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7 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2008 - 7:15PM #1
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
[SIZE=3]Well it’s time to start;

This year for Sunday School we will be reading the Book of Mormon and I thought this would be a good time to read through together.

This thread is for positive discussion only a second thread will be started for those who have questions concerning the coming forth etc.

The Book of Mormon can be found here;
http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/contents

The study guide can be found here

[/SIZE]http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=d7561b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=8d2512ca67c20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____

Sorry that is so long.

This first lesson is on why the Book of Mormon is the Keystone of our religion.

While Jesus is the corner stone by which the foundation is laid. The Book of Mormon is the keystone. A Keystone is the middle stone in an arch which supports the structure, pull it out and the arch falls.

I looked at it in two ways. Everything we believe is based on the truthfulness of Joseph Smiths story concerning the Book of Mormon. If that story is a lie then all else grumbles.

Secondly the Book supports all we believe concerning Christ and his atonement. It is a witness of that atonement.

The study guided asked ‘What are three purposes of the Book of Mormon?’ And then asks us to read from the title page;

1, “Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers;

2, that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—

3, And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL God, manifesting himself unto all nations

We had quite a long discussion on the need for “ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST” in the world today. There were a number of examples of how Jesus and his atonement are under attack even by those who call themselves Christian.

There were these three questions asked and I was hoping we could all give some thoughts on.

1, What have you learned from the Book of Mormon about Jesus Christ?

2, How has the Book of Mormon strengthened your testimony of Jesus Christ?

3, What passages in the Book of Mormon are particularly inspiring to you?
Wise men still seek him.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2008 - 7:19PM #2
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
I’d like to answer the second one. When I was struggling with my testimony of Christ I came to the question of why, why the blood and why the suffering. I had read the Bible over and over trying to find something that satisfied my logical mind, it didn’t seem right that someone else would have to pay for my sins.

I think Alma 34 helped me the most to understand why;

“For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, ….for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternalsacrifice…..behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal.
And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.”


I like the phrase “infinite atonement”. I was attending another Church a few months back and the teacher was trying to describe how vast the atonement was. I use that phrase and his eye lit up and he said yes that’s it. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I was quoting from the Book of Mormon.

It helped me to come to an understanding that God operates on fixed eternal law. One law is the law of Justice and another is the law of Mercy

Then this passage from Alma 42 “And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of cjustice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also”

Once I grasp hold of that thought then I was able to really bow my knee to Christ and ask for his mercy.
Wise men still seek him.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 08, 2008 - 12:49AM #3
moksha8088
Posts: 4,984
WWA, you you do an insightful but short analysis and synopsis of this Sundays lesson that we can read ahead of time? :D
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 09, 2008 - 1:15PM #4
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
Well we’ve got Stake conferences this week so I’m going to be behind already;

Lesson 2: “All Things According to His Will”,
1 Nephi 1–7

Some of this just seems so fundamental Ya think they could come up with something new.
I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents,

Here is an article by Kent Brown

http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/pdf.php?filename=NjUxMzI1MjUzLTE1LTIucGRm&type=amJtcw==

There are some nice pictures of the area.

I found a passage in Prov 22 which I thought was good;
“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”
Wise men still seek him.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2008 - 5:23PM #5
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
The Vision of the Tree of Life
1 Nephi 8–11; 12:16–18; 15

We did a lot of comparing back and forth and asked the difference between Nephi’s attitude and his brothers.

Our teacher asked why the great and spacious building floated in the air “it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth”, I never thought about it before but he said it was because it was without foundation.

Our main focus was on
“And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore”
And
“Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.”

A number of the class members commented on how they felt when they first tasted of the fruit and how that feeling has lasted through the years.

One point which was made is that once we taste of the fruit we want to share it with everyone.
Nephi wrote.

