Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2011, December 5

Book of Mormon | “Lehi: His Faithfulness Changes ‘the Path to Death’ into ‘the Path to Safety’ (1 Nephi 2:1-2)” by grego

Book of Mormon | Lehi: His Faithfulness Changes “the Path to Death” into “the Path to Safety”

grego
(c)2011

When Lehi finds out that Jerusalem and its inhabitants will be destroyed and some carried away, he could have been safe by running away, but NO, not Lehi! He chose to do what most would call the dumbest thing: he told the wicked people that they were wicked, and warned of the coming destruction.

He prophesies of the destruction of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, and surprise! surprise! many people didn’t like that message and wanted to kill him:
1 Nephi 2:1 For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.
2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

Isn’t that interesting? “You are blessed because people want to kill you!” Why? Because he had been faithful. The very path that put his life in most jeopardy, was the very way to safety.

Before, the only two options Lehi knew were death or captivity. The Lord gave Lehi another option because of his faithfulness in the face of death: leave Jerusalem under His guidance.

Lehi took it.

Book of Mormon | “Lehi: Prophets Don’t Hoard to Prosper but Share to Help (1 Nephi 1)” by grego

Book of Mormon | Lehi: Prophets Don’t Hoard to Prosper but Share to Help

grego
(c)2011

When Lehi sees the impending doom of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, he shares it with them, even when they don’t want him to:
1 Neph 1:18 Therefore, I would that ye should know, that after the Lord had shown so many marvelous things unto my father, Lehi, yea, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, behold he went forth among the people, and began to prophesy and to declare unto them concerning the things which he had both seen and heard.
19 And it came to pass that the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations; and he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book, manifested plainly of the coming of a Messiah, and also the redemption of the world.
20 And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away…
1 Nephi 2:1 For behold, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto my father, yea, even in a dream, and said unto him: Blessed art thou Lehi, because of the things which thou hast done; and because thou hast been faithful and declared unto this people the things which I commanded thee, behold, they seek to take away thy life.
2 And it came to pass that the Lord commanded my father, even in a dream, that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.

So Lehi saw what was going to happen:
1 Nephi 1:13 And he read, saying: Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations! Yea, and many things did my father read concerning Jerusalem—that it should be destroyed, and the inhabitants thereof; *many should perish by the sword, and many should be carried away captive into Babylon*.

*He* could have seen all that and:
–figured he’d keep quiet, “just be righteous” and probably end up a captive, not be killed.
–high-tailed it with his family to somewhere he figured would be safe.
–joined with the Babylonians.
–done the equivalent of “betting on the stock market” with this clear information and taken personal gain on the situation caused by others’ wickedness.

He did none of that. He shared the results of his visions with others in the hope that they would repent and not have to suffer the destructions.

2009, December 8

“Book of Mormon: ‘I Don’t Have Time to Read’ Usually Means ‘I Don’t Have Faith to Read'” by grego

“Book of Mormon: ‘I Don’t Have Time to Read’ Usually Means ‘I Don’t Have Faith to Read'”

grego
(c) 2004-9

In the Book of Mormon, there is an instrument called the Liahona. Nephi says:
(1 Nephi 16: 10, 16, 28, 29)
1 Nephi 16:9 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord spake unto my father by night, and commanded him that on the morrow he should take his journey into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:10 And it came to pass that as my father arose in the morning, and went forth to the tent door, to his great astonishment he beheld upon the ground a round ball of curious workmanship; and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles; and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:16 And we did follow the directions of the ball, which led us in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.
1 Nephi 16:28 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them.
1 Nephi 16:29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.

What is like the Liahona for us? The Book of Mormon, or even clearer, the word of God! In what ways? Let’s look at Alma 37:38-46 to see:
–Lord prepared it.
–Man does not have the ability to imitate it.
–Shows the way straight to the promised land.
–Works according to user’s faith in God—faith to believe, and it worked.
–Allows miracles.
–Very simple.
–Shows marvelous works.
–When don’t look, marvelous works stop.
–When don’t look, progress ceases–you stop, wander, suffer.

The key point with the Liahona: IF THEY LOOKED, THEY HAD THE LORD’S HELP AND PROSPERED.

Like the Liahona, the Book of Mormon will help us by giving us special instruction for our day, along with the path that the Lord wants us to walk. Simply put, we show our faith in Jesus Christ by reading the Book of Mormon and believing that it will help us, that God will speak to us because we believe and read.

When we read the Book of Mormon, we can find answers to our many questions and problems. We also get the Spirit. When we get the Spirit, we can get revelation–for ourselves, our families, and our callings. The scriptures are ‘like a light unto our feet’ (Psalms). They will show us the path, teach us, and help us along the right way. As it says in Helaman 3:29-30:
Helaman 3:29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked–
Helaman 3:30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.

When Moses was in the wilderness, the Lord sent poisonous serpents to bite the Israelites. Then, there was a stick with a serpent on it, that was lifted up. All the bitten people had to do was look at the serpent and believe that they could be healed, and they were. Likewise, the word of God will heal us, if we will look and believe. (See Alma 33:19-20.)

