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  FORUM:   General Team Discussion Forum
TOPIC:   Book of Mormon Challenge 


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LARKSONGRUTH
LARKSONGRUTH's Photo Posts: 1,246
12/19/12 12:41 A

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We had a Sunday School lesson on that chapter this week which was really great. I think Ether 12 is one of the great summons in all the scriptures. Its twin is probably Moroni 7.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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CARMADAB
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12/2/12 12:41 A

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I just finished reading Ether 12. I like how Moroni says that it takes faith,hope and charity to qualify for the eternal blessings.


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HIGHWOODMOM
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11/26/12 5:42 P

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It saddens me terribly how people in the Book of Mormon willfully reject Jesus after his visitation to earth. I just finished 3 Nephi. Sad.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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10/22/12 12:31 A

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Last week I finished the Book of Mormon. Two highlights of the last part are reading Ether 12, which is actually written by Moroni and is his great discourse on charity, and on weakness being made strong. Also Moroni 7 is another favorite about the Light of Christ, judging rightly, and the peaceable things of the kingdom.

When I got to the promise in Moroni 10:4-5, I knew that I have been richly blessed throughout this reading of the Book of Mormon to see so many wonderful doctrines taught and feel a greater sense of the worth of this wonderful book.

This will probably be my last post.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 10/22/2012 (00:32)
Ruth

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I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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10/5/12 9:54 P

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That will be a great day. I read that the early saints in our church frequently sang "Joy to the World" as a millennial song--not just at Christmas. There are quite a few millennial songs from the early saints ("Come, Oh Thou King of Kings"; "Come Thou Glorious Day of Promise"; "The Spirit of God" to name a few). It seems like we are singing them less and less, which I think is unfortunate. It is something to celebrate--although some parts are a bit scary to me.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 10/5/2012 (22:07)
Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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9/30/12 10:22 P

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My husband and I taught the Valiant Girls today in primary. In our ward it is the girls from 8-11. We had a great lesson on the sacrament, and the girls asked some very good questions.

I know it will seem like I'm jumping around. I'm still reading on my own. Sunday School is nearing the end, and as a family we started over.

Today I read 1 Nephi 22:15 as part of our family reading.

My thoughts were:
That's talking about the millennium.
How great will it be when everyone on earth is so righteous that Satan has no power?
What do I need to do to be here then? How am I doing?




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AJHONDRNGAL
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9/18/12 12:22 P

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Chapter 17 became very dear to me because of the growth I've done in the last 5 years or so. I could never see the beauty of it before. Once I learned that Heavenly Father loves and accepts me as an individual, I felt the power and beauty of Christ ministering to the little children.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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9/18/12 12:58 A

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We are now to that pivotal part of the Book of Mormon where Christ visits in America. Because I hope that others will participate about their feelings about this, I want to keep this very brief and just add a couple of thoughts from chapter 10 right now. This is where there has been a great silence all the destruction that accompanied the three days of darkness. Christ's voice is heard speaking to the people. He uses three variations on a scripture that is given in the New Testament. In verse 4, he says, "How oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you." (What happens when we respond to the Lord).

In verse 5, the Lord says, "How oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not." (As it is found in the New Testament telling how Christ longs for us to come unto Him, but so often we stubbornly refuse that invitation.)

In verse 6, the Lord puts this invitation into future tense, "How oft will I gather you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if ye will repent and return unto me with full purpose of heart." This invitation is always open to us if we are willing to repent and turn to the Lord.

It is very important for us to evaluate how we are doing at excepting the Lord's invitation to come unto Him.

Another interesting thing from chapter 10, in verse 15, it tells us that Zenos and Zennock testified specifically to the Nephites because the Nephites were part of their posterity. The prophesies of Zenos and Zennock were particularly in the Brass plates because it was a record that was specifically kept for the descendents of Joseph. It was both scriptural, and family history. It is a good reminder for us of the importance our own family records will have for our descendents. The Bible is particularly a history of the forefathers and descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Bible was written particularly for the tribe of Judah, the line that Christ descended from. I'm sure that the day will come when we will have other family histories from other tribes as well. In Ezekiel it tells us that the sticks of Judah and Joseph will become as one in testifying of Christ. We believe this to be a prophesy of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon as another witness of Jesus Christ, to add credence to those things that are testified of in the Bible.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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9/10/12 1:25 A

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In the midst of a troubled society were the core society was breaking into tribes because of contention among the people, the story of Nephi, son of Nephi, through the line of Helaman and Alma, is a breathe of fresh air. 3 Nephi 7:15-26 gives the account of Nephi receiving the ministering of angels, testifying boldly, raising his brother from the dead after he had been stoned (3 Ne 7:19), and working all manner of miracles among the people in the name of Jesus.

I also found 3 Nephi 8:1 very interesting. The keeper of the record is not identified, but we are told he was "a just man who did many miracles in the name of Jesus; and there was not any man who could do a miracle in the name of Jesus save he were cleansed every whit from his iniquity--"

This is a wonderful example from the scriptures of the kind of Priesthood power that Elder Bednar and others taught about in the priesthood session of April conference. Although women do not hold the priesthood directly, through righteous living and faith, women to can use their spiritual power to bless their own lives and the lives of those around them.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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8/29/12 3:38 P

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In the first few chapters of Helaman, the cycle of conversion-prosperity-pride-warning-destruction-repentance-prosperity goes into hyperdrive. It just seems to be cycling on a very narrow time schedule of only a very few years. Helaman 3:23-29 gives a beautiful account of how much the Lord blesses those who come unto Him in humility and righteousness. Helaman 3:35 shows how even in the midst of persecution, those who seek him can find him. Helaman chapter 4:12 tells about the kinds of sins that the Nephites were falling into. It is verse 13 that really hit home to me. The Nephites were so caught up in the pride of their own strength that the Lord abandoned them to their own strength. As they were no longer receiving the blessings of the Lord, they found that they were no stronger than the Lamanites and began to lose ground in the war to defend their country, and the cycle begins again. Chapter 5 is the marvelous recounting of Lehi and Nephi being cast into prison and the Lord sending fire from heaven to protect them.

Helaman 5:12
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."

The rest of the chapter is about the Lord rescuing Nephi and Lehi and converting the 300 Lamanites who had come to the prison to execute them. It is so interesting because it is a mix of earthquakes, fire, darkness, and great signs and wonders, yet it points out the fact that it is the still small voice that finally converts and teaches us.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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8/15/12 1:30 A

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I was RS President for 1 year. I really loved that calling. I was released just before my second daughter was born (and she is now 16). I have also been in three other RS presidencies, and my heart is really there for Relief Society. I'm sure that you have very mixed feelings about your upcoming release. It is a calling that fills every available minute and then some, but it is really fulfilling to be so involved and helping so many people. Good luck in your transition.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 8/15/2012 (01:31)
Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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8/13/12 3:58 P

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I don't think she had anything to go on with her claim. Just thought it sounded good. LOL

I've been RS pres for almost 3 years. Getting released soon.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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8/13/12 2:11 P

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Maybe she had something in a blessing or by the spirit. But there are really many, many great people in the Book of Mormon. It must have been really interesting to work among people who were descendants from the Book of Mormon people.

We had ward boundary changes about a year or so ago. It really can change the dynamics of the ward a lot. Good luck with your visiting teaching assignments. That is really a big job. Are you the RS President or do you have a special calling over visiting teaching?


Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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8/12/12 8:14 P

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Sorry I've been awol. It's been crazy around here since they reworked the ward boundaries. We lost 38 sisters to another ward, but added 153 from a different ward. The last couple weeks I've been working on the visiting teaching. Just found out things will be settling in a couple weeks. I have mixed feelings.

I LOVE this section. I learn so much about teaching my kids and keeping them strong in this time of war. I always think of one of my mission companions in this section. She was from Guatemala and told me that she believed she was a descendant of Mormon and Moroni. I never could understand why she would claim that when she could claim to be an descendant of this people instead. Such a rich heritage for her in my eyes.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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8/12/12 5:54 P

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We are to the stripling warriors, another great and favorite passage of the Book of Mormon. I think most women love this section because of the influence that the mothers had on their sons. I also love the dedication that the people of Ammon had to supporting the troops who were fighting for their freedom. They didn't refuse to fight out of cowardice. They would have fought under these dire circumstances, but it was actually their Nephite leaders who plead for them not to break their sacred oath.

I also love reading about Captain Moroni and his dedication to doing the right thing.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/26/12 1:28 A

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I have enjoyed reading the lesson manuals take on Alma 36-39. Instead of just reading it as good advice, the lesson is looking at following Alma's example in parenting. Here are some of the lessons I gleaned about from Alma's Parenting 101 about teaching children about the gospel.

