
10 And now let us be wise and look forward to these things, and do that which will make for the peace of this people.

I have no doubt that king Mosiah was sure the people would want one of his sons to be king, and as seen, already knew that was not going to happen. I also have no doubt that king Mosiah was 99% or so sure that his sons would not return and want to be king. I believe he had already planned for this, but needed the people to say it themselves so that they could realize it better. He has a solution.

-=
11 Therefore I will be your king the remainder of my days; nevertheless, let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God.

I believe this was very likely related to the brass plates, of judges (as with Israel before kings).

-=
12 Now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for the judgments of God are always just, but the judgments of man are not always just.
13 Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, yea, if ye could have men for your kings who would do even as my father Benjamin did for this people—I say unto you, if this could always be the case then it would be expedient that ye should always have kings to rule over you.

He might have borrowed that from Alma, at least in thought or as a firmer testimony.

-=
14 And even I myself have labored with all the power and faculties which I have possessed, to teach you the commandments of God, and to establish peace throughout the land, that there should be no wars nor contentions, no stealing, nor plundering, nor murdering, nor any manner of iniquity;
15 And whosoever has committed iniquity, him have I punished according to the crime which he has committed, according to the law which has been given to us by our fathers.

My father didn’t break the law, and I have not broken the law, but have done my best to uphold it. I believe he was setting a psychological precedent for his judges and his people to follow.

-=
16 Now I say unto you, that because all men are not just it is not expedient that ye should have a king or kings to rule over you.
17 For behold, how much iniquity doth one wicked king cause to be committed, yea, and what great destruction!
18 Yea, remember king Noah, his wickedness and his abominations, and also the wickedness and abominations of his people. Behold what great destruction did come upon them; and also because of their iniquities they were brought into bondage.
19 And were it not for the interposition of their all-wise Creator, and this because of their sincere repentance, they must unavoidably remain in bondage until now.
20 But behold, he did deliver them because they did humble themselves before him; and because they cried mightily unto him he did deliver them out of bondage; and thus doth the Lord work with his power in all cases among the children of men, extending the arm of mercy towards them that put their trust in him.
21 And behold, now I say unto you, ye cannot dethrone an iniquitous king save it be through much contention, and the shedding of much blood.
22 For behold, he has his friends in iniquity, and he keepeth his guards about him; and he teareth up the laws of those who have reigned in righteousness before him; and he trampleth under his feet the commandments of God;
23 And he enacteth laws, and sendeth them forth among his people, yea, laws after the manner of his own wickedness; and whosoever doth not obey his laws he causeth to be destroyed; and whosoever doth rebel against him he will send his armies against them to war, and if he can he will destroy them; and thus an unrighteous king doth pervert the ways of all righteousness.
24 And now behold I say unto you, it is not expedient that such abominations should come upon you.

It is important to have some of them remember their own experiences with wicked kings, and for all of them to remember what they had recently heard about king Noah. I think king Mosiah wants to head off the desire for a king/ return to a system of kings, hoping to avoid the problem that Israel suffered under (judges to kings).

-=
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.

King Mosiah gives some basic principles here. The judges will judge according to the correct law given by the fathers, which were given by the Lord. If wicked people go against it, and are a minority, they will fail. If wicked people go against it, and are a majority, the judgments of the Lord will be upon them, and they will fail.

-=
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.

Is there a way around unrighteous judges? When requested by the people, higher judges, and a very nice point–multiple lower judges can judge a higher judge.

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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.

This is the king’s command, not just a suggestion. Had he started with this, though, maybe things wouldn’t have gone so well. He commands them to be responsible.

-=
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.

Another reminder about wicked kings causing problems.

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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.

The move to liberty, and more (again, Alma helps here). When does this end? This is set up for the rest of Nephite existence.

-=
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.

A reminder that righteous kings have a very difficult life.

-=
35 And he also unfolded unto them all the disadvantages they labored under, by having an unrighteous king to rule over them;
36 Yea, all his iniquities and abominations, and all the wars, and contentions, and bloodshed, and the stealing, and the plundering, and the committing of whoredoms, and all manner of iniquities which cannot be enumerated—telling them that these things ought not to be, that they were expressly repugnant to the commandments of God.

Another reminder of wicked kings causing problems.

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37 And now it came to pass, after king Mosiah had sent these things forth among the people they were convinced of the truth of his words.
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.

After all that, he gets the desired result–they don’t want a king, but want judges so that everyone can be equal.

-=
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.
41 And it came to pass that they did appoint judges to rule over them, or to judge them according to the law; and this they did throughout all the land.

They do not wait! It begins right away.

-=
42 And it came to pass that Alma was appointed to be the first chief judge, he being also the high priest, his father having conferred the office upon him, and having given him the charge concerning all the affairs of the church.
43 And now it came to pass that Alma did walk in the ways of the Lord, and he did keep his commandments, and he did judge righteous judgments; and there was continual peace through the land.
44 And thus *commenced the reign of the judges throughout all the land of Zarahemla, among all the people who were called the Nephites; and Alma was the first and chief judge.
45 And now it came to pass that his father died, being eighty and two years old, having lived to fulfil the commandments of God.
46 And it came to pass that Mosiah died also, in the thirty and third year of his reign, being sixty and three years old; making in the whole, five hundred and nine years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem.
47 And thus ended the reign of the kings over the people of Nephi; and thus ended the days of Alma, who was the founder of their church.

Even though Mosiah remained king, the system of judges went into effect. I believe it was much wiser to start one system under the other; this assured that the judges system would be implemented, be implemented properly, the judges would already have experience, and any problems or situations could be brought to him and he would know what to do. Then, when Mosiah died, the judges were the top.

All together, what a beautiful way to transition!

2017, September 7

“Book of Mormon: Does ‘The Spirit of the Lord’ in 1 Nephi 14 Mean ‘the spirit of Jesus Christ’ or ‘the Holy Ghost’?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Does ‘The Spirit of the Lord’ in 1 Nephi 14 Mean ‘the spirit of Jesus Christ’ or ‘the Holy Ghost’?”
by grego (c)2017

In 1 Nephi 14, we have this:

1 Nephi 14:
1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
2 And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?
3 And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw.
4 And the Spirit said unto me: Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken?
5 And I said: Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father.
6 And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.
7 And behold this thing shall be given unto thee for a sign, that after thou hast beheld the tree which bore the fruit which thy father tasted, thou shalt also behold a man descending out of heaven, and him shall ye witness; and after ye have witnessed him ye shall bear record that it is the Son of God.
8 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow.
9 And it came to pass after I had seen the tree, I said unto the Spirit: I behold thou hast shown unto me the tree which is precious above all.
10 And he said unto me: What desirest thou?
11 And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof—for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.
12 And it came to pass that he said unto me: Look! And I looked as if to look upon him, and I saw him not; for he had gone from before my presence.
13 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.
14 And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou?

Some have said that “the Spirit of the Lord” refers to the spirit of Jesus Christ, and the Spirit leaves during this vision so that he can appear in the vision as Mary’s baby.

I believe it is not the spirit of Jesus Christ, because of many clues in the text, which I have stressed. I will add more.

1. In verse 1, Nephi prays to Heavenly Father, who is referred to as “the Lord.” “The Lord” can be confusing, as it can mean both the Father and the Son, or when “the Spirit of” is placed in front, the Holy Ghost. Verse 6 shows us that it is Heavenly Father, especially noted because of “the Son of the most high God”, where “the most high God” is earlier equated to “the Lord.”

2. “I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord”. Why would Nephi be caught up in the spirit of Jesus Christ, instead of the Holy Ghost?

3. In verse 2, Nephi talks to “the Spirit”.

4. In verse 6, the Spirit bears witness of the Father and the Son.

5. In verse 7, the Spirit says that Nephi must bear witness of the Son. Would the Son do that?

6. Yes, Nephi saw the Holy Ghost, who was a spirit in the form of a man (verse 11). It is Mormon doctrine that the Holy Ghost is male, and can appear to humans.

7. In 1 Nephi 10:17, Nephi says he saw, heard, and knew these things by the power of the Holy Ghost:
17 And it came to pass after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision, and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost, which power he received by faith on the Son of God—and the Son of God was the Messiah who should come—I, Nephi, was desirous also that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old as in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men.

19 For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.

8. As a small thing, here is what Nephi says in 2 Nephi 11: 2-3:
2 And now I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children, for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him.

He doesn’t say, I have seen the Spirit of the Lord here.

9. In all instance in the Book of Mormon, “the Spirit of the Lord” means “the Holy Ghost,” and not once does it mean “the spirit of Jesus Christ”:
“The occurrences of “the spirit of the Lord” in the Text of the Book of Mormon.
1 Nephi 1: 12
12 And it came to pass that as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

1 Nephi 7: 14-15
14 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison. And they have sought to take away the life of my father, insomuch that they have driven him out of the land.
15 Now behold, I say unto you that if ye will return unto Jerusalem ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go ye will also perish; for thus the Spirit of the Lord constraineth me that I should speak.

1 Nephi 11: 1, 11
1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
• • •
11 And I said unto him: To know the interpretation thereof—for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.

1 Nephi 13: 15
15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

1 Nephi 15: 12
12 Behold, I say unto you, that the house of Israel was compared unto an olive-tree, by the Spirit of the Lord which was in our father; and behold are we not broken off from the house of Israel, and are we not a branch of the house of Israel?

2 Nephi 1: 27
27 And it must needs be that the power of God must be with him, even unto his commanding you that ye must obey. But behold, it was not he, but it was the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, which opened his mouth to utterance that he could not shut it.

2 Nephi 4: 12
12 And it came to pass after my father, Lehi, had spoken unto all his household, according to the feelings of his heart and the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, he waxed old. And it came to pass that he died, and was buried.

2 Nephi 21: 2
2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

2 Nephi 26: 11
11 For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul.

Words of Mormon 1: 7
7 And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

Mosiah 2: 36
36 And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved—

Mosiah 4: 3
3 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.

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.

Mosiah 13: 5
5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.

Mosiah 18: 13
13 And when he had said these words, the Spirit of the Lord was upon him, and he said: Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant to serve him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may he grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world.

Mosiah 21: 34
34 Therefore they did not at that time form themselves into a church, waiting upon the Spirit of the Lord. Now they were desirous to become even as Alma and his brethren, who had fled into the wilderness.

Mosiah 28: 4
4 And thus did the Spirit of the Lord work upon them, for they were the very vilest of sinners. And the Lord saw fit in his infinite mercy to spare them; nevertheless they suffered much anguish of soul because of their iniquities, suffering much and fearing that they should be cast off forever.

Alma 4: 15
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; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him.

Alma 11: 22
22 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, if it be according to the Spirit of the Lord, which is in me; for I shall say nothing which is contrary to the Spirit of the Lord. And Zeezrom said unto him: Behold, here are six onties of silver, and all these will I give thee if thou wilt deny the existence of a Supreme Being.

Alma 19: 14
14 Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers upon the Lamanites, his brethren, who had been the cause of so much mourning among the Nephites, or among all the people of God because of their iniquities and their traditions, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in prayer and thanksgiving to God for what he had done for his brethren; and he was also overpowered with joy; and thus they all three had sunk to the earth.

