30 June 1999

"Exercise Faith... That They May Become Sanctified in Me," Ether 4:1-7

Ether 4:1-7

Moroni is speaking in this chapter and talks of the abridgement of the plates of Ether. A strange thing however, for the record was kept disclosed until our dispensation, the fulness of times. The brother of Jard truly saw marvelous things. Greater things had never been shown to man like [than] what Mahonri saw. And that's just it! No [one] save the prophets knew about this until our day. It is common place knowledge for all latter-day Saints what only prophets knew back in Antiquity!

And we didn't receive these records until we began to truly live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, repenting of our sins. Does the Lord not love us?

Vs. 7 - The saints of the latter days will exercise the same faith that Mahonri did, and because of it we will become sanctified. And we will eventually see everything that he aw. The Spirit confirms this.

~WOW~ The Spirit tells you that these things are directed towards you!

27 June 1999

"He Knew That the Lord Could Show Him All Things," Ether 3

Ether 3

Vs. 12 - The Lord asked Mahonri if he would believe all of His words, and Mahonri responds, "Yeah, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie." And because he said this the Lord showed Himself unto him.

Vs. 13 - A lot is happening in this verse. The Lord shows Himself to Mahonri. Mahonri's salvation is made sure, "thou are redeemed from the fall." To still be alive in this life and to have that assurance, this is the trust that the Lord had in Mahonri as a servant and prophet.

Vs. 14 - Mahonri learns of the divine nature of the Creator, the Savior, the Son and Father.

Vs. 15 - The Lord says that He had never before shown himself unto His people because they did not believe as Mahonri did believe.

Vs. 17-18 - The Lord was so kind and filled with so much love, this is why he came unto Mahonri, that he might know that He, Jesus, was God. So this became his knowledge.

Vs. 21 - This is why the plates of Ether were kept in darkness until after Christ's earthly ministry, because the Lord commanded that they not be known. The Lord doesn't explain His motives.

Vs. 23 - The two seer stones, Urim and Thummin, are given to Mahonri
  -Vs. 24 - the purpose of the stones.

Vs. 26 - If I believe in Him, he can truly show me all things.

25 June 1999

"A Commandment that We Must Call Upon Thee," Ether 3

Ether 3

It's uplifting to listen to the way in which Mahonri humbly submits himself unto the Lord for answers to his prayers.

Vs. 2 - "...because of the fall our natures have become evil continually; nevertheless, O Lord, thou hast given us a commandment that we must call upon thee, that from thee we may receive according to our desires... O Lord, look upon me in pity, and turn away thine anger from this thy people."

Cross reference to Moses 1:10: "Now for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed." (Interesting to note that I was guided by the Spirit to think of cross referencing that scripture before I looked at the footnotes.)

Also in vs. 2: Mahonri knew the commandment to pray unto the Lord. Where was this given, for in order for one to obey, they must receive the commandments?

[Note for scripture study - looking for an example of some one with an amazing tool and then they use it for some sort of primitive purpose. It is the same way with the scriptures. This is what happened to me: a master taught me principles to help me better study the scriptures, which truly brought out the true meanings of the scriptures -- the mysteries of God. (See Acts 8:27-31)]

Back to the question from vs. 2, the first mention of man beginning to pray is in Genesis 4:26, but there is much left out in this account; for there is no mention of a motive or commandment to pray. It does not acknowledge the Lawgiver.

In Mosiah 4:11, a commandment to pray is given (after Ether however) as a result of conversion and recognition of your own nothingness. Here is the very first time: Moses 5:5 "...He gave them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God" and offer sacrifices to him, and in vs. 8 an angel explained the purpose of the sacrifice and commanded them to repent and cry unto God in the name of the Son forever more.

24 June 1999

"According to the Instructions of the Lord.," Ether 2

Ether 2

From the introduction of this chapter I learn that the account here in is of a man who talked with the Lord. I might want to note what brought him up to that point.

Vs. 8 - To emphasize the importance of the promise land, the Lord swore in his wrath unto the brother of Jared that those that possess it shall only serve the true and  everlasting God or should be destroyed.

Vs. 10 - The promises of the land are repeated and vs. 11 explains why -- that we might repent before we become ripe in iniquity.

Vs. 12 - The key to keeping this a free land is to serve the only true and living God, Jesus Christ.
In desiring to be visited of the Lord, I read vs. 14. The Lord visited Mohonri to chastise him for not praying. 

Vs. 16 - The Lord showed Mohonri how to build a boat. He gave them the exact instruction to create a ship in a style so unknown by man but that was superior to anything man could make.
...Could not the Lord lead you in your own pursuits of life, if you let him.

Vs. 18 - the end
Mohonri and the Lord are conversing one with another. The Lord gave him a commandment and then Mohonri executed it. And while in the process he consulted with the Lord as he made progress and came into problems.