Teach each of your children individually in ways that pertain specifically to them.
Bear your testimony to your children
Teach your children by your example, and also teach your children about your example (They may not understand what you are doing or why you are doing it if you don't teach them).
Use the scriptures like a living Liahona
Make a sacred record from your own life and experience
Recognize and praise your children for their good qualities.
Give counsel and warning even to righteous children
Teach elements of character and refinement
Discuss sin and mistakes and their consequences with children
Teach them what leads to sin
Explain consequences
Teach repentance
Teach of God's love for your children and of his righteousness
Teach the importance of our influence on others.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/23/12 2:36 A

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Now that I reread your thought on push yourself, I see that I kind of got your main concept a little twisted. You were talking instead about pushing ourselves a little harder to see what we can do. I think that is important too.Thanks for sharing.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/23/12 2:33 A

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Wow. Thanks for sharing the wonderful story about your cruise, and about how each of you were able to serve the other.

It reminds me of this wonderful concept taught by President Kimball and quoted by Elder Uchtdorf in his talk, "Waiting on the Road to Damascus" April 2011:

President Spencer W. Kimball taught this concept when he said: “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.” Brothers and sisters, we each have a covenant responsibility to be sensitive to the needs of others and serve as the Savior did—to reach out, bless, and uplift those around us.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/23/12 2:26 A

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Here are two scriptures that relate exactly to what you were talking about (one is from the Book of Mormon). I think this is a good thing to think about because we tend to really try to push ourselves, and with me, that usually ends in disaster, and to not being able to keep up with my goals in the long run and getting depressed and discouraged.

Doctrine and Covenants 10:4

4 Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end.

Mosiah 4:27

27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.

So funny--we must have been posting at the exact same time, because when I posted, I expected to see my post on being an instrument in the Lord's hand come up, and instead I saw your post on not running faster than we have strength with mine underneath. Good night. It's late.



Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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7/23/12 2:22 A

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I love seeing how people are the instruments of God, and how He works through them to meet the needs of other people. It's one of the best parts of my calling because I see it all the time. I experienced this first hand in February. My sister in law called and invited us to go on a cruise with them. They were taking all their children and grandchildren, but one family couldn't go and there were four open spots. So Tom and I jumped on the chance. It was a great opportunity and the four of us had a great time. It was a HUGE tender mercy for us because of the stress I had been under the year before. My sister in law was an instrument at that time.

But it goes further. On the beach in Mexico we ran into a couple from our ward. How does that happen? Ha ha...I experienced visiting teaching on a beach in Mexico. After we had all returned home this sister told me how much it meant to have us there with them at that particular time. They had lost her wedding ring in the ocean and having us there helped her not be so upset. I was the instrument at that moment. There is no way we would have been on that beach at that moment without Heavenly Father's hand in our lives.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 7/23/2012 (02:25)

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AJHONDRNGAL
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7/23/12 2:15 A

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This isn't exactly Book of Mormon related, but this seemed like the best place for it.


Before I started running a certain message came to me through several different methods. It was that we have to push our bodies further than what we think they can do to show our bodies what they can really do. Having said that, it is important to do this carefully because we don’t want to push hard enough to cause injury, but it was an intriguing thought and I decided I needed to step up my workouts and start running. So I started a c25k program. The first day I ran 1.5 minutes, coming up short by 30 seconds, but the second day I ran all 2 minutes. And so it went, each day showing my body it could do more and more.
Today we were talking about trials (Mountains to Climb, by Henry B Eyring) and the thought occurred to me that Heavenly Father knows us intimately and he knows our potential. Trials are how he pushes us to show us that we can do more and be more. As we grow through our trails we aren’t proving anything to Heavenly Father. We are proving to ourselves that we are what He thinks we are. There have been many, many times in my life when I have thought that Heavenly Father thinks more of me than I think of myself…and I’m right. He really does, and He cares enough to help me see myself through His eyes.



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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/23/12 2:11 A

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One of the phrases that Alma uses repeatedly is "an instrument in the hands of God." (Alma 1:8, 2:30, 17:9, 17:11,26:3, 29:9, and 35:14--see also 2 Nephi 1:24, 3:24, and Mosiah 23:10) I love this phrase.because it reminds us that we can't do His work without His help. He does the work, and we are the helper, not visa versa. It also reminds us that we need to be in tune with His spirit to do His work, and that we are at our best when we are in tune with the Lord.

In some ways, I really see this term as more referring to a tool than a musical instrument--a surgeon's scalpel. a compass in the hands of a master draftsman--but the poem, "The Touch of the Master's Hand," which compares a person to an old violin is also very apropos to these scriptures.

St. Francis Assisi also wrote a beautiful prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace, that I never tire of. The Tabernacle choir recorded this beautiful prayer. I believe that he too was a very inspired man who was very much in tune with God.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_of_Saint_Fran
cis
This wikipedia version casts some doubt about whether it was actually written by St. Francis. But wherever it came from, it is beautiful.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 7/23/2012 (02:20)
Ruth

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I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/22/12 12:35 P

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I kind of think of it as more wielding our influence for good than fighting. It goes right along with the ideas of being "steadfast and immovable," and "standing for truth and righteousness." The scriptures really our replete with the idea of fighting in righteous ways, however. Probably one of the most extended metaphors for this is "putting on the armor of God." This is found in the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. When we read about what the elements of this armor are, we find them very different from those things that men use to fight wars with.

P.S. after I wrote this, I realized that the verb wielding has connotations connected to battle. In the war between good and evil, may we all be found on the Lord's side.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 7/22/2012 (12:40)
Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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7/19/12 9:24 A

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I think we forget that there are more ways to fight than just war. We fight by voting, for example. We fight anytime we resist anything no matter what form of resistance it is.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/19/12 2:54 A

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I like that thought. All the violence in Alma has always bothered me, but if you look at the gospel as winning out over the violence and at people learning to leave peaceably, then Alma is impressive. I think the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehites is one of the most amazing in all of scriptures. Sometimes we get so determined that fighting is the best way to protect freedom, but if we were really able to follow their example, what would the world be like? Ghandi is another example of how amazing peaceable means can be to reaching an end.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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7/16/12 1:45 P

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I love that chapter.

In Sunday School the teacher had us read Alma 31:5 and asked what evidence Alma and the sons of Mosiah had that the word was stronger and more influential than the sword. The answers were interesting, but what impressed me the most was that these men in particular had seen how the word was stronger than the sword first hand. They had gone around persecuting the church until an angel appeared to them and told them to stop. The "word" was preached to them (again) and it changed their lives.

In Relief Society the teacher talked about Ammon and his brothers as missionaries. She brought out the fact that they were prepared by studying the scriptures (so we should study to be prepared for missionary moments) and they loved the people (so we should love our neighbors before we try to teach them.) Both were excellent points. What impressed me as we talked was the fact that these men were with Alma when the angel appeared. Through that experience they repented and truly felt the love of God in their lives, and they had a deep desire to share God's love with everyone.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/15/12 12:16 P

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I love Alma 26--Ammon's rejoicing over their missionary success.


Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/12/12 10:41 P

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Our teacher emphasized the "weapons of our rebellion" as well, and that is the first time I had really noticed that term. It is very thought provoking.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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7/11/12 10:24 A

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We were discussing this last Sunday. One great lesson we get from this section is the importance of burying our "weapons of rebellion." That story is a dramatic example of it. They needed to bury their swords and never take them up again because if they compromised even the slightest they would be on the road to destruction. If they said, "We can do it this time to defend ourselves" it would have been easier the next time and the time after that.

My brother was a good example of this in my life. He gave up the drugs and was clean for 3 years, but ultimately he started compromising. "Oh, drinking coffee isn't that bad." "The guys are smoking. Just one won't hurt." And before we knew it he picked up his drug habit where he left off and he lost the battle.

I think of myself. How does this apply? Can I really give up my sin one day and take it back up the next? How does that affect my future goals of eternal life?

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 7/11/2012 (10:25)

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LARKSONGRUTH
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7/11/12 1:56 A

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This week, we have been studying the conversion Anti-Nephi-Lehites. One verse that really struck me was Alma 24:10 where the king gives thanks that they repent and be forgiven. How often do we think to give thanks for the gift of repentance? How often do we invoke the gift of the Atonement which makes repentance possible. Alma 24 is a remarkable speech about what a wonderful gift the gospel was to these people and how thankful they were to receive it and change their lives to live in accordance with it.

Ruth

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7/8/12 3:07 P

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I remember a time when I was feeling quite discouraged about things around me, and President Hinckley came to our regional conference. He said that he was optimistic about the future.

We hadn't been to the Manti pageant for a long, long time. It was great to see it again.


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7/8/12 10:47 A

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That is an awesome insight. Thank you for sharing it. It is kind of interesting that apocalyptic movies are so prevalent in our day. They are not my favorite genre. They usually leave me kind of feeling down because they leave such a depressing impression. Fortunately, the Lord, who know the beginning from the end, gives us much more hope about the end of the world, although it will no doubt be a scary time. I remember when I saw the oil fields burning in Kuwait that I thought the end had arrived. Since that time there have been many bright days and many dark days. I'm always grateful for President Hinckley's encouragement that this is a great time to be alive, and grateful that we have the gospel to rely on. That same Iron Rod--the Word of God--that got Nephi and his family safely back to Heavenly Father and the Tree of Life is still there for us today.

