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Switch to Forum Live View The Book of Mormon once again;
8 years ago  ::  Apr 04, 2010 - 10:55AM #21
Posts: 6,091

I found this from Br Hinckley.

"Absolutely basic to our faith is our testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, who under a divine plan was born in Bethlehem of Judea. He grew in Nazareth as the carpenter’s son, within him the elements of both mortality and immortality received, respectively, from his earthly mother and his Heavenly Father. In the course of his brief earthly ministry, he walked the dusty roads of Palestine healing the sick, causing the blind to see, raising the dead, teaching doctrines both transcendent and beautiful. He was, as Isaiah had prophesied, “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

He reached out to those whose burdens were heavy and invited them to cast their burdens upon him, declaring, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” He “went about doing good,” and was hated for it.  His enemies came against him. He was seized, tried on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy the cries of the mob, and condemned to die on Calvary’s cross.

The nails pierced his hands and feet, and he hung in agony and pain, giving himself a ransom for the sins of all men. He died crying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

He was buried in a borrowed tomb and on the third day rose from the grave. He came forth triumphant, in a victory over death, the firstfruits of all that slept. With his resurrection came the promise to all men that life is everlasting, that even as in Adam all die, in Christ all are made alive.

Nothing in all of human history equals the wonder, the splendor, the magnitude, or the fruits of the matchless life of the Son of God, who died for each of us. He is our Savior. He is our Redeemer. As Isaiah foretold, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

He is the chief cornerstone of the church which bears his name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is no other name given among men whereby we can be saved. He is the author of our salvation, the giver of eternal life. There is none to equal him. There never has been. There never will be. Thanks be to God for the gift of his Beloved Son, who gave his life that we might live, and who is the chief, immovable cornerstone of our faith and his church."

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2010 - 7:52AM #22
Posts: 6,091

“…after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost…” 1 Nephi 8

This imagery is rather powerful. Those in the great building wearing their fine clothing are of course the world. I think the fine clothing can represent a number of different things. It can be friends and family who actually are concerned for the new convert. It can be professors or academia scoffing at the idea of even God. It can be the material world in general scoffing at those who give up worldly pleasures.

Hey we’re Mormons we believe the Father and the Son appeared to a fourteen year old kid named Joseph Smith. We get scoffed at for that all the time, yet millions and millions believe.

But then why is it so hard to believe if one already believes God himself came down, took a body died on a cross and was resurrected. That seems more illogical, why do so many believe?

Why can’t God appear to a person today anymore than he appeared to prophets in the Old Testament, why shouldn’t he. Why is it easier to believe in something that happened 2000 years ago than something that happened 180 years ago?

It all has to do with the witness of the Holy Spirit, it can’t be explained any other way.

I have a couple of Bible passages I would like to compare this too;

“…The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they like which are sown on stoney ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended…” Mark 4

“… many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God…” John 12

And then this from Peter;

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning…”

I think the reason here is because they are denying the Holy Ghost, they have had their witness and then turned their backs on him. The world means more to them than the Savior.

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2010 - 11:53AM #23
Posts: 6,091

More on Lehi’s dream

In Lehi’s dream he sees that his sons Laman and Lemuel never do partake of the fruit of the tree. Nephi writes that his father exhort his brothers “with all the feelings of a tender parent”. He preached to them hoping to turn them around but then it says “he did cease speaking to them”. As parents we can’t force a child and there is a point our words become nil and void.

In chapter 11 Nephi writes;

“…I had desired to know the things that my father had seen and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord…”

We can compare that to Laman and Lemuel’s attitude;

… my brethren…were disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them…and they said; Behold, we cannot understand the words which our father hath spoken…and I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord? And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us…”

The Bible says that God will give to all men liberally, but they must ask in faith, nothing wavering, see James 1.

But how does one know when his prays have been answered? I went through the scriptures looking for passages which could shed some light.

In Luke 24 there are some men walking to Emmaus. The Savior comes to them but they don’t know who he is. He teaches them using the scriptures and helps to understand them in a different light. The men later say

“Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?”

There are two important elements here, he used the scriptures and the Spirit testified to them. That burning heart is the Spirit witnessing, and no that is not heart burn.

