Day 45: BoM Alma20-22 What a change in Lamoni’s father, the king of all the Lamanites! The Spirit worked on him so much between his encounter with Ammon and Lamoni when he was arrogant and murderous (ch20v13,19) and when Aaron came into his land that he was a totally different person. ch22v15,18 “What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken?… I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy… O God… wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee.”
Day 44: BoM Alma 18-19 The Lamanite king Lamoni, in response to Ammon sharing the scriptures and the plan of redemption with him, fell to the earth for two days and three nights. What an amazing experience he had! ch19v6: “the dark veil of unbelief was being cast away from his mind, and the light… which was the light of the glory of God… this light had infused such joy into his soul… the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul… and he was carried away in God.” We learn later about his experience, in v13: “I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name.”
Day 43: BoM Alma15-17 I’m amazed not only at the sons of Mosiah, who undertook a 14-year mission to the Lamanites, but also the people who went with them (ch17v1-3, 12; I didn’t realize they had selected people to go also). They went to preach the gospel to “a wild and a hardened and a ferocious people… who delighted in murdering the Nephites,” (v14) and “they separated themselves one from another, and went… every man alone.” (v17) That took a lot of faith in the Lord’s promise that “I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls.” (v11)
Day 42: BoM Alma 13-14 I know we’ve often heard that the Lord will not suffer us to be tempted more than we can bear, but we can actually give away our agency to the point that we can. It requires effort to be protected from temptation. Ch13v16 “But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear.”
Day 41: BoM Alma11-12 Justice and mercy and our will and ability to choose: We are in “a time to prepare to meet God” (ch12v24), and we are “in a state to act according to their wills and pleasures, whether to do evil or to do good” (v31). When we allow ourselves to fall into addictions of whatever sort, we are “chained down” and subjected “according to [Satan’s] will,” not our own any more (v17). Freedom is not found in using our choice that way. But “If ye will repent, and harden not your hearts…” you “shall have claim on mercy through mine Only Begotten Son.” His arm of mercy is always extended! Always.
Scripture challenge day 40: Book of Mormon Alma 9-10. I’ll post past days on the net when I get a chance. Feel free to share your own thoughts! ~ Am I noticing or hearing? We are often like Amulek, ch10v5-6 “I never have known much of the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power… [but] I mistake, for I have seen much of his mysteries and his marvelous power… I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know.”
Dear friends, I am currently doing a scripture reading challenge and send out a daily text about what I learned. I want my phone to be used to share GOOD things. I’d love to include you. Please let me know if you do NOT want to be included at any time! I have set up text groups that are simple to adjust. -Sara
Day 39: Alma6-8 It’s interesting to think about how this description of the wicked folks in the city of Ammonihah might apply to us today. Ch8v17: “For behold, they do study at this time that they may destroy the liberty of thy people, (for thus saith the Lord) which is contrary to the statutes, and judgments, and commandments which he has given unto his people.” The Lord is definitely interested in us preserving our freedom and liberty, yet it’s likely that some are studying to destroy it.
Day 38: Alma5 Sorry I got a day behind in my reading. I love Alma 5, but it can also be a little overwhelming. Sometimes it’s easy to respond to Alma’s searching questions with a little discouragement. Have I received his image in my countenance? Have I experienced this mighty change in my heart? Have I kept myself blameless before God? Am I stripped of pride? Am I stripped of envy? Yikes. But that misses the whole point here, which is that the good Shepherd (Christ) is calling us and we just need to respond. I also realized that it’s a journey. There’s a question in this chapter to convict everyone, to make everyone realize their need for a Savior. V21 “there can no man be saved except his garments are washed white; yea, his garments must be purified until they are cleansed from all stain, through the blood of him of whom it has been spoken by our fathers, who should come to redeem his people from their sins.” V33 “Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you.”
Day 37: Alma2-4 Sometimes Satan can get hold of us by making us so discouraged that we lose the Spirit in our lives. But the Comforter can be with us if we follow Alma’s example in troubled times. He saw the wickedness of his people, yet he still sought the guidance of the Spirit so he knew what the Lord would have him do. Ch4v15 He “began to be very sorrowful; nevertheless the Spirit of the Lord did not fail him.”