Love the Manti Pageant, although it has been quite awhile since I have seen it. This would be a great thing to plan into another summer.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 7/8/2012 (10:49)
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7/7/12 10:59 A

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Tonight we were reading the last chapter of Ether, and recently we saw the Manti Pageant. I was struck by how similar Mormon and Coriantumr felt. Mormon was a righteous man, but probably felt very disheartened, frustrated, pained and anguished by the fact that he couldn't get the people to listen and they were being destroyed. Coriantumr started out wicked, but repented. I imagine he felt the same feelings as Mormon, with an added measure of guilt and regret. I feel the same things only to a lesser degree in our day.


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6/18/12 1:06 A

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Today I want to talk about Zeezrom--the lawyer from Ammonihah who tried so hard to catch Alma and Amulek in their own words. When the people take his teachings to heart and bring Alma and Amulek before the chief judges, Alma 14:6 tells us that "Zeezrom was astonished by the words which had been spoken; and he also knew concerning the blindness of the minds, which he had caused among the people by his lying words; and his soul began to be harrowed up under a consciousness of his own guilt; yea, he began to be encircled about by the pains of hell."

This is a true aha moment. Zeezrom, who thought he was so clever, suddenly realizes the great harm he has caused, not only to Alma and Amulek, but to people who were listening and believing in what he was doing. This is the start of his mighty change of heart--but first he must undergo sufferings in both body and spirit, which will eventually lead to his full repentance, the emergence and growth of his faith, and finally to his complete healing. This is a true process of being born again.

In our world today, there are so many now who deny the existence of God and try to get others to do the same. This story really strikes home to me. I hope many of these people will yet incline their hearts and their ears towards God and receive the mighty change of heart. I hope that I can be a factor in helping to be a beacon for them.

Ruth

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6/15/12 1:09 A

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Thank you.

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6/14/12 12:49 A

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Very nice post about Amulek and Alma.


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6/13/12 8:37 P

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So today I want to write about Amulek. In previous readings, I don't think I paid him enough attention, but just thought of him as Alma's sidekick. This time, I was more sensitive to him as a unique and outstanding individual. First, his family history is interesting, and Alma 10:2 hints at interesting untold stories in the Book of Mormon. Who is this Aminadi? What was the writing on the wall of the temple put there by the finger of God that he interpreted? It has tones of the story of Belshazzar in the book of Daniel, who for his prideful behavior, had his fate sealed by the mysterious writing that appeared on the wall.

Then, when Amulek introduces himself further, he tells us that he is a man of no small reputation, and that he had "acquired much riches by the hand of [his] industry." (Alma 10:4). He then told us that he had seen the works of God and his marvelous power, yet had harden his heart until the angel had appeared to him, telling him to receive Alma. He testifies of what a blessing it had been to his house to receive this prophet. Putting ourselves in his shoes, wouldn't it be marvelous to have the opportunity to entertain a prophet of the Lord. What would we want to change in our own households under those circumstances. Thoughts jump immediately into my mind for my own case.

Amulek also did bear mighty testimony, and was a great companion to Alma, who must have felt greatly strengthened because of his help. Amulek was deeply anguished at seeing the sufferings of the women and children thrown into the fire. Probably touched all the deeper because these were his people. He had taught them, and they were probably from among his neighbors and acquaintances, if not his own family.

Finally, after the traumatic, yet glorious things that they did and bore witness to, Alma was very concerned about his newly converted companion, who had stood by his side so steadfastly through mockings, imprisonments, great personal trials. Alma 15:18 tells us that Alma took Amulek to his own house, where he ministered to him and strengthened him in the Lord. What a touching end to this incredible story of Alma and Amulek's ministry to the people of the city of Ammonihah.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 6/13/2012 (20:37)
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6/2/12 2:45 P

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In Alma chapters 1-4, Alma has given up the judgment seat in order to devote full time to ministering to the church because so much wickedness has crept in that it is falling apart. This is interesting because Mosiah had separated church and state by giving Alma the Elder jurisdiction over the church, then the Alma the Elder and Mosiah had both left their responsibilities to Alma the Younger. He once again decides that the division is better and give the judgment seat to Nephihah. I really do not enjoy the first four chapters of Alma because there is so much unhappiness creeping in and so much blood shed, and unfortunately, it is shades of things to come throughout the book.

However, I read chapter 5 today, and like a great number of chapters scattered through Alma, it is one of the highlights of the Book of Mormon. Amid much destruction and wickedness are found great gems of spiritual strength and understanding which we would be the poorer for not seeking out. Maybe this is an important lesson for us, and especially at a time when societal values seem so at risk.

Alma chapter 5 is like a personal interview or a spiritual check up you can have with yourself. He ask numerous questions that an individual should think about in considering how close he or she is to the Lord and if we are on the right path towards exaltation. Throughout the chapter is scattered a discussion on receiving the mighty change of heart. Verse 14 ask two of the most profound spiritual questions in all of the scriptures: "Have you received his image in your countenance?" and "Have you experienced this mighty change in your hearts?"

Looking up the word countenance, it has two pertinent definitions for this verse. One meaning of countenance is our face and the emotions and feelings people can read in a person's face. The other is behavior. Our behavior or countenance reflects our deepest believes and values. All of us have probably met people who seem to radiate Christlike love and kindness, and you only have to look at their face to know it. Both of these definitions reflect on how Christlike we are in our lives. Reading these questions brings to me a deep longing to have his imaged impressed more fully upon my own face and my behavior that none may doubt by knowing me that I am a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I also love verse 26 were it talks about feeling "to sing the song of redeeming love." Through the scriptures there are passages that talk of learning a new song. This is a deep spiritual understanding of salvation and the atonement, and joy and praise to God for his redeeming love. Our mission in life is to learn this new song, to gain a full and deep testimony of the gospel--the good news of Jesus Christ--his example, his sacrifice, his mission.

I am so grateful that Alma learned to sing this new song, that he received the image of Christ in his countenance, and felt the mighty change of heart that allowed him to fully understand God's redeeming love and share the beautiful passages of scripture that are woven throughout the book of Alma--a reminder that amid wickedness and destruction can be found great joy, spiritual strength and conversion. Do not despair of the wickedness of the times we live in, but rejoice in the knowledge that the full gospel of Jesus Christ, with all its personal strength and grace is available to each of us under any circumstances.

Ruth

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5/30/12 12:02 A

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I am beginning to understand how important loving people through things is--both because I need loving and because people around me need my love. I'm not always as good at it as I should be, but I think I'm becoming more open to it, and understanding better how urgent the need is. Charity is the pure love of Christ. It is also a gift from God. I am praying that I can learn to be more charitable that it "might be well with me" in the end.

Ruth

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5/29/12 11:57 P

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We all feel that it was more merciful for him to pass on to the other side than to stay here. His temple work has been done, and we'll see how things come out in the end. My sister also struggles with that and we remind ourselves that she will have ups and downs and that we just need to love her through them all.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 5/29/2012 (23:58)

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5/29/12 11:29 P

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Thanks for sharing that personal family experience. Drugs are so hard. The stories I have heard are that once it is started, that is a very hard battle to fight indeed. I'm sorry that the story didn't have a happy ending, but I think that the Lord is mindful and merciful to those who are dealing with this terrible affliction.

Ruth

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5/29/12 5:42 P

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During our lesson I thought alot about my brother. He struggled with drug abuse for almost 20 years. He told us once that one day he had a bunch of friends over, but realized that he wasn't happy. He went to his room and thought about how mom and dad taught him about prayer. So he decided to give it a try. Soon after that prayer the police showed up and the party was broken up and Paul ended up in jail. He was clean for a few years after that experience and was ordained an elder, but unfortunately, that challenge overtook him again and he lost the battle.


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5/29/12 1:14 P

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Thanks for the rundown on the chiasmus form. Alma 36 is truly one of the gems of the Book of Mormon--both in form and in its beautiful message.

One thing that struck me as I was reading and teaching this week was how Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah were actually just the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger problem that Mosiah, Alma the elder, and the church in general were dealing with. They were having troubles helping the youth to understand the gospel and be converted. They were dealing with people persecuting each other, and with how to discipline those who were harming others. It must have been especially difficult for them that their own sons were part of this problem.