In D&C 9 Oliver Cowdrey had some questions and he is told;

“…Behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you…”

There is this inter movement of the soul. Paul speaks of it in Rom 8 “The Spirit itself bearth witness with our spirit…”

Oliver was the scribe to Joseph Smith had a spiritual conversion even before he met him. Joseph Sr. had told him of the plates and Oliver had made it a matter of prayer. He received a witness of the Spirit and he decided to leave his employment and go to Joseph. Lucy Smith quotes him thusly

“I have now resolved what I will do[,] for the thing which I told you seems working in my very bones insomuch that I cannot for a moment get rid of it.”

When he preparing to commence the work and he asked again if this was what he was suppose to do. Oliver was an educated man and I have to think that at some point he asked himself if this is real, this man claims to have seen an angel and have gold plates?

He is told in a revelation;

“Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten they mind; and now I tell thee these thing that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth… I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?”

That idea of peace is important

In Alma 58:11 it says;

“… it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith…”

Paul says that one of the fruits of the Spirit is peace, see Gal 5:22.

In contrast to this in 3Nephi 11 it says;

“…verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another”

I think my point is here that there was a huge difference between Nephi and his brothers he sought the Lord while they disputed with each other.

Nephi’s conversion was one he sought for, it wasn’t something that came in a big prayer meeting where a preacher made an alter call. It was him and the Lord. Same too with Oliver, he pondered what he had heard and then went to the Lord alone and asked. My own mother had a similar witness and conversion. She read the Book of Mormon, no missionaries just her and the book. She prayed and received that Spirit to spirit witness which Paul spoke of.

When the Holy Spirit speaks to us our hearts or souls burn within us. Oliver said “working in my very bones”. This will bring about a peace of the Spirit and we will know if it is true. Now not everyone receives a big production, mine wasn’t. I gained my witness little by little until one day I just knew, can’t explain it any other way.

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2010 - 9:55AM #24
Posts: 6,091

Morning everyone, I know there is someone reading this for I haven’t looked at this 589 times. Wish someone would make some sort of comment though.

In the next few chapters Nephi sees his father’s dream but in much more detail. He sees the birth of Christ his death and then his appearance on this continent. And, he also sees the finally destruction of his people. Kind of a heavy load I should think.

In chapter 13 he sees the gentiles coming to possess the land and bringing the Bible with them.

“…and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God. Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God…


He then talks about the great and abominable Church which is created by the gentiles and how it warps the fulness of the gospel.

“.. they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away…. That they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men… an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them…”

In Acts 20 Paul warns a group of Church leaders;

“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter ina among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them”

Later in his second letter to the Thessalonians he warns them not to think that the second coming is tomorrow or any time soon.

“…be not soon shaken … as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you … for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition …. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work…” 2 Thess 1-7

In 1 John 2 John is discussing the issue of the anti-Christ and says there are many of them. They are those that teach false doctrines and “denieth the Father and the Son”.

He says something else in there and unless one understands this falling away one might miss it.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrist; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us…”

“The last time” meaning the end of something.

There are three important things here we must understand. Many Christians whom I have spoken to believe that this falling away is something that will happen in the future that they are part of the orthodox belief system.

BUT, the Bible tells us something different.

1, The Apostles knew it was going to happen, it was part of their warnings to the Church.

2, It was beginning while they were yet alive.

3, It was Church leaders who were perverting the Gospel.

I believe this goes back to Jesus’ prophecy in Matt 24 when he says many shall come in my name and warns the Apostles “…they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you”.

Paul to Timothy wrote “ all they which are in Asia be turned away from me..”. And John in 3 John tells us that the “Brethren” were cast out of the Church. Christ gave us a time table for this when he quoted Daniel and spoke of “the abomination of desolation“. Without going into it a lot Daniel prophesied the destruction of the temple which occurred in 70 ad. See Dan 9 &11.

And then he says; “…there shall arise false Christ and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect”

Well who were the very elect?

Peter wrote to the Church; “…brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure…” 2 Peter 1:10

*Much has been said Mormon and non Mormon about the Catholic church being this great an abominable church but this is not what the Book of Mormon actually says

“….Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil…” 1 Nephi 14

So it is not any one Church but those who are for Christ and those who oppose him. I think one could be a member of the Mormon Church and still be part of the Devil’s if he is sinning and full of pride. One can be Catholic serving God the best he knows how and be part of the Church of the Lamb.

Paul to the Church of Thessalonia “ Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God..”

So basically Christ was saying the Church members, the elect, will be deceived. Now Nephi doesn’t say the whole Gospel will be destroyed but that parts of the Gospel will be taken away. The Gospel, salvation through the atonement of Christ, was preached throughout the world but many plain and precious elements were missing.