Moses said that the Lord would raise up a prophet, and that those who would hear his voice will be saved, and those who won’t hear his voice will be cut off. Jesus later says that this prophet is Him (3 Nephi 20:23). When we don’t read the Book of Mormon, we choose to not hear His voice, and when we continue to fight against the spirit that says, among other things, to read the Book of Mormon, until this good spirit has no more place in us (see 1 Nephi 7:14, 2 Nephi 26:11, Mormon 5:16, ETHER 2:15, Moroni 8:28), then we will be cut off from His presence, both in this life and in the next (3 Nephi 21:11, Doctrine and Covenants 1:14, 133:63). Until that point, we will feel a continuing dark, murky feeling (see Doctrine and Covenants 84:54-58).

So, we see that the Book of Mormon can: heal us; lead us to eternal life; keep us safe; keep us close to the Lord; help our faith in Jesus Christ to increase; etc.–IF we will look, and believe.

There is a story about a wonderful, special magic ring. It was given to a boy to help him. If he did something wrong, it would make him hurt a little; when he did something really wrong, it would really hurt him. At first, he thought it was a good gift, because it would help him remember to be good; but, as time passed, he felt that the ring was becoming more and more annoying and painful, so he finally took it off. Ah, what relief and comfort! But, through more painful experiences that resulted in humility, he learned the great gift that the ring was, and put it back on again. This ring is like the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon will continually prick our heart and tell us to repent. When we stop reading, we feel such a relief! But what humbling and painful lessons await us if we do…

There are two great principles of the gospel: faith and repentance. This is even in our fourth Article of Faith. Jesus says that we should preach faith and repentance in church. The Book of Mormon is a wonderful tool that teaches and helps us to have faith in Jesus Christ and to repent.

God prepared the Book of Mormon for us for many reasons, such as:
–Testify of Christ
–Confirm other scripture
–Convince all that Jesus is the Christ
–Believe in Christ
–Believe in Christ
–Witness that Lord is God
–Teach all men to do good
–Help us repent
–Eternal life
–Instruction
–Confound false doctrine
–Lay down contention
–Establish peace
–Learn Lord’s covenants

I had a friend who flip-flopped every few months between churches. He said that he hadn’t read the Book of Mormon. When asked why, he said that he didn’t like to read the Book of Mormon because he felt that there was something that was trying to control him. My mother asked him, “Have you ever thought that it might be the Holy Ghost?” What a new thought! He committed to read it, he read it, and while his family left the church, he stopped the flip-flopping because of the testimony.

In Jacob 7, Alma 14:1, Alma 33:2, 3 Nephi 1:24 we read that saints were led astray by false doctrines. When the man who taught them died, the people returned to reading the scriptures, and all was much better.

There is one more very important story about the Liahona in the scriptures. It is when the Lehites are on the ship (see 1 Nephi 18:12, 21, 22). When Laman and Lemuel bind Nephi, the Liahona stops working. Who was Nephi? He was the chosen by the Lord to lead them. Laman and Lemuel obviously objected, having their own reasons. They expected they could bind Nephi and still sail the straight course to the promised land, by the direction of the Liahona. Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, if we also bind the Lord’s servants—especially those who we are called to sustain—the scriptures will stop working as a Liahona for us, and we will be as a ship in a storm, without a course.

Is it important to read daily? If the Lehites said that they had faith, and had a testimony that the Liahona was from God, and that it could help them; but, they never looked at it; would it have been of any use to them? Would all their faith and belief have helped them, if they had never looked? What if they had only looked on Sunday—what would have been their situation? Progress for one day, wander for six days; progress for one day, wander for six days; etc. How long would that journey take?

The Lehites could probably have made the journey in one-two years; but it took them eight years (1 Nephi 17:4). Can we check the math? Let’s assume it would have taken them four years, just to be on the safe side. So, they could have made it in four years, but because they didn’t look and follow, it took eight–double the time. Now, if they had looked at and studied the Liahona for half an hour/ day for those four years, that would have only taken 30 DAYS of their time to read!! Hey, do you want to exchange four years for 30 days??

ARE YOU CHOOSING 30 DAYS WITH READING THE BOOK OF MORMON, OR FOUR YEARS BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT READING IT?

Don’t have time, did you say? Would you like to get to *your* Bountiful in four years or eight years? Or how about like with the people Moses led–got 40 years, anyone?

2008, June 20

Book of Mormon: One More Thing About Sam: No “Samites”

Forgot about this! The last post prompted the memory of years ago:
How come there are no Samites?

Jacob 1:13 Now the people which were not Lamanites were Nephites; nevertheless, they were called Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites.

4 Nephi 1:36 And it came to pass that in this year there arose a people who were called the Nephites, and they were true believers in Christ; and among them there were those who were called by the Lamanites–Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites;

4 Nephi 1:37 Therefore the true believers in Christ, and the true worshipers of Christ, (among whom were the three disciples of Jesus who should tarry) were called Nephites, and Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites.

