Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

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.

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2017, August 14

“The Incredible Importance of Meditation and Pondering” by grego

“The Incredible Importance of Meditation and Pondering”
by grego
(c)2017

One recent night we read the following from The Testimony of Joseph Smith, at the beginning of the Book of Mormon:
“I lay musing on the singularity of the scene, and marveling greatly at what had been told to me by this extraordinary messenger; when, in the midst of my meditation,” then stopped. Joseph Smith did not hop right on his phone or turn on his tunes–he meditated! That is the example we should all follow, especially at times of spiritual experiences.

What is the importance of meditation and pondering? How DO you meditate? How do you explain this to a teenager?

Meditation is time spent thinking about holy things.

Ideas for a great meditation:
1. Alone.

2. Quiet.

3. No distractions.

4. Have lots of time. One minute before dinner is not a great time to start to meditate.

5. Pray. Sincerely, unrushed.

6. Listen and tune in. What are you thinking? What are you feeling?

7. Remember your blessings, present, recent, and past.

8. Remember past instructions and teachings and lessons.

9. How do I repent? What do I need to repent of?
What’s bothering you? Understand yourself and the why’s behind it all. Using that, figure out a plan to break your ungodly habits. My favorite that I’ve come up with is, “And then what?” It’s all about choices AND CONSEQUENCES. If you look short-sightedly at a decision, it’s much easier to choose the wrong choice. If you continue each decision to its consequences, and follow those to other consequences, and so on, it gets much, much easier to make the correct or better decision.

10. Whom have I wronged? What can/ should I do? Ask God for forgiveness. Understand the consequences and potential consequences of your actions.

11. Whom should I forgive?

12. Bear your testimony–to yourself, to Heavenly Father, to an imagined person or group. Give yourself time to say it–and feel very free to stop, go back to something, scratch a part and go back, go deep. This builds faith, increases your testimony, and makes it easier to bear it “for real”. (I have gone on for 45 minutes with just this part.)

13. Central to the entire experience is the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

14. Scriptures, hymns, family memories, and other spiritual things can greatly help.

These steps don’t need to be done every time, nor is meditating limited to these things.

If you want to understand the things God wants to teach you; if you want to increase in spirituality; if you want to grow closer to God; if you want to understand mysteries of the kingdom and godliness and truth; MEDITATE!

2015, October 6

“LDS General Conference: Discussion on President Dieter F. Utchdorf’s Talk: Medical Truth, Doctors, and the Internet” by grego

“LDS General Conference:  Discussion on President Dieter F. Utchdorf’s Talk:  Medical Truth, Doctors, and the Internet”

I wonder if President Utchdorf realized the irony of using the opening story in this talk…

I’ve never taken Pres. Utchdorf for an alternative kind of guy, but his talk on Saturday really started off bad…:

“After a recent medical procedure, my very capable doctors explained what I needed to do to heal properly…
“I decided to expedite the healing process by undertaking my own internet search.” (audience laughter)
“I suppose I expected to discover truth that my doctors were unaware or tried to keep from me…” (more audience laughter)
Of course, researching these things for ourselves is not a bad idea BUT…
…regarding truth I could rely on and instead found myself being drawn to the often outlandish claims of internet lore.
Sometimes the truth might seem just too straightforward, too plain, and too simple for us to fully appreciate its great value.
So we set aside what we HAVE EXPERIENCED and know to be true in pursuit of more mysterious or complicated information.
Hopefully we will learn quickly that when we chase after shadows we’re pursuing matters that have little substance or value.”

Yes, there are outlandish claims on the internet.

Fortunately, I know that at least some of those “outlandish claims” are true. I cannot tell you how incredibly thankful I am for the internet and what it’s brought to my life, especially in regards to physical and emotional health for me and many others. It has brought lots of truth in many areas, and simplified and eased my life.

I can tell you many things ARE hidden from doctors, even very professional and caring ones. And I know, through experience and anecdotes, that many DO keep things hidden from patients.

To assume that doctors are vessels of healing truth is ignorant, naive, close-minded, or worse.

In addition, doctors are rarely trained in, and rarer know, what one needs to do for health. Even physical therapists are often empty of how to recover.

Just as sad as Pres. Utchdorf’s anecdote was the laughter of many in the congregation when he shared it.

As he said of something else, “This saddens me.” Yes, it does. That so many who profess to know the truth, and the process of reaching it, laugh at and mock truth and those who search for it. Those who have often HAD to do so because of the incredible pain, suffering, and lack in Western emotional (called “mental”) and physical medicine; many who were led by the SPIRIT to search the internet in order to find truth, and have found much.

The truth IS often very straightforward, plain, and simple. Let me ask:
are complicated medical procedures straightforward, plain, and simple?
are complicated and dangerous drugs straightforward, plain, and simple?

Let’s look at cancer, for an example.

Western medicine:
*Go for surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
*Explain to a child how those help people with cancer (good luck!).
*Show the death and reoccurrence statistics.
*Quote the medical research (and doctors’ anectodes) about how useless and harmful they are.
*Explain the pain, suffering, side effects, costs and burdens, the victimhood of the patients, and the eventual death within months to just a very few years of almost all people treated in these ways (including about every apostle who has used these means to try to heal their cancer).

Alternative medicine:
*Find out what contributed to the state of cancer (using inobtrusive means such as matrix response testing, muscle testing, autonomic response testing, bioresonance, etc.).
*Use muscle testing et. al. and simple means, such as: moving a bed, energy healing, music/ frequencies/etc., colors, herbs, many very old and proven household “medicines”, etc.–to neutralize those reasons.
*Explain the simpleness, the straightforwardness, the easiness of understanding what cancer is and the healing processes.