Alma 21: 16
16 And they went forth whithersoever they were led by the Spirit of the Lord, preaching the word of God in every synagogue of the Amalekites, or in every assembly of the Lamanites where they could be admitted.

Alma 22: 4-5
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.

Alma 32: 28
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

Alma 34: 35
35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.

Alma 39: 12
12 And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good, lest they lead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities;

Alma 40: 13
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.

Helaman 4: 24
24 And they saw that they had become weak, like unto their brethren, the Lamanites, and that the Spirit of the Lord did no more preserve them; yea, it had withdrawn from them because the Spirit of the Lord doth not dwell in unholy temples—

Helaman 6: 35
35 And thus we see that the Spirit of the Lord began to withdraw from the Nephites, because of the wickedness and the hardness of their hearts.

Helaman 16: 2
2 But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.

Mormon 2: 26
26 And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.

Mormon 5: 16
16 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord hath already ceased to strive with their fathers; and they are without Christ and God in the world; and they are driven about as chaff before the wind.

Ether 12: 2
2 And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him.

Ether 15: 19
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.

Moroni 9: 4
4 Behold, I am laboring with them continually; and when I speak the word of God with sharpness they tremble and anger against me; and when I use no sharpness they harden their hearts against it; wherefore, I fear lest the Spirit of the Lord hath ceased striving with them.

10. I think this Biblical reference is important:
Isa. 11:2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him [Jesus Christ], the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
Why, and how, would the spirit of Jesus Christ, rest upon Jesus Christ?

11. References made to “the Spirit of the Lord” mean “the Holy Ghost” nowadays (just a few of many):
**https://www.lds.org/topics/holy-ghost?lang=eng:
“The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.”

**President Marion G. Romney: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1974/04/the-holy-ghost?lang=eng
“My beloved brothers and sisters, wherever you are and whoever you are, I invite you to join in the request made in the opening prayer that the Spirit of the Lord will be with us during this meeting…
The scriptures all teach about the Holy Ghost. They frequently refer to him as the Comforter, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, or the Spirit of the Lord.

According to these scriptures the Holy Ghost is a person.
“The Father,” said the Prophet Joseph Smith, “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. …” (D&C 130:22.)
Jesus referred to the Holy Ghost as a male person. Speaking to his disciples, he said:
“… It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7. Italics added.)
And further,
“… when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
“He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13–14. Italics added.)

“That the [Holy Ghost] is capable of manifesting Himself in the form and figure of man,” wrote [Elder] James E. Talmage, “is indicated by the wonderful interview between the Spirit and Nephi, in which He revealed Himself to the prophet, questioned him concerning his desires and belief, instructed him in the things of God, speaking face to face with the man. ‘I spake unto him,’ says Nephi, ‘as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet nevertheless, I knew that it was the Spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another.’” (Discourses on the Holy Ghost, comp. N. B. Lundwall, Bookcraft, Inc., 1959, p. 13.)

Well, maybe I could have just written that last quote, lol? But I wanted to explain more, to understand clearer and more convincingly.

“Book of Mormon: Where Will the Repentant American Gentiles Live?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Where Will the Repentant American Gentiles Live?
by grego (c)2017

Even though members of the church in the USA are usually from the tribe of Ephraim, I noticed something interesting in the Book of Mormon, and something I’m not sure I understand well.

There are many verses that talk about the Gentiles bringing the Book of Mormon and the gospel to what we call the modern-day Lamanites:

3 Nephi 21:5 Therefore, when these works and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter shall come forth from the Gentiles, unto your seed which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity;

And, that if the Gentiles repent, they will be numbered among the house of Israel:

2 Nephi 30:2 For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.

3 Nephi 16:12 And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.
13 But if the Gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel.
14 And I will not suffer my people, who are of the house of Israel, to go through among them, and tread them down, saith the Father.

3 Nephi 26:6 For thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may show forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me and be baptized in my name and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel;

1 Nephi 22:8 And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the Gentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders.

Now… The Gentiles in America who repent will be numbered not just in the house of Israel, but will be joined to the repentant modern-day Lamanites, or Lehites:

2 Nephi 1:5 But, said he, notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath covenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be led out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.

1 Nephi 14:2
1 And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks—
2 And harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.

2 Nephi 10:18-19
18 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, thus saith our God: I will afflict thy seed by the hand of the Gentiles; nevertheless, I will soften the hearts of the Gentiles, that they shall be like unto a father to them; wherefore, the Gentiles shall be blessed and numbered among the house of Israel.
19 Wherefore, I will consecrate this land unto thy seed, and them who shall be numbered among thy seed, forever, for the land of their inheritance; for it is a choice land, saith God unto me, above all other lands, wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me, saith God.

2 Nephi 24:1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

It’s my understanding that when peoples are restored to their former lands, at least some of each tribe will return to Israel. Joseph’s sons’ tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, having high numbers, will have many/ most stay in America, the land of promise, the land of their inheritance.

The Gentiles in America who repent will be numbered among Manasseh and receive this land for an inheritance and live there, too.

2017, July 15

“Book of Mormon: Alma’s Fasting for Ammonihah–When?” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Alma’s Fasting for Ammonihah–When?”
by grego
@2017

Here’s what we read about Alma beginning in Ammonihah:
Alma 8:6 So that when he had finished his work at Melek he departed thence, and traveled three days’ journey on the north of the land of Melek; and he came to a city which was called Ammonihah.

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.
10 Nevertheless Alma labored much in the spirit, wrestling with God in mighty prayer, that he would pour out his Spirit upon the people who were in the city; that he would also grant that he might baptize them unto repentance.
11 Nevertheless, they hardened their hearts, saying unto him: Behold, we know that thou art Alma…
13 Now when the people had said this, and withstood all his words, and reviled him, and spit upon him, and caused that he should be cast out of their city, he departed thence and took his journey towards the city which was called Aaron.
14 And it came to pass that while he was journeying thither, being weighed down with sorrow, wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul, because of the wickedness of the people who were in the city of Ammonihah, it came to pass while Alma was thus weighed down with sorrow…

Pretty clear, right? Then we run into this:
Alma 10:7 As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house, for thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord; yea, a holy man, who is a chosen man of God; for he has fasted many days because of the sins of this people, and he is an hungered, and thou shalt receive him into thy house and feed him, and he shall bless thee and thy house; and the blessing of the Lord shall rest upon thee and thy house.

So, when did Alma fast many days?

He might have fasted on the three-day trip. From Alma 8:8, it sounds like he started preaching right when he got there. Alma 8:11 shows they spoke to him and kicked him out, and then he went on his journey–maybe he fasted then; but, why would he fast for the people after it “was done”?

I think the best bet is Alma 8:10, even though it only mentions prayer. But if you are going to wrestle with God in might prayer, chances are good that fasting is involved. I always read that verse like it was one short prayer. Now I see it as a continual prayer, along with that fasting, over the course of a “many days”, or at least a few days; he preaches more, still fasting; he gets kicked out before he gets a meal, and journeys–which together would be “many days”. I also used to read Alma 8:8-11 as one quick continual process, taking one day, at most. Now, in light of Alma 10:7, it seems there is a space of time between Alma 8:8-10, and Alma 8:11, and that’s where the fasting that the angel talks about occurs.

“Book of Mormon: Succession of the Jaredite Kings–Youngest Son Becomes King” by grego

“Book of Mormon: Succession of the Jaredite Kings–Youngest Son Becomes King” by grego
@2017

(I thought I had written this years and years ago, but after coming up empty on searches, here it is.)

Ether 6:19 And the brother of Jared began to be old, and saw that he must soon go down to the grave; wherefore he said unto Jared: Let us gather together our people that we may number them, that we may know of them what they will desire of us before we go down to our graves.

22 And it came to pass that the people desired of them that they should anoint one of their sons to be a king over them.

24 But Jared said unto his brother: Suffer them that they may have a king. And therefore he said unto them: Choose ye out from among our sons a king, even whom ye will.
25 And it came to pass that they chose even the firstborn of the brother of Jared; and his name was Pagag. And it came to pass that he refused and would not be their king. And the people would that his father should constrain him, but his father would not; and he commanded them that they should constrain no man to be their king.
26 And it came to pass that they chose all the brothers of Pagag, and they would not.
27 And it came to pass that neither would the sons of Jared, even all save it were one; and Orihah was anointed to be king over the people.

And this sets the precedent for the rest of Jaredite history–the youngest prince becomes king. Oh, if only Orihah, righteous though he was, could have foreseen the problems!! He could have become king, then changed the form of government. It would have been difficult to choose his oldest son, as that might give the oldest son of Pagag reason to rebel, or some similar problem. Yet he could have created a contest or devised a way to change this.

The older brothers know they will never have power, yet they are generally much more learned and capable than the youngest brother. The people know them, and they know the people. No doubt they are often jealous to some degree (whether they rebel or not).

The First Succession
Ether 7:1 And it came to pass that Orihah did execute judgment upon the land in righteousness all his days, whose days were exceedingly many.
2 And he begat sons and daughters; yea, he begat thirty and one, among whom were twenty and three sons.
3 And it came to pass that he also begat Kib in his old age. And it came to pass that Kib reigned in his stead; and Kib begat Corihor.

The First Old Prince Rebellion
3 And it came to pass that he also begat Kib in his old age. And it came to pass that Kib reigned in his stead; and Kib begat Corihor.
4 And when Corihor was thirty and two years old he rebelled against his father, and went over and dwelt in the land of Nehor; and he begat sons and daughters, and they became exceedingly fair; wherefore Corihor drew away many people after him.

And the successions of the youngest prince, and the rebellions of the oldest (/older prince) versus either his father or his youngest brother, continue for the rest of Jaredite history (as far as applicable).

Ether 9:14 And it came to pass that Omer began to be old; nevertheless, in his old age he begat Emer; and he anointed Emer to be king to reign in his stead.

Ether 9:21 And Emer did execute judgment in righteousness all his days, and he begat many sons and daughters; and he begat Coriantum, and he anointed Coriantum to reign in his stead.

Ether 9:24 …And it came to pass that Coriantum took to wife, in his old age, a young maid, and begat sons and daughters; wherefore he lived until he was an hundred and forty and two years old.
25 And it came to pass that he begat Com, and Com reigned in his stead; and he reigned forty and nine years, and he begat Heth; and he also begat other sons and daughters.
26 And the people had spread again over all the face of the land, and there began again to be an exceedingly great wickedness upon the face of the land, and Heth began to embrace the secret plans again of old, to destroy his father.
27 And it came to pass that he did dethrone his father, for he slew him with his own sword; and he did reign in his stead.

Ether 10:2 And it came to pass that Shez … begat sons and daughters.
3 And his eldest son, whose name was Shez, did rebel against him;

Ether 10:4 … And Shez did live to an exceedingly old age; and he begat Riplakish. And he died, and Riplakish reigned in his stead.

Ether 10:13 And Morianton did live to an exceedingly great age, and then he begat Kim; and Kim did reign in the stead of his father

(Somewhat) Ether 10:14 And his brother did rise up in rebellion against him, by which he did bring him into captivity; and he did remain in captivity all his days; and he begat sons and daughters in captivity, and in his old age he begat Levi; and he died.
15 And it came to pass that Levi did serve in captivity after the death of his father, for the space of forty and two years. And he did make war against the king of the land, by which he did obtain unto himself the kingdom.

