Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I made a mistake! Please forgive me!

Study time!

We're starting in Mormon 4 and it's pretty cool stuff, because Mormon is showing his human side again, and I have to laugh. What did he do? He changed his mind! He felt bad after a choice he made. He felt guilty for abandoning those he loved!

And it came to pass that I did go forth among the Nephites, and did repent of the oath which I had made that I would no more assist them; 

What exactly does this mean? Every word and sentence counts, so what was Mormon doing "going forth among the Nephite's"? It sounds like he was going around apologizing for abandoning them, because since he had dumped them, they'd lost all their battles and the Lamanites were about to wipe them all out. 

Mormon had a big heart and didn't want to see that happen. He wanted to win them back.

and they gave me command again of their armies, for they looked upon me as though I could deliver them from their afflictions.

They were hoping for another miracle. Mormon wanted to give it to them more than anything. How often do we do this in our own lives. We could probably think of a lot of times where we do this for our kids. Saving them from their own bad choices. Granted, most choices our kids make won't literally kill them, wiping them out completely, but still, we don't want them to suffer terribly. What is the right choice here? I think it's individual to the situation. It takes prayer and sometimes fasting. I'm sure Mormon did plenty of this before he went back to leading them. The Lord probably gave his OK. I can't picture him doing it without it.

But behold, I was without hope, for I knew the judgments of the Lord which should come upon them; for they repented not of their iniquities, but did struggle for their lives without calling upon that Being who created them.

Pretty self explanatory. But how many times has Mormon gone through this cycle? At least he never gives up. He's persistent. He loves his people. He doesn't want to see them destroyed for real, even though he's already seen it in a vision. I guess he's trying to prolong it. But that also sounds like torture. But we go through torture for our own children too. I have three teenagers. Tortured is my middle name.

The next verses are about more battles, which, now that Mormon is leading them again, they win! I'll bet the Nephites think he holds powerful magic! It makes me wonder why they don't believe him about God also. But we often see what we want to see, and ignore the rest.

And now behold, I, Mormon, do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes; but I, knowing that these things must surely be made known, and that all things which are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops—

Oh my. He is resisting telling us the terrible "whole" truth. He can't stand to describe it all once again. But he knows it has to be done and if he doesn't say it, someone else will be asked to. Many are called, but few are chosen. He does't just want to be called. He wants to be chosen too. Has this ever happened to you? Has the Lord ever asked you to do something you just didn't want to do? Did you accept or deny? I've done both. It's usually after the fact that I learn my mistake, but by then, it's over and there's no going back. 

And also that a knowledge of these things must come unto the remnant of these people, and also unto the Gentiles, who the Lord hath said should scatter this people, and this people should be counted as naught among them—

Wow! It's like watching an American History movie! The American Indians were absolutely counted as "naught" when the people wanted to colonize farther and farther west. None of their beliefs or history was important. They were considered animals, uncouth, and untrained. It's interesting that so many of their traditions and beliefs are back into popularity now, because, face it, truth is truth, and they did have some, which is why some of it is attractive.

—therefore I write a small abridgment, daring not to give a full account of the things which I have seen, because of the commandment which I have received, and also that ye might not have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of this people.

Whoa! He dares not tell all? It must be pretty dang terrible. His people must be beyond wicked and their destruction was beyond description. What does that entail? What were they doing that was so bad. Seriously? Could it be any worse than what our world is like now? Secret combinations among leaders? Craftiness among men? Murder, theft, rape and no conscience.

Our wars and secret combinations--and we all know they exist even if we aren't exactly sure where--are ruining our world. And we let them. We do. Otherwise the world wouldn't be like it is today. It seems impossible to fix. At least to me. What can one person do? I don't want to have a loud voice. Heck, I don't even want to write this blog. I'm not the person to lead a movement. I keep praying for someone else to stand up, but maybe that's what we're all doing. No wonder.

I'm not sure how to change this other than to take one small step at a time, to make my voice heard. That's why I'm writing this blog. I was told to, so I'm trying to be "chosen" and not just called. Maybe I'll be asked to do more in the future and this post is the first step in that direction. I guess we'll see.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Can you hear me now?

Do you believe the Lord will communicate with you directly? Most people think he doesn't, that it's the Holy Ghost who is delegated to that job, that the HG will relay any messages the Savior wants us to know, but I read this next verse In Mormon 3 and question that philosophy. Maybe he will speak to us directly.