I join with others in “…avoid[ing] putting unnecessary burdens on our members” by keeping them ignorant of many temporally-saving truths—that are often found on the internet.

I wonder which of those “outlandish claims” or anything else President Utchdorf [has experienced], and welcome him to discuss this topic.

Elder Ballard, who followed President Utchdorf, comforted and soothed my heart and soul with his comment, “[Leaders] have the best intentions, but sometimes make mistakes.” :)

2013, August 20

Pearl of Great Price: “God Delivered Abraham ‘From the Gods of Elkenah’ (Abraham 2:13)” by grego

Pearl of Great Price: God Delivered Abraham “From the Gods of Elkenah” (Abraham 2:13)

grego
(c)2013

Abraham says something I thought very interesting:
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.

Abraham does not say “from the priest of the false non-existent god of Elkenah” or such.

I guess the “pantheon of gods” idea might have a little support here…

“Pearl of Great Price: Abraham 2:13–Experiences Bring Testimony and Help Future Faith and Action” by grego

Pearl of Great Price: Abraham 2:13–Experiences Bring Testimony and Help Future Faith and Action

grego
(c)2013

God appears to Abraham, and says go to a strange land. He reminds Abraham of his power; that he knows the end from the beginning; that he is in His hand; and that He will bless him and his posterity and all nations through him–if he will obey:

Abraham 2:6 But I, Abraham, and Lot, my brother’s son, prayed unto the Lord, and the Lord appeared unto me, and said unto me: Arise, and take Lot with thee; for I have purposed to take thee away out of Haran, and to make of thee a minister to bear my name in a strange land which I will give unto thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession, when they hearken to my voice.
7 For I am the Lord thy God; I dwell in heaven; the earth is my footstool; I stretch my hand over the sea, and it obeys my voice; I cause the wind and the fire to be my chariot; I say to the mountains—Depart hence—and behold, they are taken away by a whirlwind, in an instant, suddenly.
8 My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee.
9 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations;
10 And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father;
11 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that is, in thy Priesthood) and in thy seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee (that is to say, the literal seed, or the seed of the body) shall all the families of the earth be blessed, even with the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal.
12 Now, after the Lord had withdrawn from speaking to me, and withdrawn his face from me, I said in my heart: Thy servant has sought thee earnestly; now I have found thee;
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.
14 So I, Abraham, departed as the Lord had said unto me, and Lot with me; and I, Abraham, was sixty and two years old when I departed out of Haran.

I particularly like this:
13 Thou didst send thine angel to deliver me from the gods of Elkenah, and I will do well to hearken unto thy voice, therefore let thy servant rise up and depart in peace.

Abraham was a clearly saved by God from being sacrificed, and so, why not? This was a testimony that God could save him in the future also, if needed (and which he continued to do).

And what did God tell Abraham at the time He saved him?
15 And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands;
16 And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of;

18 Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name, even the Priesthood of thy father, and my power shall be over thee.
19 As it was with Noah so shall it be with thee; but through thy ministry my name shall be known in the earth forever, for I am thy God.

2013, July 25

“Book of Mormon | Alma 51: Why Does Liberty-Loving Captain Moroni Compel and Kill Nephite People who Resist Him?” by grego

Book of Mormon | Alma 51: Why Does Liberty-Loving Captain Moroni Compel and Kill Nephite People who Resist Him?

grego
(c)2011-2013

Some might believe that Captain Moroni wasn’t righteous because he compelled Nephites to do as he wished or die. Surely he could have come up with a more peaceful way to take care of this problem, that didn’t infringe on people’s rights or freedom?

As one put it:

**
“Captain Moroni executed king-men for not taking up arms against the enemy. Was that not compulsion? Must the Nephites have resorted to a hawkish defense policy for preservation against the Lamanites? Couldn’t they have employed a more dovish policy and still maintained peaceful relations?”

“In regards to compulsion of the state, particularly in regards to taking up arms to “defend the country,” there’s no better example of this than in Alma chapter 51. Let’s read this account, shall we? First of all, it begins with a debate between two opposing political parties. On the one hand are those who were labeled “kingmen” and on the other those who were labeled “free men.” Not sure who did the labeling. In verse 5, Mormon writes that those who wanted to alter the law “were called kingmen.” Who did the labeling is a mystery, but my guess, based on history being written by the victors, this label was given by the “freemen” who, in verse six, is written that they took the name upon themselves. In any case, these first few verses are quite fascinating because while contentious, the two sides put it up for some vote (not sure what the voting population was—probably just the men). In the end, the “free men” won, and the “kingmen” lost. They were sad, but they didn’t take up arms against the “free men.”
But here’s where it gets interesting. Amalickiah, now ruling over the Lamanites, pressed his advantage in the war. Pahoran wanted to get more soldiers for the battle. The “king men” refused to fight. Surely one has a right under “voluntarism” to not pick up a sword or a bow and arrow to kill another, right? Isn’t that what you two believe? Or are there instances where voluntarism is void and null? In any case, they refuse to take up arms.

Let’s see what happened:
Alma 51:13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.

WOW! I gotta say…Imagine today General Patraeus coming out and writing a letter to the president asking him for permission to compel dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death. WOW! Do you two get it yet? A vote was put up before the people and in apparently a free and fair vote, the “kingmen” lost. They didn’t take up arms against the “free men” nor did they take up arms to defend the “free men.” So what do the “free men” do?

And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by the appellation of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride of those people who professed the blood of nobility; but they were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom from bondage.

WOW! Compelled to hoist the title of liberty. Methinks at this point the whole notion of liberty failed. You’re only free when you are compelled by someone, according to Captain Moroni. Oh, if only indeed everyone were like this man…”
**

First, one needs to understand the Nephite social contract, as explained here: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/book-of-mormon-korihor-vs-the-nephite-social-contract-the-law-of-war/ .

