Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mosiah 19-21

These chapters tell the story of the people of Limhi under the rule of the Lamanites. It's amazing and sad to me to read how much adversity and trial it took for the people to finally humble themselves to call upon the Lord for assistance. Looking at it from our perspective - many years later, reading a brief summarization - it seems so obvious what they should have done instead. Yet to those who were living their lives in that time, I'm sure it was not so clear-cut and easy to see.

In later years, will people look at accounts of our time and wonder why we acted the way they did and why we couldn't see what we should have done?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mosiah 18

A good reminder of what kind of people and church members we ought to be:

8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—

Monday, March 29, 2010

Mosiah 17

Abinadi was put to death because he would not deny the words and commandments of God. I obviously never want to be in any kind of situation that would be in any way equivalent to that, but I do hope that I can someday grow and progress to have the kind of rock-solid faith in God that allowed Abinadi to be faithful even when faced with death.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mosiah 16

It's been a crazy week and I slacked off a bit. But I had a visit from my visiting teacher who gave a lesson on the importance of personal scripture study - which prodded me to get back on the ball with mine!

Verses 8 and 9 seemed especially beautiful to me today.

8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.

9 He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.

In my last post, I talked about sweet Isaac who died at such a young age (not even a year old). I don't think anyone could ever say that death had no sting in this case. But I love the way it is put in verse 8, that the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.

Whenever someone you know passes away, it still stings and hurts and makes you sad, but you can let that sadness be swallowed up in Christ. You can choose to focus on the resurrection and endless light and endless life.

I think this perfectly describes how Isaac's parents have handled this tragedy. Of course they have been devastated and hurt and sad. But even at his funeral, such a short time after his death, they were doing their best to focus on Isaac's eternal life and how they will be together again some day. They are a great example of letting the sting of death be swallowed up in Christ.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mosiah 15

The verse that struck me today was verse 25:

And little children also have eternal life.

This is especially poignant to me because of our friends who recently lost their youngest child. That funeral was the saddest thing I have ever been to in my life. It was devastatingly awful for Aaron and me; so much worse of course for little Isaac's parents and closest family.

And yet, for all the horrible sadness of that death and that funeral, beneath it all was a little current of hope. Because we knew that Isaac was not lost forever. And little children also have eternal life. Isaac was saved and will have eternal life. And when his parents and his brother pass on, Isaac will be there to joyfully greet them.

So even though it makes me cry a little all over again to think and write about Isaac, I am comforted by the verse: And little children also have eternal life.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mosiah 14

6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all.

I'm afraid I don't have anything deep and profound today. Once I read verse six, all I could think of was the memory of the time I went to a performance of Handel's Messiah. It was called "Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah." It's The Messiah redone in a gospel style. It's actually incredible and I enjoyed it so much I went again the following year.

But there was one passage... the one where they sing the line "All we, like sheep, have gone astray." And they sing that line over and over. Many times. And every time I heard them singing, "Oh we like sheep." Even though I knew what the line actually was, all I could hear was, "Oh we like sheep."

To this day, any time I hear that section in The Messiah, I think of, "Oh we like sheep." Probably inappropriate that I tend to laugh out loud during The Messiah! =)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mosiah 13

28 And moreover, I say unto you, that salvation doth not come by the law alone; and were it not for the atonement, which God himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of his people, that they must unavoidably perish, notwithstanding the law of Moses.

We are given commandments to guide our behavior, to show us right from wrong, and to help us be better people. But no matter how we try, we cannot be perfect. We can - and should! - strive to obey every commandment, but inevitably we will make mistakes. Thankfully, "salvation doth not come by the law alone." It is not ONLY by obeying God's commandments that we will be saved. Because of the atonement, we are redeemed from sin and error. It is only because of the atonement that we will not "unavoidably perish."

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mosiah 10-12

A sister in our ward spoke recently about the importance of voting in local and national elections and doing our part to elect good leaders. These chapters help illustrate the importance of good leadership for our country.

King Zeniff was a good man. He was a righteous leader and his people were for the most part righteous. Unfortunately, after he died, King Noah came to power. King Noah was an incredibly wicked man. He installed other leaders (the priests) who were also wicked. With leaders and examples such as these, it became much easier for the general populace to slide down into wickedness also. Until in a very short time, the people who had been righteous and blessed and protected by God were no longer righteous. They were in danger from their enemies and would not be able to call on God to help them because of their wickedness.

It's not hard to draw parallels to events we have seen happening around the world in our own days...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mosiah 9

17 Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites; for I and my people did cry mightily to the Lord that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, for we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers.

In verse 17, Zeniff comments that he and his men went forth in the strength of the Lord. And because they did this, they were victorious in the battle they were about to fight.

Now hopefully we are not going into a literal battle the way Zeniff was, but we all fight battles every day. Battles against temptation and sin. Battles against our circumstances. Battles against anger or despair or hopelessness. These battles are of great importance to us because they affect our lives.

If we can remember to go forth in the strength of the Lord every day, in every battle, we will be able to come out victorious in our daily battles. Cry mightily to the Lord for deliverance... in other words, pray for help in your personal battles. The Lord will hear your cries and come to your aid.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mosiah 8

18 Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings.

When we have faith and listen to God, WE can be a benefit to our fellow beings. WE can be the source of blessings and mighty miracles. What an incredible feeling and an awesome responsibility to do all that we can to help others.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mosiah 7

verse 19: Therefore, lift up your heads, and rejoice, and put your trust in God...

This is a great verse to remember when you're having a rough time.

Lift up your head - To me that means don't wallow in your troubles. Don't spend your time dwelling on what has gone wrong or how you wish things could be.

Rejoice - Think of all the wonderful things you have in your life. Focus on your blessings and things that are good. Be grateful for the presence of God and the gospel in your life.

Put your trust in God - Turn your troubles over to God and trust that He will help you find the way through. Pray and have faith. Do all that you can do. And then trust God to make things come out for the best... even if it's not what you would have chosen.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mosiah 6

1 And now, king Benjamin thought it was expedient, after having finished speaking to the people, that he should take the names of all those who had entered into a covenant with God to keep his commandments.

2 And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.

How incredible that there was NO ONE who did not believe and enter into the convenant. What an incredible experience it would have been to be there to hear King Benjamin speak.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mosiah 5

verse 2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.

I want to have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually! I've occasionally experienced this. You know how everything goes in cycles... and sometimes you're on a real upswing and on track with all your spiritual development.

When I'm in that mode, I really do feel no disposition to do evil. I'm not tempted to go off the right path, I'm clicking along doing the things I'm supposed to do. Sadly, I haven't been able to maintain that high place and eventually things slide downhill a bit. And while I can't say that I go around doing evil necessarily, I can say that I also don't do all things that I know I should be doing.

I just need to work harder to stay on that high end of the cycle and fight harder when I start the slide down to the lower end of the cycle...