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Showing posts from March, 2008

Plain and Precious Truth, 1 Nephi 13:29-42

1 Nephi 13:29-42

The series of events leading up to the introduction of the Book of Mormon is unsuspecting. The Gentiles are blessed in the land of promise. However, the descendants of Lehi (according to the covenants of the Lord that he made with Lehi) are not utterly destroyed either. They are smitten for a season because they had rejected the truth. Then the Gentiles who had smitten them also "stumble[d] exceedingly" (see vs. 34) because of the many important parts of the Bible that were removed in erroneous translations. Both groups in question had fallen short.

It seems that that Book of Mormon didn't come about until the world absolutely needed it.

It is characteristically described as containing plain and precious truths, culminating in a witness for Jesus Christ as the Son of the Eternal Father and as the Savior of the world (see vs. 40). In the Savior's own words, he says that in it is "written my gospel... my rock and my salvation," (vs. 36).

The end…

Mini-Lesson: The Holy Bible and Book of Mormon

Lesson: The Holy Bible is a witness of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a record kept by the Jews in antiquity and completed by the early Christian Apostles. However, God has had other groups of people that lived outside of the region of Israel. They too believed in Jesus Christ, followed his teachings, and made records of their experiences.

Reference:1 Nephi 13:40 , John 10:14 & 16

Invitation: Today we have accounts of both civilizations and their best efforts to live the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first is the Holy Bible, and the second is the Book of Mormon. May we share with you how God has made both of these records available to us today?

The Book of the Lamb of God, 1 Nephi 13:20-28

1 Nephi 13:20-28

The title has reference to the Holy Bible. In Nephi's time, it wouldn't have been know as the Holy Bible, however. The angel points out to Nephi that this record is similar to the record that he has upon the Plates of Brass. He also describes it as a record of the Jews containing the covenants of the Lord to the house of Israel and the prophecies of the holy prophets.

It also contained at one point the fullness of the the Gospel of the Lamb.

These verses of scripture are where Latter-day Saints gain our understanding that from its original version, there have been malicious revisions to the sacred text by those with dark motives. (This is offensive to some, that we believe the Holy Bible to have been modified from its original state.) Much of the Gospel of Christ was rewritten, or mystified. Many of the covenants were removed (see vs. 26). However, there is no mention of prophecies being altered.

Indeed, this makes sense that the prophecies would be left alone, f…

Humility, 1 Nephi 13:16

1 Nephi 13:16

Nephi saw in his vision "that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord." That strikes me as pivotal to their position. I think of the religious heritage of the United States of America. "IN GOD WE TRUST" is printed on our currency. Great was that blessed faith of our Founding Fathers. Nephi then notices, and this is a direct result of their humility, "and the power of the Lord was with them."

The Spirit and Wrath of God, 1 Nephi 13:10-19

1 Nephi 13:10-19

In prophetic terms, Nephi is describing the colonization of America and the Revolutionary War. In this group of verses, there are two forces, both originating from God. the Spirit or power of God( I don't think the two are equal) and the wrath of God. Nephi also refers to the Spirit of the Lord and the power of the Lord. All these powers Nephi says that he saw working upon or with the events that transpired.

Why was the wrath of God upon the seed of Nephi's brethren? Why did the Spirit of the Lord favor the Gentiles that came to America? From any historical stand point, it doesn't seem fair to derive an accurate conclusions. From scriptural accounts, we know that the ancestors of the Lamanites that remained had long ago rejected the true religion. The exiled Gentiles that came to find peace in America also were striving as best as they could to live the Christian faith as best they understood it.

Then as we look forward only a few years, we see that among a d…

Mini-Lesson: Only Two Churches

introduction: In my conversations with others as of late, we've been discussing how to share a point or two of doctrine before making an invitation to have a formal, sit down visit with them to share a gospel message. This is inspired from a "Preach my Gospel" manual activity about teaching when finding. As a means of translating my studies into a practical application, I'm creating these mini-lessons with invites. It's when we share simple Gospel principles that the Holy Spirit has room to work in the hearts of people that we visit.
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lesson: Nephi, a Book of Mormon prophet, tells about a vision that he had where he saw the history of the world. Towards the end of that history, he saw that in our time there were only two churches -- one was the church of Christ, the other was the church of the devil.

reference:1 Nephi 14:10(10-17)

invite: We would like to share with you what we can do to insure that we belong …

"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 u…

The First and the Last, 1 Nephi 13

1 Nephi 13

I've read through the whole chapter for an overview of the events detailed here in before going through and breaking it apart individually. I noticed in the chapter heading a mention of Zion toward the end of the chapter and admittedly that was my motivation this morning to get to this part of the chapter.

At the chapter's end is this brief reminder that in the end Christ shall manifest himself to all. "...the last shall be first, and the first shall be last," (vs. 42). I appreciate that in the Lord's scheme of things, no one is forgotten.

"Because of Their Faith in Him," 1 Nephi 12:1-12

1 Nephi 12:1-12

These verses exist in prophetic(as opposed to historic) parallel to the vision that his father, Lehi, had where he described the mists of darkness and the multitudes pressing forward towards the tree of life (see 1 Nephi 8:24). It is beautiful, with this in mind, to learn that those that emerge from mists of darkness are brought into the presence of the Lamb of God.
... I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.

And I saw the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them. (vs. 5 & 6)
Nephi then sees in vision the twelve disciples and three generations of his people following the appearance of the Savior. Both groups are distinguished as righteous and as having their garments made white in the blood of the Lamb of God. In both instances, Nephi, or the angel, points out that t…