I also realized that Alma the younger would later say "Oh, that I were an Angel," because he had personally experienced what being taught by an angel was like. The institute students manual had some amazing materials on bishops working with repentant members, and how the promptings of the Holy Ghost are as sure and effect of a tool in leading us in the right way if we learn to pay attention to the promptings of the still small voice as a visit by an angel. Laman and Lemuel were also taught by an angel, and they received many miraculous witnesses of the truth, but chose not to heed them. That Alma chose to heed the spirit and repent speaks of his own character. I also think that after the encounter with the angel, it was during the three days when he was unconscious to the world, that the spirit worked with him, and helped his understand the role of the Atonement and receive a full remission of his sins.

I think that the story of the conversion of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah is really important and comforting for both members who are trying to repent and get no the right track, and for parents who are dealing with wayward children.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 5/29/2012 (13:22)
Ruth

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5/29/12 12:04 P

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Sunday we had a substitute teacher for Gospel Doctrine. I love when this man teaches. He is a historian at heart and has read and studied all kinds of things. Sunday he showed how Alma 36 is a kiasmas. (I think that's how you spell it.)

A. Keep Commandments vs. 1
B. Remember fathers, vs. 2
C. Listen to my testimony, vs. 3
D. Born of God, vs 5
E. Destroy church, vs. 6
F. Fell to earth, vs. 10
G. Tormented, vs. 13
H. Racked with pain, vs. 16
I. Harrowed up, vs. 17
J. Jesus, vs. 18
I. No more pain, vs. 19
H. Joy, vs. 20
G. Long to be there, vs. 22
F. Receive strength, vs. 23
E. Rebuild church and testify, vs. 24
D. Born of God, vs 26
C. My testimony, vs. 28
B. Remember fathers, vs. 29
A. Keep Commandments, vs. 30



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5/14/12 1:52 A

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Lovely entry. I first became acquainted with the passage about the tongue of angels in the mission field, and it has remained one of the most intriguing passages to me. How wonderful to speak and testify by the spirit. It makes a nice tie in to Alma's Oh, that I were an Angel passage.

Ruth

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5/12/12 1:32 P

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This is one of my favorite sections of the Book of Mormon, and I'm glad we are studying it again. I'm a bit behind the lessons in my personal reading. Just taking my time. DH likes to read one chapter over and over until he feels he got the message from it this time around. I've been taking a little more time to fully ponder what I've read.

In April 2007 Elder Holland gave a talk called "The Tongue of Angels." That talk had a profound influence on my life and the next time I read the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 32:2-3 really stood out. This time through the thought occurred to me that we could find more in Moroni. Nephi says that we can speak with the tongue of angels through the Holy Ghost, that angels speak of Christ. Then I thought of Moroni 7:13 where it says that anything that entices us to do good is from God.

So I'm thinking that not only are we speaking with the tongues of angels when we talk of Christ, but any time we say anything that brings ourselves or others closer to Christ.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 5/12/2012 (13:33)

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5/8/12 2:20 P

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I've been thinking about the lesson I gave last week, thinking about what I would most want to share from the section covering Mosiah 7-11. The lesson was on the gift of seers, and how they benefit us. That was a wonderful concept. It is mostly covered in Mosiah 8:13-18. It brought home to me how blessed we are to have the first presidency and twelve apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators in our day. All that we need to do to feel the truth and power of their words is to hear them or read them, and the spirit bears witness to our souls. At once, we come to know the personalities of these beloved men, each different than the others, but beyond there own personalities--and they are wonderful men in their own rights--we can also hear the voice of the Lord ring through, ringing true.

I really enjoyed reading the Bible dictionary definitions of seer (p. 781) and of urim and thummim (p. 786-787)--the name of these instruments meaning "lights and perfections."

Another thing I enjoyed was a discussion on the attitudes of several key people in the story. Some of this comes from the Sunday school lesson manual, and some from the Institute Book of Mormon student manual.

Zeniff: Eager to inherit the land of Nephi-Lehi from which King Mosiah the first had fled. At first he is determine to destroy the Lamanites, but acting as a spy for the group, he realizes there is much good among the Lamanites and experiences a mighty change of heart towards them, no longer desiring to destroy them. (Mosiah 9:1) Nonetheless, both he and his grandson, King Limhi, express that Zenniff's overzealousness in wanting to possess the land is what lead him to be shortsighted in making a treaty with the crafty and deceitful King Laman which would ultimately put his people into bondage.

Noah: Mosiah 2:1-2 tells us that he didn't follow after the ways of his father or keep the commandments of God, but walked in the desires of his own heart. Because of this he lead himself, his family, and his people into wickedness that incurred the wrath of God.

The Lamanites: The Institute book quotes a talk by Richard G. Scott (Ensign, May 1998) in which he discusses our cultural traditions, and how this gift of heritage greatly blesses our lives, but how we must also learn to discern those parts of our cultural heritage that go against the gospel--particularly those practices that cause us to have prejudices against others and discriminate against people of other ethnic backgrounds or other genders or social classes. The false traditions of their fathers caused the Lamanites to have a great hatred for the Nephite people. Where Zenniff underwent a mighty change of heart that helped him to see past his prejudices, the Lamanites did not, and felt vindicated in mistreating and abusing the Nephites.

Limhi's attitude was one of humility, realizing that his people had brought the bondage to the Lamanites upon themselves, and faith and patience in looking to God to deliver them.

Abinadi, the wonderful prophet we will soon e reading more about, is an example of faith and courage in standing a lone to defend truth and righteousness. Although the people had been lead into wickedness by the wickedness of their king, Abinadi gives us the example that we don't have to follow the crowd, and that we are ultimately responsible for our own actions and choices.

Ruth

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5/7/12 2:01 A

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I don't really know if anyone is reading this or not, but I want to keep writing. Even though I am kind of getting behind the lesson course, there is no way that I could go on without commenting on King Benjamin's address. This is one of the most beautiful, doctrinally rich passages of scriptures anywhere. I can't read it without being touched, so it is a wonderful place to come back to for a spiritual lift and respite. It is such a wonderful lesson on the Atonement and how it works in our life, and upon the way that Christians should be treating other people.

I was looking for something a little different to comment on than all the tried and true favorites, and the concept of retaining a remission of your sins in Mosiah 4:12 struck my imagination as I read. It is one thing to have that beautiful feeling of being clean when we are baptized, and quite another thing to hold on to that and keep it. I have been using the institute manual on the Book of Mormon quite a bit lately, and I was glad to see that Neal Maxwell also felt this was an important concept, so I will just share this quote from him:

"We do not ponder that concept very much in the church. We ought to think of it a lot more. Retention clearly depends on the regularity of our repentance. In the church we worry, and should, over the retention of new members, but the retention of our remissions is cause for even deeper concern." Neal A. Maxwell.

Certainly, the regular and contemplative taking of the sacrament is a key to this. To really get the full impact of this, we need to start reading at verse 9 and then go through 12. What are the requirements?:

Believe in God
Repent and forsake our sins
Humble ourselves
"If you believe these things, see that you do them"

These things are key to a meaningful personal worship. The act of worship is something that I have been giving a lot of thought to lately. This is a very profound part of discipleship. It is the basis for a personal relationship with God. It includes prayer, study, meditation, learning to listen (to the spirit and to what others are sharing with us), participating in singing, and most importantly, living the principles of the gospel.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 5/7/2012 (02:04)
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4/29/12 1:11 P

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Omni is like a whirlwind tour of about 150 years. There are 5 writers listed: Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinodom, and Amaleki--most leaving only a scanty record. Amaleki does the most to bridge the history, introducing us to the People of Zarahemla, the first King Mosiah, his son King Benjamin. In verse 26, he makes a beautiful exhortation for us to come unto Christ and receive salvation from him. Finally, he tells us that the plates are full and he is about to lie down in his grave. It is from this point that Mormon takes up in the Words of Mormon in which he further bridges and explains the time before the Book of Mosiah begins.

Ruth

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4/15/12 6:35 P

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Whoops! If you read my last blog entry (since moved up here and corrected), you were probably wondering where Jarom 27 was. I thought I had turned the page, but I had only skipped up to the top. The verse I was writing about was actually Enos 27. In this verse, Enos tells us that he is going to rest in his Redeemer and expresses his confidence that this will be be so. At the end of the verse, he says "Then shall I see his face with pleasure and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen." What beautiful promises. Oh, that we all might have that much confidence in our own redemption. This is a verse like Job who cries, "I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." (Job 19:25-27)

Please excuse the mistake.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 4/15/2012 (21:30)
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4/13/12 11:43 P

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So often Jarom and Omni seem like the lost books in the Book of Mormon. So many record keepers writing very little. I wanted to find some lost nuggets in there. These are my nominations in Jarom: Verse 4 tells us that many of the people were having revelations. The qualifications were that they must not be stiffnecked (proud) and that they must have faith. Then they communed with the Holy Spirit "which maketh manifest unto the children of men according to their faith. In verse 5 we learn that 200 years after Nephi left Jerusalem, the people of Nephi were strong and observing the law of Moses: Keeping the Sabbath Day holy, not profaning or blaspheming. This was connected to strict laws in the land. In some ways this sounds more like the strict Arab laws than the freedom we love in America. In verse 7 we learn that the kings and leaders were mighty men of faith. Maybe if we had the large plates of Nephi we would know more about these people. Verse 8 tells of their growing culture and abilities. At the end of verse 9, the Lord promises that "Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments, ye shall prosper in the land. In verse 11-12 we read that the prophets and teachers were diligent in teaching the people and pricking them to repentance.