“I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit…”
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2008 - 6:05PM #6
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
This is an interesting web site on the Tree of Life and "Tree of Life Stela"

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/arch-Bof-M-TofL.html

And this one from FARMS

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table= … ipts&id=16
Wise men still seek him.
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7 years ago  ::  Jan 27, 2008 - 6:05PM #7
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
This is an interesting web site on the Tree of Life and "Tree of Life Stela"

http://www.mayanbeachgarden.com/arch-Bof-M-TofL.html

And this one from FARMS

http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table= … ipts&id=16
Wise men still seek him.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2008 - 1:24AM #8
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
Chapter 4 of 2 Nephi is just so packed with good things;


“For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children. Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.”

I don’t think we do that much these days, we are to caught up in watch TV and sports etc.


Nephi then writes such a beautiful poem. I decided to look for a chiasmus which is an ancient Semitic traditional way of writing. Samples of it can be found in the Bible. This poem of Nephi’s begins in verse 17. I went about half way down and began comparing verses. It doesn’t have to use the same wording but have the same feeling or even the opposite D&D is a could example.

J, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord,
I, my heart exclaimeth:
H, nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
G, he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me
F, He hath confounded mine enemies,
E, away upon exceedingly high mountains.
D, and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow,
C,strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
B, And why should I yield to sin,
A, afflict my soul?

A, Awake, my soul!
B, No longer droop in sin.
C, slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
D, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God,
E, that I may walk in the path of the low valley,
F, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies!
G, thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way,
H, O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever.
I, therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee
J, my God, the rock of my righteousness.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2008 - 11:07AM #9
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
In our Sunday school we concentrated on 2 Nephi 9 and discussed the difference between temporal death and spiritual death. This whole concept called “the plan of happiness” is what brought me to Christ.

Nephi writes that because of the fall if weren’t for Christ’s atonement we would be spiritually dead;

“ And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself;….O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit…”

And then I’ve gone to Alma 42
“And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after theirown will.
Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.

Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.”

I believe the idea is that if we had only been redeemed from the physical death we still would have been cut off from the presences of God and so spiritual dead. We needed to be reclaimed spiritually.

When I was struggling with my faith and testimony I found this whole thing very puzzling and questioned the need for any kind of redemption.

[COLOR=red]Why should someone else have to die for my sins?[/COLOR]

Then I read this in Alma 42
“…..there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth…What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God. “


I guess I came to realize that our Father is a God of law, just laws. For every sin which is committed a punishment must be given; he wishes to show us mercy but he can’t show us mercy without destroying his own law of justice.



His whole purpose is to make us in his likeness and part of that likeness is to know good from evil, how do we know it unless we experience it. But by experiencing it we then are cut off from his presences, so he set up this way through the atonement to reclaim us.



In verse 7 of 2 Nephi 9 he says;

“Wherefore, it must needs be an infiniteatonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption.”

I crossed reverence this to Alma 34

“For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, ….. it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternalsacrifice. …this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal. … And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety,…”

And then back to Alma 42
“And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also”

I like that phrase “infinite atonement” We have an Infinite God who gave his Son as an infinite atonement to redeem us spiritually.
Wise men still seek him.
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7 years ago  ::  Mar 11, 2008 - 8:13AM #10
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,288
This is an interesting article on the birth right and how it was Nephi received it.
http://www.ldsmag.com/bookofmormon/080310nephi.html

“…Jeremiah recorded, “Then I took the cup at the LORD'S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me: To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof and the princes thereof.” [vs.18] Jeremiah prophesied to the unrepentant rulers, “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue [vomit], and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I shall send among you.” [vs. 27]

Perhaps Jeremiah directed this prophecy to Laban, since Laban was clearly a leader of the Jews. The prophecy was fulfilled literally in his case.

Nephi described his encounter with Laban,


As I came near to the house of Laban I beheld a man, and he was fallen to the earth before me, for he was drunken with wine. And when I came to him I found that it was Laban” [1 Nephi 4:7-8]
And again, I knew that the Lord had delivered Laban into my hands for this cause — that I might obtain the records according to his commandments. Therefore I did obey the voice of the Spirit, and took Laban by the hair of the head, and I smote off his head with his own sword.” [1 Nephi 4:17 –18]

Jeremiah's prophecy was literally fulfilled in Laban's case. Laban was drunk and drunk people vomit. He had fallen and he did not rise again because he was killed with the sword…”
Wise men still seek him.
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