Liberty, freedom, and Nephite government is not all about “do what you want, even if it infringes on others’ liberty and rights to do what they want”.

Captain Moroni and Mormon explain many times what it is they’re fighting for, as in this article: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/book-of-mormon-whats-worth-fighting-and-dying-for/

Not long before the situation in Alma 51, there is the Amalickiah situation–an attack on Nephite liberty; a desire for a king; they are angry with the Christians and want to kill them; their numbers are less than the free men; they run away:
Alma 46:4 And Amalickiah was desirous to be a king; and those people who were wroth were also desirous that he should be their king; and they were the greater part of them the lower judges of the land, and they were seeking for power.
5 And they had been led by the flatteries of Amalickiah, that if they would support him and establish him to be their king that he would make them rulers over the people.
6 Thus they were led away by Amalickiah to dissensions, notwithstanding the preaching of Helaman and his brethren, yea, notwithstanding their exceedingly great care over the church, for they were high priests over the church.
10 Yea, we see that Amalickiah, because he was a man of cunning device and a man of many flattering words, that he led away the hearts of many people to do wickedly; yea, and to seek to destroy the church of God, and to destroy the foundation of liberty which God had granted unto them, or which blessing God had sent upon the face of the land for the righteous’ sake.

Most of Amalckiah’s followers are captured, and the ones that covenant to support freedom can live:
Alma 46:33 And it came to pass that Amalickiah fled with a small number of his men, and the remainder were delivered up into the hands of Moroni and were taken back into the land of Zarahemla.
34 Now, Moroni being a man who was appointed by the chief judges and the voice of the people, therefore he had power according to his will with the armies of the Nephites, to establish and to exercise authority over them.
35 And it came to pass that whomsoever of the Amalickiahites that would not enter into a covenant to support the cause of freedom, that they might maintain a free government, he caused to be put to death; and there were but few who denied the covenant of freedom.
36 And it came to pass also, that he caused the title of liberty to be hoisted upon every tower which was in all the land, which was possessed by the Nephites; and thus Moroni planted the standard of liberty among the Nephites.

Harsh? Sure seems that way. Necessary? Sure seems that way.

Who are the king-men in Alma 51? What do they want?

Alma 51:5 And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land.

8 Now those who were in favor of kings were those of high birth, and they sought to be kings; and they were supported by those who sought power and authority over the people.
13 And it came to pass that when the men who were called king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.
14 And it came to pass that when Moroni saw this, and also saw that the Lamanites were coming into the borders of the land, he was exceedingly wroth because of the stubbornness of those people whom he had labored with so much diligence to preserve; yea, he was exceedingly wroth; his soul was filled with anger against them.
15 And it came to pass that he sent a petition, with the voice of the people, unto the governor of the land, desiring that he should read it, and give him (Moroni) power to compel those dissenters to defend their country or to put them to death.
16 For it was his first care to put an end to such contentions and dissensions among the people; for behold, this had been hitherto a cause of all their destruction. And it came to pass that it was granted according to the voice of the people.
17 And it came to pass that Moroni commanded that his army should go against those king-men, to pull down their pride and their nobility and level them with the earth, or they should take up arms and support the cause of liberty.
18 And it came to pass that the armies did march forth against them; and they did pull down their pride and their nobility, insomuch that as they did lift their weapons of war to fight against the men of Moroni they were hewn down and leveled to the earth.
19 And it came to pass that there were four thousand of those dissenters who were hewn down by the sword; and those of their leaders who were not slain in battle were taken and cast into prison, for there was no time for their trials at this period.
20 And the remainder of those dissenters, rather than be smitten down to the earth by the sword, yielded to the standard of liberty, and were compelled to hoist the title of liberty upon their towers, and in their cities, and to take up arms in defence of their country.
21 And thus Moroni put an end to those king-men, that there were not any known by the appellation of king-men; and thus he put an end to the stubbornness and the pride of those people who professed the blood of nobility; but they were brought down to humble themselves like unto their brethren, and to fight valiantly for their freedom from bondage.
22 Behold, it came to pass that while Moroni was thus breaking down the wars and contentions among his own people, and subjecting them to peace and civilization, and making regulations to prepare for war against the Lamanites, behold, the Lamanites had come into the land of Moroni, which was in the borders by the seashore.

Moroni gives his own perspective on the king-men problem:
Alma 60:16 Yea, had it not been for the war which broke out among ourselves; yea, were it not for these king-men, who caused so much bloodshed among ourselves; yea, at the time we were contending among ourselves, 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 king-men 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.
17 But behold, now the Lamanites are coming upon us, taking possession of our lands, and they are murdering our people with the sword, yea, our women and our children, and also carrying them away captive, 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, yea, even those king-men.

Pahoran writes about a group of men who are against freedom, set up a king, and fight against the free men and other Nephites fighting for their freedom. This group sounds eerily like the king-men:
Alma 61: 3 But behold, there are those who do joy in your afflictions, yea, insomuch that they have risen up in rebellion against me, and also those of my people who are freemen, yea, and those who have risen up are exceedingly numerous.
4 And it is those who have sought to take away the judgment-seat from me that have been the cause of this great iniquity; for they have used great flattery, and they have led away the hearts of many people, which will be the cause of sore affliction among us; they have withheld our provisions, and have daunted our freemen that they have not come unto you.
5 And behold, they have driven me out before them, and I have fled to the land of Gideon, with as many men as it were possible that I could get.
8 They have got possession of the land, or the city, of Zarahemla; they have appointed a king over them, and he hath written unto the king of the Lamanites, in the which he hath joined an alliance with him; in the which alliance he hath agreed to maintain the city of Zarahemla, which maintenance he supposeth will enable the Lamanites to conquer the remainder of the land, and he shall be placed king over this people when they shall be conquered under the Lamanites.

