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Showing posts from August, 2011

"Thus Hath the Lord Commanded Me," Mosiah 12:1-8

Mosiah 12:1-8

This is a good case study in what it means to have a hardened heart. This is important to properly understand the relationship between us and the Lord, because to have a hardened heart is essentially to have withdrawn from the presence and the Spirit of the Lord.We cut off the lifeline of Life, our relationship to the Divine, and attempt to take salvation into our own hands, which is hopelessly impossible.

The Lord doesn't offer more than a second chance to these people who are already deeply engulfed in sin. Pestilence, plagues, and destruction are prophesied of in these verses. Then at the end of this prophecy, Abinadi explains that if there is no repentance that the only thing that will be left of their people is a record which will stand as a witness of their destruction.

The first footnote in this chapter is on the word "prophecy" but it leads to the Topical Guide entry for "Missionary Work." At first glance, I asked myself, "What does this…

"A Man Among Them Whose Name Was Abinadi," Mosiah 11:20-29

Mosiah 11:20-29

These verses contain the account of Abinadi's first appearance to the people of King Noah. According to the record, Abinadi came from among this people. There is no mention of a family but I wonder if he is not leaving his family to accomplish this great assignment.

Though King Noah plays complete ignorance to the acknowledgement that there is a God, Abinadi's words from the Lord clearly demonstrates that there is a vested interest that the Lord has in this particular people. The Lord refers to the people of Noah as "my people" (vs. 22). There must have been a covenant in place between the people of Zeniff and the Lord for the Lord to acknowledge them as such. They must have been a God-fearing people before the reign of Noah.

The harshness of the prophecy is another reason that I am concluding that there were covenants and righteousness before Noah.The greater the sins, the more extreme requirements for repentance, such as girding one's self in sackc…

"He Did not Keep the Commandments of God," Mosiah 11:1-19

Mosiah 11: 1-19

This simple phrase that explains the deviation of King Noah from the truth is a double-edged accusation. A footnote in verse 2 compares King Noah to Jeraboam of the Old Testament who caused the children of Israel to sin. Noah's deviation is just that. Clearly, we must assume that King Noah is not ignorantly sinning. He was the son of Zeniff and grew up in his household. Beyond this, he took a people, who previous to this had learned to fear God and to recognize the strength of the Lord in protecting them from their enemies, and had altered the affairs of the kingdom to support his wickedness.

Perhaps the most telling part of this account are the verses that relate their attitude towards the conflict with the Lamanites, when they came back victorious from fighting the Lamanites this time, they were boastful of their own strength, and blood thirsty. (Verse 19 attributes this fully to the wickedness of the king and the priests.) Boasting and blood thirsty, both are diab…

"Believing in the Traditions of thier Fathers," Mosiah 10

Mosiah 10

Work leads to prosperity. In the first few verses of this chapter, Zeniff explains how he gave his men the assignment of farming the land, while the woman had the assignment of producing clothing. Because of this work, they were led to "prosper in the land."(vs. 5)

The bulk of the chapter has to do with their preparations for war and the war that was fought. Now it is fair to note that during the 35 years or so that have been accounted for of Zeniff's reign that there had only been two conflicts with the Lamanites. As I read this even from Zeniff's own account, I keep thinking to myself, if only they had stayed in Zarahemla, they would have had peace. I don't know if this a productive line of thought though. What was done was done. However, it is only two generation later that the ultimate solution to their conflicts with the Lamanites is to leave and make the trip back to Zarahemla.

On the other hand, there are great leaders for the future church, and f…

"In the Strength of the Lord," Mosiah 9:3-19

Mosiah 9:3-19

A twelve year span is found in these verses. It is curious to note that Zeniff recognizes that he was too zealous to possess the land of Lehi-Nephi. He also makes note of their afflictions in the wilderness as being caused by their neglect in forgetting the Lord, the source of their strength. 12 years of prosperity pass after this. Then are they brought to a moment of crisis as they are brought into battle against the Lamanites. Their approach to this conflict is much different however, for they called upon the Lord for strength, and this time he heard their prayers.

Really they shouldn't have gone back to the land of Lehi-Nephi. But the Lord who is merciful, when they sincerely turned to Him for strength, gave them power over their enemies. This is a God of mercy.