Day 36: Alma1 The church experiences much persecution from unbelievers, and many harden their hearts and leave the church. The church members are a good example to us in v24-25: “For the hearts of many were hardened… Many withdrew themselves from among them. Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.” Do we become shaken when allies change and are against us? Or are we steadfast and immovable?
Day 35: Msh27-29 The means to translate has been kept and preserved and passed down, so that we can learn from the records of people in the past. It’s interesting why! Ch28v15: “And they have been kept and preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he should discover to every creature who should possess the land the iniquities and abominations of his people.” We really can learn a lot from bad examples as well as from good ones.
Day 34: Msh24-26 I have to include a little bonus thought first. Remember how we talked about the importance of written language and records? I realized that Amulon and his brethren, the wicked priests of Noah, actually set the stage for Lamanite conversion later on (and, at one point, there were more righteous Lamanites than Nephites!) when they begin teaching the Lamanites. Ch24v4: “and thus the language of of Nephi began to be taught among all the people of the Lamanites.” This allowed Ammon and the other sons of Mosiah, missionaries to the Lamanites, to use the scriptures in their teaching and conversion.
Aha #2. The Lord will help us bear our burdens, even when our circumstances stay the same for a while, like he did Alma and his people when they were in bondage to the Lamanites. Ch24v13-16: “Lift up your heads and be of good comfort… I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs… I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” How? “The Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience… So great was their faith and their patience…” It doesn’t happen automatically, but if we press forward with patience and faith and cheerfulness and submit to his will, we can bear our burdens with ease.
Day 33: Msh21-23 So, I’ve kind of been having a pity party of one today. Ch23v21-22 is a good wakeup call: am I allowing myself to be refined? Am I getting better? Or just choosing to become bitter? “Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith. Nevertheless– whosoever putteth his trust in him the same shall be lifted up at the last day. Yea, and thus it was with [Alma’s] people.”
Day 32: Msh18-20 In contrast to King Noah’s wicked priests, who were lazy and idolatrous and relied on the taxes of the people to support their lavish lifestyle, the priests that converted Noah’s priest Alma consecrated over the church “labor[ed] with their own hands for their support” (ch18v24). Work brings the Spirit into our lives! V26 “And the priests were not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God, that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God, that they might teach with power and authority from God.”
Day 31: Msh15-18 Abinadi’s story is so compelling! I’m amazed that only one of Noah’s wicked priests listened to words like these in ch16v12-13: “having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent. And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?”
Day 30: Msh12-14 ch14v10-11 Christ sees his seed (those who make a covenant with Him and take His name and do their best to follow Him) when he makes his atonement. He KNOWS us individually and we can be justified (the demands of justice satisfied) through his grace. “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin he shall see his seed… He shall see the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
Day 29: Msh9-11 When we are in bondage to sin, the Lord will deliver us, but only if we get past the “wo is me” sorrow to being truly repentant in “sackcloth and ashes.” ch11v21-25 is Abinadi’s first words to a sinful people. And who would be able to deliver us, but the Lord? V23 “And it shall come to pass that except this people repent and turn unto the Lord their God, they shall be brought into bondage; and none shall deliver them, except it be the Lord the Almighty God.”
Day 28: Msh5-8 I love this counsel from King Limhi to his people, who were in bondage to the Lamanites. It’s good advice to us anytime. Ch7v33: “But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage.”
Day 27+: I’m a day behind and didn’t read yesterday. So I’ll be catching up. But I’m sitting here in stake conference hearing an older gentleman bear his testimony through singing and wondering if king Benjamin’s people ever heard him sing his testimony and what that must have been like. He had that desire as he ended his life: ch2v28 “that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God.”
Day 27: Msh3-4 In chapter 4, it describes a clear “born again” experience for the people (v2-3). King Benjamin then reminds them of the steps that are required, in awareness: 1. Your nothingness 2. Your worthlessness and fallen state; in belief/knowledge: 1. Goodness of God 2. His matchless power 3. His wisdom 4. His patience 5. His long suffering 6. The atonement (salvation possible); in action: 1. Trust in the Lord 2. Be diligent in keeping his commandments 3. Continue in the faith. “This is the man who receiveth salvation.” (v5-8) Then, we must REMEMBER all this (v11) and “If you believe all these things see that ye do them.” (v10)
Day 26: Msh1-2 How to prepare to listen to the Lord’s servants at conference– ch2v9 “I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.” It would have been so cool to be there when king Benjamin spoke to his people.