(Next time a little on Omni)

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 4/15/2012 (18:32)
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AJHONDRNGAL
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4/11/12 10:47 A

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I think another lesson we learn from Enos is forgiving others. After he was forgiven, he was concerned about everyone else and forgiveness for them. I think that shows that he has forgiven and is not holding any bad feelings toward anyone. It's been my experience that I can be forgiven of my sins, but until I forgive others I don't reap the true benefit of that forgiveness. It has been through forgiving others and myself that I have been freed from what is holding me back.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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4/10/12 11:30 P

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I always enjoy reading Enos. This time my mind focused on verse 7 where, after praying all day and receiving the confirmation of the spirit that his sins had been forgiven, Enos asks, "Lord, how is it done?" What an intriguing question. The Lord's answer is that it is his faith in Christ, who he has not seen. Therefore, our faith is an important key to accessing the atoning power of Jesus Christ. After this, the rest of the chapter is about how Enos's faith is strengthened by this experience and the mighty change of heart that came into his life and prepared him for the responsibility and mission that was his. It is full of love for both his Nephite brethren and the Lamanites. He wants what is best for all man.

One of the greatest miracles that we can receive in our life is the forgiveness of our sins and the accompanying cleansing. The Lord wants with all his heart to forgive us and is ready and willing. But unless we have faith in him and trust in him, He can't accomplish the miracle that leads to the mighty change of heart that will eventually lead us back to him. Enos's story teaches us that he is there, waiting and listening to our knock on the door that will allow Him to come into our lives.

Ruth

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LARKSONGRUTH
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4/8/12 10:21 P

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I ended up using the chapter on Jacob 5-7 in the Book of Mormon institute student study guide for the basis of my lesson. It had a great graphic with similar information to what was in Anne's notes which was really easy to teach from. It also had a lot of material from a talk on the allegory by Elder Holland and some other great quotes from others of the brethren. The lesson went really well. One thing that Elder Holland talked about was that the parable illustrates the ongoing work of the Atonement. Although the Crucifixion and atoning sacrifice was the pivotal event in the at-one-ment, the work and mission of Christ started with the Creation and is ongoing to this day and through the millennium. He has worked constantly to reconcile man to God and to help man become worthy of salvation.This is a concept that I hadn't thought about before. It really made the lesson perfect for Easter Sunday. A key concept was his plea "What could I have done more for my vinyard?" The Lord loves us and his work and his glory is to bring to past the immortality and eternal life of man.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 4/8/2012 (22:23)
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LARKSONGRUTH
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3/29/12 12:47 A

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Wow! A lot of very interesting thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to share this with me.

Ruth

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AJHONDRNGAL
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3/28/12 3:02 P

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I read Jacob 5 without really understanding it for a long time, until finally one day it became so clear. It was like the blinders had been taken away. Now, every time I read that chapter I am amazed with the beauty of the allegory and it's teachings. Something new jumps out at me every time. So I'll start with the basics and then mention some things that have come later.

The first thing I learned was that this allegory outlines the history of the world. Not only the gathering and scattering of the house of Israel throughout history, but the Nephites, Jarodites and other groups as well.

verses 3-14--The tree has produced young, tender branches, but the main part of the top is dying. This describes the House of Israel at the time Lehi left Jerusalem. The Jarodites, Nephites and other groups are the young, tender branches that were planted in other parts of the vineyard. In this case the top had grown too fast and the roots weren't able to support it, allowing for wickedness to enter.

verses 10-18--The wild grafts are converts, those who are adopted into the House of Israel. These branches combined with the roots produce good fruit for a time.

verses 19-20--touches on the other groups that have been grafted in other parts of the vineyard. They produce good fruit.

21-24--These verses talk about the poor ground some of the trees are planted on. The House of Israel had some of the poorest ground (this is true even in the physical world as we know it). The Lord of the vineyard tells his servant that although the tree is planted in poor ground it has produce good fruit. It doesn't matter where we are planted as long as we stay humble and rely on the Lord to help us. Trials make us stronger. If we depend on the Lord and stay humble we will be good fruit unto Him.

25--Talks about the Nephites. They were planted in some of the best soil. Physically, they were planted in the choicest land, yet half were giving bad fruit and half were giving good fruit. I see a lesson on the role of our environment in these verses.

26-49 talks about the apostasy.
30-37--In these verses the wild branches have over run the roots of the tree, and are producing evil fruit. The Lord says he knows the roots are still good and he finds a plan to try saving the tree again.
43--All the branches everywhere are corrupted.
48--Identifies pride or loftiness as the corruption.

52-60 talk about the gathering of Israel.

61-63 deals with missionary work. He says the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Also, talks about the restoration of the Gospel.

64-66 In our day, the bad is needed to provide the best situation for the good to grow and gain strength. Good and bad are kept in balance until the good overcomes the bad, therefore the bad will not overtake the roots again. See Matthew 13:24-30 I thought about this tidbit for quite a while, and I see how this can be happening. You see how strong the youth are in the church now days, how much better they are than we were. The bad is also much worse, but everything is in balance, until Heavenly Father decides it's time and He takes the righteous to himself and destroys the wicked.

67 to the end continues to describe the last days and into the millenium.

The next time I read this chapter I was impressed with the love our Heavenly Father has for his children. You can really feel his love and grief as you read this chapter. Verses 4, 7, 41, and 47 are a few statements about how He feels. Through out the allegory you see how much work Heavenly Father has put into teaching and guiding and nourishing US!

Ok, and here are some thoughts from a later reading of this chapter:

verses 10-18
The wild branches have been grafted in and together with strong roots they have produced good fruit. This shows me the influence righteous parents have on their children. Each child begins like the wild branch, needing nourishment and discipline. Loving, strong, righteous parents can influence the child and help them become productive in society.

verses 30-37
The wild branches have overtaken the roots. The Lord sees that the roots are still good, but attention is needed to save them. This section really hit home to me. There is a family relations application to this section of the allegory, too. I could see how my parents, as the roots, were overtaken by the choices of some of my siblings. Our family tree was looking alot like the olive tree in this allegory at this point. Despite my parents' past (and present) mistakes and weaknesses, they are still good roots. It gives me comfort that Heavenly Father knows that and will work to strengthen them even more. It humbles me that I have the job of helping to strengthen them.

So there are my thoughts about Jacob 5.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 3/28/2012 (15:03)

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AJHONDRNGAL
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3/27/12 6:09 P

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We are the same as you. Jacob 5 on Easter. I'll type in some past notes for that chapter later today.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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3/27/12 1:47 P

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I enjoyed reading your thoughts on Jacob and Joseph, also on the rescue mission and the idea that much of the scriptures are addressed to the wicked because they need the call to repentance. I love 2 Nephi 11:3 where Nephi simply states that Jacob has seen the Redeemer, just has Nephi has.

Funny that you should mention Jacob 5. I have to teach it on Easter Sunday. I have been wanting to produce a list of twenty questions or something like that to cover all the many facets of the allegory. I know I've been needing to get started, so this will be a good push in that direction. Besides that, I will be looking forward to hearing what your favorite teaching are so I'm sure not to miss them in my lesson.

(I think that we might be a little behind in the teaching schedule right now because of our stake and ward conferences. Did you already discuss Jacob 5 in Sunday School, or were you referring to Jacob 1-4 in your comments?)

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 3/27/2012 (18:14)
Ruth

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AJHONDRNGAL
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3/27/12 1:07 A

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Ok, with our trip and all, I got behind in my reading so I've been trying to catch up. It's been interesting reading behind the Sunday School lessons...lol.

For some reason I have been very interested in Jacob and Joseph this time. During the lesson Sunday, my husband leaned over and said, "do you realize that Jacob could have been close to my age when he taught this discourse?" It totally brought it home to me and got me thinking.

Another thing that got me thinking was a comment by the teacher. She pointed out that often the righteous only get a few verses, but the bulk of the sermon is directed to the wicked.

So, as I'm catching up, I'm also doing some math. According to the dates at the bottom of the page, Jacob and Joseph could have been pre-teen, teen or very young adult when Lehi gave them his last teachings. As I read 2 Nephi 1-4 I was noticing how much was directed to Laman and Lemuel verses Jacob and Joseph, and I realized that in this case the righteous sons got more than the wicked ones. So I ask why? I think it's because Jacob and Joseph were still so young and Lehi felt the need to give them more detailed instruction before he passed away. And what beautiful teachings!