It all has to do with what is in one’s heart.

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  Apr 22, 2010 - 8:57PM #25
Posts: 1,441

Just stumbled upon this thread, so it has not been me reading previously  Laughing

Some will prefer to read and not comment, and that is fine.   Keep up the good work.Smile

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8 years ago  ::  Apr 26, 2010 - 10:54PM #26
Posts: 6,091

I thought I would give a short list of what I think the plain and precious things are which were taken away.

1. The real identity of God.

*The relationship between the Father and Son, I mean the doctrine of the Trinity denies this relationship. It says there is only one God who became Christ or Christ is the logos of the Father. It’s such an incomprehensible doctrine that it does not reflect what the Bible actually teaches. At least to me it doesn’t. The Athanasian creed even calls God incomprehensible.

“The Father incomprehensible , the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible …. As also there are not three incomprehensible … but one incomprehensible.”

The first time I read that John 1:5 came into my mind. “ and the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not”

I feel the Bible clearly teaches there is a Father and then his Son Jesus Christ. And the a second spirit beings we call the Holy Spirit. These three are on Elohim. The word Elohim is plural and connotes all powerful. I think that word has been misunderstood to mean one being rather than one unit or quorum as we Mormons would put it.

*Also the nature of God, there simply is no such thing as an immaterial substance. The Bible clearly teaches us that we are made in the image of God. Christ said that on the third day he would be perfected, and he rose with a perfected immortal physical body. He showed his apostles his hands and feet, he ate fish and honeycomb with them. Hebs 1 says that Christ is the exact image of the Father and I believe that.

*And then our relationship as children/offspring of God. Most Christians I’ve talked to seem to see God as this far away immaterial substance which chooses who will be saved and who won’t.

The Gospel teaches us to call El Father and Christ Brother because they are just that, our Father and Brother in heaven. We are the spirit offspring of God.


2 How salvation comes to us.

I’ll go back to this Athanasian creed

“ Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish… and that Catholic Faith is this; That we worship one God in Trinity…except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved..”

In this whole creed I don’t see the word grace at all and there is one line at the end about being judged by works. What id says is that salvation comes to those who believe a, b & c about God.

It seems to me that many but certainly not all Christians have the idea that if they believe a certain way then they are saved. And, if you don’t believe a certain way then you’re damned. If you don’t belief in their definition of the “real Jesus” then you are going to hell to burn.

Christ never said anything like that, he never said if you believe this and that you are saved.

We firstly are save by the grace of his atonement.

And then he gave commandments, He said to love God, love your neighbor, repent, turn the other cheek, be baptized and come and follow me.

Nephi wrote “and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away”

I talk to a lot of Evangelicals here on belief net and most of them deny the need for baptism, they have lost the idea of the covenant which is made at baptism.

We call it the New and Everlasting covenant and it extends into the temple covenants and the covenant of eternal marriage. All of this has been lost and now restored to the earth. It’s not that it isn’t in the Bible, it’s just been misunderstood.

In Mark 10 the Lord discusses some of the central themes of this covenant.

Eternal Marriage;

“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What there fore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder..”

“..whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever…” Eccl 3:14

Law of Consecration or the United Order

A young man comes to him and ask what he must do to have eternal life. First he says have you obeyed the Ten Commandments and the boy says yes and then he says “sell whatsoever thou has, and give to the poor … take up the cross, and follow me..”

Later we see in the Acts members of the Church doing just that, selling what they have and giving it all to the Church or Peter. It says they had all things in common.

Eternal families;

In verses 29-31 there is I believe a miss translation of some kind because it appears the Lord is promising that if you follow him you will get houses etc a hundredfold in this lifetime, but I don’t think that was his intent.

Peter says to Christ we have left all to follow you and he wants to know if there will be some reward for it.

Christ says as his followers we must be willing to leave or give up all that we hold dear; houses, family. That is part of our temple covenants. Then he says those who do shall receive an hundredfold all back, most importantly family; brothers, sisters, children, mothers. It says in this world, how can that be? How can we get a hundred fold of a sister or mother? I believe he is talking about the sealing of family in this life to be ours in the world to come. Peter held the keys to bind on earth that which is in heaven, see Matt 16.

If anyone reading would care to debate these issues we could start a Mormon Bible discussion, it’s one of our sacred text too.

