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Showing posts from May, 2012

"Concerned... About His Own Life," Mosiah 19 - Part 1

Mosiah 19

Chapter 19 appears to be mostly a historical account of the events that transpired in the land of Nephi after Alma and the people of Lord had left the land. However, this chapter also details the partial fulfillment of words of Abinadi. Where Alma and his people were able to escape the wrath of God's judgments, King Noah experiences both an internal and external collapse of his kingdom.

Among the remainder of the people, there arises Gideon, "an enemy to the king," who has vowed to slay him. At the very moment that Gideon would have done so, the King also discovers that the Lamanite forces are within the borders of their own lands. Placed in this situation of peril, we discover the true character of King Noah. The author of this text (probably Mormon) even goes so far as to point this out, "And now the king was not so much concerned about his people as he was about his own life;" (vs 8).

What follows this observation is the vain attempts of King Noah …

"All This Was Done in Mormon," Mosiah 18:30-35

Mosiah 18:30-35

This first verse is a beautiful passage of scripture. It has reference to the significance of a location to one's spiritual conversion. Something of a nostalgia is recognized in these verses. This is akin to people when they find out that I served as a missionary in Costa Rica. When I am asked if it was beautiful, I can wholeheartedly  reply "yes" it was. Yet the sights and sounds that I am referring to have little touristic value. In my mind are the dirty roads of impoverished developments, the small homes of willing investigators, and the overcrowded buses where testimonies where shared. These are the things that make this land so beautiful to me, for the very same reasons as are recorded in verse 30, "how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer."

There is something about living and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ that enlivens the senses so that where one lives at the time of such experien…

"They Did Walk Uprightly Before God," Mosiah 18:23-29

Mosiah 18:23-29

These verses continue with the commandments that Alma gave to the priests with whom he organized the church after their baptism. (I find in these commandments keys to their prosperity and access to the blessings of the Lord.)

Alma commanded them to observe the Sabbath day and to keep it holy. That is a good distinction and this is good doctrine. It is a simple way in which we are reminded every week that we are not our own. Coupled with this commandment is also a reminder that every day we should give thanks to the Lord their God.

Then the priest are commanded to "labor with their own hands for their support," (vs 24).  There are other verses throughout the Book of Mormon that support this doctrine. Alma the Younger defends this point before several anti-Christ characters later on. (see Alma 1:3, 26;30:32) But this point that the priests are to provide for their own needs is an unique and compelling doctrine. To separate any financial considerations from the …

"Thus They Became the Children of God," Mosiah 18:18-22

Mosiah 18:18-22

The topic of becoming the children of God is addressed in these verses. These verses contain a string of commandments that are given to the group that was baptized at the waters of Mormon. Then half way through there is this insightful observation about the reason behind the commandments, "And thus they became the children of God."

This has to all be taken in the context that this was initiated by the covenant of baptism. These commandments were the means by which God was blessing his children to help them become the children of God. Additionally, Alma organized priests, now that the covenant was in place, "to teach them concerning the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." (vs. 18)

It is interesting to note that the set of commandments that are listed in verses 19 to 21 are directed towards the priests who were commanded to preach unto the people. Those commandments included to teach only the words of the holy prophets, to preach only repentance…