Ether 10:16 And after he had obtained unto himself the kingdom he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; and the people did prosper in the land; and he did live to a good old age, and begat sons and daughters; and he also begat Corom, whom he anointed king in his stead.

Ether 10:29 And it came to pass that Lib did live many years, and begat sons and daughters; and he also begat Hearthom.
30 And it came to pass that Hearthom reigned in the stead of his father
.

(Somewhat–it seems right that this captivity genealogy is “father->last son”, not just one of the descendant lines, and it seems right each king would have had many sons)
Ether 10:30 And it came to pass that Hearthom reigned in the stead of his father. And when Hearthom had reigned twenty and four years, behold, the kingdom was taken away from him. And he served many years in captivity, yea, even all the remainder of his days.
31 And he begat Heth, and Heth lived in captivity all his days. And Heth begat Aaron, and Aaron dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Amnigaddah, and Amnigaddah also dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Coriantum, and Coriantum dwelt in captivity all his days; and he begat Com.
32 And it came to pass that Com drew away the half of the kingdom. And he reigned over the half of the kingdom forty and two years; and he went to battle against the king, Amgid, and they fought for the space of many years, during which time Com gained power over Amgid, and obtained power over the remainder of the kingdom.

Ether 11:3 And they prophesied unto Com many things; and he was blessed in all the remainder of his days.
4 And he lived to a good old age, and begat Shiblom; and Shiblom reigned in his stead. And the brother of Shiblom rebelled against him, and there began to be an exceedingly great war in all the land.

Ether 11:14 And it came to pass that Ethem did execute judgment in wickedness all his days; and he begat Moron. And it came to pass that Moron did reign in his stead

(Similar to above, a record of fathers->youngest sons. Note Ether was a “captive king”)
Ether 11:18 And it came to pass that he did overthrow Moron and obtain the kingdom; wherefore, Moron dwelt in captivity all the remainder of his days; and he begat Coriantor.
19 And it came to pass that Coriantor dwelt in captivity all his days.
20 And in the days of Coriantor there also came many prophets, and prophesied of great and marvelous things, and cried repentance unto the people, and except they should repent the Lord God would execute judgment against them to their utter destruction;
21 And that the Lord God would send or bring forth another people to possess the land, by his power, after the manner by which he brought their fathers.
22 And they did reject all the words of the prophets, because of their secret society and wicked abominations.
23 And it came to pass that Coriantor begat Ether, and he died, having dwelt in captivity all his days.

At the end, secret combinations take over.

“Book of Mormon: Zemnarihah–The Evil Fruit of the Corrupt Tree?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Zemnarihah–The Evil Fruit of the Corrupt Tree? by grego
@2017

So I was reading this:
3 Nephi 4:28 And their leader, Zemnarihah, was taken and hanged upon a tree, yea, even upon the top thereof until he was dead. And when they had hanged him until he was dead they did fell the tree to the earth, and did cry with a loud voice, saying…

and I wondered about why. Then this came into mind:

3 Nephi 14:16-19:
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
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.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Was Zemnarihah, hanged on the tree, a literal fruit? Not down on a branch, just above the ground (no low-hanging fruit!), but “upon the top thereof”. Was that tree which bore evil fruit, a corrupt tree, that was then hewn down?

2017, January 18

Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants: “Why Didn’t Joseph Smith Preach the Book of Mormon??” by grego

Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants: “Why Didn’t Joseph Smith Preach the Book of Mormon??” by grego

I always wondered about that. President Smith rarely preached from the Book of Mormon, and sometimes about principle found in the Bible, but often things mentioned in the Bible that others misunderstood.

Here is something I saw:
DC 5:9 Behold, verily I say unto you, I have reserved those things which I have entrusted unto you, my servant Joseph, for a wise purpose in me, and it shall be made known unto future generations;
10 But this generation shall have my word through you;
11 And in addition to your testimony, the testimony of three of my servants, whom I shall call and ordain, unto whom I will show these things, and they shall go forth with my words that are given through you.

Though it’s not really clear, I wonder if it means that the things entrusted were the plates/ Book of Mormon, which were to be used more later, but the beginning was to be Joseph Smith preaching through much direct revelation and bearing testimony (his testimony was never included in the Book of Mormon, though that of the three was).

2016, December 18

“Book of Mormon: Alma (Alma 32:27) Gets the TRUE Counseling Starting Point Question” by grego

I realized that Alma had discovered what I had discovered:

Alma 32:27 “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”

Going back to how (25 years ago or so), I remembered hearing the story about the question “Do you believe you and your wife can have a good relationship?” and the answer “No”, then the final answer, “Then I can’t help you.” were wrong.  Lots of honest people will answer, “No.” but that doesn’t mean they and the relationship can’t be helped.  Here is the real question that is important:  “Do you wish that you could believe that you and your wife could have a good relationship?”   If “Yes,”, that’s enough to work with! 

Alma got it first!

2016, June 12

“Book of Mormon: How to Be Humble?” by grego

How to Be Humble?
by grego
(c)2016

The key is in Alma 42:30: … but do you let the JUSTICE of God, and his MERCY, and his LONG-SUFFERING have FULL SWAY in your HEART; and LET IT bring you down to the dust in humility.

2015, May 1

Book of Mormon: “The Missing Small Plates of Nephi” by grego

The Missing Small Plates of Nephi

grego ©2015

The prophesy of the coming of Christ 600 years after Lehi left Jerusalem is a very clear prophecy throughout Nephi’s records, appearing three times:

–1 Nephi 10:4 Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.

–1 Nephi 19:8 And behold he cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem.

–2 Nephi 25:19 For according to the words of the prophets, the Messiah cometh in six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem; and according to the words of the prophets, and also the word of the angel of God, his name shall be Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

After the Words of Mormon, however, there seems to be a loss of this prophecy:

–Mosiah 3:5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
124 BC

–Alma 7:7 For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all—for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people.
abt. 83 BC

–Alma 13:25 And now we only wait to hear the joyful news declared unto us by the mouth of angels, of his coming; for the time cometh, we know not how soon. Would to God that it might be in my day; but let it be sooner or later, in it I will rejoice.
abt. 82 BC

From the above, it seems that even with perfect timekeeping, no prophet knows when Christ will come. Even Alma in 82 BC is thinking Christ might come soon.

Samuel the Lamanite finally gives a time and signs of Christ’s coming, five years before the fact:

**Helaman 14:2 And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.

But what about the prophecies that Nephi wrote on his plates? How did everyone miss or forget them?

We have this, from Mormon:

**Words of Mormon 1: 3 And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.

10 Wherefore, it came to pass that after Amaleki had delivered up these plates into the hands of king Benjamin, he took them and put them with the other plates, which contained records which had been handed down by the kings, from generation to generation until the days of king Benjamin.
11 And they were handed down from king Benjamin, from generation to generation until they have fallen into my hands…

It seems that from the time of king Benjamin, to at least the time of Christ’s coming or even until Mormon found them, the small plates of Nephi had been “lost” among the records. In fact, it seems that even king Benjamin wasn’t aware of the prophecies on the plates of Christ’s coming.

(Finally glad to have put that up! From years ago… If there’s anymore, I’ll add to it.)

And there is more.

**Nephi prophecies of the great destructions that would signal the death of Jesus Christ:

–1 Nephi 12:4 And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof.
5 And it came to pass after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.

2 Nephi 26:3 And after the Messiah shall come there shall be signs given unto my people of his birth, and also of his death and resurrection; and great and terrible shall that day be unto the wicked, for they shall perish…
4 Wherefore, all those who are proud, and that do wickedly, the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, for they shall be as stubble.
5 And they that kill the prophets, and the saints, the depths of the earth shall swallow them up, saith the Lord of Hosts; and mountains shall cover them, and whirlwinds shall carry them away, and buildings shall fall upon them and crush them to pieces and grind them to powder.
6 And they shall be visited with thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquakes, and all manner of destructions, for the fire of the anger of the Lord shall be kindled against them, and they shall be as stubble, and the day that cometh shall consume them
, saith the Lord of Hosts.

Yet, this prophecy comes from Samuel the Lamanite, so the Nephites could have it when needed:

–Helaman 14:20 But behold, as I said unto you concerning another sign, a sign of his death, behold, in that day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened and refuse to give his light unto you; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land, even from the time that he shall suffer death, for the space of three days, to the time that he shall rise again from the dead.
21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;
22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.
23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.
24 And many highways shall be broken up, and many cities shall become desolate.
25 And many graves shall be opened, and shall yield up many of their dead; and many saints shall appear unto many.
26 And behold, thus hath the angel spoken unto me; for he said unto me that there should be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours.
27 And he said unto me that while the thunder and the lightning lasted, and the tempest, that these things should be, and that darkness should cover the face of the whole earth for the space of three days.

**Nephi wrote that Jesus Christ would appear to the Nephites after his death and resurrection, and great destruction:

–1 Nephi 12:4 And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof.
5 And it came to pass after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.
6 And I saw the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them.

–2 Nephi 26:1 And after Christ shall have risen from the dead he shall show himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren; and the words which he shall speak unto you shall be the law which ye shall do.
2 For behold, I say unto you that I have beheld that many generations shall pass away, and there shall be great wars and contentions among my people.
3 And after the Messiah shall come there shall be signs given unto my people of his birth, and also of his death and resurrection; and great and terrible shall that day be unto the wicked, for they shall perish…
4 Wherefore, all those who are proud, and that do wickedly, the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of Hosts, for they shall be as stubble.
5 And they that kill the prophets, and the saints, the depths of the earth shall swallow them up, saith the Lord of Hosts; and mountains shall cover them, and whirlwinds shall carry them away, and buildings shall fall upon them and crush them to pieces and grind them to powder.
6 And they shall be visited with thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquakes, and all manner of destructions, for the fire of the anger of the Lord shall be kindled against them, and they shall be as stubble, and the day that cometh shall consume them
, saith the Lord of Hosts.

9 But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him, until three generations shall have passed away, and many of the fourth generation shall have passed away in righteousness.

Yet, we have this in Alma 16:
Alma 16:20 And many of the people did inquire concerning the place where the Son of God should come; and they were taught that he would appear unto them after his resurrection; and this the people did hear with great joy and gladness.

**Nephi wrote the general timetable of when the Nephites would be destroyed:

–1 Nephi 12:11 And the angel said unto me: Look! And I looked, and beheld three generations pass away in righteousness; and their garments were white even like unto the Lamb of God. And the angel said unto me: These are made white in the blood of the Lamb, because of their faith in him.
12 And I, Nephi, also saw many of the fourth generation who passed away in righteousness.
13 And it came to pass that I saw the multitudes of the earth gathered together.
14 And the angel said unto me: Behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren.

19 And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed.
20 And it came to pass that I beheld, and saw the people of the seed of my brethren that they had overcome my seed; and they went forth in multitudes upon the face of the land.

–1 Nephi 15:5 And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I considered that mine afflictions were great above all, because of the destruction of my people, for I had beheld their fall.

