Friday, September 25, 2015

The Lord uses Love and Logic? Who knew?

Oh my word! Mormon gives us the secret to having the Lord minister to us in the flesh! In verse 15 of chapter one in the book of Mormon, he says, 

 15 And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.

Remember, if it wasn't important, it wasn't put in the B of M. Every word counts. So what should we take this to mean? Why would Mormon add it? Is he bragging? Is he saying he's all that? Seriously, that wasn't his personality. What he's doing is telling us that he wasn't a silly kid, only interested in the latest styles or being popular. He was studious and who knows, maybe a little boring. But he's telling us that being sober is one of those qualities that gave him the upper hand and got the Savior to come visit. Is this really possible? Absolutely yes! I know people who have been visited by the Savior. Are they prophets in the traditional sense of the word? No! They are normal, average, everyday people like you and me! The theory that He will only visit a "prophet" is false and one of those "false doctrines" we need to STOP believing. It falls under "Unbelief".

16 And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity.

So, if the Lord appeared to you, would it be totally awesome? Would you want to tell the world? Would you want to shout it from the rooftops and convert everyone to the gospel who you loved and cared about and then some? Me too! But Mormon was forbidden! How depressing for him, and he was only 15!!! Wow!

We also find out our previous question in this verse. The one where we wondered what happened to the disciples? Well, they were taken away out of the land. Could some of them have died? Yeah, it's possible, but here it says they picked up and moved. At least that's what it looks like to me. Not absolutely necessary to know, but a fun detail, none the less.

It also says here that the people had willfully rebelled. Do you understand what that means? It means they'd had testimonies at one time. They had been taught the truth and basically gave the Lord the finger. They didn't care. They were angry, hateful, selfish, devilish and the like. The Lord is going to let them suffer the consequences of their choices. He uses Love and Logic, just like we should with our own children. That right there is a very important detail. There's only so much you can do and the Lord doesn't force. I find it very difficult to parent this way. I don't want to fight with my kids, but I do. I'm too controlling. I don't want them to do anything wrong. I prefer Satan's plan, I guess. It's something I'm working on.

17 But I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach unto them, because of the hardness of their hearts; and because of the hardness of their hearts the land was cursed for their sake.
 18 And these Gadianton robbers, who were among the Lamanites, did infest the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them again.
I get a kick out of these next two verses. The Lord curses the land because of the evilness of the people, and so he should. But the funny thing is, the worse the people become, the more attached to their possessions they become. It sounds like they are being robbed right and left, so what do the intelligent people of Zarahemla do? They bury their stuff. Probably money, jewels, and the like. But because of the curse, the land became "slippery". I LOVE that description! Basically, they can't remember where they buried their stuff. It slipped through their fingers. It reminds me of the movie "Holes" where they dig and dig, knowing it's down there somewhere, but they just can't seem to find it! What a sense of humor the Lord has!

Here's my favorite part of the whole chapter... kind of. If you have ever wondered if magic was real, if all those stories were true, now you can absolutely know they are. It's in the Book of Mormon! Mormon himself says it. Magic and sorcery exist. They are real!
19 And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samuel the Lamanite.
There you have it in words, plain and simple. "Magics" could also be interpreted to be the priesthood of the devil. He has priesthood too, you know. His could easily be considered black magic or sorcery. So, in this light it's not a great and positive thing like in the movie, Harry Potter. I prefer that kind of magic, and I believe it also exists, but we call it by a different name-the power of God or God's priesthood.
Anyway, just some good stuff to think about. Mormon was a really good kid at a young age. So much so that the Lord came to him. He had a job for him to do. He has a job for you too. Pray constantly. That's what Mormon did. He stayed in that (literally) God-forsaken land. He wanted to preach but wasn't allowed to. The other disciples were led away, but he was obviously told to stay there. Why? The only faithful member. Alone. How terrible, hard, and depressing it must have been. In the next chapter we'll find out why he had to stay. It's pretty amazing.

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