I've had a metamorphosis in the last few years. Something shifted inside me. Something changed. I
I was very sick at the time this happened with a very debilitating illness. I had ZERO desire to study anything, let alone the scriptures. But the spirit worked inside me until I cried uncle, and to make a long story short, changed me, like He promises to do for everyone. He even healed me, miraculously, from this terrible disease that was killing me. It was a miracle! Literally! Not only that, but I experienced other wonderful miracles in my life. I can not doubt that these things happened for a reason.
Which brings me to this blog. For some reason, I feel impressed to start this blog. I seriously don't want to. It is the furthest desire in my mind. No, it's not even in my mind. It's not on the list at all. I don't have time and I don't consider myself "learned". What do I know? Nothing. That's what. Why would the Lord want me to start a blog when there are already so many great ones out there that explain the gospel? Who knows? Maybe it's just for me. If that's the case, well fine. I'll go with it.
The most important thing to remember when studying the Book of Mormon is that WE are the gentiles that every prophet is referring to when talking about the last days. Why would they all keep a record--and let's admit it folks, metal plates would have been a pain in the butt to write on--of such importance for people who WEREN'T going to read it! Of course it's for us! It's not just for the "new" converts, and then once they are a full fledged members, no longer talking about them! How Preposterous! It is for us! The members of the church. Those of us who are comfortable with how things are. Those of us who eat, drink, and be merry for all is well in Zion! Yay for us! We're so favored of the Lord, that none of the bad things written about the gentiles in our day could possibly happen to us, let alone be about us!
Oh, fool who believes that nonsense!
So, assuming you all understand that this book is for us, the Latter Day Saints, let's dive in.
Today's study (and these will be short) takes place in 2 Nephi 28. For the sake of argument, I want you all to assume that the "churches" Nephi talks about is our church. Just go with it for a minute.
3 For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord's; and others shall say; I. I am the Lord's, and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord--
4 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God--he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things. for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
You see, these church's don't know they aren't the Lord's so we'll include ours, just for fun.
As for our behavior, we obedient members of the church... we aren't perfect yet. We tell lies, watch inappropriate TV and movies, gossip, ignore the poor and needy (and many other things that are basic) thinking, "Well, I pay my tithing, I go to the temple, I go to church every week. God will forgive me these little things and then I'll be saved... because I do everything else right. Uh huh... that's not going to go over as well as we think it will.
Mormon 8:35-38 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing. And I know that ye do walk in the pride of your hearts; and there are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts, unto the wearing of very fine apparel, unto envying, and strifes, and malice, and persecutions, and all manner of iniquities; and your churches, yeah, even every one, have become polluted because of the pride of your hearts. For behold, ye do love money and your substance, and your fine apparel, and the adorning of your churches, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted. O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of god?
Yikes! If that isn't blunt, I don't know what is. Mormon tells it like it is!
When has there ever been a time in history, EVER, when the church of God stays perfect, beautiful, and holy? When?
Never. Never ever. It always goes astray. Always. Over and over in every book of scripture, we see this happen. Even the Book of Mormon prophecies tell us this will happen to us. All the more reason to study hard, pray hard, and have a personal relationship with the Savior, so you aren't included in the downfall. Do not be so smug and arrogant to think it can't happen... even to us.
3 Nephi 10:4-5 O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, who are descendants of Jacob, yea, who are of the house of Israel, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.
The people He was talking to were ALREADY members of the church! They were at the temple after all of the destruction! They were there to WITNESS his coming! How incredible it would have been, and this is what he says to them? And we think we are better than they were?
Now, I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad. That is not the purpose here. It's to bring a remembrance back to all of us, that these words were written for a reason. These words were carved into metal, a very difficult job at the very least. EVERY word counts. Every word in the Book of Mormon means something. Is necessary for a reason. Read this book as though every WORD is a golden nugget. Analyze why it was included. This book is for us. The scene above was included for us, because it's giving us an example of how we are, in our church, even today. It wasn't just the members at the temple as that time who Christ tries to gather as his chicks, but us too! It's a warning to us!
This is important!
All I'm asking here is that you are open to the possibility that the things written in this post are true. That we are in trouble and need to turn back to the Lord, and re-learn, if that is the right word, what he is saying to us in the Book of Mormon. You don't have to believe me. Don't take my word for it. Pray, and ask if yourself if what I've written is true. Maybe it's time to take a nice, long look at yourself and how you believe. Who knows? Maybe you do. I needed to, whether I liked it or not.
So, lesson summary. The Book of Mormon is written for us. It was written for our time. For our church. We are the ones who read it (or should be). We are the ones it talks about. It's telling us what we are doing wrong, giving us a dire warning, and explaining what we need to change to get it right.
It is priceless.