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Showing posts from January, 2013

"It Was the Power of God," Mosiah 27:18-31

Mosiah 27:18-31

An interesting exercise in these verses is take the phrase "power of God" and substitute it with the word "priesthood." Not so much to change the meaning of the passage, but to give further understanding to the nature of the priesthood. I keep doing it, almost compulsively. Presently, I am left to consider how "nothing save the power of God that could... cause it to tremble." (verse 18) That thought that keeps impressing me is that the priesthood has the power to do this.

Then there is the question of signs and how it is an "adulterous generation" (Matt. 12:39) that seeks after signs. If we are not to seek after signs and miracles, then what part do these things play in the work of the Lord? That the priesthood has power over earthly elements has been illustrated time and time again in the scriptures, especially in the Old Testament. Their purpose is not to give signs to the wicked but rather to facilitate the work of the righteous…

"The Angel of the Lord Appeared unto Them," Mosiah 27:8-17

Mosiah 27:8-17

These verses contain the account of an angel that came to stop Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah on their course of destruction against the Church. The main question that I have as I read these verses is: what about this scenario merited the intervention of an angel? Angels are not the usual form of communication from heaven.

There are several reasons that I feel angelic intervention was merited in this instance. Verses 8 through 10 explain how they were rebelling against the church in secret. Given the family dynamics, that both parents of Alma and the son of Mosiah were the heads of the church and the state, it gave them all the more power to destroy what their fathers were trying to build and protect. 

Verse 14 offers another reason when the angel explains that Alma, the elder, had been praying for his son that he might "be brought to the knowledge of the truth." It wasn't just Alma that had been praying for this though, and just because Alma was hi…

"There Should Be an Equality among All Men," Mosiah 27:1-7

Mosiah 27:1-7

These first verses of this chapter are given more as a setup to what follows. However, I've taken a moment to contemplate the law that was enacted and the purpose for which it was given. As a result of persecution by the unbelievers towards those that did believe, King Mosiah had been petitioned to take action.

Consequently, a command was enacted to dissolve persecutions and to protect the equality of all his people. The details of that command included that there was to be no pride or haughtiness that would disturb their peace, that every man should esteem his neighbor as himself, and that all should be industrious or labor with their own hands for their support. (see vs 2-4)

The result of this command or law was that there was increased peace and prosperity. I am amazed that it appears to have been so simple, that the king issued a command after consulting with his priests and then that the effects were that of general increased peace and prosperity.

Oh, how the times …

"To Prosper Exceedingly in the Affairs of the Church," Mosiah 26:34-39

Mosiah 26:34-39

Studying the previous verses in both English and Spanish, I was impressed with the truth that only a disciple of Christ could be asked to makes judgments on behave of others. That is, only someone who truly understands and sees that it is Christ that leads this great work and not themselves (that will walk circumspectly and humbly before God) has the perspective to deal with such weightier matters as judgment and mercy (see Matt 23:23). These verses don't directly state that such was the case with Alma, but it is absolutely impossible to conclude otherwise and the reminder is so very important on this topic in particular.

To be excommunicated or cut off from the Church and kingdom of God on the earth is not a trivial matter. I have always understood it to be a tool designed to aide in the repentance process. In these verses, it not only allowed those who would not repent to be separated from the Church, it created a distinction by which others could recognize that th…