Day 90: Mni9-10 (end) Moroni reiterates his father’s teachings about faith, hope, and charity and the gifts of the Spirit and then adds a powerful close. Read ch7 and ch10 together… It’s interesting and sobering to think about what the world would be like without the light of Christ and the Spirit of Christ and the “good things” and gifts of the Spirit that we enjoy. Ch7v16,24 “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man… All things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them… Lay hold upon every good thing.” ch10v25 “If there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God.” v23 “And Christ truly said unto our fathers: If ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me.” I hope that we will lay hold upon every good gift, that we will appreciate the gifts of others that come through the light and Spirit of Christ, even those not of our faith, and that we will continue to pray for the ultimate spiritual gift, which is charity, the pure love of Christ (ch7v46-48).
Day 89: Mni7-8 Chapter 7 is masterful; it’s a transcription of Mormon’s teachings to the church about faith, hope and charity. I love this chapter! I hadn’t really paid attention to the need not just for those three, but also for this: v43-44 “And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God save the meek and lowly in heart, and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.” Meekness and lowliness of heart is critical to developing all of the other three. Those who are prideful (and pride caused the destruction of the Nephites and the whole nation of the Jaredites…) cannot have faith, hope and charity. Which brings me to chapter 8, Mormon’s letter to Moroni condemning infant baptism. He speaks in such strong terms, my thoughts turned to the person or people that he was correcting, because obviously someone was teaching a need for infant baptism. I hope that person responded in humility to the prophet’s correction, just as I hope we will when worldly ideas creep into our dearly held beliefs and we need correction.
Day 88: Moroni1-6 Moroni had not planned to write more, but decides to because he had “not as yet perished” (ch1v1). He gives us some very valuable teachings in his 10 chapters. I especially like ch6, as he writes about the importance of baptism into the Lord’s church and what we should do at church. V4-6 “And after they had been received unto baptism, and were wrought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the church of Christ; and their names were taken, that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God, to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful unto prayer, relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and finisher of their faith. And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls. And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.” I’m incredibly grateful for the experience of going to church and being “remembered and nourished by the good word of God.” The Church is a great blessing in my life, as are the people who “preach… exhort… pray… supplicate… and sing” (v9). The sacrament is also a wonderful blessing to me, as it helps me remember and recommit to my covenants with my Savior.
Day 87: Eth13-15 It is hard to read these chapters about a people completely destroying each other! The prophecies of Ether in ch13 are a bright spot, though. The words of Ether talk about this land being a choice land and that a New Jerusalem would be established here. V2+ “that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof; and that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come out of heaven, and the Holy sanctuary of the Lord… and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel. And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.”
Day 86: Eth10-12 Moroni springboards off of the prophet Ether’s words about faith and writes beautifully about faith, hope, charity. He also writes that he feels like he and the other writers of the Book of Mormon are weak in writing and that he hopes their weakness will not be a stumbling block for those who read it. The Lord comforts him by saying, “Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness; And if men come unto me, I will show unto them their weakness… My grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (ch12v26-27). Also v35: “If the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness.” It’s pretty clear that part of having charity is not taking advantage of or mocking another’s weakness. I realize more every day that we all have weaknesses and that we must be patient with each other. Christ’s grace is sufficient for all of us, and my job is to come to him so I can see my weaknesses more clearly and rely on his grace… And not to dwell on the weaknesses of others.
Day 85: Eth7-9 Moroni takes the opportunity to warn us about “secret combinations” while he relates the sordid history of the people of Jared. We would be unwise to think that we don’t have to worry about groups who have organized to destroy our freedoms. Ch8v20+ “I, Moroni… It hath been made known unto me that they are had among all people, and they are had among the Lamanites. And they have caused the destruction of this people of whom I am now speaking, and also the destruction of the people of Nephi. And whatsoever nation shall uphold such secret combinations, to get power and gain, until they shall spread over the nation, behold, they shall be destroyed… Suffer not that these murderous combinations shall get above you… For it come to pass that whoso buildeth it up seeketh to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries; and it bringeth to pass the destruction of all people.”
