17 February 2010

"The Lord Jehovah... Is My Song," 2 Nephi 22

2 Nephi 22

These verses have a profound power attached to them as I read them. From verse 2, "I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song;"

I overheard a remix of a song last evening calculated to instill unity towards a noble cause. The song has long bothered me, as do many others. What's more is that it is perceived as indifference or some other form of  intolerance that I don't like such music. I would therefore do better to educate myself on my stance, so that I might more properly expound it to others as it comes into question.

"The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song" -- Few artists will convey their testimonies of Gospel truth in song. These are hard to come by. I am seen as shallow for only liking such music. But why, when our music is so very much a part of what we feel inside of us? How can I allow other forms of unworthy music to occupy my very inner being, when I am filled with light and joy from the source of all truth, or why should I want to do so.

Music can be a tool  used for conveying testimony and gratitude. It teaches doctrine and allows our minds to reflect upon truth in such a light as to be able to open our minds to new horizons.

In verse 5 it reads, "declare his doings among the people." This is a different way of looking at missionary work. We testify of Joseph Smith, not because of who he was (though he was notable for such) but because he was a man whom the Lord called to be a prophet. It is the Lord's doings that we are to declare among the people.  What is hard to see, but becomes more evident with time, is how the Lord interacts with us. His work is so transparent at times that it becomes difficult to remember that this is His work. This work of the ministry, the work of salvation, is where the Lord's hand can be seen in our lives.

13 February 2010

"An Ensign to the Nations," 2 Nephi 21:10-16

2 Nephi 21:10-16

In verse 10, Isaiah prophesies of a root of Jesse being set up as an ensign for the Gentiles. Distinct from the covenant people of the Lord, these people shall also find rest through Jesus Christ, of whom the root of Jesse is reference to.

In verse 12, we read about the Lord setting up an ensign to the nations. It serves as a gather tool to bring whomever will come, unto Him: the outcasts of Israel, the dispersed of Judah, the remnants of his people wherever they are found, even upon the isles of the sea.

In a politically charged world of conflict, where every person seems to have their own personal interests at stake, verse 13 is reassuring: Ephraim and Judah will put aside their envy and vexation. There will be cooperation and unity in the final gathering of the Lord's people.

There will be a highway in the end of times that will allow for safe passage for all that are left to come to Zion. There are multiple scriptures that talk about this prophecy from Isaiah and the Doctrine and Covenants (see footnotes on verse 16).

What is the take home application of all these verses? What is the significance of future prophecies yet to be fulfilled? Those things which are yet to come are described in great detail. It is as if the Lord would show us where He is going if we will listen. There is motivation in these verses to work towards these ends, that we may be found on the right hand of God when all these things come to pass.

03 February 2010

"The Knowledge of the Lord," 2 Nephi 21:6-9

2 Nephi 21:6-9

These verses talk about carnivorous animals lying down along side animals that would in other circumstance be deemed their prey: wolves and lambs, lions and fatlings, cows and bears. This is offered as an example of the effect that the knowledge of God will have upon the inhabitants of the earth.
 
As a father of young children, verse 8 is of particular interest:
And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’s den.
I think of the particular precautions we as parents take to protect our children from dangers, sometimes to the point of excess. I can easily see the unattended child quietly escaping the supervisory care of a loving parent and finding an asp's or a snake's hole. This would naturally intrigue the small child to the point that the child would be putting itself in great danger. Yet with the change wrought by the knowledge of God, as best as I can tell, the viper's tendencies to attack would be pacified, so that the danger that should otherwise exist, would be gone.

This reminds me of the passage of scripture found in 1 Nephi 19 that talks about Satan being bound because of the righteousness of the people of God. We also read elsewhere that the knowledge of the Lord in the last days will be abundant (see Mosiah 3:20-21, Doctrine and Covenants 3:16). So it leads me to conclude and believe that this state of knowledge does not just happen, but that it is a result of efforts to be achieved through the righteousness of the people of God. What is miraculous however, is that this prevalent knowledge of God is so evasive that even the animal kingdom is affected by its influence.

There are footnotes also found on verse 9 that further explore this topic of the knowledge of God being upon the inhabitants of the earth. These verses, such Doctrine and Covenants 88:104, talks  about a singular event wherein everyone will hear a trump from heaven and bow down to worship him at his coming. Then shall the knowledge of God be plainly manifested. It shall be as common knowledge as the rising of the morning sun.