–2 Nephi 26:9 But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him, until three generations shall have passed away, and many of the fourth generation shall have passed away in righteousness.
10 And when these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my people; …

This seems to have been lost, as Alma says:
Alma 45:9 But behold, I have somewhat to prophesy unto thee; but what I prophesy unto thee ye shall not make known; yea, what I prophesy unto thee shall not be made known, even until the prophecy is fulfilled; therefore write the words which I shall say.
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.

Also, Samuel the Lamanite fills in:
Helaman 13:5 And he said unto them: Behold, I, Samuel, a Lamanite, do speak the words of the Lord which he doth put into my heart; and behold he hath put it into my heart to say unto this people that the sword of justice hangeth over this people; and four hundred years pass not away save the sword of justice falleth upon this people.
6 Yea, heavy destruction awaiteth this people, and it surely cometh unto this people, and nothing can save this people save it be repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ…
9 And four hundred years shall not pass away before I will cause that they shall be smitten; yea, I will visit them with the sword and with famine and with pestilence.
10 Yea, I will visit them in my fierce anger, and there shall be those of the fourth generation who shall live, of your enemies, to behold your utter destruction; and this shall surely come except ye repent, saith the Lord; and those of the fourth generation shall visit your destruction.

2015, January 3

“Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 1:29 and Involved Parenting to Protect from Wicked Influences” by grego

Book of Mormon: 3 Nephi 1:29 and Involved Parenting to Protect from Wicked Influences

I have been very troubled by this verse for a long time, especially having children:

3 Nephi 1:29 And there was also a cause of much sorrow among the Lamanites; for behold, they had many children who did grow up and began to wax strong in years, that they became for themselves, and were led away by some who were Zoramites, by their lyings and their flattering words, to join those Gadianton robbers.

How did these parents who were powerful and wonderful, let their most precious things be taken away from them and Jesus, and join the most evil organization?

I could be all wrong here… but I wonder if it has to do with this:

When parents are uninformed, uninvolved, and ignorant of evil and wicked influences, they will not be there nor understand the causes, and their children will be led astray and led captive.

If you don’t know AND UNDERSTAND what your children are watching, listening to, and following, you are pretty defenseless to help them. (Coincidentally, last night at a Young Men activity a young man was wearing a pretty hardcore Satan-worship T-shirt. I don’t think anyone else caught it. Even sadder: his MOM had bought it for him, ha ha.) Is that why so many discussions about problems with teens turn into parents getting mad, yelling at, and trying to use authority to coerce children to obey them? A very far cry from what Lehi and Alma show us.

Let your kids watch Disney? Sponge Bob? CSI? Law & Order? Iron Man movies? Listen to pop music? Lots of good themes and things in them, right? AND lots of all kinds of gospel-unfriendly things going on in them and most all the others.

In addition, movies and shows like Walking Dead, first-person shooter video games, etc. are also very harmful. (Though if I had to choose, I’d prefer my children watch Terminator over CSI, for example.)

When children watch something, watch with them. When they listen to something, listen with them. Know what media they are involved with. If you don’t understand what you see or hear, ask them. Research. You would not believe the amount of powerful evil influences in seemingly innocent or “a little bad” on the surface media until you learn how to look and what to look for. Search “+[song} + lyrics” to find out what singers are singing. Search “+illuminati + hollywood”, “+illuminati + music”, etc. for videos, articles, and pictures (media, ha ha) that might be difficult to understand at first, but harder than that, to accept. When you watch the news, you think you’re getting reality. From numerous personal and historical cases, you’re not. Local news might give you 70% reality. What you will read about, it’s probably about 88% REAL.

Watch and learn, so you can protect your children. Use the Spirit to help you know what you need to know, and how.

Then, don’t be afraid to talk to your children about their media choices, even if you ban things first. They need to know that you know, and what you’re doing it for. Don’t stop there. Help them find suitable replacements that they enjoy! You and your child are core elements of a team.

2013, May 26

“Book of Mormon: Why Were the Nephites Destroyed; How Do We Currently Measure Up?” by grego

Book of Mormon: Why Were the Nephites Destroyed; How Do We Currently Measure Up?

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve compiled a lot of verses for your study that concern the destruction of the Nephites. Hopefully these will help us as individuals, families, communities, and countries to see where we stand before the Lord.

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1 Nephi 12:18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever.

1 Nephi 12:19 And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and \\because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed.//

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2 Nephi 26:9 But the Son of righteousness shall appear unto them; and he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him, until three generations shall have passed away, and many of the fourth generation shall have passed away in righteousness.

2 Nephi 26:10 And when these things have passed away a speedy destruction cometh unto my people; for, notwithstanding the pains of my soul, I have seen it; wherefore, I know that it shall come to pass; and \\they sell themselves for naught; for, for the reward of their pride and their foolishness they shall reap destruction; for because they yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness rather than light, therefore they must go down to hell.//

2 Nephi 26:11 For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And \\when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction,// and this grieveth my soul.

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(This deals with the inhabitants of Ammonihah:) Alma 9:18 But behold, I say unto you that \\if ye persist in your wickedness that your days shall not be prolonged in the land, for the Lamanites shall be sent upon you;// and \\if ye repent not they shall come in a time when you know not, and ye shall be visited with utter destruction;// and it shall be according to the fierce anger of the Lord.)

Alma 9:19 For he will not suffer you that ye shall live in your iniquities, to destroy his people. I say unto you, Nay; \\he would rather suffer that the Lamanites might destroy all his people who are called the people of Nephi, if it were possible that they could fall into sins and transgressions, after having had so much light and so much knowledge given unto them of the Lord their God;//

Alma 9:20 Yea, after having been such a highly favored people of the Lord; yea, after having been favored above every other nation, kindred, tongue, or people; after having had all things made known unto them, according to their desires, and their faith, and prayers, of that which has been, and which is, and which is to come;

Alma 9:21 Having been visited by the Spirit of God; having conversed with angels, and having been spoken unto by the voice of the Lord; and having the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and also many gifts, the gift of speaking with tongues, and the gift of preaching, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the gift of translation;

Alma 9:22 Yea, and after having been delivered of God out of the land of Jerusalem, by the hand of the Lord; having been saved from famine, and from sickness, and all manner of diseases of every kind; and they having waxed strong in battle, that they might not be destroyed; having been brought out of bondage time after time, and having been kept and preserved until now; and they have been prospered until they are rich in all manner of things–

Alma 9:23 And now behold I say unto you, that \\if this people, who have received so many blessings from the hand of the Lord, should transgress contrary to the light and knowledge which they do have, I say unto you that if this be the case, that if they should fall into transgression, it would be far more tolerable for the Lamanites than for them.//

Alma 9:24 For behold, the promises of the Lord are extended to the Lamanites, but they are not unto you if ye transgress; for has not the Lord expressly promised and firmly decreed, that \\if ye will rebel against him that ye shall utterly be destroyed from off the face of the earth?//

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Alma 45:11 Yea, and then shall they see wars and pestilences, yea, famines and bloodshed, \\even until the people of Nephi shall become extinct–

Alma 45:12 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.

Alma 45:13 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.

Alma 45:14 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.

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Helaman 2:13 And behold, in the end of this book ye shall see that \\this Gadianton did prove the overthrow, yea, almost the entire destruction of the people of Nephi.//

Helaman 2:14 Behold I do not mean the end of the book of Helaman, but I mean the end of the book of Nephi, from which I have taken all the account which I have written.

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Helaman 13:8 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.//

Helaman 13:9 And four hundred years shall not pass away before I will cause that they shall be smitten; yea, I will visit them with the sword and with famine and with pestilence.

Helaman 13:10 Yea, I will visit them in my fierce anger, and there shall be those of the fourth generation who shall live, of your enemies, to behold your utter destruction; and \\this shall surely come except ye repent,// saith the Lord; and those of the fourth generation shall visit your destruction.

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Ether 8:18 And it came to pass that \\they formed a secret combination,// even as they of old; which combination is most abominable and wicked above all, in the sight of God;

Ether 8:21 And \\they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi.//

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3 Nephi 27:32 But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation, for \\they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal.// And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads.

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Moroni 8:27 Behold, my son, I will write unto you again if I go not out soon against the Lamanites. Behold, \\the pride of this nation, or the people of the Nephites, hath proven their destruction except they should repent.//

Moroni 8:28 Pray for them, my son, that repentance may come unto them. But behold, I fear lest \\the Spirit hath ceased striving with them;// and in this part of the land \\they are also seeking to put down all power and authority which cometh from God; and they are denying the Holy Ghost.//

Moroni 8:29 And \\after rejecting so great a knowledge, my son, they must perish soon,// unto the fulfilling of the prophecies which were spoken by the prophets, as well as the words of our Savior himself.

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Moroni 9:22 But behold, my son, I recommend thee unto God, and I trust in Christ that thou wilt be saved; and I pray unto God that he will spare thy life, to witness the return of his people unto him, or their utter destruction; for I know that \\they must perish except they repent and return unto him.//

Moroni 9:23 And if they perish it will be like unto the Jaredites, \\because of the wilfulness of their hearts, seeking for blood and revenge.//

2013, March 21

“Book of Mormon: Stripling Anti-Nephi-Lehies ‘Rehearsed’ to Helaman the Words of Their Mothers? (Alma 56:48)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Stripling Anti-Nephi-Lehies “Rehearsed” to Helaman the Words of Their Mothers? (Alma 56:48)

grego
(c) 2013

Helaman says of his young Ammonite warriors:

Alma 56:46 For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth; we would not slay our brethren if they would let us alone; therefore let us go, lest they should overpower the army of Antipus.
47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it.

I think we’ve all heard the “taught by their mothers” part, but I had a thought about this other part: “they REHEARSED unto me the words of their mothers”, with the conclusion: “We do not doubt our mothers knew it”.

That begs the questions: How could 2,000 young men rehearse the same words from all their mothers, and believe all their mothers knew it?

I ask my children to recite the Primary standards and the youth standards every day (we’re far from doing it, but I hope we will continue to make progress). Those were written by the church, and I am grateful for them.

I imagine that these women did not wait for the church leaders, a church program, or the government. They got together themselves with the purpose of knowing what they knew and the things THEY knew, through the Spirit, they needed to pass on and instill in their children.

I believe that the mothers actually put together their own creed or “standards” in the form of a presentation/ play/ musical/ recitation, and presented it to their children. This could have been something in church, the community, or personal; or a combination, like say a large yearly presentation and daily personal or weekly church recitations.

Possibly even more, it could have been that in between the time the idea of their sons going off to war, and their actual going off to war, these mothers were mightily moved upon by their love to put something together to strengthen their sons’ faith–and they did it. This faith was not just a belief, but an action for good.

2013, February 5

“Book of Mormon: Enduring to the End” by grego

Book of Mormon: Enduring to the End

grego
(c) 2013

Amidst great confusion, fear, sin, uncertainty, and unrest, Jared and his brother— through thought, faithfulness, and compassion from above—retained unity for themselves and friends and obtained a promised land better than any other land in the world.