Day 84: Eth3-6 The brother of Jared is shown the finger of the Lord as he touches the stones that the brother of Jared brought to him so that they would have light in their vessels while they were on the waters. I never really noticed how bold the brother of Jared seems after the Lord affirms his faith. Ch3v9-10 “And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this? And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.” That reminds me of the scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants (121v45) “let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.” As a result of his confidence and his great faith, the Lord showed himself.
Day 83: Ether1-2 The story of Jared and his brother and their people is really interesting. I love how the Lord covenants with them to lead them to a choice land, and I relate it to how He will lead us if we will let Him. Ch2v6 They were “directed continually by the hand of the Lord.” Yet sometimes we forget to seek his help and distance ourselves. I’m grateful for the hope it gives me that the brother of Jared saw such great things, yet the Lord even had to chasten him for forgetting for a time. V14 “And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord.” The Lord tells him, “the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea… Ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come.” It’s a great comfort to me that the Lord has prepared me for the struggles that I encounter in this life.
Day 82: Morm7-9 ch8 is powerful; I love how Moroni (Mormon’s son) switches in this chapter from discouraged and sorrowful about the death of his father and his people to a powerful witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I thought it was cool that he mentions that “those saints who have gone before me, who have possessed this land… Their prayers were also in behalf of him that the Lord should suffer to bring these things forth” (v23,25) They were praying for Joseph Smith. I wonder if he felt their prayers like I was promised when set apart as a missionary to feel the prayers of my family members while I was in Japan. I definitely did, and it was a great blessing.
Day 81: Morm4-6 Mormon’s sorrow for his people is so evident in these chapters. He writes directly to those who will read The Book of Mormon (us!) and says that we will sorrow for them as well. Ch5v11,17 “For I know that such will sorrow for the calamity of the house of Israel; yea, they will sorrow for the destruction of this people; they will sorrow that this people had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus… They were once a delightsome people, and they had Christ for their shepherd; yea, they were led even by God the Father.” He clearly loves his people, even though they would not listen to his warnings. Ch6v17 “O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!” The end of the Nephite nation is truly tragic, and he takes the opportunity to warn us as well: ch5v22-24 “O ye Gentiles, how can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways? Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?… Repent ye, and humble yourselves before him.”
Day 80: Mormon1-3 Mormon writes at length about the final wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites and about trying to persuade his people to repent, to no avail. It’s interesting to think about how unusual Mormon and his family are during this time when nearly all the people are so wicked. It doesn’t say much about his mother, but his father’s name was also Mormon. He was named after the land of Mormon, where Alma taught and baptized his people. Mormon was given the responsibility to keep the record of the people when he was just 10 years old. He was given responsibility to lead the Nephite armies when he was just 15. He is a bright spot in the darkness. Ch1v15 “And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.”
Day 79: 4Nephi This is a roller coaster chapter, right? From “the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another” (v2) to “both the people of Nephi and the Lamanites had become exceedingly wicked one like another… There were none that were righteous save it were the disciples of Jesus” (v45-46). One thing I hadn’t really paid attention to before was the missionary work that went on to get everyone converted to Christ. It wasn’t just Christ’s visit that made that happen. We already read that in 3Ne27v1, “the disciples of Jesus were journeying and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and we’re baptizing in the name of Jesus.” But it took a couple of years (see v2). Bless those missionary disciples!
Day 78: 3Ne27-30 We are reminded several times here that God will fulfill his promises. ch27v18 “And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.” ch29v2-3 “And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled… the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel.” For me, it’s very comforting that we can have complete trust in God that he will fulfill his promises and his part of the covenants we make with him.
Day 77: 3Ne22-26 Christ recites scriptures from the Old Testament to the Nephite people: Isaiah, Malachi. The words of Isaiah they already have, but they are so important that he shares them again and says, (ch23v2) “And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently, for great are the words of Isaiah.” Then he shares Malachi, which they did not have. He tells them, (ch26v2) “These scriptures which ye had not with you, the Father commanded that I should give unto you; for it was wisdom in him that they should be given unto future generations.” This shows the importance of scriptures and the words of the prophets in keeping a people faithful to the Lord. I also am so fascinated in the rest of what Jesus taught the people that was not written. I hope that we will receive what is written so that we can receive the rest. V9 “When they shall have received this, which is expedient that they should have first, to try their faith, and if it shall so be that they shall believe these things then shall the greater things be made manifest unto them.”