This is what happens to them:
Alma 62:6 And thus, when Moroni had gathered together whatsoever men he could in all his march…
7 And it came to pass that Moroni and Pahoran went down with their armies into the land of Zarahemla, and went forth against the city, and did meet the men of Pachus, insomuch that they did come to battle.
8 And behold, Pachus was slain and his men were taken prisoners, and Pahoran was restored to his judgment-seat.
9 And the men of Pachus received their trial, according to the law, and also those king-men who had been taken and cast into prison; and they were executed according to the law; yea, those men of Pachus and those king-men, whosoever would not take up arms in the defence of their country, but would fight against it, were put to death.

Amalickiah’s followers, the king-men in Alma 51, and the rebels in Alma 60-61 are all in the same boat: they want a king, they lust after and covet positions of power and authority, and they are willing to use whatever means they can to reach their aims.

The first group was going to use lethal force to get a king, not even bothering to try a vote (unlike the Amlicites); the second group was likely going to wait for the free men to be killed by the Lamanites, then step in and take over; and the third group actually had a rebel king that tried to establish an alliance with the Lamanite king.

So why did Moroni do what he did?
Alma 61:10 And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.
11 And thus ended the thirtieth year of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi; Moroni and Pahoran having restored peace to the land of Zarahemla, among their own people, having inflicted death upon all those who were not true to the cause of freedom.

Captain Moroni didn’t compel random people to join him, or freedom-loving people who feared war but were willing to help out in other ways, or even freedom-haters who were still willing to uphold the Nephite government; he compelled those he had reason to kill because they had rebelled and used arms against him, or who likely would have. Being a Nephite capable of defending their own land and people from an invading army–not attacking or going to another country in a dubious war–meant that you supported the government. Note that there had been always been Nephite dissenters who had left the Nephites and lived under the Lamanite king–there was that freedom. But for those who had crossed the line, Moroni’s compulsion was a form of mercy. It was giving the king-men a chance to prove their loyalty to their country instead of suffering death for treason, as explained in this article: https://bookofmormonnotes.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/book-of-mormon-an-oath-of-liberty-a-critique-of-the-book-of-mormon-as-support-for-a-moral-obligation-to-fight-for-ones-government-by-grego/ :

“At this point, it is probable that the king-men are not just in a state of dissenting opinion, contention, and dispute, but are dissenters, rebels, opposers of the government in more than word–in a state of open forceful opposition to the government. Every time the word dissenter is used in the Book of Mormon, it is more than just words–there is a physical separation because of a disagreement over law or government. The king-men have chosen to be enemies of the state. They are doing this while still in Nephite land. By doing so, they could be charged with treason and likely executed.

Now, even in this state, Moroni gives them the choice to return in good standing, or suffer the consequences of their choices. Not once do we read in the Book of Mormon of any other Nephite (other than the chief judge) having to take an oath of allegience to the Nephite government. At least for the king-men, taking the oath–after rebelling against the state–allowed them to set aside their penalty and reaffirm their citizenship and rights; refusing to take the oath would just allow the just penalty to be enforced. This oath was to support their form of government, and was a protective set-up so that when Amalickiah and the Lamanites came against the Nepites, they would not be divided on the inside.

If the Amalickiahites had not committed any crime, but had decided to leave the country and go to the Lamanites, this likely would have been fine. However, by being “determined to slay” innocent people, wanting to seek kingship by force, then having the plan to leave the country with a plan to become the Lamanites allies against the Nephites, the king-men are clearly in an illegal situation.

Later, in Alma 62:7, we learn that king-men resisted the lawful Nephite government by the sword, yet the men who were not slain in battle were taken prisoners and received a fair trial. Once more, the opponenets of liberty were required to take an oath. For them, it was not just fight for the defense of the country or die, which would have still been a fair oath, I believe; but: “whosoever would not take up arms in the defence of their country, BUT WOULD FIGHT AGAINST IT, were put to death.” In Alma 62:10, it reads: “And thus it became expedient that this law should be strictly observed for the safety of their country; yea, and whosoever was found denying their freedom was speedily executed according to the law.” “Fighting against the country” and “denying freedom” are different than opposing or refusing to fight in a war, especially in an offensive one in another country.”

2013, July 22

“Book of Mormon Geography: Where Does Captain Moroni’s Prayer Take Place?” by grego

Book of Mormon Geography: Where Does Captain Moroni’s Prayer Take Place?

grego
(c) 2013

Alma 46:16 And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored.
17 And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named **all the land which was south of the land Desolation**, yea, and **in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty**.

Anti-New York geographical setting believers use the second starred section to support their claim that America is included because of the “on the north” part.

But does this land of liberty include the land of Desolation and what’s north of it, or not?

The first starred section makes it seem like it means all the lands on the north and on the south, that are south of the land Desolation. If that’s not what that part means, why was it included, as it seems to contradict what they are trying to prove in the second part?

If not, then does this section support that this must have taken place in North America, such as in New York?

“Book of Mormon: ‘Despised Christians’ among the Nephites??” by grego

Book of Mormon: ‘Despised Christians’ among the Nephites??

grego
(c) 2013

Alma 46:18 And he (note: Moroni) said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.

I didn’t really understand this verse for a long time–why would Nephite believers be despised in Nephite land?? I think it means “despised by Amalickiah and his followers”.

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.//

-=
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.

-=
(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?//

-=
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.

-=
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.

-=
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.

-=
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.//

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?

grego

(c)2013

Are Blacks Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?