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  May 05, 2010 - 6:15AM #27
Posts: 6,091

In Nephi 14 his vision continues and he gives a prophecy to the Gentiles/us white people who took the land, concerning their worship of the Lamb of God.

“…if the Gentiles shall hearken into the Lamb of God … he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed …and harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, ….they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity……Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be they harden their hearts against the Lamb of God. For the time cometh …..that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other-either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually…”

I can’t help but wonder if this hasn’t started already.

As we look at America and the path it is going down it does seem we are hardening our collective hearts. We’ve taken God out of our schools, even to the point of teaching there is none. We have accepted abortions just as a matter of fact. There is a war on Christmas where some seem afraid to even say Merry Christmas. We can’t put up the nativity in public places or sing about the baby Jesus in schools. There is a cross out in California someone is trying to remove through a law suit. Someone else wants to remove “in God We Trust” from our money and there are those using the courts to end the National Day of Prayer calling it against the Constitution. The general morality among our people has sunk; shop lifting, cheating, gambling, greed, pornography and sexual immorality etc.

A great deal of this has all been done through the courts rather than the people. There is an effort to not only have separation of Church and State but freedom from any and all expression of faith.

In Alma 10 there is a similar kind of down fall and Amulek says to them; “…the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges”

There are those who are rewriting our history to say our founding fathers were not Christian which is a lie. Perhaps they were not Evangelical Christians as we have today but they were Christian and Bible believing people. I have a quote here from Benjamin Franklin as he addressed those writing the Constitution.

“…how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humble applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, …. We had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered…And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? ….. God governs in the affairs of men…We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writing, that “except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it”

He then pleaded that they have prayers lead by local Christian clergy every morning.

Sometimes it’s just knowing the Bible as well as these men did. The phrase “the Father of lights” comes from James 1 and refers to the Father in the Christian godhead. He calls the scripture sacred and quotes Ps 127. It is recorded that George Washington then lead most of the members of that first Congress down to Reformed Calvinist Lutheran Church for prayers. And then later they implemented Franklin’s advice asking two clergy to give prayers for them every morning. That tradition has continued to this day.

Are our leaders today as devout as these men were? I don’t know but how many of them are there to hear the pray which is given at the opening of a session? I do know that at least half of our leaders support abortions.

Part of the problem is that Christianity has changed. It was been watered down so that many who call themselves Christian no longer believe in the atoning Christ but an ethical Christ. They do not accept his divinity as Son of God. There are Churches who in their attempt to be all loving are all accepting of sin, they say there is no sin. They glorify in sin and have gay minister.

Jude complained of this;

“…there are certain men crept in unawares…ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness and denying the only God, and our Lord Jesus Christ…”

I heard a man the other day on TV who claimed to be a minister which fit Jude’s statement to a T. He said that Christ wasn’t the only way to heaven, that there were many paths. Also there are the Rev. Wrights out there preaching hate.

In other prophecies like the one to the Jaredites they are warned if they don’t repent the land would be taken over and given to another people. And, in the previous chapter here Nephi tells them the Gentiles will come and push them off the land. But, this time the warning doesn’t say anything like that it talks about the Great an Abominable church which will take over the land and enslave the people.

“…I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God..”

So the captivity will happen in and among us not from an outside force. When I said I feel like it has already started I’m looking at the debt America has and which our grandchildren will inherit, debt is a ball and chain. Much of our government is now controlled by unelected bureaucrats who make decisions with out a vote. The government now controls all student loans, health care and a great deal of the housing market. With this new banking law an agency is going to be set up which will have the ability to look at every single banking transaction we make. All banks and financial institutions will have to turn over all of their information about you. And I don’t believe they need a warrant to take a look. I’m thinking of Joe the Plumber and how fast a government agency had his info and was handing it off to democratic operatives. Will we be put in the position as a people we are afraid to speak out against our government or anyone in power for fear grandma won’t get that hip replacement? Our home loan will be denied and our kids won’t get into the best schools?

Okay I’ll get off my soap box, I’m just pointing out that here’s a Book of Mormon prophecy coming to pass!

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  May 07, 2010 - 10:33AM #28
Posts: 6,091

I’m still on 1 Nephi 14

“…I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters…”


The term many waters is an idiom for Babylon, see Jer 51:13-14. The city was built upon the Euphrates with steep embankments to contain flooding. If you look at a map of the place it looks like the river itself divides just north of there into forks. The name means fruitful and I suppose the soil was very good with plenty of water. But according to Jewish folklore it was Nimrod who established Babylon and who first introduced idol worship. There is an article at Wikipedia on Nimrod and all his evils, kind of fun to read.

