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Showing posts from February, 2011

"These Records Are True," Mosiah 1

Mosiah 1

The value of education, as being requisite to exercising faith in Christ, is reinforced in these opening verses. Typically, in the eyes of the world, those with education are regarded as less spiritually inclined. However, one of the unique characteristics of the Church of Jesus Christ is that this is just the opposite, the more educated the more inclined the individual is to be spiritual.

The first half of this chapter discusses Benjamin's efforts to educate his three sons. The second half deals with the transfer of the kingdom to his oldest son, Mosiah.  In both settings, Benjamin puts greatest emphasis in the simple principles of faithfulness and obedience. This explains how this leader was able to obtain peace in his lifetime, for he knew 1) from what he had studied in the scriptures of civilizations past and 2) his own experience in a leadership capacity that those who kept the commandments of God should prosper in the land according to the promises which the Lord had…

"Once Again... a Delightsome People," The Words of Mormon

The Words of Mormon

This morning I find myself thinking about the gentle Lord, Christ Jesus, and even as I read these words of commentary by the prophet historian Mormon, I find that his primary motivation for the decisions that he made as he was compiling this collection of records was whether or not the accounts would increase faith in Christ.

And so he explains that while creating an abridged account of the plates of Nephi (this was from the record of the kings, containing a full account of the history of his people), that he had discovered a record containing prophecies concerning the coming of Christ from Nephi and other prophets. It ended with the Amaleki's account of King Benjamin. In verse 5, Mormon states that he will finish making his abridgment from the plates of Nephi (the record of the kings).

Mormon's singular motivation is conveyed in verse 8:
And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption…

"Led by the Power of His Arm," Omni 1:13, 20-26

Omni 1:13, 20-26

I am yet still compelled by the fact that Amaleki is so distinctly aware of his faith in contrast to his immediate fathers. In verse 23, we learn that he was born during the reign of Mosiah. What has impressed me about the change that Amaleki had in contrast to his fathers are his concluding remarks, which clearly demonstrate conviction, testimony, and faith in God.

It impresses me as I consider this, that it is because Amaleki was a part of the group that left the land of Nephi and was with King Mosiah in the wilderness, where they probably came to know God intimately. Indeed, this is most likely what happened, like Nephi and his family when they left Jerusalem, or Moses and the Children of Israel, or even in our time, the Mormon Pioneers' exodus from Navuoo to Salt Lake. This lengthy journey from the land of Nephi to the land of Zarahemla afforded Mosiah's people the opportunity to be "led by the power of his arm." (verse 13) But what's more, in …

"They Should Be Taught," Omni 1:14-19,27-30

Omni 1:14-19,27-30

The difference between a righteous leader and one who is lead by their own ambitions is inadvertently addressed in this verses. It still impresses me how one righteous leader can make such an impact and influence for good on others.

How is it that a righteous leader leads? By persuasion and by instruction. In these verses, King Mosiah and his people discover a land that is inhabited by another people, who language had become corrupt and who had lost all knowledge of any existence of their Creator. Verse 18 is pivotal. "But it came to pass that Mosiah caused that they should be taught in his language." The way to end the corruption was to teach them.

The situation is an interesting one. King Mosiah and his people are the refugees, yet they have with them the plates of brass, and have maintained their language and their faith in God.  In very next verse, Mosiah is appointed king over the land. There was no hostile invasion; no show of arms. Quiet and peacefully…

"According to the Commandments of Our Fathers," Omini1:1-13

Omni 1:1-13

It impresses me the sense of obligation, and honor that these men felt towards the instruction given them from their fathers, at least in this regard. Perhaps this is evidence of the Lord's preserving hand upon this record.

The record goes from Omni (son of Jarom) to his son, Amaron. Amaron points out that the word of the Lord had been verified in the destruction of the more wicked part of the Nephites, while the righteous had been preserved.  Then Amaron give the record to his brother, Chemish. Chemish's only contribution is to point out that Amaron made his record on the day that he gave the records  to Chemish. Abinadom, the son of Chemish, following his fathers, makes only a few remarks, one being evident of the spiritual decay that had transpired: "I know of no revelation save that which has been written, neither prophecy;"(verse 11).

But then Abindom's son, Amaleki, tells of quite a different change of events when he begins by saying that their kin…

"Prosper in the Land," Jarom 1:8-15

Jarom 1:8-15

The remainder of the book of Jarom is evidence to this promise of the Lord: "Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land." Which promise was first extended to Nephi and his brothers by their father, Lehi. (see 2 Nephi 1:20)

Jarom also continues to elaborate upon the theme of teaching the people. He explains that those prophets, priests, and teachers that were among them labored diligently to remind the people of the above stated truth. The one thing that these observations of Jarom have helped me to understand is that the purpose of their preaching was to "stir them up unto repentance." (verse 12) Previous to this in the same verse, Jarom states that this is what kept the people from being destroyed.

Coming back at this a second morning, I'm addressing the connection between prosperity and obedience to the commandments. I really appreciated the footnotes on the word "prosper" in verse 9. One leads to the Lord'…