President Brigham Young, answering a question put to him by Elder Lorenzo D. Young in a meeting held December 25 , 1869, in Salt Lake City, said that Joseph Smith had declared that the Negroes were not neutral in heaven, for all the spirits took sides, but the posterity of Cain are black because he (Cain) committed murder.”
–From “The Way to Perfection”, pages 105-106.

Yet, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
“There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)

And Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “It is the Lord’s doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528)

However, this statement was removed from the second edition of “Mormon Doctrine”, likely in direction from the First Presidency (or at the least, a more senior apostle).

Is there a connection between where one is born, family, race, country, society, etc. and our faith and action in the preexistence? I believe so.

What is the connection? I have no idea! I don’t think the leaders knew/ know it all, either.

Look at Abraham–his father was an idol worshiper who tried to have him killed; he lived in a strange land, with a strange religion, and wandered forever, far from what “home” he might have had, living among heathens. From that point of view, one might say he was less valiant in the preexistence; but there is no doubt he was not in that category:
Abraham 3:23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
And since the scriptures are a lot about his story, we have much more that proves he was not cursed. But without that for others, it’s hard to tell.

Perhaps the insight that physically and mentally retarded children were choice spirits changed the perspective of leaders. Was being Black really a curse as a result of a curse, or was it a SEEMINGLY “temporary state” for other choice spirits, such as President Monson’s sick fisherman, the beautiful flower in the ugly temporary pot?

Well, more living babies and children die in Africa than about anywhere else in the world. And where do they go in the next life? They are saved in the Celestial kingdom. Is that a curse, or is that much better than where the majority of white children who grow up will go, especially nowadays?

2013, April 18

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons | Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Noah, Ham, and the Priesthood Curse–What Really Happened?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons | Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Noah, Ham, and the Priesthood Curse–What Really Happened?

grego
(c)2013

In the Bible we read of the story of Noah and Ham, and Canaan’s priesthood curse:

Genesis 9
18 ¶And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Because of Ham’s telling his brothers that his father was naked, Canaan, the son of Ham, was cursed with no priesthood. What?? Why?

What did Ham really do? Why didn’t Noah curse Ham instead of his son? Are the children punished for the sins of their fathers? Is there more to this story?

Sure, it’s simply possible that Ham didn’t just tell his brothers, but perhaps mocked Noah, or such.

Now, here are two other chapters in the Old Testament dealing with “nakedness”:
Leviticus 18
6 ¶None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.
7 The nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, shalt thou not uncover: she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
8 The nakedness of thy father’s wife shalt thou not uncover: it is thy father’s nakedness.
15 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter in law: she is thy son’s wife; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness.
19 Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.
20 Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her.

Leviticus 20
10 ¶And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
18 And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness, and shall uncover her nakedness; he hath discovered her fountain, and she hath uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

In light of these Leviticus verses, I wonder, was there something sexual that was done? Was there something similar to Lot being drunk and his daughters taking advantage of that in a wicked way (Genesis 19)?

(Note: only Canaan was cursed, not the other sons of Ham and his wife.)

And if so: was it really Noah, or Noah’s wife? (See Leviticus 20:11 above.)

Was it really Ham, or Ham’s wife?

Did Ham, worried or mad about his father’s attitude towards his wife, seeing his father drunk, send his wife in to have sexual relations with him, and bear Noah’s fifth child? Would Noah dare refuse to give the priesthood to this son?

We read that eight specific people were saved on the ark (in other words, nothing about any of Noah’s grandchildren having been born yet); that this wicked act occurred at least a few years (if not more) after the Flood; and that Canaan is Ham’s fourth and last child.

Also, though it seems he said those things immediately afterward, it’s possible that he said them much later, just that they were connected.

If the child that came from this act, Noah’s son, were Canaan, is that why he specifically was cursed by Noah to not have the priesthood?

Or did Ham or Canaan have illicit relations with Noah?

Or was Canaan already grown, and Canaan was already sexually deviant like his dad, and that’s why he was cursed?

Or is there something even greater—before, or after—that added to this event, and effected the curse? Had something already happened between Noah and Ham, perhaps regarding his marriage to someone outside-the-covenant, and this was Ham’s retribution or revenge?

My best speculation: It is possible that the curse and mark of Cain were “supposed to” be passed on to Ham’s children through his wife, but that Noah took them away from Ham’s children; but after the incident, the curse was returned to and added upon Ham’s last child, Canaan, possibly for a part–directly or indirectly–that he had in the incident. In other words, “How could a redeemed son of God commit such a dirty and in-the-face sin toward one who had originally helped redeem and blessed him greatly?” And thus Canaan fell back under the original curse, and more.

Or…?

Hugh Nibley’s comment, quoted in the Old Testament Institute Manual:
“(4-20) Genesis 9:20–27. Why Did Noah Curse Canaan in This Event When He Was Not Even Present?
The account of Noah’s “nakedness” and the role his sons played in the event is a puzzling one, especially the part in which Noah awakens and pronounces a curse upon Canaan, the son of Ham (see Genesis 10:6), who does not even seem to be present at the time.
Hugh Nibley discussed some of these ancient writings and their implications for the passage in Genesis:

“Incidentally the story of the stolen garment as told by the rabbis, including the great Eleazer, calls for an entirely different rendering of the strange story in Genesis [9] from the version in our King James Bible. They seemed to think that the ’erwath of Genesis [9:22] did not mean ‘nakedness’ at all, but should be given its primary root meaning of ‘skin covering.’ Read thus, we are to understand that Ham
took the garment of his father while he was sleeping and showed it to his brethren, Shem and Japheth, who took a pattern or copy of it (salmah) or else a woven garment like it (simlah) which they put upon their own shoulders, returning the skin garment to their father. Upon awaking, Noah recognized the priesthood of two sons but cursed the son who tried to rob him of his garment.” (Lehi in the Desert and the World of Jaredites, pp. 160–62.)
Therefore, although Ham himself had the right to the priesthood, Canaan, his son, did not. Ham had married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain (Abraham 1:21–24), and so his sons were denied the priesthood.”