Babylon has come to mean all the evil and depravity of the world, a church founded by the Devil.

Nephi continues

“Nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw…”

So the Church of Christ will never be huge compared to the rest of the world. He goes on to say that this evil whore will gather to fight against the Lamb of God. As I said in my previous posting it seems like that is happening now.

But there is a promise;

“I… beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory..”

I’m thinking that power is the priesthood power. He then says that the nations of the world will begin to fight and make war among themselves. Then he stops and says he is forbidden to write further because John, as in the Book of Revelations, is the one who will write about the end of the world.

And he says “…and also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them: and they are sealed up to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord, unto the house of Israel…”

It sounds like we can expect some sort of new writings to come forth which will reveal the end of the world.

Makes me curious.

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  May 09, 2010 - 5:58PM #29
Posts: 6,091

I have touched on chapter 15 already so I’ll move on to 16. I thought I’d do a quick posting but the more I started reading the longer this got.

At first there seems to be a short peace made in the family. It says his brothers humbled themselves before the Lord.

They have a number of weddings, the brothers Laman, Lemuel, Nephi and Sam marry the daughters of Ishmael and Zoram marries the oldest.


Ishmael has two married sons who have come with them. Only in 2 Nephi 5 does he ever mention having sisters, they follow Nephi later as they flee from Laman and Lemuel. They may have been born while in the wilderness, Jacob and Joseph were. That makes 6 sons plus some sisters. If I’m counting right it makes at least 9 grown men plus their wives and children traveling together. That means they need a lot of food!

To this point they are still in the valley of Lemuel but that is about to change. Lehi is instructed of the Lord to now begin the major part of their journey. One morning he walks out of his tent to find

“….a round ball of curious workmanship: and it was of fine brass. And within the ball were two spindles: and the one pointed the way whither we should go into the wilderness”

This ball was called the Liahona which met director and was like a compass only it did not work using a magnetic pointer but would work only according to their faith. Alma later says it was a shadow or type of Christ;

“For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise”

I think this tangible object was given to them because of Laman and Lemuel’s weakness. They needed something seen to keep them on the right path if just long enough to get them there. Moses had his staff, a visible object to keep his doubters in line. Joseph Smith was given a seer stone to help guide him.

Back in 1 Nephi 7 he wrote;

“Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him”

He is a man of extraordinary faith, never in this story does he waver

Now Nephi back in chapter 16 gives us an example of how this works. They have been traveling for sometime hunting along the way to feed themselves but their food has become scarce and they are hungry. Nephi goes out looking for food when he breaks his bow. His brothers and the sons of Ishmael begin to murmur and he writes; “also my father began to murmur against the Lord his God”

I think this is a good point; Prophets are not perfect. In the Bible Balaam wavers and then falls to temptation. In the New Testament Judas see many miracles yet falls and betrays the Savior. I imagine that Lehi faltered as he watched his family suffer, there must have been a forsaken feeling. He had done up to then everything the Lord had asked him yet they suffered. When Nephi’s bow broke it was the last straw for him. The Lord chastens Lehi and he is brought down to the depths of sorrow. Reminds me of D&C 3 and the chastisement Joseph gets or the Brother of Jared after he has not prayed for a while.

Nephi was by no means perfect either and I will make a point later that I feel shows this but here he has a more practical attitude. He goes out and makes another bow. He then goes to his father to ask which way he should go to look for food and after everyone humbles themselves the pointers show which way to go. Nephi finds the animals and brings back dinner. The whole episode teaches them that they must remain faithful to get direction from the Lord.

These are some second thoughts I had after doing some reading.

In this chapter Nephi’s bow is made of steel, which is mentioned in the Bible several times, Job 20:24 and Ps 18. As I understand it this bow would not be out of steel like we have to day but would have gone through a process of steeling. Iron would be put back in the fire and bounded more to make it harder.

There is sort of an idiom or metaphor in the Bible with the bow. To have a bow was to have strength or power. Esau was the hunter and the provider of meat to his family thus loved more by his father.

