Posts Tagged With: scriptures

1 Nephi 1:1 – Recognize the Good

I love how every time I read the Book of Mormon, there’s always something else to learn, or rediscover. This time, I’m looking for things on joy and being prepared. And right off, what do we have?

“I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make record of my proceedings in my days.” ~ 1 Nephi 1:1

Despite every trial he faced—and there were a lot—Nephi chose to keep his focus on the Lord, and on the blessings his family had been given. His life was not easy. Just look at what he had to go through:

  • He and his family had to flee from Jerusalem because the Jews were angry with his father for preaching against their wickedness and prophesying about the Messiah (1 Ne. 1:18-2:5).
  • Five separate murder attempts on his own life (four by his brothers, one by Laban) (1 Ne. 3:25; 7:16; 16:37-39; 17:48; 2 Ne. 5:3).
  • eight years wandering in the wilderness on a near-starvation diet and other hardships (1 Ne. 16-17)
  • the death of his father-in-law, Ishmael (1 Ne. 16:34)
  • nearly perishing on the boat ride toward the Promised Land (1 Ne. 18)
  • and other things that are likely not recorded

With all of that, what does he choose to do? He could have chosen to become as hard-hearted and bitter as Laman and Lemuel. But he didn’t. He recognized the good in his life, and he made a record of it. After they leave Jerusalem, Nephi seeks his own testimony of the things his father has been teaching, “having great desires to know of the mysteries of God” (1 Ne. 2:16).

I’m reminded of something that President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, shared in General Conference several years ago:

president-henry-b-eyring-lds-462519-mobile“When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. Let me tell you how that got started. I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property.

“He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: ‘I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.’

“I went inside. I didn’t go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn’t have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it.

“I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: ‘Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?’ As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.”

What a wonderful reminder of where to keep our focus. It can be so easy to get discouraged and see only the bad in life. But President Eyring encourages us to do the same, to look back through our days and search for God’s hand in our lives. To find joy.

“More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers. I felt more gratitude for the softening and refining that come because of the Atonement of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I grew more confident that the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance—even things we did not notice or pay attention to when they happened.”

What a wonderful blessing: a stronger testimony, more gratitude, a greater knowledge of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Atonement, and so much more!

What good have you seen in your life today? How has God shown His hand today? Write it down.

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Scripture Sabbath Challenge

Throughout the scriptures, we find the command to study, to meditate, to teach, the words found in the scriptures.

*Scriptures in the Bible come from the King James Version.*

Deuteronomy 6:7 – “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

John 5:39 – “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

2 Nephi 32:3 – “Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.”

Doctrine & Covenants 1:37 – “Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.”

 

There is also a day set apart as a day to gather together and worship our God.

The Challenge

 

Once a week, on your day of worship, whenever it is, share a scripture with your fellow bloggers. It can be one you’ve been studying for a while, one you’ve just rediscovered, an old favorite, etc.

Include the tag and/or category “Scripture Sabbath” in your post, so we can all share in what has made an impact on your life this week.

And, if you’re willing, come back here and share your post link in the comments, either on this page or any of my Scripture Sabbath posts.

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The Book of Mormon – A Blessing to the World

I was surfing Facebook just now and saw an image announcing that the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ was published in Palmyra, New York, 185 years ago TODAY! Wow!

man-giving-book-of-mormon-225221-print

185 years ago the world was blessed with an amazing book, written by prophets of God in the Ancient Americas, whose words would come forth “as the voice of one crying from the dust” (2 Nephi 33:13) to Jew and Gentile. Working together with the Holy Bible, it testifies to the whole world that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, “who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20), to atone for each child of God, to become, in great love and mercy, as the intercessor in satisfying the demands of justice on the sins of the world.

I love this book. I read it again and again. I have several copies scattered throughout my bedroom and my school locker.

At the end of the book, the final author, Moroni, extends a challenge to his readers:

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.

And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow thebtruth of all things. (Moroni 10:3-5)

I’ve taken this challenge and have learned for myself that these things are true. But you don’t have to believe my words. Find out for yourself.

To request a free copy for yourself, head this-a-way. Or read it online here. Or find a copy for your device.

Categories: Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Purpose of Scripture and The Book of Mormon in 30 Days

Nephi knew that there would be people who would harden their hearts against sacred things, against the Holy Spirit, and would “esteem them as things of naught.” (2 Ne. 33:2) He continues:

But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.

And I know that the Lord will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers, and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal. (vv 3-4)

Just eight chapters earlier, he explained the reason he and other prophets write of Christ:

And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Ne. 25:26, emphasis added)

The major reason we have scriptures – writings of prophets containing the words of God and histories that we need to learn from – is so we can return to God. It is Christ who is our Mediator, our Advocate with the Father, the Source where we can receive remission of our sins by accepting His Atonement,  having faith in Him, repenting, being baptized for the remission of sins, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost as our constant companion (according to our obedience and righteousness), and enduring to the end to receive eternal life.

Book-Of-Mormon-30-Day-Reading-Schedule

Every once in a while, I’ll see or hear about someone who has been challenged, either by themselves or someone else, to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. And every time, I wonder how such a thing is possible. 531 pages in 30 days? That’s 18 pages of scripture reading a day. How is it possible?

As I write this post, I suddenly wonder (more likely the Holy Ghost talking to me): What’s so hard about that?

After all, I’ve read big books over a weekend or a single day before. I stayed up till long after midnight several years ago reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Stayed up till 3 a.m. reading the sixth book in Gerald Lund’s The Work and the Glory series.

There are 24 hours in a day, 6-8 of which (or less, for some people) are spent sleeping. I’m a college student, but I can recognize right now some free time to spend reading those eighteen pages throughout my school day. (It helps, too, that this is the second day school has been canceled due to bad weather.)

On Sunday evening my mom decided that she would try it too. Knowing that she was making the effort, I decided to take up the challenge, too. When I began – in earnest – on Monday, I was almost to 2 Nephi 28, the last chapter expected for Day 6 of this challenge. I decided that I wouldn’t start over, but that I would continue on in the schedule, reading until I finished the Book of Mormon, then start over until I’m back where I was when I began. I’m about to start Jacob, so I have 9 pages left in today’s reading.

I look forward to this adventure.

Have you ever done a reading challenge like this? Tell me about it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be The Book of Mormon in 30 days. It can be any book in any length of time. What was the challenge? Why did you choose to take it? What did you gain from it?

Categories: Book of Mormon, Scripture Study, scriptures | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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