(It seems that last sentence is incorrect: as far as we know, Canaan was cursed, but not his three older brothers.)

UPDATE:
After writing this, I searched on the internet, and there are many sites with similar possible insights and explanations, such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curse_of_Ham. I encourage anyone interested to do their own searches. I did not find anything like the last paragraph, however.

2013, April 15

“UPDATE: Moroni the Man; Pahoran the Political Propagandist–‘The Wall’ ” by grego

UPDATE: Moroni the Man, Pahoran the Political Propagandist…

grego
(c) 2012

For those who have Volume I, here is an update you’ll understand:

Doctrine and Covenants 121:13 Also because their hearts are corrupted, and the things which they are willing to bring upon others, and love to have others suffer, may come upon themselves to the very uttermost;
14 That they may be disappointed also, and their hopes may be cut off;
15 And not many years hence, that they and their posterity shall be swept from under heaven, saith God, that NOT ONE OF THEM IS LEFT TO STAND BY THE WALL.

2013, April 7

“Valleys and Mountains: Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism” by grego

Valleys and Mountains: Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve heard a lot of things about these just horrible bad man killers recently and over the years. We here about them on the news, each time there is a school shooting, an attempted terrorist attack, etc.

The more I learn about actual circumstances and not rely on “official stories” and propaganda, the more these verses come to mind:
Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Helaman 14:23 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.

This will be what happens when the Lord returns.

This will also be what happens at the last judgment, in addition to this:
2 Nephi 9:46 Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of judgment, that ye may not *shrink* with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty—but I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.

The righteous OF THE LORD (not of the people) will be exalted, and the wicked rejected BY THE LORD (not by the people) will be brought low.

God and the righteous will judge, not man. Which is a good thing, because, as you can see, we don’t a very good job of it:
1 Nephi 11:32 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

So don’t be surprised, whether at that day or earlier, to find out that what everyone proclaimed was “evil” is “good” and what everyone proclaimed was “good” is “evil”–maybe even including reports you read about people in the news, including horrific, insane, etc. mass-killing killers.

There will be a lot of raised eyebrows and gasps when we see some people who we thought close to perdition (in the lowest “valleys” in the eyes of man) be exalted, and some we thought were next to saintliness (on the tops of the “mountains” in the eyes of man) be brought low.

Where will you be, at that day?

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.

-=
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.

2013, January 17

“Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism of Valleys and Mountains and the Lord” by grego

Judgment and Spiritual Symbolism of Valleys and Mountains and the Lord

grego
(c) 2013

I’ve heard a lot of things about “killers” recently and over the years. The more I learn about actual circumstances and not rely on “official stories”, the more these verses come to mind:

Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

Helaman 14:23 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.

This will be what happens when the Lord returns.

This will also be what happens at the last judgment, in addition to this:

2 Nephi 9:46 Prepare your souls for that glorious day when justice shall be administered unto the righteous, even the day of judgment, that ye may not *shrink* with awful fear; that ye may not remember your awful guilt in perfectness, and be constrained to exclaim: Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty—but I know my guilt; I transgressed thy law, and my transgressions are mine; and the devil hath obtained me, that I am a prey to his awful misery.

The righteous OF THE LORD (not of the people) will be exalted, and the wicked rejected BY THE LORD (not by the people) will be brought low. God will judge, not man. Which is a good thing, because, as you can see, we don’t a very good job of it:
1 Nephi 11:32 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
33 And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

So don’t be surprised, whether at that day or earlier, to find out that “evil” is “good” and “good” is “evil”–maybe even including reports you read about people in the news, including horrific, insane, etc. mass-killing killers. (One very small example of this is when new crime technology comes out and death-row murderers are exonerated.) Imagine how you’d feel having hated someone with a passion all your life, only to find out they were innocent all along…

There will be a lot of raised eyebrows, so to say, when we see some we thought close to perdition (“valleys” in the eyes of man) be exalted, and some we thought were next to saintliness (“mountains” in the eyes of man) be brought low.

2013, January 16

“Book of Mormon and Other Scriptures | 3 Nephi 24: Comforting Passages of Scripture for the Extremely Discouraged/ Despondent and/ or Falling Saint” by grego

Book of Mormon and Other Scriptures | 3 Nephi 24: Comforting Passages of Scripture for the Extremely Discouraged/ Despondent and/ or Falling Saint

grego
(c) 2013

One of the strongest and most comforting passages of scripture I have found is in 3 Nephi 24/ Malachi 3—right after the much, much more famous tithing scripture passage. I see it as a major question asked by those frustrated with trying to live the gospel in a lower world, such as many teenagers and newly-baptized and those who try so hard to give they forget to receive; and the answer is extremely touching and strong:
3 Nephi 24:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say: What have we spoken against thee?
14 Ye have said: It is vain to serve God, and what doth it profit that we have kept his ordinances and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?
15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
16 Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another, and the Lord hearkened and heard; and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.
17 And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
18 Then shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

While we need to try much harder to LIVE and BE “here and now”, or as many would say, “being present”… It’s NOT just about “here and now”. Oh, the living righteous part is, of course; but not the consequences, nor the results—whether inside us or outside of us—of obedience.

