Sunday, September 27, 2015

Man, are we in trouble?

I'm going to start the same way I end this post today. By telling you this... let this blog be your scripture study time. I know you're busy. You don't have time to read blogs without substance. Countless people say they don't have time to study the scriptures. This can be your scripture study time. We'll take a few minutes (almost every day) to feed your mind and spirit. And we'll also be doing something the Lord as commanded us to do. "Remember the Book of Mormon." He's serious. This is how serious he is... 

And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief  (a disbelief in truth and a belief in false doctrine and tradition) and because you have treated lightly the things you have received, which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all. And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written— D&C 84: 54-57
Has this condemnation been lifted? Are we still under it? Do we truly appreciate the Book of Mormon and understand what it is REALLY telling us? 


Let's begin.

From verse 16 to the end of chapter two in Mormon, there is mostly war and more war. Normally, I would not suggest skipping verses, and when you read, DON'T do that, but for the sake of time--and the fact that I don't want you to be bored--I will sum up.

The Nephite armies move north, very close to the place where the plate were buried. How serendipitous! It gives Mormon a chance to go get them. And he does. But because of their "wickedness and abominations" Mormon doesn't want to keep writing about the wicked, naughty Nephites. He's sick of it. It's all he's known since he could remember anything. What a way for a kid to grow up. How did he ever survive it spiritually?

19 And wo is me because of their wickedness; for my heart has been filled with sorrow because of their wickedness, all my days; nevertheless, I know that I shall be lifted up at the last day.

I think it's interesting that he says he "knows" he'll be lifted up at the last day. How has does he know this? How does he know he's on the right track when all of his life he has been surrounded by death and destruction, wickedness and abominations? My guess is that the Savior himself told him. I doubt He only visited Mormon the one time. Mormon had most likely been visited numerous times, the lucky duck. It's what we should all strive for. The Lord has promised to visit us in the flesh if we desire it and work for it. 

"When any man obtains this last Comforter, he will have the personage of Jesus Christ to attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even He will manifest the Father unto him." ~Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p. 151 and also found in History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 3:381.

There were times at the end of chapter two that Mormon was able to rouse the people somewhat to fight for their wives, children, homes, but he mostly lamented the wickedness of his people. He knew the Lord didn't fight beside them and he knew also that all was probably lost. It would have been really hard to stay enthusiastic. 

26 And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies, and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.

Why does he include this here? Remember, every word, every sentence is important. It's there for a reason, to teach us something. What should we be learning here? Maybe it's that after all you have done for someone, you have to let go. They are responsible for their own thoughts and actions. You can't save anyone but yourself in the end, and then it's only if you have the Savior helping you. We need to trust that things happen for a reason. That people are where they are on the wheel of progression because that is where they need to be. It's one of those things to pray about to get your own answer.

At the end of this chapter, the Nephites do rally! They win the battle and beat back the Lamanites. So much so, that they kick them totally out of their lands. But it wasn't because the Lord helped them. They were just lucky.

They made a treaty with the Lamanites, which I think is pretty huge. They must have really kicked their behinds.

29 And the Lamanites did give unto us the land northward, yea, even to the narrow passage which led into the land southward. And we did give unto the Lamanites all the land southward.

We don't know exactly where this is (supposedly), but it sounds to me like the Panama Canal area. That is the only narrow land between the "land northward" and the "land southward" that I know of. It's not an important fact for your salvation, but it's still fun to guesstimate. 

I'm going to end here, because I don't want these posts to be super long. I'm hoping they will give you the chance to study the scriptures even though you're busy. Most people can flit through blog after blog, but at the end of the day they feel like they have wasted their time if the blogs didn't have substance. 

I want your reading of this blog be your chance at studying the scriptures. I can't tell you how many people tell me that they just don't have time to study. I think we make it too hard. We think we have to read whole chapters to make it worth it. That couldn't be farther from the truth! Use this blog as your B of M study time. We will go through it together, verse by verse, and hopefully, we'll all learn something and be fed by the spirit at the same time.

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