23 June 1999

"Highly Favored of the Lord," Ether 1

Ether 1

Vs. 34 - We learn that Jared's brother was highly favored of the Lord, so he would pray unto the Lord and his prayers were answered. How was he able to do that? Was it a big secret? No, Jared's brother was righteous. He was diligent in prayer.
Vs. 43 - The Lord says that He blessed the seed of the Brother of Jared because of his continual, long faithfulness in prayer.

22 June 1999

"He Ceaseth Not to Be... a God of Miracles," Mormon 9

Mormon 9

Vs. 6 - Cry for mercy and forgiveness. Here is a good description of a penitent soul: spotless, fair, and white.

Vs. 7 - And to those that deny the gift of the Spirit:
  • Knoweth not the gospel of Christ.
  • He has not read the Scriptures
  • (Even worse) If he has, he does not understand them. 
  • God  does not change, never. 
  • If God did change, He would not be a God of Miracles. 
-Moroni then briefly describes the plan of God and then asks:
"Has all this come to passs?" (The judgment obviously hasn't.)

Vs. 22 - Another scripture about the role of the three disciples who should tarry.
-Their commandment and commission is to preach the word of God/the Gospel unto every creature. It is a requirement of boldness.

Vs. 23 - The importance of baptism; the requirement of belief for salvation. 

Though the chapter is hard for me to understand (maybe because it is just that simple), this one thing I caught: that God doesn't work miracles among the children of men because they don't know Him. It's so simple, yet so profound.

Vs. 28 - Moroni's pleading with us to be wise in the day of our probation, "strip yourselves of all uncleanness."

Vs. 31 - Condemn me not because of my imperfections. Rather give thanks to God that he has made known unto you my weakness that you might not make the same mistakes.

Vs. 36 - These things they have desired... that we be restored to the knowledge of the Christ. This has been the prayers of the saints.

21 June 1999

"Concerning Those Who Do Not Believe in Christ," Mormon 9

Mormon 9

Moroni wanted to address all people. He starts this chapter with content for those who do not believe in Christ. His approach to non-believers is a little more direct than most. I suppose we must understand what a non-believer is. I started  off thinking it was some one who had never heard of Christ, like perhaps Hindus or Muslims.  No, that's not who it is. How many of them would believe in Christ if He was presented to them?

A non-believer is someone who's heard of Christ, perhaps even read the Scriptures but chooses not to believe in Him.
- Moroni  comes straight out in facts to prove them wrong. He brings up Judgment and the Resurrection.

20 June 1999

"As the Lord Liveth He Will Remember the Covenant ," Mormon 8 Continued

Mormon 8

Starting in vs. 21. As I got to this point and continued on through this chapter, I am impressed by the absoluteness of how things are, namely the ways of the Lord. What the Lord does is eternal. His work is eternal, and it shall be accomplished. Moroni understood this clearly. This was a knowledge and not only a hope.

Vs. 23 - Moroni reinstates the commandment given by the Christ when he visited the Nephites. They both seem to want to tell us more by giving us this lead.

Vs. 26 - The Book of Mormon shall come forth as a great miracle in a day when it will be said that miracles have ceased.

Vs. 26-32 - Signs of the times that will be when the Book of Mormon will come forth.
  • Shall be said that miracles are done away with
  • Blood of the saints will cry unto their God, because of the works of darkness.
  • Power of God shall be denied.
  • Chuches become defiled and filled with pride.
  • Leaders or churches will envy their followers.
  • It shall be heard of fires, tempests, and vapors of smoke in foreign lands. 
  • Wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in divers places
  • Great pollutions upon the earth; murders, robbing, lyings, deceivings, whoredoms
  • All manner of abominations, carelessness
  • Churches will "forgive" sins for money.
(BT - As I made this list I thought that not all of these conditions were when the Book of Mormon came forth. But then the Book of Mormon didn't come forth to the whole world all at once. Just like all of these signs didn't happen at once. )

Vs. 33 - Talks of disfiguring the Word of God to bring damnation to your soul. But that's really what happens. If we change the Word of God, it can't lead us to salvation and if it doesn't lead to salvation, it leads to damnation.

Vs. 36-41 I believe that he is addressing the members of this our church because in vs. 38 he refers to it as the holy church of God. Consider your own sins. 

19 June 1999

"None That Do Know the True God," Mormon 8

Mormon 8

Moroni starts to write.

Vs. 6 - Prophecy complete. Alma 45:10
Vs. 10 - After having had explained that only Lamanites and robbers remained in the land, he says this, "and there are none who know the true God..." that's quite the distinction! He did not say there were no saints (though I suppose a true saint does know God). This separation defines those that will make it to the Celestial Kingdom.
Vs. 11 - The three disciples of Christ serve as teachers to the prophets and apostles, among other things. They ministered to Mormon and Moroni. (I'm sure their instruction is tremendously useful, insightful.)
Vs. 14 - How interesting and yet how true it is. The Gold Plates, though made of gold, have no worth ($), because the Lord has said it... that no man will get gain from those plates. And so it is!