I think the reason more time is spent teaching the wicked is two-fold. First, we are about rescuing the lost sheep, so most of the time will be spent teaching those lost sheep and trying to help them. Second, the Lord knew we would need those teachings in our day to clarify the truth and help us be stronger.

I'm excited to hear what others think about Jacob 5. It has become one of my favorite passages.


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WBOYACK
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3/6/12 5:24 P

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I read Mosiah 9 today. I blog my thoughts here. wendy-abcsoflosingme.blogspot.com/2012/03/
book-of-mormon-study-mosiah-9.html



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WBOYACK
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3/6/12 10:42 A

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It is nice to have rthat extra month to catch up. Happy reading!


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LARKSONGRUTH
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3/6/12 1:25 A

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Hi Ann, glad to see you back. Las Vegas is kind of a world unto itself, and I can understand your reaction.

Wendy, I went to your website and enjoyed reading your discussion about Elder Eyring's conference talk. I added your blog to blogs that I follow, so I will drop in again. I am also trying to finish the last conference issue before conference. Somehow, when I read your blog I realized that I have an extra month after conference to read it before the printed form of conference comes out. I'm not sure if this is good or bad since it will probably feed my tendency to procrastinate, but it takes the pressure of the rush off a bit.


Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 3/6/2012 (01:28)
Ruth

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AJHONDRNGAL
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3/5/12 8:22 P

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We've been away on vacation with my sister-in-law's family. It was great to travel with them.

We attempted to keep our family reading going, with limited success. While in Las Vegas we read Helamon 15:1...and started laughing. It just hit our funny bone to read that verse in that place.


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WBOYACK
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3/5/12 5:25 P

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I have been blogging my thoughts on reading the Book of Mormon on my blog site... wendy-abcsoflosingme.blogspot.com/2012/03/
book-of-mormon-study-conference-talk.h
tml#comment-form
. I'd love to have anyone chat on their insights.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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3/2/12 1:17 P

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There is so much great reading in the last part of 2 Nephi. I guess that the general theme would be bringing salvation to the world one person at a time. Although I can't give an exact verse, I noticed that on two or three occasions the Lord says "I am able to do my own work." We are invited to help with His work, but whether or not we choose to do so, the Lord can bring about His own purposes, with or without us.

Another verse that I love is 2 Nephi 31:20. "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life." I believe that this was a recent young women's theme, but I know that it is the basis of that beautiful hymn "Press Forward Saints."

Another passage that I love is 2 Nephi 32:2-3. Here Nephi tells us that angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. If we are in tune with the spirit and testifying of the truth, we are speaking with the tongues of angels. What a beautiful concept that is. It is a wonderful feeling to be sharing those sacred things of the heart and feel the spirit bear witness with us. Maybe this could even qualify as another definition of the gift of tongues--to be able to bear witness through the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Please remember that this message board has nothing to do with keeping pace with anyone other than yourself. Where ever you are reading in the scriptures, Book of Mormon or otherwise, please jump in with your thoughts and insights about what you are reading. We will all benefit from sharing these insights.


Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 3/2/2012 (13:21)
Ruth

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LARKSONGRUTH
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2/25/12 11:07 P

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2 Nephi 16 recounts Isaiah's calling as a prophet. In the very first verse, Isaiah tells us that he saw the Lord sitting upon his throne. Next is a vision of the seraphim. I have often heard the the wings of these angels represent their power and authority. In verse 5 Isaiah bemoans his inadequacy to have beheld such a vision and calls himself a man of unclean lips; whereupon one of the angels takes a hot coal from the altar and purifies Isaiah's mouth. (Much worse than soap, and reminiscent of the baptism by fire). In verse 8, Isaiah give the answer that we usually associate with Christ in the Council in Heaven--"Here am I. Send me." The next two verses are someone confusing. In verse 9-10, it sounds as if God is trying to conceal the truth from us, make us so that we don't see and understand. The footnote below tells us that these verses are cited four times in the New Testament. The most clarifying of these citations is Matthew 13:14-15. Expanding this a few verses to include the whole story (Matt. 13:13-17), Jesus explains why He uses parables in His teaching. Parables both conceal and enlighten depending on how prepared the hearer (reader) is to receive them. They are symbolic. This concept is important to understand Isaiah. Like Christ, he uses imagery to both conceal and enlighten the reader depending on how ready we are to receive what he has to say. By the spirit our eyes can be opened and we can see and understand, hear and comprehend. Our ability to understand the scriptures is a sign of our spiritual maturity and our ability to listen to the whisperings of the spirit in our heart and in our mind.

P.S. I really enjoy it best when I have other people participating in this discussion. It adds a lot. Nevertheless, even if I am the only one doing this, I will continue because I made myself a promise that I would. Please join me if you are reading this and are interested. I hope I am not overwhelming people. This is really meant to be a shared journey.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 2/25/2012 (23:11)
Ruth

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LARKSONGRUTH
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2/23/12 11:06 P

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2 Nephi 11 is a key chapter in understanding why Nephi chose to include the Isaiah passages in the Book of Mormon. In verses 2-3 we learn that Nephi, Isaiah, and Nephi's brother Jacob have all seen Christ. Nephi also tells of three things that his soul delights in (verses 4-6):

* Proving to his people that Christ will come
* The covenants of the Lord
* Teaching that without Christ, we would all perish--in other words, the power of the atonement.

He concludes by saying that he includes the writings of Isaiah so that his people can lift up their hearts and rejoice (v.8)

To Nephi, these Isaiah chapters may have been easier to understand because they were in his own tongue, and he had the imagery and language as part of his own tradition. But Isaiah is very much pointed towards the future--both the first and second comings of the Lord.

2 Nephi 12:4 really caught my attention.

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks—nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

This is a reminder to us that war is not the way of the Lord. Although I am grateful to the soldiers who have fought, and many of whom have died for the cause of freedom, war is the way of man, not God. My brother is a Lieutenant Colonel in the army, and as I have corresponded with him while he was serving in Afghanistan, I realized that the U.S. army is trying very hard to bring a mission of peace to Afghanistan and help those people. I am very happy about this. The peace-building efforts get much less attention than the battles, and bloodshed, but they are ultimately much more important, and they are helping.

I have been struck in recent years that the Lord does not need war to bring about his purposes. Another gift to me from my brother was a small piece of concrete that he picked up in Berlin, where he was stationed at about the time the Berlin Wall came down. The Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain fell in amazing and overall peaceful ways. To me, these things are as great of miracles as the Battle of Jericho, which brought ancient walls down. We still have many more walls to go, and much more building to do before the Second Coming, but he is able to bring about his own means and in his own way. I have that piece of the Berlin Wall on my dresser with a little block that says "Believe." This is to remind me that when we need battles fought, when we need miracles brought about in our lives, if we will trust in the Lord, have faith and believe, this things can be brought to pass in our lives, even if they seem impossible to us. "With God, all things are possible."



Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 2/23/2012 (23:27)
Ruth

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LARKSONGRUTH
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2/13/12 12:25 P

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I had a very enjoyable time reading those Alma passages Ann suggested. Although I was familiar with both (Alma 26 is Ammon's rejoicing over the successful missionary efforts of King Mosiah's sons and Alma 29 is Alma's "Oh that I were an angel" passage), reading them while focusing on the praise that these men were giving to their Heavenly Father really brought them to light in a whole new way. This was especially true of Alma 26. Thanks Ann

Ruth

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LARKSONGRUTH
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2/12/12 11:08 A

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Ann, It's so good to hear from you again. I will look at those chapters in Alma today.

Last week, my friend Danielle gave the Gospel Doctrine lesson. She really emphasized the scripture 2 Nephi 1:15 "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love." She contrasted being encircled in the arms of God's love with being encircled about with the chains of Hell. During the week, there was link on facebook to a choir singing "Encircle the Child" recorded by the Mormon Tabernacle. It was such a beautiful song with adorable photos to go along. Then today when I was looking up the other scripture on lds.org, I ran across this scripture about Christ visit with the Nephites--3 Nephi 17:24 "And as they looked to behold they cast their eyes towards heaven, and they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them."

Beautiful, beautiful images. Think about them next time you give your kids a hug.


Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 2/12/2012 (14:14)
Ruth

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I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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2/12/12 2:52 A

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I appreciated what you said about the reminder this scripture about anger and how it weakens us. With all the things that have been going on in my life lately I find that I am very glad that I don't have certain people in my life at this time, and that I've found my way past the anger I felt towards them last year.

A thought about shouting praises... Alma 26 and 29
Great examples of people who have felt the love of God and wanted to shout praises.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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2/4/12 1:52 P

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I'm glad to see new people joining us. We'll look forward to hearing from you.

This week in my reading, I've started 2 Nephi. Certainly one of the highlights of this section is the passage known as Nephi's Psalm (2 Nephi 4:15-35). Not surprisingly, it was written just after Lehi's death. What a difficult time this must have been for Nephi, losing a parent who had been such a strong leader, and finding himself now the leader of this divers group of people. This is reflected in the soul searching he does through this passage.