In Job 29 he writes; “My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand”. (See also Gen 49:24.), This carries over into the New Testament in Rev 6. “…and I saw, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him…”

If God broke your bow it was to lose your position of power, “…Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might…” Jer 49:35. David wrote in Ps 18, “…He teaches my hands to war, so that the bow of steel is broken by mine arms….” meaning he was able to subdue those in power or his enemies.

There is in this story of Nephi a kind of symbolism, Nephi’s bow breaks and his bothers lose their spring. Thus putting them in the position of weakness and a dependence on the Lord. Nephi then makes a lesser bow of wood and becomes the provider of meat for the family. A few verses later his brothers complain that Nephi has made himself ruler over them.

I went to a symposium a few weeks back and this man I can’t remember his name brought up a point I had never heard of before. He said the cutting off of the head is a symbolic way of taking power. In Gen 3 Satan is told “He (meaning Christ) shall crush thy head…”. David not only killed Goliath he cut off his head and waved it around to demonstrate his strength. Back there when Nephi kills Laban by cutting off his head and putting on his raiment he was symbolically taking Laban’s position as head of the tribe of Joseph. He now held the records of linage and so was the new head. He then later has an argument with his brothers about himself being the younger yet having to “set the example” , 1 Nephi 7.

Now as they travel along we don’t know how many days and months or perhaps years they went but they eventually reach a place called Nahom, I mentioned it in posting 11.

Here Ishmael dies and Nephi writes; “… the daughters of Ishmael did mourn exceedingly…”. All the murmuring begins again with Laman taking the lead. He tells them “ …he worketh many things by his cunning arts, that he may deceive our eyes, thinking, perhaps that he may lead us away into some strange wilderness … he has thought to make himself a king and ruler over us…”

He’s trying to explain away the Liahona. I found an article by Robert Smith where he says loadstone was known around 700 bc and he does seem to think that this Liahona has some magnetic power to it. It says the writings upon the ball would change from time to time giving them guidance but they would look within the ball to see the spindles pointing the way.

If this ball were filled with water and small pieces of loadstone were floating on top of it then it would act as a compass. But again it only worked according to their faith.

The Lord finally has to come himself and speak to these hard headed brothers;

“(the Lord)… did speak many words unto them, and did chasten them exceedingly; and after they were chastened by the voice of the Lord they did turn away their anger, and did repent of their sins…”

The brothers have set themselves up to be sons of perdition, they’ve seen an angel and now heard the voice of the Lord. When we get to the Book of Jacob I’ll bring this up again.

Robert F. Smith

Wise men still seek him.
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8 years ago  ::  May 12, 2010 - 11:13AM #30
Posts: 6,091

So now we move on to chapter 17, gees we’re not going to get through this in a year.


I’d like to grab a line from the last chapter,

“And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things”

Alma picks up on this theme in Alma 37. He is talking about the purpose of having scripture and says;

“… The Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls…”

The Baby Jesus was small, for his moment in time he did not have a great impact on history. The great looked down on him and his small band of followers as insignificant yet today time is count by his birth.

There is a cross reference here to James 3:4

“Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth…”

In chapter 17 Nephi writes that little by little their women become strong. Where they may have been pretty pampered women having servants to do the hard work now they were growing physically strong as they waded “through much affliction”.

It is through affliction and trials that we do become strong both physically and in wisdom.

Nephi writes;

“…and if it so be that the children of men keep the commandment of God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them; wherefore, he did provide means for us while we did sojourn in the wilderness”

I just see him in his later years compiling this and seeing the Lord’s hand as they traveled.

In my own journal I was reading back at the first few years of our married life when we were going to school and noticed how many times my grandmothers would send me some money, twenty dollars here and there. They always told me to get myself some shoes or a new blouse but we bought food with it. It seemed like the Lord would prompt them to send money just at the right time.

Years ago when my husband lost his job in California we came home to Utah with nothing but a few belongings and four kids. He drew unemployment for a few months and I worked in a cherry plant for the summer. I had to stand at a moving belt picking out the bad cherries. It was hard work but I was made strong and was able to keep up the 10 hour a day pace. About the time the unemployment was to run out my hubby was interviewing for a $5 an hour job, the man doing the interview told him he knew of a position available with the Alpine School district, he is an audiologist and speech therapist. He just ran into the right person at the right time. He’s had that job now for over 20 years. We have been greatly blessed and can say like Nephi

“…he did provide means for us while we did sojourn…”

If anyone reading here can tell us their stories of God’s help I would sure like to hear them.

Wise men still seek him.
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