Monday, October 21, 2013

I Will Give You Rest

Do you remember when your faith and joy were full to the brim? If that time seems lost, it can be found again.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Be Ye Therefore Perfect

Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Now, without cheating, can you remember the context of these familiar words?  Certainly the words are a profound directive in themselves, but are we missing anything by studying this verse in isolation?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Why do ye ponder these things in your hearts?

After Nephi writes concerning the doctrine of Christ1, he feels compelled to continue.  He feels as if, even after he has spoken with plainness, his audience (us!) do not understand what we should do.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Soul Delighteth in Plainness

Before closing his prophetic writings, Nephi feels compelled to share a few more teachings about the doctrine of Christ.  He promises that he will speak plainly concerning this doctrine so that we can understand his prophesying.  What does he mean by this?  Is he saying that he will "dumb it down" for us simpletons so that he can get it through our thick skulls?  I don't think so.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Manner of Happiness

Once Laman and Lemuel had had their fill of the Lord's chastisement, they decided to take away Nephi's life.  Following a warning from the Lord, Nephi took everyone who would follow him and departed into the wilderness.  After traveling for many days, they pitched their tents and began to build a permanent residence for themselves.  They planted crops, raised livestock, built buildings, erected a temple, and most importantly, they followed the Lord.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Heart Groaneth

Because of its poetic form, verses 16-35 of Second Nephi chapter 4 are often referred to as "the psalm of Nephi."1 Nephi's psalm is an individual lament about Nephi's own status as an ever-repenting sinner.  It is important to note that this lament is not one of self-pity.  The purpose of Nephi's words is not to declare "Wo is me, for I am a sinner and will always be a sinner."  His attitude is one of solemn introspection coupled with a commitment to trust in the Lord.  This type of lamentation is similar to the seven penitential psalms found in the Old Testament (see Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 69, 102, 130).2

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Admonitions of the Lord

Shortly before Lehi's death, he speaks with the children of Laman and Lemuel. He leaves a blessing with them that if they are cursed because of their parents, the curse will be answered upon the heads of their parents. After years of warning1 Laman and Lemuel that they should repent, the forebodings2 he had felt about them were almost sure to be realized at this point.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Joseph Truly Saw Our Day

It doesn't seem that the Book of Mormon makes very much mention of Joseph, son of Lehi, but 2 Nephi 3 is prophecy given by Lehi specifically to Joseph. I have wondered before why it is that this chapter is directed at him. The most obvious answer is that he shares a name with Joseph of Egypt and Joseph Smith. It is also true that his seed will be blessed1 through the tribe of Ephraim, but so will the descendants of Laman and Lemuel. Perhaps what was shared by Lehi, though directed to Joseph, was meant to be heard by all of Lehi's children (and all of us too).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Free To Choose

The Fall of Adam gave all men (who kept their first estate) the chance to experience mortal life, and to know good and evil, virtue and vice, and happiness and misery. But as I mentioned in my last post, all of these things would have eventually led to an unhappy ending if it were not for the Atonement. The Fall without the Atonement is akin to skydiving without a parachute.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

That They Might Have Joy

In the garden of Eden, God commanded Adam and Eve that they should not partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. In my last post, I posed the question of whether Adam and Eve made the right decision in eating the fruit. The obvious answer is yes, but why? Why would God give them a commandment that He wanted them to disobey?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

That He Should Act For Himself

One of God's greatest gifts to us is the gift of agency. God has created things to act, and things to be acted upon. We fall into the category of "things to act." We have the ability choose our own actions and to shape our own destiny. It is our agency which allows us to learn, grow, and become like God.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An Opposition in All Things (Part 4)

In my last post I talked about the power of the atonement and resurrection to bring us back before God to be judged. Continuing in 2 Nephi 2:

Friday, April 5, 2013

An Opposition in All Things (Part 3)

In yesterday's post  I talked about the need for a Messiah to save us from the consequences of our sins. But the atonement saves us from more than just spiritual death as a consequence of sin, it also made possible the resurrection of the dead. Picking up where I left off in 2 Nephi 2:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

An Opposition in All Things (Part 2)

In yesterday's post, I painted a somewhat bleak picture of the consequences of sin for all men. Today, I continue in 2 Nephi 2 to see how we can be saved from those consequences:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

An Opposition in All Things (Part 1)

For the last few weeks, I have been studying 2 Nephi 2 and related scriptures. This is not the first time that I have taken to an in-depth study of this chapter, and it has been every bit as rewarding this time as it has in the past. Something new that I have been trying is to make a list of vocabulary words from the chapter, and then find a suitable definition for each one. The list turned out to be quite long. For verses 4 through 11 alone, I came up with a list of twenty-eight words.