Day 76: 3Ne19-21 I love ch19. The people show such great desire to be with Jesus and learn from him, and they receive great blessings as a result. V2-3 “It was noised abroad among the people immediately, before it was yet dark, that the multitude had seen Jesus, and that he had ministered unto them, and that he would also show himself on the morrow unto the multitude… There were many, yea, an exceedingly great number, did labor exceedingly all that night, that they might be on the morrow in the place where Jesus should show himself unto the multitude.” v9,13 “they did pray for that which they most desired; and they desired that the Holy Ghost should be given unto them… When they were all baptized and had come up out of the water, the Holy Ghost did fall unto them, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost and with fire…” v25 “Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him; and his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them, and behold they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus.” They were purified and sanctified because of their righteous desires.
Day 75: 3Ne16-18 A few thoughts. The Lord is ready to leave and let them ponder his teachings (ch17v1-3), yet he stays because he discerns the desire of their hearts. What follows is some of the most spiritual experiences in scripture. It makes me wonder if my desires would convince the Lord to stay and minister more to me. Also in ch17, Christ commands them to bring their little children. That commandment hasn’t changed. My children can receive such blessings if I bring my children to Christ. V21,23″He took their little children, one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them… And said unto them: Behold your little ones.” How often do I truly “behold” my little ones? In ch18, he administers the sacrament to the people. There is great benefit to partaking of the sacrament regularly! V12 “If ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock.” Also, continuing to minister to those who struggle is so important. I love v32 “ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.”
Day 74: 3Ne13-15 Definition bonus! Ch14v13-14 I often hear people talk about the “straight” and narrow way, but the scriptures say “strait” and refer to the gate. The way is narrow. The gate is strait, which is an archaic adjective that means “of limited spatial capacity; narrow or cramped:” So it makes sense that the opposite is a wide gate and a broad way. Okay, for my thought: I think in the past, I kind of read Christ’s teachings to The Nephites as kind of a collection of principles and doctrine that he wanted them to learn and follow. But it’s occurring to me that he is really trying here in ch13 and 14 to get his disciples to deepen their conversion from surface practices to true heart-based following. I’ve always loved the concept in ch13v22 “The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” He’s talking about sanctification, the deepest conversion possible, and it’s only possible through Christ.
I forgot to send this last night, so you’re getting two this morning! Day 73: 3Ne10-12 There’s a good lesson in ch10v5 for how we can tune in to the guidance of the Lord through the Holy Ghost. What do we need to do in order to do this? “And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.” Only then did they understand the voice that they heard before the Lord appeared unto them.
Have had a couple of crazy days, but I am back! Day 72: 3Ne7-9 It’s interesting that Nephi is such a powerful man of God and prophet, but the people are so wicked that they just get angry. Ch7v16 He “went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ… Nephi did minister with power and with great authority. And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily.”
Day 71: 3Ne4-6 I love it when Mormon pulls back the curtain a little bit and tells us about himself in ch5. One of my favorite scriptures in this section is Ch5v13 “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.” He also bears testimony that the Book of Mormon is true in v18 “And I know the record which I make to be a just and a true record.” I am grateful for Mormon!
Day 70: 3Ne2-3 It’s interesting to see the different perception between the Nephite dissenters who joined the Gadianton robbers and those they left behind. They are certain they have been wronged. Ch3v10 “I hope that ye will deliver up your lands and your possessions… That this my people may recover their rights and government, who have dissented away from you because of your wickedness in retaining from them their rights of government.” v11 “When Lachoneus received this epistle he was exceedingly astonished, because of the boldness of Giddianhi demanding the possession of the land of the Nephites, and also of threatening the people and avenging the wrongs of those that had received no wrong, save it were they had wronged themselves by dissenting away unto those wicked and abominable robbers.” We often self-deceive when we are actually the ones in the wrong.