It required work, but all things were prepared for them along the way, including special revelation as to where to go, and how to get there. The journey was also a means of spiritual adventure and growth. Things generally went well, and they enjoyed many wonderful years in the promised land.

Unfortunately, the very last step of leadership failed, and this failure brought pain to countless people for over a thousand years.

Enduring to the end is very important. Some of the most moving parts of the Book of Mormon are the parts about people enduring to the end, especially in the face of great trial or adversity. Look, for example, at Abinadi; the martyrs at Ammonihah and Alma and Amulek; the sons of Helaman; the Lamanites “who would not be removed”; Mormon; Ether; Moroni; the last words of many of the prophets.

Is this one of the reasons the Book of Mormon was written for us, is this one of the lessons we can learn from reading it?

“Book of Mormon | Alma 60–Moroni’s Epistle/ Letter to Pahoran: A Type for LDS Church Leaders to LDS Members?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma 60–Moroni’s Epistle/ Letter to Pahoran: A Type for LDS Church Leaders to LDS Members?

grego
(c ) 2012-2013

I had a thought today, listening to this chapter. Could I apply it to us, and to me? Yes, I could, and Wow!

I’ve noticed over the years that the people who are helping shed light on the works of darkness the Gadianton robbers are committing are mostly non-LDS, while the great majority of LDS are very pro-government, brain-washed, anti-conspiracy, etc. people. Most avoid those “yucky things” by the excuse that we “just need to be good, and that’s good enough”. The truth is, it’s not. And that’s not just my opinion, but the teachings of many prophets and apostles. Yes, we are trying to do a lot, but it seems that only a very small percentage of active and “faithful” members are truly engaged in “working righteousness”. Even myself–am I sharing the gospel DAILY? If I’m not, chances are good I can improve. Are miracles occurring in my life DAILY?

Look at these Book of Mormon verses:

3 Nephi 7:18 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.

Helaman 11:23 And in the seventy and ninth year there began to be much strife. But it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi, and many of their brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations DAILY, therefore they did preach unto the people, insomuch that they did put an end to their strife in that same year.

Helaman 15:6 Yea, I say unto you, that the more part of them are doing this, and they are striving with unwearied diligence that they may bring the remainder of their brethren to the knowledge of the truth; therefore there are many who do add to their numbers DAILY.

If this type of thing is not happening in my life, it’s likely I’m not trying hard enough to be good.

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So here’s the chapter and how it might apply to us (I just changed it over):

Alma 59:13 And it came to pass that [God] was angry with the [members], because of their indifference concerning the freedom of their country.

Alma 60:1 AND it came to pass that [the LDS Church leaders] wrote again to the [members], and these are the words which [they] wrote, saying: Behold, [we] direct mine epistle to [members] who have been chosen by [God] to govern and manage the affairs of [their freedom and country].

Alma 60:2 For behold, [we] have somewhat to say unto [you] by the way of condemnation; for behold, ye [members] yourselves know that ye have been appointed to gather together men, and arm them with [the gospel, principles of the Consitutution, etc. ], and all manner of [non-physical] weapons of war of every kind, and send forth against the [would-be destroyers of this country], in whatsoever parts they should come into our land.

Alma 60:3 And now behold, I say unto you that [many patriots and their families] have suffered exceedingly great sufferings; yea, even hunger, thirst, and fatigue, and all manner of afflictions of every kind.

Alma 60:4 But behold, were this all [they] had suffered [we] would not murmur nor complain.

Alma 60:5 But behold, great has been the slaughter among [the] people; yea, thousands have fallen by the sword [and through sin], while it might have otherwise been if ye [members] had rendered unto [them] your [help] sufficient strength and succor for them. Yea, great has been your neglect towards [them].

Alma 60:6 And now behold, [God and the patriots] desire to know the cause of this exceedingly great neglect; yea, … to know the cause of you [members’] thoughtless state.

Alma 60:7 Can you think to sit upon your [riches and easy life] in a state of thoughtless stupor [of “all is well in Zion” and TV and video games], while your enemies are spreading the work of death [and destruction of freedom] around you? Yea, while they are [physically and spiritually] murdering thousands of your brethren–

Alma 60:8 Yea, even they who [should] look up to you [who are to be the light of Christ] for protection, yea, [are] in a situation that ye might have succored them, yea, ye might have sent [help] unto them, to have strengthened them, and have saved thousands of them from falling by the sword [and by sin].

Alma 60:9 But behold, this is not all–ye have withheld your [minor help and vocal support] from them, insomuch that many have fought and bled out their lives because of their great desires which they had for the welfare of this [American] people [and country and its principles and freedoms]; yea, and this they have done when they were about to perish with [loneliness], because of your exceedingly great neglect towards them.

Alma 60:10 And now, my beloved brethren [and sisters of the Church]–for ye ought to be beloved; yea, and ye ought to have stirred yourselves more diligently for the welfare and the freedom of this people; but behold, ye have neglected them insomuch that the blood of thousands shall come upon your heads for vengeance; yea, for known unto God were all their cries, and all their sufferings–

Alma 60:11 Behold, could ye suppose that ye could sit upon your [riches and easy life], and because of the exceeding goodness of God ye could do nothing and he would deliver [those who love freedom and gospel principles]? Behold, if ye have supposed this ye have supposed in vain.

Alma 60:12 Do ye suppose that, because so many of your [patriots] have been killed it is because of their wickedness? I say unto you, if ye [members] have supposed this ye have supposed in vain; for I say unto you, there are many who have fallen by the sword; and behold it is to your condemnation;

Alma 60:13 For the Lord suffereth the righteous [and those who are working for him] 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 [or will soon].

Alma 60:14 And now behold, I say unto you, I fear exceedingly that the judgments of God will come upon [these members], because of their exceeding slothfulness, yea, even the slothfulness of [some of the great ones], and their exceedingly great neglect towards their brethren, yea, towards those who have been slain.

Alma 60:15 For were it not for the wickedness which first commenced [in the church], we could have withstood our [political and other] enemies that they could have gained no power over us.

Alma 60:16 Yea, had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these [gadianton robbers and all those others seeking for riches and power], who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we [American members] were contending among ourselves [about whether to follow the prophets and how much], if we had united our strength as we hitherto have done; yea, had it not been for the desire of power and authority which those [eugenecists, communists, bankers, etc.] had over us; had they been true to the cause of our freedom, and united with us, and gone forth against our enemies, instead of taking up their swords against us, which was the cause of so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, if we had gone forth against them in the strength of the Lord, we should have dispersed our enemies, for it would have been done, according to the fulfilling of his word.

Alma 60:17 But behold, now [our enemies] are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword [and otherwise], yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive [and brainwashing them and causing them to sin], causing them that they should suffer all manner of afflictions, and this because of the great wickedness of those who are seeking for power and authority…

Alma 60:18 But why should I say much concerning this matter [to you members]? For [we church leaders] know not but what ye yourselves are seeking for authority. We know not but what ye are also traitors to your country.

Alma 60:19 Or is it that ye have neglected us because ye are in the heart of [complacency] and ye are surrounded by security [and other rich and nice people], that ye do not cause food to be sent unto us, and also men to strengthen our armies?

Alma 60:20 Have ye [members] forgotten the commandments of the Lord your God? Yea, have ye [(American) members] forgotten the [literal and spiritual] captivity of our fathers? Have ye forgotten the many times we [and our forefathers] have been delivered out of the hands of our enemies?

Alma 60:21 Or do ye suppose that the Lord will still deliver us, while we sit [in our cushy jobs and houses and “let those kooky patriots do it”] and do not make use of the means which the Lord has provided for [you to at least help out]?

Alma 60:22 Yea, will ye sit in idleness while ye are surrounded with thousands of those, yea, and tens of thousands, who do also sit in idleness, while there are thousands round about [on] the borders of the [dark] who are falling by the sword, yea, wounded and bleeding?

Alma 60:23 Do ye suppose that God will look upon you as guiltless while ye sit still and behold these things [, and hide your faces from them and any truth not spouted and supported by the mainstream media and the government]? Behold I say unto you, Nay. Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel [church members who have covenanted with God] shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel [America] be cleansed also.

Alma 60:24 And now, except ye do repent of that which ye have done, and begin to be up and doing, and send forth [support to patriots], and that we may [support] and also recover the remainder of our possessions in these parts, behold it will be expedient that we contend no more with [our enemies] until we have first cleansed our inward vessel, yea, even the great head of our government.

Alma 60:25 And except ye grant mine epistle, and come out and show unto me a true spirit of freedom, and strive to strengthen and fortify our [true patriots fighting wickedness and evil], and grant unto them [resources] for their support, behold I will leave a part of my freemen [and patriots and true saints] to maintain this part of our land, and I will leave the strength and the blessings of God upon them, that none other power can operate against them–

Alma 60:26 And this because of their exceeding faith, and their patience in their tribulations–

Alma 60:27 And I will come unto you, and if there be any among you that has a desire for freedom, yea, if there be even a spark of freedom remaining, behold I will stir up insurrections among you, even until those who have desires to usurp power and authority shall become extinct.

Alma 60:28 Yea, behold I do not fear your power nor your authority, but it is my God whom I fear; and it is according to his commandments that I do take my sword to defend the cause of my country, and it is because of your iniquity that we have suffered so much loss.

Alma 60:29 Behold it is time, yea, the time is now at hand, that except ye do bestir yourselves in the defence of your country and your little ones, the sword of justice doth hang over you; yea, and it shall fall upon you and visit you even to your utter destruction.

Alma 60:30 Behold, I wait for assistance from you; and, except ye do administer unto our relief, behold, I come unto you, even in the land of Zarahemla, and smite you with the sword, insomuch that ye can have no more power to impede the progress of this people in the cause of our freedom.

Alma 60:31 For behold, the Lord will not suffer that ye shall live and wax strong in your iniquities to destroy his righteous people.

Alma 60:32 Behold, can you suppose that the Lord will spare you and come out in judgment against the [non-Mormons/ “haters”], when it is the tradition of their fathers that has caused their hatred, yea, and it has been redoubled by those who have dissented from us, while your iniquity is for the cause of your love of glory and the vain things of the world?

Alma 60:33 Ye know that ye do transgress the laws of God, and ye do know that ye do trample them under your feet. Behold, the Lord saith unto me: If those whom ye have appointed your governors [and the salt, and the light of the earth] do not repent of their sins and iniquities, [they shall be destroyed].

Alma 60:34 And now behold, I, Moroni, am constrained, according to the covenant which I have made to keep the commandments of my God; therefore I would that ye should adhere to the word of God, and send speedily unto me of your provisions and of your men, and also to Helaman.

Alma 60:35 And behold, if ye will not do this I come unto you speedily; for behold, God will not suffer that we should perish with hunger; therefore he will give unto us of your food [and resources], even if it must be by the sword. Now see that ye fulfil the word of God.

Alma 60:36 Behold, I am Moroni, your chief captain. I seek not for power, but to pull it down. I seek not for honor of the world, but for the glory of my God, and the freedom and welfare of my country. And thus I close mine epistle.

-=
Ok, that’s been sitting on my computer for a while, and it’s not the clearest; it could be applied in other ways, too; but there are some ideas for you.

