26 April 2009

"The Lord Alone Shall Be Exalted," 2 Nephi 12:4-22

2 Nephi 12:4-22

The remainder of this chapter is a reminder to the house of Jacob (and to me) that in the end "the Lord alone shall be exalted," (2 Nephi 12:17). All that man aspires to is of no worth in the end. These verses are very descriptive in depicting in great details that last day with abundant use of local symbolism that has great meaning in the regions surrounding Jerusalem. All the vain labors of man throughout all time will eventually be counted as nothing before the Lord in the end of times.

This is thus a powerful reminder that the efforts expended in the work of the Lord are of such greater worth to man.

17 April 2009

"Many People Shall Go," 2 Nephi 12:1-3

2 Nephi 12:1-3

In this chapter begins the lengthiest direct extraction from the Bible that is found in the Book of Mormon, all of which are the words of Isaiah the prophet.

This first chapter, which is the second chapter from the book of Isaiah, begins with a prophecy of the House of the Lord being established in the tops of the mountains. Latter-day Saints believe this to be in reference to the Salt Lake Temple and its surrounding meeting halls.

I find it particularly intriguing the prophecy that many shall go up to it to find truth and instruction. Then the distinction between Zion and Jerusalem: "out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem," (see vs. 3).

There is a relevant prophecy found in Zechariah.

08 April 2009

"I Have Seen Him," 2 Nephi 11

2 Nephi 11

As a qualifier, Nephi states that both Isaiah and his brother Jacob had seen his Redeemer (see vs 2-3). There is not clarification in these verse as far as whether this is seeing with the natural eyes or with the spiritual eyes. I submit that in these cases, each is developed enough spiritually, or at least purified enough personally to see with their spiritual eyes.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God," (Matt 5:8).

While in the flesh, the Lord was daily before the people, working great miracles, and the people believed him not to be the Lord their God. (see John 12:37-41)

This is my second day on this topic. When I reread the post title, Joseph Smith's personal testimony of the Savior came to mind, "For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— " (Doctrine and Covenants 76:21).

A second thought came to me. Why would we trust the witness of someone who had seen God? Because as Christ has said, their hearts are pure. In other words, the testimony of one who has seen God is influenced by none other motive than pure desire to do what is right. Theirs is a witness that can be trusted.

We live in a world of deceit, where all manner of evil is crafted by man to ensnare us. Yet, there are men with pure intent. There is a pattern in the word of God to be able to discern such righteousness. First they will testify that they have seen God or that they know beyond doubt of His reality. Second, their witness will be ratified to us individually through the power of the Holy Ghost, if our personal motives are pure.

04 April 2009

"I Will Fulfill My Promises... Therefore, Cheer Up Your Hearts," 2 Nephi 10:17-25

2 Nephi 10:17-25

(I am still basking in the light of a glorious day of conference sessions. Here we are, the people of God ready to take action in a worldwide organization. There is no gathering like this anywhere on the earth. )

As I read through the final part of this chapter, I can't help but think of how optimistic and hopeful Jacob sounds as he concludes these remarks. This is a true mark of a Christian prophet.

Jacob tells how the Gentiles will be raised up as a mighty people upon the land of promise, and that they will afflict their seed. Ultimately, however, they shall be the means of bringing the Gospel to their posterity. The outcome is optimistic. (see vs. 17-18)

Jacob tells about how they have been taken out of Jerusalem and the land of their inheretance. However, the Lord's will was done in this thing and as a result they had received an even greater land of promise. Additionally, Jacob references scriptural promises made to those that are found upon the isles of the sea, of which he includes his people. The outlook is optimistic. (see vs. 19-22)

Finally, Jacob summerizes the Plan of Salvation. This knowledge assures him that we have great reason to be happy. Man is free to choose for himself to follow the path of eternal life. God has blessed us to know that he will redeem us through the power of the ressurrection and the atonement of Christ if we will accept it in our lives (see vs. 23-25). This understanding is what leads Jacob to optimistically declare, "Cheer up your hearts,"(vs. 23).