Day 69: 3Nephi1 It seems recently that there’s a bit of a “culture war” between Christians and the world. Some of what is in this chapter reminds me of that. v6-8 “And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain… the people who believed began to be very sorrowful… But behold, they did watch steadfastly…” When we are sorrowful because of the world and its antagonism, are we still watching steadfastly?
Day 68: Hel14-16 Samuel the Lamanite preaches repentance to the Nephites. His contrast is interesting between the Nephites, who have had many signs and wonders shown to them and don’t repent, and the Lamanites, who have lesser signs and wonders but are firm and steadfast once they learn the truth. ch15v19 “Therefore repent ye, repent ye, lest by knowing these things and not doing them ye shall suffer yourselves to come under condemnation…” (also see ch15v3) vs. ch15v10 “because of their steadfastness when they do believe in that thing which they do believe, for because of their firmness when they are once enlightened, behold, the Lord shall bless them and prolong their days.” Endurance in faith is important! Am I firm and steadfast once I believe and am enlightened?
Day 67: Hel10-13 It’s interesting to see the contrast between those who submit their will to the Lord’s will and allow him to guide their lives and those who don’t. ch11v23 “Nephi and Lehi, and many of their brethren who knew concerning the true points of doctrine, having many revelations daily, therefore they did preach unto the people…” ch12v6 “Behold, they do not desire that the Lord their God, who hath created them; notwithstanding his great goodness and mercy towards them, they do set at naught his counsels, and they will not that he should be their guide.”
Day 66: Hel7-9 Nephi gives up preaching to the Nephites and goes home, because they are so wicked that none of them will listen. He preaches powerfully to those who gather as he prays on his tower. It’s true that it is hard to understand why we do this sometimes: ch7v15+ “Ye have great need to marvel; yea, ye ought to marvel because ye are given away that the devil has got so great hold upon your hearts. Yea, how could you have given way to the enticing of him who is seeking to hurl away your souls down to everlasting misery and endless wo?” v25 “wo be unto you because of that great abomination which has come among you; and ye have united yourselves unto it…” Will we give our hearts to him who wants to hurl away our souls, or to those who “know us best and love us most and will not leave one thing undone for our eternal welfare”? (Pres. Benson)
Day 65: Hel5-6 I love Helaman 5; the whole chapter is amazing and is full of amazing missionary miracles, especially among the Lamanites. I hope that you will read it. I was interested in this description of how to enjoy the Spirit of the Lord in more abundance in our lives. Ch6v34-36 “The Lamanites began to grow exceedingly in the knowledge of their God; yea, they did begin to keep his statutes and commandments, and to walk in truth and uprightness before him… And thus we see that the Lord began to pour out his Spirit upon the Lamanites, because of their easiness and willingness to believe in his words.” It’s interesting to think about the difference between a hard heart and an easy and willing heart and how much easier it is for the Lord to bless us when we have the latter.
Day 64: Hel2-4 Sorry I missed yesterday! This section of reading covers about 20 years of peace, then pride and wars and contentions, until the Nephites lose half their lands because of their iniquity. There’s a time in these 20 years when “the work of the Lord did prosper unto the baptizing and uniting to the church of God, many souls, yea, even tens of thousands” (ch3v26). Mormon makes a commentary on this that is cool, v27-30. V29 makes me think of the ropes courses my oldest just experienced at girls camp… They had to really hold on to make it across safely! “Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked.”
Day 63: Helaman1 I kind of had a mishmash of thoughts today: internal conflict makes us vulnerable to attacks from without (v18). The Lamanites’ strategy in their warfare against the Nephites is consistently to “stir [their people] up to anger” so that they will attack the Nephites (v17). We need to be careful when we are being stirred up to anger. When those who are weak among us are being attacked, it is important that we surround them and rescue them (v26-32).