In addition to that, in a similar situation, comes another passage of scripture. This is also comforting because it talks about situations where we are not righteous enough, and yet…:
Doctrine and Covenants 101:1 Verily I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, and persecuted, and cast out from the land of their inheritance—
2 I, the Lord, have suffered the affliction to come upon them, wherewith they have been afflicted, in consequence of their transgressions;
3 Yet I will own them, and they shall be mine in that day when I shall come to make up my jewels.
4 Therefore, they must needs be chastened and tried, even as Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son.
5 For all those who will not endure chastening, but deny me, cannot be sanctified.
6 Behold, I say unto you, there were jarrings, and contentions, and envyings, and strifes, and lustful and covetous desires among them; therefore by these things they polluted their inheritances.
7 They were slow to hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; therefore, the Lord their God is slow to hearken unto their prayers, to answer them in the day of their trouble.
8 In the day of their peace they esteemed lightly my counsel; but, in the day of their trouble, of necessity they feel after me.
9 Verily I say unto you, notwithstanding their sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards them. I will not utterly cast them off; and in the day of wrath I will remember mercy.
10 I have sworn, and the decree hath gone forth by a former commandment which I have given unto you, that I would let fall the sword of mine indignation in behalf of my people; and even as I have said, it shall come to pass.
11 Mine indignation is soon to be poured out without measure upon all nations; and this will I do when the cup of their iniquity is full.
12 And in that day all who are found upon the watch-tower, or in other words, all mine Israel, shall be saved.
13 And they that have been scattered shall be gathered.
14 And all they who have mourned shall be comforted.
15 And all they who have given their lives for my name shall be crowned.
16 Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God.

The section heading introduction reads: “At this time the saints who had gathered in Missouri were suffering great persecution. Mobs had driven them from their homes in Jackson County, and some of them had tried to establish themselves in Van Buren County, but persecution followed them. The main body of the saints was at that time in Clay County, Missouri. Threats of death against individuals of the Church were many. The people had lost household furniture, clothing, livestock, and other personal property, and many of their crops had been destroyed.”

The hymn that naturally follows these passages is “How Firm a Foundation”:
1. How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
Who unto the Savior, who unto the Savior,
Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?

2. In ev’ry condition–in sickness, in health,
In poverty’s vale or abounding in wealth,
At home or abroad, on the land or the sea–
As thy days may demand, as thy days may demand,
As thy days may demand, so thy succor shall be.

3. Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

4. When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not thee o’erflow,
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee, and sanctify to thee,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

6. E’en down to old age, all my people shall prove
My sov’reign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And then, when gray hair shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still, like lambs shall they still,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, I’ll never, no never,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!

Text: Attr. to Robert Keen, ca. 1787 (grego: and edited by LDS Church). Included in the first LDS hymnbook, 1835.

I believe that in the coming days of trial and great discouragement, these scriptures will be of utmost importance in sustaining us in our faith and fidelity to our covenants. They go right along with the Isaiah passages (especially from Nephi) in the Book of Mormon.

2012, October 26

“Book of Mormon: Jared and the Brother of Jared Make a Great Team (Ether)” by grego

Book of Mormon: Jared and the Brother of Jared Make a Great Team (Ether)

grego
(c ) 2012

I like what happens in Ether 1:

Ether 1:33 Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered.

Ether 1:34 And the brother of Jared being a large and mighty man, and a man highly favored of the Lord, Jared, his brother, said unto him: Cry unto the Lord, that he will not confound us that we may not understand our words.

Ether 1:35 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon Jared; therefore he did not confound the language of Jared; and Jared and his brother were not confounded.

Ether 1:36 Then Jared said unto his brother: Cry again unto the Lord, and it may be that he will turn away his anger from them who are our friends, that he confound not their language.

Ether 1:37 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord, and the Lord had compassion upon their friends and their families also, that they were not confounded.

Ether 1:38 And it came to pass that Jared spake again unto his brother, saying: Go and inquire of the Lord whether he will drive us out of the land, and if he will drive us out of the land, cry unto him whither we shall go. And who knoweth but the Lord will carry us forth into a land which is choice above all the earth? And if it so be, let us be faithful unto the Lord, that we may receive it for our inheritance.
Ether 1:39 And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did cry unto the Lord according to that which had been spoken by the mouth of Jared.

Ether 1:40 And it came to pass that the Lord did hear the brother of Jared, and had compassion upon him, and said unto him:
Ether 1:41 Go to and gather together thy flocks, both male and female, of every kind; and also of the seed of the earth of every kind; and thy families; and also Jared thy brother and his family; and also thy friends and their families, and the friends of Jared and their families.
Ether 1:42 And when thou hast done this thou shalt go at the head of them down into the valley which is northward. And there will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth.
Ether 1:43 And there will I bless thee and thy seed, and raise up unto me of thy seed, and of the seed of thy brother, and they who shall go with thee, a great nation. And there shall be none greater than the nation which I will raise up unto me of thy seed, upon all the face of the earth. And thus I will do unto thee because this long time ye have cried unto me.

Here we have two great men: one great in meditation, thought, and possibilities; one great in faith. They act on their own gifts with faith, and acknowledge the other for his gift. It’s a wonderful team. While we rightly commend the brother of Jared for his faith, just think: without Jared’s three great suggestions, things would have been very, very different.

2012, October 19

“Book of Mormon || Textual Discrepancy between the ‘Book of Mormon’ and the ‘Book of Mormon Stories’ Children’s Reader–Who Burned Abinadi and Was ‘Scourge’ Mistaken for ‘Scorch’ in Mosiah 17?” by grego

Book of Mormon || Textual Discrepancy between the “Book of Mormon” and the “Book of Mormon Stories” Children’s Reader–Who Burned Abinadi and Was “Scourge” Mistaken for “Scorch” in Mosiah 17?

grego
(c) 2012

“Book of Mormon Stories”, the LDS Church’s publication for children, reads:

“King Noah ordered his priests to kill Abinadi. They tied him up, whipped him, and burned him to death. Before he died, Abinadi said King Noah would also die by fire. (Mosiah 17:13-15)”

Did the priests tie Abinadi up, whip him, and burn him? And was Abinadi whipped?

