Skip to main content

"This Great and Abominable Church", 1 Nephi 13:1-9

1 Nephi 13:1-9, see also 1 Nephi 13:26, 34 & 14:10(3, 9-17)

In this chapter, Nephi learns of a church that is described as both great and abominable, "whose founder is the devil," (1 Nephi 14:17, see also 13:6). The term "great" seems to apply to shear size of its existence and how it prevails throughout the kingdoms of the Gentiles. It is called "abominable", because of its wicked practices and desires.

This church that Nephi describes is an organization of material gain and personal gratification. So powerful were such ambitions that in the time period described, any saint that spoke out against it was destroyed (see 13:9). It is also referred to as the mother of abominations and the whore of the whole earth(see 14:10).

The benefit of hindsight in understanding of whom and what these verses are point to allows me to not focus on any one church in the history books. Though it is in reference to Christianity in general from the death of the apostles up until the time of Columbus.

It is interesting to note that in the general absence of a true religion upon the earth, there were yet saints abroad. Individuals in whom the quest for truth and principle was of greater weight than gold (see 13:8-9). These were they who with their limited scope had taken upon themselves the name of Christ, to live according to the precept of His doctrine the best they knew how.

In the history books these individuals were know collectively as the Reformers, though they were hardly a group in the any sense but the broadest. This is a topic that has been referenced extensively in recent years in our General Conferences.

Men like John Wycliffe, the courageous William Tyndale, and Johannes Gutenberg were prompted against much opposition to translate the Bible into language people could understand and to publish it in books people could read.

... We owe much to the many brave martyrs and reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Huss who demanded freedom to worship and common access to the holy books.
(M. Russell Ballard, “The Miracle of the Holy Bible,” Ensign, May 2007, 80–82)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"The Light of Christ unto Life," Alma 28

Alma 28

Not all missionary experiences end with happy endings.

Earlier I had mentioned how Alma 26 was the unspoken homecoming address that seemed to mark the end of the missionary labors. However chapters 27 and 28 are the "rest of the story" that frequently gets overlooked. In fact, I have read this story many times and had completely disassociated the connection between the large-scale conversion of so many Lamanites and the war that resulted from this major social shift.

The impact that this has had upon me this time has been jarring. So much good had been accomplished. So many Lamanites had been brought to the knowledge of the truth! Why was there such a large scale ramification?

This causes me also to consider the Lord's preferred method of gathering in the last days: "one of a city, and two of a family," (Jeremiah 3:14). Drop by precious drop, little by little Isreal is gathered. Oh how I ought to be more invested, more concerned with the gathering of Zi…

"Your Ground is Barren," Alma 32:30-43

Alma 32:30-43

I am reading through the process of how to nurture the seed of faith. This morning, I am particularly interested in how I can continue to cultivate the principle of gratitude which I have recently made a dedicated study of. As I have studied gratitude and humility, I've found the application over this past week to be proof of the principles and their soundness. I'm past this first step of testing the seed.

Now I want the fruit, but I feel that the seedling is faltering a little. Verse 37 reads:
And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. I'm grateful that Alma didn't stop there though, and also addressed what happens if we neglect the seed. Verse 38 is a warning that if we neglect the seed, when the heat of the sun comes, which it w…

"Astonished Beyond All Measure," Alma 31:12-20

Alma 31:12-20

I'm starting this reading with the following assumptions:
The Book of Mormon is an ancient text written for a modern audience. This was written for my personal benefit in the period of world history where I presently reside. Satan takes truth and alters it for his destructive or deceptive purposes. The account of the Zoramites as found here is depicted according to the light of Christ and inspiration of the Holy Ghost that the author had at the time of making this account. That will bring particular insights that would not be otherwise available. It is a typical practice that when reading from the Book of Mormon, that if I find no personal application, I ask myself "Where is Christ in these verses?" Perhaps here, as a false worship practice is being depicted, the correct question to ask would be "Where isn't Christ in these verses?" Let's start our discovery.

In a sense, they had crafted a prayer that said: "God, we thank thee that tho…