18 June 1999

"How Could Ye Have Rejected That Jesus," Mormon 6 & 7

Mormon 6

Vs. 21 - A practical understanding of the Resurrection. Mormon mourns the loss of his people, and now he explains what will happen to them.

Mormon saw the destruction of over 200,000+ of his people. There were all that remained.

Mormon 7

This is Mormon's last chapter, his final words.

From here on out, Mormon writes for the future. He knew what would eventually become of the Lamanites, so these verses he directs towards them.

Things he wanted them to know:
  • That they are of the House of Israel (so that they know the promises). 
  • That they can only be saved through repentance. 
  • That they must come to a knowledge of their father. (why?)
  • That they must believe in Jesus Christ. 
  • That they will be resurrected and brought before the judgment seat of Christ.

17 June 1999

"As a Vessel... Without Sail or Anchor," Mormon 5

Mormon 5

Vs. 1 - He (Mormon) knew their fate. Yet I suppose it was his love for his own people that brought him to lead then one last time.

These people looked to Mormon as a man of greatness, so much so that they believed he could deliver them from their afflictions. But they would not repent.

At this point, 380 years after the sign [of Christ's birth], all where equal in this war. The Lord protected no one (save Mormon). Man for man.

Vs. 14 - It appears that these records (the Book of Mormon) have a great role in bringing to pass the covenant that the Father made with the House of Israel. They (the records - the Book of Mormon) will persuade the Jews to believe in the Christ.

Vs. 16 - "...and they are without Christ and God in the world;" So many today walk this same lonely road without light... why?

Vs. 18 - The imagery is excellent. Such are those led captive by the devil's power. Some people in the world claim to enjoy this way of life, no direction, unpredictable, as if this is the ultimate adventure. Yet, it subtly leads a man down to hell.

Side Note: (Gathering of Israel) Doctrine & Covenants 109:56-57 - There is strength and direct [correlation between] the temple [and] missionary work. Joseph prayed that prejudice might give way before the truth. Also, [he prayed] that all might know His servants (the elders of the church) have been called of Him and have heard His voice. (BT- I believe that I am included in this prayer.)

16 June 1999

"By the Wicked.. the Wicked Are Punished," Mormon 4

Mormon 4

This is a very sad chapter in the history of man.

Vs. 4 - The Nephites provoked war and were consequently smitten.
- They did not repent. They struggled for their own life without looking for help from the One that gave them life.

The Gospel was there. The people rejected it. It is fact then that peace is brought through the Gospel plan.

15 June 1999

"Prayer unto My God... Was Without Faith," Mormon 3

Mormon 3

Vs. 12 - Mormon loved these people with a love like that of Christ, he literally overlooked their wickedness with the hope that if he led them they might repent. He constantly prayed for them.

Here is the mystery. He says he prayed for them, but that it was without faith, because of the hardheatedness of the people. How could their hardness weaken Mormon's faith? Is that what's being said? Yes, that is right.

Insight: Mormon 5:2, "...I was without hope, for I knew the judgments of the Lord."
-- Faith is not knowledge, it is a hope of things to come.
 See Alma 32:34, Faith is dormant because there is a perfect knowledge of this thing.
What [was happening] with Mormon was he knew that the people had rejected repentance after being delivered from death, and they had sworn by things forbidden them. Mormon had also heard the voice of the Lord concerning these people. He had knowledge. Though his desire and prayer was that they be saved, there was no faith behind him because he knew. How sad.

Mormon's mission wasn't to influence the people of his time. The effects of his mission was to do a work preparatory to the things that were to come.

Vs. 17 - Mormon seeing in vision our day said we should be in preparation to return to the land of our inheritance. (I'd say there's wisdom in this counsel.) So how do we prepare?

Vs. 20 - Mormon worked by heeding the prompting of the Spirit.

Vs. 18-20 confirm that there will be a judgment at the end which is the Judgment Seat of Christ. This will happen. We [are] told now so that we might prepare.

Vs. 21 - Mormon's other purpose was so that we might believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. To stand as another witness of Christ along side what is said in the Bible. Repent & Prepare.

13 June 1999

"Lifted Up at the Last Day," Mormon 2 & 3

Mormon 2

(Interesting Observation - As I merely opened this book of scripture, the Spirit started to burn within my bosom.)

Vs. 19 - Mormon, in a terrible state of sorrow for his people, still had a confidence/hope of his own salvation. How could Mormon be so sure [in] such a state of chaos that existed? He put all his trust in the Lord. He did as he was commanded. He was obedient to the Lord.

He knew Ether 4:19, "...Blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name at the last day..."

The Name/Cause of Christ
-Off the subject, but extremely important!
Last night at the wedding reception you overheard that here was a new member of a year in your presence, and you did nothing. You did no acknowledge her. You did not say "hi" to her. You did not talk about her conversion. You didn't give her support, encouragement to carry on. You can do so much more.

Mormon 3

Mormon was a prominent figure among the people, so he had a great deal of respect among the people, I imagine. Yet they heeded him not when he cried repentance. Their hearts were hard.