In first Nephi, we see Nephi as a strong character who is always choosing the right. In this passage he reveals to us his humanity. He is often plagued by disappointment that in his human frailties (v. 17). Despite the joy he finds in the gospel and the many great blessings and visions he has had from the Lord, he acknowledges his weakness. Yet this is overcome by his trust in the Lord. His cry, "Awake my soul! No longer droop in sin," (v. 28) reminds us of the need for constant recommitment.

One of the faults that he finds with himself is his tendency to be angry with his "enemy" (vs 27, 29). Who can be surprised at this consider all the trouble that his brothers have caused for him, yet Nephi acknowledges that letting himself wallow in anger and self pity, "slackens his strengh" (v. 29). What a good remind this is for me, especially with the constant interactions that divorce has thrust upon me of having to interact with those who were once close and should be friends, but sometimes feel like my worst enemies.

The last five verses of the Psalm (vs 30-35) are a song of praise to the Lord, thankfulness for his strength, and pleading to continue that strengthening influence in Nephi's life. Also of recommitment and of humbling himself and having a broken heart and contrite spirit (v. 32). He reminds us that this is the condition which keeps our soul safe from Hell.

Sometimes I am a little jealous of some of my friends who have had upbringing in other faiths to whom praising the Lord seems to come as a more natural part of worship. I am grateful for scripture passages and hymns that Praise the Lord, and try to read these regularly. I believe that this practice is also an important part of our prayers. In the LDS tradition, we seem to do this most by thankfully acknowledging the hand of the Lord in our lives in our prayers. It is important that we do this daily, and do not neglect this important part of our prayers in asking for those things that we need.

Ruth

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KKRSAVMO
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2/2/12 11:49 A

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Your welcome! :)


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LITTLEWIND53
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1/31/12 5:04 P

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Thank you so much for posting that read the scriptures link. I had it once before but lost it when my computer crashed last year.

Maybe one of the team leaders could set this as a stickie topic, or post it as a team link???? (please?)

Linda

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KKRSAVMO
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1/31/12 2:30 P

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I'm reading the entire standard works this year starting with the Old Testament. I have read the BoM a few times but never anything else all the way through. I also have some institute student manuals that I keep by my side and read along with the scriptures. It helps so much in my understanding of what I am reading.

A great reminder for me has been the web site www.readthescriptures.com They will send you the verses that you are reading that day through email or you can read it right on their site. They also have an app to purchase if you have the kind of phone for that.

I'm really enjoying reading the Old Testament. I didn't think I would.

Debi


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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/18/12 1:22 P

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I finally got a chance to look up the scripture you quoted in Alma. I have always loved this passage of faith and the seed, but I had never made the connection between the seed becoming the tree of life and bearing fruit. Thank you for pointing that out.

One verse that I really loved as I read this week was 1 Nephi 22:26 where it teaches us that by righteousness we can bind Satan that he has no power over us.

I also really enjoyed 1 Nephi chapter 15. His brothers have asked him to explain the teachings of their father. in verse 8, he asks them "Have you inquired of the Lord?" This chapter then becomes a treatise on how to receive personal revelation through the spirit. Although the promise in Moroni 10:4-5 is more stated directly to the reader, if we liken this scripture to us, as Nephi exhorts in 1 Nephi 19:23, then we have, early in the Book of Mormon, the key to gain a testimony and further strengthening our understanding. We do not need to wait to the end of the book. I think this is a really important tool to teach investigators, young people, and even us older ones who know but who are also seeking further light and knowledge as we read.

Sister Barbara Thompson addressed this passage beautifully in her General Conference address in October 2011. This is going to form the foundation of my lesson next month.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 1/18/2012 (13:54)
Ruth

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AJHONDRNGAL
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1/18/12 1:23 A

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Exactly. Forgiveness is for freeing ourselves from the prison of anger and resentment.

Yes, it was a great experience. There were actually two experiences that got me through that. Elder Holland's talk and about 7 months later some direct personal revelation. Until that point I had only felt Heavenly Father's love for brief moments, and I always hoped I would someday be good enough. After that, I knew He loved me and that He accepted me as I am. I found that very motivating to be better. I was just thinking...that's probably why the descriptions of the tree in Lehi's dream mean so much to me. The verse in Alma 32 talks about how if we eat the tree we won't hunger or thirst anymore. For many years I ate to fill the dark hole inside me. Now it's filled.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/17/12 11:02 P

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That is the thing about forgiveness that I am learning. It really seems to be more about the person doing the forgiving than the one who needs forgiving. That person really doesn't need to know, and doesn't need to repent for forgiveness to work for the person who is doing the forgiving.It seems to be more of a process of healing and opening a door to be able to move on. I'm glad that you had that spiritual experience. It must have been wonderful.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 1/17/2012 (23:05)
Ruth

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1/17/12 6:58 P

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Yeah, I'm sure you are right, but in our family there was a lot more to it than just growing pains. Elder Holland's talk in 2007 entitled "The Tongue of Angels" was instrumental in getting me past it all. Even more than what he said, was what the spirit said as he talked. In my case, mom and dad don't know that I went through this process. I felt letting them know would just cause more trouble than it would solve.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 1/17/2012 (19:00)

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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/17/12 5:51 P

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I think forgiving your parents is a rite of passage we all go through. It is part of passing into a new, mature, more equal relationship. I had to laugh a bit when you said that (no offense intended), because my 23 year old daughter is going through that right now (or maybe now it is not so much forgiving as making sure Mom knows that you think she needs to be forgiven and you will get back to her on that in your own sweet time.). The main thing that is keeping me sane through this is remembering that I went through it a bit with my mom too, but Heather seems to think I need more forgiving then I remember feeling towards my mom. I have to admit that what happened before, during, and after the divorce has been very hard on this whole family, so she is probably right about that.

Actually, at Christmas time I had one of the nicest visits that I have had with her in a long time. But then later I heard through the grapevine that she was very angry with me for letting her sister go out on her first date while she was down here, 2 weeks before her sixteenth birthday. (Sigh)

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 1/17/2012 (17:53)
Ruth

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1/17/12 3:09 P

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Ruth, your thoughts reminded me of the experience I had with forgiving my parents. It is like I have not only forgiven them of the past, but also anything they will do in the future. It is much easier to let it roll off, like water rolls off a duck. I accept them where they are, and I'm able to love them anyway no matter what they do.

Our lesson Sunday was fabulous. We were talking about Lehi's dream. We spent a lot of time on the tree itself, and I enjoyed remembering how I felt when I finally felt His love and knew He really loved me. Alma 32:41 also describe the tree and the last few lines really touched me this time.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 1/17/2012 (15:11)

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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/17/12 3:00 P

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When I opened up this thread today, I had an idea about what I wanted to write about, but what you have said has hit me so strongly that I started weeping. It was so beautiful. I am just going to share a couple of thoughts on forgiveness instead.

I have really been working on forgiveness ever since my divorce 8 1/2 years ago, and it has not been easy going. This week I picked up the September 2011 Ensign and there was an article by Dennis Byrd called "Anticipating the Need to Forgive." There are some situations that you know are just going to be bad over and over and over, yet Brother Byrd says that "If we decide ahead of time to forgive those who hurt us--even intentionally [it empowers] us to move forward." This year, I realized that I have made a lot of progress towards dealing with my husband in a more positive manner, even though I know that he is going to continual do things that might upset me. I have a couple of nieces that are here going to school right now, and they have just been obnoxious at every meal they come to. That is where I need to apply this principle again right now. It is not easy. They really upset me, but it is really important to my mother that they come frequently and that she is able to influence them for good right now. I have been thinking of ways to deal with the situations that are so predictable that they will arise again and again in a better way.

Reconciliation is an eternal principle. Its foundation is forgiveness. The atonement is all about forgiveness. On the cross, Jesus cried to the Father to forgive those who murdered him in the very moment of his agonizing death. Oh what we can learn from our Savior. Oh what we can learn from Nephi. Oh what we can learn from Joseph Smith. When William Phelps approached him and asked his forgiveness after an extended episode of betrayal, Joseph Smith told him he was already forgiven. Then said, "Come on dear brother, since the war is past, for friends at first are friends again at last." (History of the church quoted in Chapter 34 of "Teachings of the Prophets: Joseph Smith (2007).)

Thank you for your beautiful thoughts on that scripture.

Ruth

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I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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1/16/12 2:23 A

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Yes, I do focus in on the people a lot. Today is no exception...lol.

Someone pointed out recently that Laman and Lemuel don't murmur when it comes time to get a wife. So as I read that chapter I watched for it, and you know, they don't. They don't murmur until after they pick up Ishmael's family and start back to join Lehi.