Day 62: Alma61-63 There are plenty of times that the Nephites are proud and forget the Lord when they become prosperous. But this time, after the many years of wars with the Lamanites, they didn’t. What was the difference? They remembered their dependence on Him. Ch62v49-51 “But notwithstanding their riches, or their strength, or their prosperity, they were not lifted up in the pride of their eyes; neither were they slow to remember the Lord their God; but they did humble themselves exceedingly before him. Yea, they did remember how great things the Lord had done for them, that he had delivered them from death, and from bonds, and from prisons, and from all manner of afflictions… And they did pray unto the Lord their God continually…”
Day 61: Alma58-60 Sometimes peace comes from the Lord even in the midst of our “wars” or trials, even if we’re not delivered immediately. Ch58v10-12 “Therefore we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us out of the hands of our enemies, yea, and also give us strength that we might retain our cities, and our lands, and our possessions, for the support of our people. Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him. And we did take courage…”
Day 60: Alma56-57 I’m struck again with how different Helaman is as a military commander. He shows such love for his young warriors, and calls them his sons. He doesn’t command absolutely, but asks his sons if they will fight, knowing their inexperience. They rely on God and are miraculously preserved. Ch56v44+ “Therefore, what say ye, my sons, will ye go against them to battle? And now I say unto you, my beloved brother Moroni, that never had I seen so great courage, Nay, not amongst all the Nephites. For as I had ever called them my sons (for they were all of them very young) even so they said unto me: Father, behold our God is with us, and he will not suffer that we should fall; then let us go forth.”
Day 59: Alma53-55 My sister and I had the same insight as we read this, so it’s definitely worth sharing! Although the 2000 young sons of the people of Ammon (the “stripling warriors”) were inexperienced soldiers, they were willing to take up arms in defense of their people. And instead of choosing a seasoned captain or military man to lead them, they asked Helaman to be their commander. Helaman had spent his life as a missionary and religious leader. Can you imagine how much out of his comfort zone this was? But he agreed out of love for these courageous young men. Ch53v22 “And now it came to pass that Helaman did march at the head of his two thousand stripling soldiers.”
Day 58: Alma51-52 It’s tragic that the peace that the Nephites had achieved was destroyed so quickly when there were dissensions from within. The king-men, who wanted to appoint a king over the people in order to gain power over their brethren, refused to take up arms to defend their brethren and the Lamanites came in and took over the Nephites’ heavily fortified cities. How important it is for us to be unified as a people! Ch51v13 How sad is this: “When the king-men had heard that the Lamanites were coming down to battle against them, they were glad in their hearts; and they refused to take up arms, for they were so wroth with the chief judge, and also with the people of liberty, that they would not take up arms to defend their country.”
Day 57: Alma49-50 Moroni’s leadership and commitment to following God in even military preparations led to complete victory in defending against the attacks of the Lamanites (see 48v15-16). “There was not a single soul of the Nephites which was slain” (ch49v23). “There never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni” (ch50v22). Turning our lives over to God and seeking to know his will has great rewards.
Day 56: Alma47-48 I love the description of Moroni; and you can tell Mormon, the compiler of the Book of Mormon, really thinks a lot of him (he named his son after him, after all), see ch48v17: “If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever, yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.” I especially like this part in v12: “Yea, a man whose heart did swell with thanksgiving to his God.” Gratitude is powerful.
Day 55: Alma44-46 When the Nephites’ freedom was threatened by Amalickiah and his people, who interestingly were judges in the land who were seeking for power, Moroni mustered the people together to defend their freedoms with the Title of Liberty. I love the people’s response to his call in ch46v21: “The people came running together” to defend “our God, our religion, and freedom, and out peace, our wives, and our children” (v12).
Day 54: Alma43 This chapter describes a very dramatic battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites, who were led by former Nephites, so as to better stir the Lamanites up to anger against the Nephites. But we can learn from some of the things the Nephites did: they again sought the guidance of the Lord in knowing how to defend themselves (v23); they used sufficient armor to shield themselves (v38); their cause was just: “they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, for their rites of worship and their church” (v45). When things got difficult, they became more united and “cried with one voice unto the Lord their God,” which helped them to “stand against the Lamanites with power” (v49-50) so they could prevail even though they were outnumbered.