These are the related verses:

Mosiah 17:1 And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king COMMANDED THAT THE PRIESTS SHOULD TAKE HIM AND CAUSE THAT HE SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH.
Mosiah 17:5 And it came to pass that the king CAUSED THAT HIS GUARDS should surround Abinadi and take him; and they bound him and cast him into prison.

Mosiah 17:6 And after three days, having counseled with his priests, he caused that he should again be brought before him.
Mosiah 17:7 And he said unto him: Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death.

Mosiah 17:11 And now king Noah was about to release him, for he feared his word; for he feared that the judgments of God would come upon him.

Mosiah 17:12 But the priests lifted up their voices against him, and began to accuse him, saying: He has reviled the king. Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and HE DELIVERED HIM UP THAT HE MIGHT BE SLAIN.

Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him and bound him, and SCOURGED HIS SKIN WITH FAGGOTS, YEA, EVEN UNTO DEATH.

Mosiah 17:14 And now when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying:
Mosiah 17:15 … that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer, even the pains of death by fire…
Mosiah 17:18 …ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire.
Mosiah 17:20 And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire…

So actually, the Book of Mormon text does not say that King Noah ordered his priests to kill Abinadi, and that they did so. I’m pretty sure it was the guards that did it, under the priests’ ok’s.
Mosiah 17:12 But the priests lifted up their voices against him, and began to accuse him, saying: He has reviled the king. Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and HE DELIVERED HIM UP THAT HE MIGHT BE SLAIN.
Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him…

Who does “they” refer to? It doesn’t say. Even so, look what happened above:
Mosiah 17:1 And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king COMMANDED THAT THE PRIESTS SHOULD TAKE HIM AND CAUSE THAT HE SHOULD BE PUT TO DEATH.
Mosiah 17:5 And it came to pass that the king CAUSED THAT HIS GUARDS should surround Abinadi and take him; and they bound him and cast him into prison.

So even though the priests are commanded to take him and kill him, it’s the guards that do it. I imagine the priests recommended or requested this action of the king, and he consented. I imagine that’s what happened the second time, too–the guards were the ones who took him, bound him, and burned him.

In addition, it doesn’t say that they “whipped” him. It says:
Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him and bound him, and SCOURGED HIS SKIN WITH FAGGOTS, yea, even unto death.

Let’s take a look at definitions of “scourge” and “faggots [fagots]”:

SCOURGE, n. skurj. [L. corriggia, from corrigo, to straighten.]
1. To whip; a lash consisting of a strap or cord; an instrument of punishment or discipline.
2. A punishment; vindictive affliction.
Famine and plague are sent as scourges for amendment.
3. He or that which greatly afflicts, harasses or destroys; particularly, any continued evil or calamity.
4. A whip for a top.

SCOURGE, v.t. skurj.
1. To whip severely; to lash.
2. To punish with severity; to chastise; to afflict for sins or faults, and with the purpose of correction.
3. To afflict greatly; to harass, torment or injure.

FAG’OT, n. [Gr. See Fadge. The sense is a bundle or collection, like pack.]
1. A bundle of sticks, twigs or small branches of trees, used for fuel, or for raising batteries, filling ditches, and other purposes in fortification.

First of all, if “scourge” here means “whip”, it would mean they “whipped his skin with bundles of sticks, yea, EVEN UNTO DEATH”. But we know they didn’t, because of this:
Mosiah 17:14 And now when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying…
Mosiah 17:15 … that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer, even the pains of death by fire…
Mosiah 17:18 …ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire.
Mosiah 17:20 And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire…

So it doesn’t make very good sense. It could mean SCOURGE 3, and that would barely pass. But…

My thinking is that “scourge” in this verse:
Mosiah 17:13 And it came to pass that THEY took him and bound him, and SCOURGED HIS SKIN WITH FAGGOTS, YEA, EVEN UNTO DEATH.

should actually be “scorch”, but was misheard and/or written wrong by the scribe. Scourge” had been used before in the Book of Mormon (nine times up to Mosiah–and even though that was translated afterwards, it lends that the book of Lehi might have contained it), so it might have just been assumed that was the word. Here are the verses:
Mosiah 3:9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
Mosiah 15:5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

Both talk about Jesus being scourged, or whipped. Jesus was scourged (“whipped”) before he was slain, and that story, also Biblical, might have enough sway to have let “scourge” pass unnoticed for “scorch” in this circumstance.

“Scorch his skin” is a prevalent phrase that doesn’t just mean SCORCH 1, but SCORCH 2 in Webster’s:

SCORCH, v.t.
1. To burn superficially; to subject to a degree of heat that changes the color of a thing, or both the color and texture of the surface. Fire will scorch linen or cotton very speedily in extremely cold weather.
2. To burn; to affect painfully with heat. Scorched with the burning sun or burning sands of Africa.

SCORCH, v.i. To be burnt on the surface; to be parched; to be dried up. Scatter a little mungy straw and fern among your seedlings, to prevent the roots from scorching.

Later, we read:
Alma 15:3 And also Zeezrom lay sick at Sidom, with a burning fever,… therefore he began to be SCORCHED WITH A BURNING HEAT (SCORCH 2 in Webster’s).
Alma 32:38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and SCORCHETH it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out (SCORCH v.i.).

Look at this, too:
Mosiah 17:14 And now when THE FLAMES BEGAN TO SCORCH HIM, he cried unto them, saying…

the very word we are looking for that fits, just a few verses away, in the same context!

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