I was really struck today by 1 Nephi 7:21. When the brothers and company started murmuring, Nephi called them to repentance, which made them mad. So they tied him up and wanted to leave him behind. After he burst the bands, they were more angry and wanted to kill him, but some of Ishmael's family pleaded in his behalf and his brothers repented.

Here's the interesting part...

"And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done"

What does it mean to forgive frankly? How do you do it?

The footnote says "TG family, love within" I've got to think that love is a major key in being able to forgive this way. I've been able to forgive that way at times, and I think those are the times when I really love the person and forgiveness comes easy.

But what about when love is gone because it was destroyed? That's what I have struggled with since last February. The person in question made life at work horrible on purpose and destroyed any friendship we had in the process. Her behavior was verbally and emotionally abusive, and I have worked all year to overcome that abuse and forgive her.

I'll admit, too, that a certain bit of the struggle is plain old pride. There's a part of me that said, "How can she treat me that way? Who does she think she is?" It wouldn't surprise me if Nephi thought that a bit, but the key is he didn't act on that. He was able to overcome those kinds of feelings and just forgive. It would be so nice if I could be more like Nephi and frankly forgive.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 1/16/2012 (02:33)

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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/14/12 11:33 P

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I can see that you really related to the people that you are reading about. This will be an interesting discussion, because I tend to focus on doctrine, and you focus on people, so I think we will tend to open each other's eyes to different aspects of what we are reading.

Ruth

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I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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1/14/12 10:46 P

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Like I said...I'm reading slowly. My husband will sometimes read the same chapter over and over for weeks. I'm not going that far, but I am taking my time and pondering on things I read.

Most recently I was pondering 1 Nephi 5. I relate to Sariah. She's strong enough to be the prophet's wife, but she still has things to work on. In this chapter she's complaining to Lehi that her sons are gone and probably dead, and really having a rough time staying faithful in her trial. Later, after the kids come back she bares testimony that he is the prophet and that Heavenly Father has blessed them and kept the boys safe, etc.

I've always thought how that applies to us. Even though we are weak sometimes, our trials make us stronger and our testimonies grow through the hard times if we stay humble. It brings to mind Ether 12:27. As human beings we are weak, and if we stay humble, Heavenly Father makes our weakness strong. 1 Nephi 5 is a great example of that happening in Sariah's life.

Edited by: AJHONDRNGAL at: 1/14/2012 (22:48)

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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/14/12 2:25 A

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I really like that thought. I think that Zoram is a very interesting character. I just underlined Lehi's admonishes to Zoram just before Lehi died. At the end of 2 Nephi 1:30, Lehi tells Zoram, ". . . and I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi forever." In the next verse he makes him promises because of this. So their trust placed in Zoram was well founded.

Ruth

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I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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1/12/12 12:27 P

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Part of the Virtue project for Personal Progress is to write notes in a journal about what I am reading in the Book of Mormon. Especially the example of the Savior, and what he and his followers did to live virtuous lives. I'm reading very slowly...LOL. Here's something that always stands out to me.

1 Nephi 4:37
And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him.

I think that stands out because I am like that. If I say I will do something, I do it...much to my husband's chagrin sometimes. I often wonder what the world would be like if everyone had the integrity that verse shows. If we could implicitly trust someone just because they promised.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/11/12 5:41 P

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I love the challenge of writing in journal entry about a scripture each week, and I am choosing to do that here on the Book of Mormon challenge this year, and I hope that the rest of you will join me in doing this.

There are so many great scriptures in 1 Nephi that I might have chosen, but I am going to write about 1 Nephi 19:23-24 where Nephi says, "I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for your profit and learning." In the next verse he tells us "Hear ye the words of the prophet . . .And liken them unto yourselves that ye may have hope . . ."

This is an important concept to remember when we read the scriptures. They are like living water, and this is partly because they were written by the influence of the Holy Spirit, as Elder Scott reminds us in his conference address (Nov. 2011 Ensign, page 6-11.) They are also received by the Spirit. This is why we can read the scriptures over and over and they still seem so fresh and new each time, and why we learn so much each time we read them. The more that we are able to "liken" them to our own lives, the more we can receive and understand their deeper means, and the power that they can have in our individual lives and families.

Nephi gives this admonish just before introducing two chapters from Isaiah, with more to follow in 2 Nephi. Isaiah is always challenging reading, but I determined that I wanted to get something personal out of each chapter. On thing that came to my thoughts is that there are many marker words that help us know when we need to sit up and pay better attention in the scriptures, so I made a little list of some of these markers that I know to look for:

Hearken, hear, heed, listen--all markers that we need to
pay attention
Awake
Remember
Verily (meaning "In truth, or truly, or surely--which are all good markers as well).
Thus saith the Lord--as well as any name or indication that God or Christ is speaking.
Any active verbs: do, keep, seek, knock, pray, ponder, consider, find.

Some other favorite scriptures from this weeks reading:

2 Nephi 22:16-17 where it tells us, ". . . for he will not suffer that the wick shall destroy the righteous. Wherefore he will preserve the righteous by his power. . . . Where fore the rigteous need not fear; for thus saith the prophet, they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire." --Even if our bodies are physical destroyed, such as those righteous people who the wick threw into the fire before Alma and Amulek (Alma 14), we will be saved and not destroyed if we are righteous.

I also liked 2 Nephi 1:23, where Lehi says, "Awake, my sons; put on the armor of righteousness." The idea of the armor of God is a motif repeated throughout the scriptures. He will not leave us helpless if we do what He say.


Ruth

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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/4/12 11:46 A

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This year when I started the Book of Mormon, I had just finished teaching a lesson on Revelation in the New Testament. With this freshly in my mind, I was struck by how similar Lehi's and Nephi's dreams were to the vision John receive. That these were very similar visions is reinforced by the passage in 1Nephi 14:18-27, where the angel tells Nephi not to write all things because they will be given to John to write. (John later rates another mention in the Book of Mormon in the story of the three Nephite apostles who chose to linger on the earth until the Savior's second coming 3 Nephi 28:6-7.)

As I was preparing my lesson to introduce the Book of Mormon this week, I was also astonished to find that 2 Nephi 27:10, 21 give a brief synopsis of what is on the sealed plates:
". . . for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof." "Touch not the things which are sealed, for I will bring them forth in mine own due time." This made me feel that this might indeed be the sealed book that John mentions in Revelation that only the Lamb can open, although that book was said to have seven seals. Maybe there are other sealed records.

I really enjoyed reading the entire Chapter of 2 Nephi 27 because it was such a detailed prophecy of the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon. I don't know why I never grasped the significance of this wonderful account in my past readings of the Book of Mormon.


Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/2/12 11:58 P

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It sounds like everyone who has responded is off to an impressive start already.

Ruth

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MARCIANN
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1/2/12 4:54 P

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I set up a reading schedule for the Young Women, I am first counselor, so that they can read the entire Book of Mormon this year. That way they can get their virtue project done.

I went through different church manuals and picked out things I thought would motivate, get them to think or would be interesting or helpful when reading the Book of Mormon and compiled it into a notebook. We gave them the notebook on Sunday. Each Sunday we will assign one girl to talk about something she read that week and share with everyone in opening exercises.

I am going to be reading along with the girls. I also made up one for each of my daughters to use, they are 9 and 10. This will be the first year that they are in charge of reading the Book of Mormon on their own, in the past we always read it together but my husband and I thought that they might get more out of it at their own pace.

Marci Peterson

Usborne Children's Book Consultant

www.SoCalUsborne.com




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HIKER6699
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1/1/12 1:26 P

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Reading the Book of Mormon is not such a challenge for me. I was already reading my Bible cover to cover 4 times a year when President Hinckley gave the challenge to read through the Book of Mormon. Since then, I have maintained the practice of reading through the entire Scriptures (Bible, BOM, POGP, & D&C) 2 times a year.

Where Scriptures are concerned, my biggest challenge is memorizing important verses & putting the principles they teach to use in my life.


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AJHONDRNGAL
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1/1/12 12:42 P

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I am working on the virtue value for personal progress this year, so reading the Book of Mormon is a definite for me. Starting today.


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LARKSONGRUTH
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1/1/12 11:40 A

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This year we will be studying the Book of Mormon in Sunday School. I would like to challenge everyone to commit to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover this year, and I hope that you will post some of your insights as you read here to share with the rest of us.

I am giving the introductory lesson on the Book of Mormon as the keystone of our religion. I have been interested in reading 2 Nephi chapter 27, which tells about the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in our day. Even though I have read this before, preparing to teach it I found it riveting that Nephi had this clear vision of the pattern of how the Book of Mormon would come forth--especially of the mission of Joseph Smith, and how the three witness, and other witnesses (8 witnesses) would be chosen to bear witness of the book, and how he predicts the story of Charles Anthon (2 Ne 27:15-18) which is also recorded in Isaiah 29:11-12.



Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 4/13/2012 (23:55)
Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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