 14 And when they (the Nephites)  had sworn by all that had been forbidden them by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that they would go up unto their enemies to battle, and avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren, behold the voice of the Lord came unto me, saying:

It doesn't say the the Holy Spirit came to him, or that he felt an impression, or that his heart burned with a feeling, it says that the voice of the Lord came to him. The Lord did not appear to him physically, but Mormon heard his voice.

This is important! We should ponder this! What does this mean for us? It doesn't say that Mormon heard the Lord's voice out loud. He could have, but it's also plausible that he heard the Lord's voice in his mind. Has this ever happened to you?

Here's what the Lord says to Mormon...

15 Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth.

That's pretty cut and dry. Quite often, I'm guilty of thinking that God sets things in motion and then lets us live, suffering the consequences of our own choices, but here, it sounds pretty clear that he's going to step in and serve up vengeance. This is a huge debate. Does the Savior cause things to happen? Does he punish or are the things we think are punishments really just the natural consequences of our actions? Where we sometimes get confused is that our time is not the Lord's time. His "punishments" seldom happen instantly. At least from what I've seen.

 16 And it came to pass that I utterly refused to go up against mine enemies; and I did even as the Lord had commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations of the Spirit which had testified of things to come.

Mormon utterly refused? How could he do that unless the people were persistently nagging him to lead them? They didn't want to lose their illustrious leader, but I like how he wouldn't bend. The Lord commanded him to be a witness to what he saw and heard, and then write about it on the plates. I LOVE that he added the phrase, "idle witness". It means he didn't interfere. He didn't keep preaching to them. He didn't try to change the outcome. His people were too far gone and he had finally accepted it. Also, in this verse he mentions that the spirit had manifested futuristic things to him, things that were to come. This states that Mormon KNEW the difference between the Lord's voice and the Holy Ghost's voice.That's cool.

These next verses are awesome and can't be separated! They need to be read as one. 

17 Therefore I write unto you, Gentiles, and also unto you, house of Israel, when the work shall commence, that ye shall be about to prepare to return to the land of your inheritance; 18 Yea, behold, I write unto all the ends of the earth; yea, unto you, twelve tribes of Israel, who shall be judged according to your works by the twelve whom Jesus chose to be his disciples in the land of Jerusalem. 19 And I write also unto the remnant of this people, (the Nephites and Lamanites) who shall also be judged by the twelve whom Jesus chose in this land; and they shall be judged by the other twelve whom Jesus chose in the land of Jerusalem. 

So, he's basically talking to the whole world. Why doesn't he just say "everybody"? Because he wants to be absolutely clear. He's talking to us. There is no doubt. He's talking to YOU. So listen up. You don't want to miss it. 

20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;

 21 And also that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ and the very God.
 22 And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.
These last three verses are so powerful! Mormon has seen the outcome for all people in a vision. The Lord showed it to him. He also showed him our outcome. Why would he feel the need to persuade us to come to Christ and to recognize His gospel that is among us unless we need him to? 

A huge part of understanding the gospel is understanding the Book of Mormon. It's the cornerstone of our religion.The Book of Mormon is for us, but do we use it? It's an onion. How many layers deep have you gone? Have you only scratched the surface? The B of M is not for "gentiles" who will never read it. It's for the "gentiles" who will. Us. The Mormons. Why does Mormon feel the need to warn us when we have the truth already? That is something to figure out. 

Let's read that last one again.

 22 And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.

I think this is good advice. We should probably take it. The way you do this is by getting down on your knees and asking the Lord what he expects of you. It's by asking him to show you where your unbelief lies and to teach you truth. It's by begging him to make you his instrument. It's what we are supposed to do. It's what we are commanded to do. 

None of us are perfect, but God can make us the perfect instrument. We can hear his voice, just like Mormon. We can learn, progress and grow in spirit. 

I have a splitting headache today, so I hope this post is understandable. These are things I strive to do myself. I feel like the Savior wants me to share these things, and like I've said before, I don't know why he wants to me to write this blog, but I will strive to be obedient, even if it's just for me.

Remember something, the harder you work for the Lord, the harder the adversary will work on you. So, in the midst of your spiritual metamorphosis, if you life goes to hell, just know you are on the right track!