2012, September 12

“Book of Mormon: Idolatry among the Zoramites and Gnosticism (Alma 31-Alma 32-Alma 33-Alma 34-Alma 35; Alma 39-42)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Idolatry among the Zoramites and Gnosticism (Alma 31-Alma 32-Alma 33-Alma 34-Alma 35; Alma 39-42)

grego
(c) 2012

It’s interesting that “dumb idols” are mentioned as the first thing about the Zoramites, but after that it seems there’s no more mention of it. Later in the same chapter (Alma 31), there’s a lot more about why the Zoramites are in apostasy (law of Moses, beliefs about God, praying to God, etc.)… almost like there’s an entire disconnect here. What’s going on? Are there idols? If so, where are they? What religion is going on?

Incredibly, the Zoramites are very similar to another religion from almost 2,000 years ago—the Gnostics. I doubt Joseph Smith knew much about that group… (NOTE: By “Gnosticism” I usually mean the Gnosticism that opposed early Christianity, not semi-modern, modern, or very past. Even then there was not one school of thought and worship, but many, and they sometimes varied greatly from each other. I have tried to quote/ gather from that type of gnosticism; if I have faulted, I apologize; I can’t get to a great university library and research, for example, and even if I could, in all honesty, for this article I wouldn’t. I studied a research book on it years ago, and am limited now to the first few pages of internet search results.) This Gnosticism tangent started off a whole new line, but I can’t follow it far, so I present this more for thought stimulation than a completed article.

With all the references to Gnosticism, there is no proof or even evidence that that is the religion among the Zoramites; it is just a “look at parallels and similar thinking”, that such a religion is not only possible, but has, in parts, existed throughout history.

Here is the introduction we get to the situation:
Alma 31:1 NOW it came to pass that after the end of Korihor, Alma having received tidings that the Zoramites were perverting the ways of the Lord, and that Zoram, who was their leader, was leading the hearts of the people to bow down to dumb idols, his heart again began to sicken because of the iniquity of the people.

In addition, it seems they received reports saying that:
Alma 31:9 But [the Zoramites] had fallen into great errors, for they would not observe to keep the commandments of God, and his statutes, according to the law of Moses.
Alma 31:10 Neither would they observe the performances of the church, to continue in prayer and supplication to God daily, that they might not enter into temptation.
Alma 31:11 Yea, in fine, they did pervert the ways of the Lord in very many instances; therefore, for this cause, Alma and his brethren went into the land to preach the word unto them.

They also later find out:
Alma 31:23 Now, after the people had all offered up thanks after this manner, they returned to their homes, never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again to the holy stand, to offer up thanks after their manner.

It continues:
Alma 31:12 Now, when they had come into the land, behold, to their astonishment they found that the Zoramites had built synagogues, and that they did gather themselves together on one day of the week, which day they did call the day of the Lord; and they did worship after a manner which Alma and his brethren had never beheld;

Synagogues were not new:
Alma 16:13 And Alma and Amulek went forth preaching repentance to the people in their temples, and in their sanctuaries, and also in their synagogues, which were built after the manner of the Jews.

So why are Alma and his group astonished? Was it because they knew about the idols, and the changes, but maybe they hadn’t realized there was still “religion” in a somewhat recognizable form? There were still synagogues. There was still Sabbath worship; prayer. And, there were no idols in the synagogue.
At the same time, there was no teaching, no discussion, no hymns, no guidance of the Spirit, no sacrifice, no commandments–just one rote prayer.

Here’s about the Zoramite worship:
Alma 31:13 For they had a place built up in the {center of their synagogue}, a place for standing, which was {high above the head}; and the top thereof would {only admit one person} (all things that add to “special”ness).
Alma 31:21 Now the place was called by them Rameumptom, which, being interpreted, is {the holy stand (a holy object, a special place of worship, much like the temple)}.
Alma 31:20 For behold, every man did go forth and offer up these same prayers.
Alma 31:14 Therefore, whosoever desired to worship must go forth and stand upon the top thereof, and {stretch forth his hands towards heaven, and cry with a loud voice}, saying:
Alma 31:15 {Holy, holy God; we believe that thou art God, and we believe that thou art holy}, and that {thou wast a spirit, and that thou art a spirit, and that thou wilt be a spirit forever (doctrine close, but not quite–perhaps this is a jab at the doctrine of Jesus having a body)}.
Alma 31:16 {Holy God}, we believe that {thou hast separated us from our brethren (here’s the “you’re special” part)}; and {we do not believe in the tradition of our brethren, which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers (another “you’re special and smart” part}; but we believe that {thou hast elected us to be thy holy children (more “you’re special”, and “don’t worry about commandments”)}; and also {thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ (special revelation that the believers don’t know)}.
Alma 31:17 But thou art the same yesterday, today, and forever; and {thou hast elected us that we shall be saved, whilst all around us are elected to be cast by thy wrath down to hell}; {for the which holiness, O God, we thank thee (gratitude)}; and we also thank thee that {thou hast elected us, that we may not be led away after the foolish traditions of our brethren (before it was “childishness”, now it’s “foolishness”)}, {which doth bind them down to a belief of Christ, which doth lead their hearts to wander far from thee, our God (belief is binding; belief in Christ leads away from God; exactly what Korihor was preaching!)}.
Alma 31:18 And again {we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people (gratitude; yet more “you’re special”}. Amen.

Compare that to how true Nephite believers worshipped:
Alma 15:17 Therefore, after Alma having established the church at Sidom, seeing … that the people … began to humble themselves before God, and began to {assemble themselves together at their sanctuaries} {to worship God} {before the altar}, {watching and praying continually}, {that they might be delivered from Satan, and from death, and from destruction}–

This Zoramite worship seems to be a perversion of both true believer Sabbath worship, special even worship, and temple worship. (See also “Temple Prayer in Ancient Times”, by John A. Tvedtnes; http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=21&chapid=105).

The result:
Alma 31:19 Now it came to pass that after Alma and his brethren and his sons had heard these prayers, they were astonished beyond all measure.

Instead of worshiping God before the altar, the Zoramites put themselves on the altar/ holy stand, but there is no sacrifice or holiness in doing so!

See how this could relate to Gnosticism:
“In contrast, gnostics considered martyrdom by orthodox Christians to be an act of suffering for an hour to purchase eternal life an offering to God in the form of a human sacrifice that demeaned God by casting him as a cannibal. It was as if the original Christian ideal of living in the present, for the present, had been perverted into the ultimate pagan sacrifice so that your own life would be sacrificed to buy an eternal afterlife in paradise” (http://milo-books.com/reviews/nonfiction/philosophy_and_religion/the_gnostic_gospels.html).

See also how the doctrine of this prayer matches this of the Gnostics:
“the early Christian Church, which, [the Gnostics] claimed, were only common deceptions, unsuited for the wise (foolishness, childishness of the beliefs of the true believers). The truth was esoteric. Only the properly initiated could appreciate it. It belonged to a secret tradition which had come down through certain mystery schools (revealed to them by God). The truth was, God could never become man (spirit from beginning to end). There were two separate realms — one spiritual, the other material (http://www.naderlibrary.com/lit.godsbeasts.14.htm).”

There are a few similarities with Essenes:
“Cassian tells us that the first prayer precedes the prostration. He calls this the “oratio”. The second prayer following the prostration, he calls “preces”. He says that in it the monks stand with outstretched hands (a symbol of supplication) and offer such until a collect, or group prayer conclusion, is chanted by the cantor on behalf of the whole assembly. All these practices are reminiscent of Gnostic liturgy and ritual” (http://www.essenes.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=275&Itemid=361).

The Zoramite prayer is a Prayer of Thanksgiving:
Alma 31:23 Now, after the people had all offered up thanks after this manner, they returned to their homes, never speaking of their God again until they had assembled themselves together again to the holy stand, to offer up thanks after their manner.

Compare that to this Prayer of Thanksgiving, from the Nag Hammadi:
“We give thanks to You! Every soul and heart is lifted up to You, undisturbed name, honored with the name ‘God’ and praised with the name ‘Father’, for to everyone and everything (comes) the fatherly kindness and affection and love, and any teaching there may be that is sweet and plain, giving us mind, speech, (and) knowledge: mind, so that we may understand You, speech, so that we may expound You, knowledge, so that we may know You. We rejoice, having been illuminated by Your knowledge. We rejoice because You have shown us Yourself. We rejoice because while we were in (the) body, You have made us divine through Your knowledge.
‘The thanksgiving of the man who attains to You is one thing: that we know You. We have known You, intellectual light. Life of life, we have known You. Womb of every creature, we have known You. Womb pregnant with the nature of the Father, we have known You. Eternal permanence of the begetting Father, thus have we worshiped Your goodness. There is one petition that we ask: we would be preserved in knowledge. And there is one protection that we desire: that we not stumble in this kind of life.’

When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it” (http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/prat.html).

It seems Zoram has a plan to: a) change the original religion, and b) add/ substitute another god in place of Jesus Christ. He hasn’t converted everyone all the way, but is leading them in the process. This process, however, seems to be different than the majority of instances of idolatry recorded in the Old Testament (actually Brass Plates) that the Nephites had—perhaps yet another reason for the astonishment.

Many of these people were true believers at one time:
Alma 31:8 Now the Zoramites were dissenters from the Nephites; therefore they had had the word of God preached unto them.
Alma 31:34 O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.
Alma 31:35 Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.

Perhaps Zoram (correctly) thought that to “make” someone change religion from a strict form of commandments and ordinances (law of Moses and Melchizedek priesthood) to a more liberal yet custom-filled form, you must either completely destroy what they have learned, or keep some of it, but add in changes and especially a “you’re special” part (this exact method worked for a Seventy on my relative’s relative while he was a missionary).

It seems that the second is what Zoram did, and maybe that was part of the astonishment, too.

And so Alma and the others pray and preach.

Is there anything about idols in all that?? No, I don’t think there is. So what part does idols have to play in all this?

In Alma’s prayer, he says:
Alma 31:29 Yea, and they say that thou hast made it known unto them that there shall be no Christ.
Alma 31:30 O Lord God, how long wilt thou suffer that such wickedness and {infidelity} shall be among this people? O Lord, wilt thou give me strength, that I may bear with mine infirmities. For I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people doth pain my soul.
Alma might see a connection between idolatry and adultery, both of which are infidelity.

Later there is this:
Alma 32:4 Now, as Alma was teaching and speaking unto the people upon the hill Onidah…
Why is Alma (and some Zoramites) on the hill Onida?
I think it was because that is where the idols were, and the Zoramites were there worshiping them.
I don’t think those Zoramites were paying too much attention to what he was saying:
Alma 32:4 Now, as Alma was teaching and speaking unto the people upon the hill Onidah, there came a great multitude unto him…
Alma 32:5 And they came unto Alma; and the one who was the foremost among them said unto him: Behold, what shall these my brethren do, for they are despised of all men because of their poverty, yea, and more especially by our priests; for they have cast us out of our synagogues which we have labored abundantly to build with our own hands; and they have cast us out because of our exceeding poverty; and we have no place to worship our God; and behold, what shall we do?
Alma 32:6 And now when Alma heard this, he turned him about, his face immediately towards him, and he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word.
Alma 32:7 Therefore he did say no more to the other multitude; but he stretched forth his hand, and cried unto those whom he beheld, who were truly penitent, and said unto them…

But why would they have to worship God in a synagogue, if they had idols on the hills? And vice-versa? What was going on with this religion? They were kicked out because they were poor–maybe it wasn’t just that they looked bad, but they couldn’t “put money on the plate”/ buy religious things. (Remember in the end why Alma and his group were rejected:
Alma 35:3 And it came to pass that after the more popular part of the Zoramites had consulted together concerning the words which had been preached unto them, they were angry because of the word, for it did destroy their craft; therefore they would not hearken unto the words.)