Mormon 1:8 And it came to pass in this year there began to be a war between the Nephites, who consisted of the Nephites and the Jacobites and the Josephites and the Zoramites; and this war was between the Nephites, and the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites.

So did Sam not have any posterity?

Well, it seems one possible answer is here:
2 Nephi 4:11 And after he had made an end of speaking unto them, he spake unto Sam, saying: Blessed art thou, and thy seed; for thou shalt inherit the land like unto thy brother Nephi. And thy seed shall be numbered with his seed; and thou shalt be even like unto thy brother, and thy seed like unto his seed; and thou shalt be blessed in all thy days.

It seems there are no Samites because Sam’s seed are grouped in with Nephi’s seed.

Notice, however, that while Lehi gives all blessings and speeches according to “birth” order (Laman, Lemuel, Zoram, Jacob, Joseph, children of Laman and Lemuel needed in addition to Laman and Lemuel’s blessings, speaking to Ishmael’s household), the last blessing is this one to Sam. Perhaps Sam had no sons, but only daughters? Or he didn’t have any children at the time? Or does this have anything to do with with the other possibilities I wrote about previously?


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2008, January 26

Book of Mormon: Seed, Fruit Seed, Fruit, and Seed

Book of Mormon: Seed, Fruit Seed, Fruit, and Seed

Beautiful!! Look at this:

1 Nephi 8:1 AND it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind.

1 Nephi 8:2 And it came to pass that while my father tarried in the wilderness he spake unto us, saying: Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision.

1 Nephi 8:10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
1 Nephi 8:11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
1 Nephi 8:12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.

1 Nephi 8:3 And behold, because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord because of Nephi and also of Sam; for I have reason to suppose that they, and also many of their seed, will be saved.

So, the Nephites are gathering all kinds of seeds, including “fruit” seeds, for their trip to the promised land. Lehi has a dream, and in it, he sees a tree bearing fruit, more valuable than all other fruit. Then, he says that he supposes Nephi and Sam and their seed will be saved.


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Book of Mormon: Lehi and Nephi, Father and Son, Revelation and Revelation

Book of Mormon: Lehi and Nephi, Father and Son, Revelation and Revelation

1 Nephi 3:1
AND it came to pass that I, Nephi, returned from speaking with the Lord, to the tent of my father.

1 Nephi 3:2
And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a dream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to Jerusalem.

Nephi had just gotten personal revelation. Then Lehi, as father and prophet, receives revelation for him. Nephi humbly accepts. No getting angry with Lehi or God or saying, “Well He didn’t tell me that, and I was just talking with Him!”

2008, January 25

Book of Mormon: My Critique of “Did Father Lehi Have Daughters Who Married the Sons of Ishmael?”

My critique of: Did Father Lehi Have Daughters Who Married the Sons of Ishmael?

The article was written by Sidney B. Sperry of the Maxwell Institute in Provo, Utah, 1995. Pp. 235–38 (However, the date at the end shows “1952” (and I guess that’s much better). Why the discrepancy? I don’t know. Keep that in mind, though–and remember there’s over 50 years here…)
http//:farms.byu.edu/display.php?id=94&table=jbms
(Original Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not represent the position of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

Did Father Lehi Have Daughters Who Married the Sons of Ishmael?
Abstract: Although the beginning of Nephi’s record only mentions sons, Joseph Smith says the record of Lehi in the 116 missing manuscript pages refers to at least two of Ishmael’s sons marrying Lehi’s daughters. Nephi himself mentions his sisters at the end of his record. As no mention is made of further births to Lehi and Sariah after Jacob and Joseph, the assumption can be made that these sisters are the daughters who married Ishmael’s sons

And though there are two more pages, that’s about it, frankly, so I’ll leave it at that, with the link if you want to go read it all. (One reason I dislike some “scholarly” papers–take a short paragraph, fluff it up into two pages. This article is still not too bad, though–I’ve seen much worse by some professors writing on other topics…)

Here’s my favorite part of the article:
“The thesis of my article is reinforced and practically secured by a seldom-noticed and almost-forgotten statement of Nephi in describing the final separation of his followers from the dissident elements among the Nephites:”

because there’s this footnote:
“3. It must be recognized, of course, that the remote possibility exists that the “sisters” mentioned by Nephi were born to Lehi on this continent and were not the wives of Ishmael’s sons. That the birth of the girls is not mentioned agrees with good Oriental custom. That Lehi had at least four daughters is a possibility that must be recognized by all students of the Book of Mormon. However, I repeat that it is a remote possibility, particularly in light of 2 Nephi 3:1, in which Joseph is referred to as Lehi’s “last-born.” But to Orientals the terms first-born and last-born are applied mostly to sons.” (Which Orientals?)

I.e., “I sealed it tight, except for those two really big holes right there”.
Um… that means it’s not sealed!

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