Day 53: Alma40-42 Oh, I am so grateful for the atonement that “[brought] about the plan of mercy”! (ch42v15). V14: “All mankind were fallen, and they were in the grasp of justice… Which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.” Do we realize that we are all in need of a Savior? Justice would separate us all from God without the atonement and the mercy it made possible. V24: “For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.”
This picture is hanging in the Conference Center. I love it! I also think this verse is cool: ch40v25 “And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.” Shine forth!
Day 52: Alma37-39 Lots of good advice from a righteous father here. I love the comparison in ch37 between the Liahona and the word of Christ. Again, we’re reminded that if we’re “slothful,” the scriptures lose their ability to create “marvelous works” in our lives! Read v38 to the end for the whole awesome analogy. But this part stood out to me this time: v40 “And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could case that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.” If I believe the word of Christ can bring miracles into my life, it will happen.
Sorry, yesterday’s reading was Alma32-34; sometimes my phone thinks I need my chapters autocorrected. Day 51: Alma35-36 I marked just about all of ch36 because it’s so good. At the end, notice that Alma encourages his son Helaman to remember the captivity of their fathers and that the Lord has “by his everlasting power, delivered them.” I figure that if he can deliver a people over and over again, he can deliver me from whatever bonds I find myself in, v27 “And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me… from bonds… and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.”
Day 50: Alma32-24 It’s so hard to choose one thought in these chapters; here are Alma’s beautiful words on faith, Amulek’s about prayer and the infinite atonement. But what struck me the most is the message to not procrastinate! Moses raised up a type of the Savior in the wilderness, and all the people needed to do was to look, but many didn’t! Alma said, ch33v21: “If ye could be healed by merely casting about your eyes that ye might be healed, would ye not behold quickly…? Cast about your eyes and begin to believe in the Son of God.” ch34v31 “If ye will repent and harden not your hearts, IMMEDIATELY shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you… Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance.” The link I shared yesterday, from Rich, talks about how there are two rewards for working in the vineyard, the payment at the end, but also the work itself is a reward. “Those who show up late to work in the vineyard eventually will come to realize and regret they didn’t show up sooner. They will come to realize THEY were the ones who were missing out.”
Day 49: Alma31 The Zoramites “had had the word of God preached unto them. But they… would not observe to keep the commandments of God… Neither would they observe the performances of the church, to continue in prayer and supplication to God daily, that they might not enter into temptation.” (v8-10) The pride of the Zoramites took their hearts right away from God, even as they were professing belief in him with their mouths. The commandments and daily acts of worship are protective in nature! Rich Millar talks about losing and regaining his faith (http://ow.ly/Pdhfp), and one of his lessons learned is that the daily decisions determine your destiny–whether you are keeping the light by continuing in prayer or letting the darkness seep in.
Past days are posted on sarahurd.com Day 48: Alma28-30 There’s lots to love in these chapters. I was struck especially by how ch28v12 captures so well the feelings we feel when we lose a loved one. “While many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of neverending happiness.”
Day 47: Alma25-27 It’s good to do hard things and take a risk when you have the potential to bless others. The sons of Mosiah were laughed at when they wanted to share the gospel with the Lamanites (ch26v23-24). But because they did, “thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.” (v4) v9: “For if we had not come up out of the land of Zarahemla, these our dearly beloved brethren… would still have been racked with hatred against us, yea, and they would also have been strangers to God.”
Day 46: Alma23-24 It’s interesting what happens to a people when they are closer to or further away from God. The Lamanites didn’t seem to have very much respect for their king and would try to steal his flocks and then after the kings were converted, decided to come to war against them and their followers and slaughter them. Many among them would murder and steal to get what they wanted. It’s like they are just a bunch of thugs that needed to be ruled by fear and coercion. When they were converted, their hearts changed. Ch24:18 They buried their weapons of war, “vouching and covenanting with God, that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives; and rather than take away from a brother they would give unto him; and rather than spend their days in idleness they would labor abundantly with their hands.”