Remember, this was a mixed religion–half God, half god(s). Perhaps it was similar to the Taiwanese belief system–Buddhism/ heavenly parents + Daoism/ mysticsim and ritual and other gods + folklore and Earth/ Land God.

Then:
Alma 33:1 Now after Alma had spoken these words, they sent forth unto him desiring to know whether they should believe in one God, that they might obtain this fruit of which he had spoken, or how they should plant the seed, or the word of which he had spoken, which he said must be planted in their hearts; or in what manner they should begin to exercise their faith.

Should they believe in one God, or …? a few gods? a pantheon of gods? a new god, introduced by Zoram, or the Lamanites?

So Alma tells them which god to believe in:
Alma 33:13 Behold, if ye do, ye must believe what Zenos said; for, behold he said: Thou hast turned away thy judgments because of thy Son.
Alma 33:14 Now behold, my brethren, I would ask if ye have read the scriptures? If ye have, how can ye disbelieve on the Son of God?
Alma 33:15 For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but Zenock also spake of these things–
Alma 33:16 For behold, he said: Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them because of thy Son.
Alma 33:17 And now, my brethren, ye see that a second prophet of old has testified of the Son of God, and because the people would not understand his words they stoned him to death.
Alma 33:22 … cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God, that he will come to redeem his people, and that he shall suffer and die to atone for their sins; and that he shall rise again from the dead, which shall bring to pass the resurrection, that all men shall stand before him, to be judged at the last and judgment day, according to their works.

This is the crux of this whole problem–Jesus Christ and His atonement don’t lead away from God, as Zoram teaches, but God is directly connected to Jesus Christ, and Christ brings men to God, in unity.

Amulek continues:
Alma 34:5 And we have beheld that the great question which is in your minds is whether the word be in the Son of God, or whether there shall be no Christ.
Alma 34:6 And ye also beheld that my brother has proved unto you, in many instances, that the word is in Christ unto salvation.
Alma 34:7 My brother has called upon the words of Zenos, that redemption cometh through the Son of God, and also upon the words of Zenock; and also he has appealed unto Moses, to prove that these things are true.

Amulek then speaks a lot about blood sacrifice, perhaps including inferences to sacrifice the Zoramites (or Lamanites) were making in their worship:
Alma 34:10 For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice.
Alma 34:11 Now there is not any man that can sacrifice his own blood which will atone for the sins of another. Now, if a man murdereth, behold will our law, which is just, take the life of his brother? I say unto you, Nay.
Alma 34:12 But the law requireth the life of him who hath murdered; therefore there can be nothing which is short of an infinite atonement which will suffice for the sins of the world.
Alma 34:13 Therefore, it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice, and then shall there be, or it is expedient there should be, a stop to the shedding of blood; then shall the law of Moses be fulfilled…
Alma 34:14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.
Alma 34:15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

Is there more about idols? We later find out that Corianton
Alma 39:3: didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel.
We learn more about the land here:
Alma 31:3 Now the Zoramites had gathered themselves together in a land which they called Antionum, which was east of the land of Zarahemla, which lay nearly bordering upon the seashore, which was south of the land of Jershon, which also bordered upon the wilderness south, which wilderness was full of the Lamanites.
Alma knew that Isabel was popular among the Zoramites, and that Corianton was not the only one:
Alma 39:4 Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many…
So why would a harlot, perhaps named after the great idolator Jezebel in the Old Testament, live in what was in all likelihood a wilderness? And what was so special about her (—even though it’s possible she was just beautiful or such—) that allowed her to “steal away the hearts of many”? If she and the idols were connected, this could have been a grove, where mystical idol rites that included fornication could have been carried out.
(All this reminds me of the cult worship of the Gnostics soon after the death of Jesus Christ, including fornication, both of which the act itself and its physical results were part of worship.)

Alma continues with his counsel:
Alma 39:9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the lusts of your eyes, but cross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and cross yourself in these things.
Alma 39:11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.

The “lusts of your eyes” could easily be harlots, or it could be even bigger, including spectacle worship plus worship harlots; is it that Alma seems to be stressing Isabel is one of a group of harlots?

Right after that, Alma says:
Alma 39:14 Seek not after riches nor the vain things of this world; for behold, you cannot carry them with you.
This was the other problem that the Zoramites had. It is possible—even likely—that wealth and idol worship and fornication were all tied together in this religion, which made it stronger for the rich, but weaker for the poor. The way I’ve seen idol worship work is, you worship and give offerings, and the god blesses you with riches and guidance, whether it be in a very easy and simple way, or in a deeper yet more unclear way.

More about Gnostic idolatry and sex:
“Followers of the Gnostic sect led by Carpocrates were granted even more license and encouragement. Carpocratians believed that the purity of the soul could not be contaminated and made evil, any more than a pearl could be debased by dropping it in the mud; at its center, the pearl would always remain a pearl. Based on this libertine view, the soul ought to experience everything available to it in this world. Carpocratians shared their sexual partners and took part in massive orgies, although males were instructed to practice coitus interruptus not as a method of birth control but as a means of collecting semen to be consumed as the body of Christ, as was menstrual blood. Recruitment methods of the Carpocratians were basic and no doubt successful in attracting male followers. The most beautiful female members were encouraged to offer themselves as bait to draw adherents, and a related group formed a male elite called Levites who practiced open homosexuality.”
“Should a woman become pregnant as a result of these activities, the fetus would be aborted, pounded to jelly in a mortar, mixed with honey and spices, and eaten by sect members, a practice chillingly reminiscent of the most lurid fables associated with early Christians.” -Secret Societies, by John Lawrence Reynolds. pg. 113

“the first Gnostic revisionists emerge from within the earliest circle of Christians. These were men who wanted for themselves the salvation promised by Christianity but who could affirm neither the physical and literal reality of the astounding events attested to by Scripture and by the Apostles nor the moral humbling required to accept substitutionary atonement as a necessity”(http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9410/satin.html).

“John attributes the ‘spirit of the antichrist’ less to actual unbelievers than to the ‘false prophets’ who arose among the early Christians. These were of a certain ‘spirit’ and are believers, as it were, of a kind: believers in a merely spiritualized (non-fleshly) ‘Christ.’
To all Gnostic redemptive schemes (wherein salvation can be attained through knowledge), atoning sacrifice by another is both meaningless and useless.”(http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9410/satin.html)

  As one might expect of any mystery rite, the Gospel of Philip (NHC II,3: 82,7-26 makes it clear that the mystery of the bride chamber is reserved for the pneumatic members of the Valentinian community alone. The intercourse of bride and bridegroom is private, pure and undefiled; the pneumatic bride may reveal her true nature only to those who may enter the bridal chamber every day: her father, mother, and the friend and sons of the bridegroom. http://jdt.unl.edu/ritual.htm

“other groups rejected such as practice as ineffective and deceptive, transforming the moral indifference typical of its libertine opposite, free sexual exchange, into sacred ritual. According to Irenaeus (Adversus Haereses I, 23.4), the Simonians worship images of Simon Magus and Helen, as well as engage in various occult practices, including exorcisms, incantations, philters, and erotic magic. Hippolytus, (Refutatio VI, 19.5) specifies further specifies that this erotic magic took the form of sexual intercourse as a means of experiencing spiritual union…” (http://jdt.unl.edu/ritual.htm)

According to Epiphanius (Panarion 26.3-12), the later Sethians, whom he calls Borborites, Barbelites, Phibionites, Stratiotici and Coddians, engaged in a thorough-going sexual sacramentalism…  According to Stephen Gero,[50] “the central, distinguishing feature of the sect, its devotion to the so-called sperma cult, described by [Epiphanius] in vivid detail, can hardly be dismissed as a prurient invention. In the simplest of terms it involved the extraction, collection and solemn, sacramental consecration and consumption of bodily fluids, male and female, which contributed to the further propagation of the human race, and thus to the continued entrapment of the divine substance by the evil archons. In these fluids is concentrated the spiritual element, found scattered in the world, in particular in food-stuffs (including meat!), of which the initiates can and should partake. The mythology proper is a version of the Barbelo-gnostic myth, as known from Irenaeus and the Apocryphon of John.” Although Epiphanius does not say that they called this rather unrestrained ritual sex a “mystery” or rite of the bridal chamber, it seems clear that its intent was the same, effecting a restoration of the lost primordial unity by physical coupling and attempting to reverse the natural course of the propagation of the species” (http://jdt.unl.edu/ritual.htm).

Even more about sexual worship rites can be found in the Gnostic Mass (later developed) at http://hermetic.com/egc/mass-analysis.html.

If the Zoramite worshiping by fornication was similar to gnostic worship, it is possible that one man was chosen for the honor of fornicating with the main harlot in the worship ritual, and it seems Corianton got his turn. This might especially be so if he were a virgin, which was likely the case at the time.
As with the Rameumpton, it might have been a perversion of true believer temple rites and worship.

And we understand that Corianton had the same problem the Zoramites had about believing that Christ should come, and what that entailed:
Alma 39:15 And now, my son, I would say somewhat unto you concerning the coming of Christ. Behold, I say unto you, that it is he that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world; yea, he cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto his people.
Alma 39:16 And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called, to declare these glad tidings unto this people, to prepare their minds; or rather that salvation might come unto them, that they may prepare the minds of their children to hear the word at the time of his coming.
Alma 39:17 And now I will ease your mind somewhat on this subject. Behold, you marvel why these things should be known so long beforehand.
Corianton was to preach salvation through Christ, but worshiped an idol, following the Rameumpton prayer doctrine of the Zoramites.

And the counsel of Alma to his wayward son continues, heading off even more the doctrine of the Zoramites heard in their Rameumpton prayer and idol worship: about disobedience and spiritual death, becoming “carnal, sensual, and devilish” and how that leads to being “miserable”; how that is overcome by the incarnation and atonement of Jesus Christ; salvation and its requirements, especially keeping the commandments.

Perhaps the worship is two-sided because of who they were worshiping. On one hand you have the worship of the heavenly father through prayer on the Rameumptom, especially for the rich; on the other the worship of the heavenly mother through ritual including fornication in the grove. Day to day remembrance—if any—is of the earth god, especially for the lower-class.

While this sounds a little stupid to some, imagine if Lady Gaga had a visitor center where she gave free concerts and indulged a few young men afterwards. Do you think any missionaries might get caught up in that? Right.

“…all these flourished underground during the great ages of the Church, providing a secretive, psychic, human-oriented, polytheistic, and morally relativistic counterpoint to the God-oriented ethical monotheism being carried forward by Christianity… In fact, the Gnostics devolved quickly into the embrace of evil, inevitably the consequence of an “inclusivist” position toward it. Modern “nature” and “goddess” theologies are following the same path” (http://www.leaderu.com/ftissues/ft9410/satin.html).
Paul relates a similar adventure with idol worship:
Acts 17:23 For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. What therefore ye worship in ignorance, this I set forth unto you.
24 The God that made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 neither is he served by men`s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he himself giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined [their] appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us:
28 for in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain even of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man.
30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:
31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked; but others said, We will hear thee concerning this yet again.
33 Thus Paul went out from among them.

Idol worship is a good business. Acts attests to it:
Acts 19:22 And having sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
23 And about that time there arose no small stir concerning the Way.
24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no little business unto the craftsmen;
25 whom he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this business we have our wealth.
26 And ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands:
27 and not only is there danger that this our trade come into disrepute; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana be made of no account, and that she should even be deposed from her magnificence whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
28 And when they heard this they were filled with wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesus…

This is what happens with the Zoramites:
Alma 35:3 And it came to pass that after the more popular part of the Zoramites had consulted together concerning the words which had been preached unto them, they were angry because of the word, for it did destroy their craft; therefore they would not hearken unto the words.

And I can attest to it, too, having lived in an idol-worshiping land. There can be lots of money made with idol worship. As Demetrius says, not only do people make money from their crafts, but the whole town/ city benefits from the tourism money, not to mention the pride the inhabitants have of being from there. (There was made with Jehovah worship in the New Testament, too! A big difference is that one is often set up by man for the express purpose of gaining money, while the other is men profiting from something God has set up.)

I guess the main thing about this is, it’s not very clear from surface reading, but there’s a lot in the story of Alma and the Zoramites that makes for a strong case about religion and idols based on history, though there’s nothing I know of that is exactly like it.

It’s beyond most authors’ abilities to put something in all over, but hide it so no one can see it. It’s unlike most of the idol scenes in the Bible (Old Testament and New Testament), where the big picture is clear, but the little pictures might not be there; here, it’s the little pictures that are clear, while the big picture doesn’t seem to exist. I believe there’s still more to be found.

2012, September 6

“Book of Mormon: Hope for Miracles through Faith” by grego

LDS/ Mormon: Hope for Miracles through Faith

grego
(c)2012

The Book of Mormon is clear about many things having to do with miracles. I want to put a few up, hopefully to encourage you.

* Miracles follow those that believe. If there are no miracles, it is because there is no faith.
This is true ALL the time. No, not as in every second of the day (though that’s true, too, when you think about it; but those miracles are open to all of God’s children, not just the believers), or every instance, or on call; they might not come immediately and continuously, but they come when needed and more. This doesn’t necessarily mean “righteousness”, nor does it mean “faith–to change the situation”; it might mean “faith to trust in the Lord and in His ways”.
Moroni 7:37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.
Moroni 7:38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also…

Alma 37:40 And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.
Alma 37:41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
Alma 37:42 Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.

* Greater miracles follow those that believe more greatly.
All believers can have miracles occur in their lives, including non-LDS. Prayer from all people can facilitate miracles. When there is greater faith because of truer teachings, that power to facilitate increases.

*Through faith, all things can be known.
Ether 3:26 For he had said unto him in times before, that if he would believe in him that he could show unto him all things–it should be shown unto him; therefore the Lord could not withhold anything from him, for he knew that the Lord could show him all things.
Moroni 10:5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

* Some miracles are unobservable to outside eyes. Think of all the prayers, the fasting, the quiet faith, etc. and the miracles they brought:
Alma 19:16 … save it were one of the Lamanitish women, whose name was Abish, she having been converted unto the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father–
Alma 19:17 Thus, having been converted to the Lord, and never having made it known, therefore, when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay prostrate upon the earth, she knew that it was the power of God; and supposing that this opportunity, by making known unto the people what had happened among them, that by beholding this scene it would cause them to believe in the power of God, therefore she ran forth from house to house, making it known unto the people.

* Some miracles are unobservable to your own eyes, righteous or unrighteous.
Note that Nephi and Lehi had no clue a miracle was coming, and the wicked Lamanites were aware of it before they were:
Helaman 5:22 And after they had been cast into prison many days without food, behold, they went forth into the prison to take them that they might slay them.
Helaman 5:23 And it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi were encircled about as if by fire, even insomuch that they durst not lay their hands upon them for fear lest they should be burned. Nevertheless, Nephi and Lehi were not burned; and they were as standing in the midst of fire and were not burned.
Helaman 5:24 And when they saw that they were encircled about with a pillar of fire, and that it burned them not, their hearts did take courage.
Helaman 5:25 For they saw that the Lamanites durst not lay their hands upon them; neither durst they come near unto them, but stood as if they were struck dumb with amazement.

Also, Amulek needed an angel and Alma to show him the miracles he couldn’t see because of his wickedness:
Alma 10:5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
Alma 10:6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of this seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges.

* Eyes of faith and understanding, opened by the Spirit, allow you to see the miracles you’d otherwise have missed, at the time, or later.
Other than my parents (who had never talked about it), all the rest of the children in the car never knew (until I told them recently) that we had a clear miracle on a roadtrip that otherwise would have resulted in certain death for all of us.

Another time, my sister and I both saw a small pile of leaves on the side of the road a ways in front of us get smashed and carried away by a gust of wind, coming out of a dangerous canyon (ravines, tight rock walls) in a van known for rolling; we were able to slow down immediately (we were already going slower than the speed limit) but still got shaken pretty good. That wasn’t just chance that there was a pile of leaves as a clear signal marker, that we both saw it and realized what it meant, and reacted well to it.

After a long, dark, seemingly God-lonely period of my life, I was told in a blessing that angels had been around me lifting me up.

There are so many times things happen and we don’t take the few minutes or even seconds of contemplation needed to understand our blessing/ what just happened. As Amulek says:
Alma 10:5 Nevertheless, after all this, I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power. I said I never had known much of these things; but behold, I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power; yea, even in the preservation of the lives of this people.
Alma 10:6 Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart…
Remember: just because YOU aren’t aware of miracles happening, doesn’t mean they aren’t happening.

* No calling or authorization is needed for miracles to occur.
They do occur to help us fulfill our callings and missions, true, but no calling, position, ordination, rank, social status, etc., and sometimes even worthiness, is needed for us to have miracles. You don’t get “called” to miracles.

* Miracles sometimes come after we are in trying situations, have done our best and failed, should have no earthly hope, etc. Try, try again, and keep trying. Evaluate. Use wisdom. God really does help those who do their best, at their level, to help themselves.

* * God helps those who do their best to help others; charity, love in action, helping others greatly enhance the occurrence of miracles. As mentioned in another post, dedication to God and a desire to serve others increases the miracles in our lives.
Alma 34:27 Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.
Alma 34:28 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, do not suppose that this is all; for after ye have done all these things, if ye turn away the needy, and the naked, and visit not the sick and afflicted, and impart of your substance, if ye have, to those who stand in need–I say unto you, if ye do not any of these things, behold, your prayer is vain, and availeth you nothing, and ye are as hypocrites who do deny the faith.
Alma 34:29 Therefore, if ye do not remember to be charitable, ye are as dross, which the refiners do cast out, (it being of no worth) and is trodden under foot of men.

* Miracles CAN CHANGE SITUATIONS, and/ or change our views towards situations.
Some people in the church, even in leadership positions, preach that prayer (read: faith) can’t change situations, but it can help us deal with them–this is only partly true. These people need to read the Book of Mormon more to understand this important doctrine–it is FULL of stories of situations that are changed by faith!! One small verse that shows both:
Alma 31:38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

* There is no limit on the size of a miracle–it can be huge, or tiny. A miracles is a miracle.

*You don’t have to know everything about the solution/ answer (especially the HOW?), as long as you know the giver of the solution/ answer is God.
Alma 32:21 And now as I said concerning faith–faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

*Faith leads to repentance.
Alma 34:15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.

*Miracles through faith come by faith AND righteousness.
3 Nephi 8:1 AND now it came to pass that according to our record, and we know our record to be true, for behold, it was a just man who did keep the record–for he truly did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity–

*Performing/ being involved in miracles often cleanses us.

* Though all miracles come through faith, it’s likely not just our faith that’s involved.
Mosiah 27:14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.
Mosiah 27:16 … And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.

*Seeing miracles can help our faith, or condemn us.
Helaman 16:2 … but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.
Helaman 16:3 Now when they saw that they could not hit him, there were many more who did believe on his words, insomuch that they went away unto Nephi to be baptized.

*Satan and man have explanations for even the greatest and clearest of miracles.
Moroni 7:17 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.

Helaman 16:15 Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites, and began to depend upon their own strength and upon their own wisdom, saying:
Helaman 16:16 Some things they may have guessed right, among so many; but behold, we know that all these great and marvelous works cannot come to pass, of which has been spoken…
Helaman 16:22 And many more things did the people imagine up in their hearts, which were foolish and vain; and they were much disturbed, for Satan did stir them up to do iniquity continually; yea, he did go about spreading rumors and contentions upon all the face of the land, that he might harden the hearts of the people against that which was good and against that which should come.
Helaman 16:23 And notwithstanding the signs and the wonders which were wrought among the people of the Lord, and the many miracles which they did, Satan did get great hold upon the hearts of the people upon all the face of the land.

3 Nephi 1:18 For they knew that the prophets had testified of these things for many years, and that the sign which had been given was already at hand; and they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.
3 Nephi 1:19 … and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
3 Nephi 1:20 And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
3 Nephi 1:21 And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.
3 Nephi 1:22 And it came to pass that from this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people, by Satan, to harden their hearts, to the intent that they might not believe in those signs and wonders which they had seen; but notwithstanding these lyings and deceivings the more part of the people did believe, and were converted unto the Lord.

3 Nephi 2:1 AND it came to pass that thus passed away the ninety and fifth year also, and the people began to forget those signs and wonders which they had heard, and began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven, insomuch that they began to be hard in their hearts, and blind in their minds, and began to disbelieve all which they had heard and seen–
3 Nephi 2:2 Imagining up some vain thing in their hearts, that it was wrought by men and by the power of the devil, to lead away and deceive the hearts of the people; and thus did Satan get possession of the hearts of the people again, insomuch that he did blind their eyes and lead them away to believe that the doctrine of Christ was a foolish and a vain thing.

*Even if just one person has faith, miracles will occur.
Moroni 7:36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved?

*One person can perform might miracles, even in the face of great opposition.
Helaman 8:11 … have ye not read that God gave power unto one man, even Moses, to smite upon the waters of the Red Sea, and they parted hither and thither, insomuch that the Israelites, who were our fathers, came through upon dry ground, and the waters closed upon the armies of the Egyptians and swallowed them up?

3 Nephi 7:17 …Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.
3 Nephi 7:18 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.
3 Nephi 7:19 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.
3 Nephi 7:20 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.

*Witnessing miracles can bless or curse, depending on the attitude and faith of the observer.
(See my article on believing through seeing: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/book-of-mormon-does-belief-come-through-faith-and-the-holy-ghost-or-also-through-seeing-by-grego/.)

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