Day 25: WordsofMormon This was like a day off! Only 18 verses! And you guys are keeping me motivated, so thank you! v17-18 How do we create peace in the land? Through righteousness and the word of God. “For behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority… Wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.”
Day 24: Enos,Jarom,Omni sorry so late! I’ve been out of town. Lots of good stuff here. I am so fascinated by the story of the people of Zarahemla, who were the descendants of Mulek, the only son of King Zedekiah who wasn’t killed when the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem. He made his way to the promised land with a group of people, but without any written records. In 400 years, their language had been corrupted, their religion lost. Scriptures and other records are important, people! See Omni v14-19.
Day 23: Jac6-7 It’s important to fortify our homes both physically and spiritually against the influence of the adversary. Ch7v25 “Wherefore, the people of Nephi did fortify against them with their arms, and with all their might, trusting in the God and rock of their salvation; wherefore, they became as yet, conquerors of their enemies.” Christ is our rock. See also Helaman 5:12.
Day 22: Jac3-5 ch4v2 made me think about how bad I have been about keeping a journal and how much reading the journals of my ancestors has meant to me. These guys engraved on metal, surely I can find some time to write or type something! “But whatsoever things we write upon anything save it be upon plates must perish and vanish away; but we can write a few words upon plates, which will give our children, and also our beloved brethren, a small degree of knowledge concerning us, or concerning their fathers.”
Day 21: 2Ne32-33&Jac1-2 ch32v2-3 The gift of the Holy Ghost is powerful. Not only do angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, but we can too: “after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels… Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.” Also, ch33v1: “When a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it into the hearts of the children of men.”
Day 20: 2Ne29-31 ch31v3 The Lord speaks to each person plainly on his or her level, so it makes sense that we get something new out of the scriptures each time we read them. “For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding.”
Day 19: 2Ne27-28 ch27v29,35 Comfort to those with loved ones who have struggled in the gospel, they shall be restored, redeemed, TAUGHT: “And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness… They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.”
Day 18: 2Ne26 v27 Why we *must* share! “Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.”
Day 17: 2Ne21-25 The law and the commandments hold no meaning without Christ. V23: we cannot save ourselves, “it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” v25: this talks about the law of Moses, but can also refer to commandments in general: “wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.”
Day 16: 2Ne16-20 Beware of pride and of not seeing the hand of the Lord in the good things in our lives. Ch20v13: “For he saith: By the strength of my hand and by my wisdom I have done these things.” v15: “Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith?” etc. Yet even when we forget him, we are told over and over again, “His hand is stretched out still.” That phrase is at least four times in these chapters.
Day 15: 2Ne11-15 ch11v4-5 All things point to Christ: “All things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him.”
Day 14: 2Ne10 v20 I like this encouragement from Jacob: “Seeing that our merciful God had given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off.” The good news of the gospel helps us lift up our heads and be of good cheer!
Day 13: 2Ne8-9 ch8v7,12-13 “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart I have written my law, fear not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.” We fear others and what they think of us when we forget the Lord (see v12-13). Heard something interesting on the radio this morning: a mom of an 8yo called in and said her daughter was away from home when the tornado siren went off. Later, she said, “I wasn’t afraid, because if I died, I would be with Jesus, and if I didn’t, I would be with you and dad.” When have I had that kind of childlike faith and freedom from fear?
Day 12: 2Ne6-7 ch7v10 “Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness and hath no light?” If you pay attention to the other questions asked in this chapter, they talk about things that are not possible. V1 He will never cast is off forever. V2 He can redeem and has power to deliver. So it’s not possible for us to have no light if we fear the Lord (follow him).
Day 11: BoM 2Ne4-5 Lehi shares his last counsel with his family. Parenting like Lehi: ch4v12 “Lehi had spoken unto all his household, according to the feelings of his heart and the Spirit of the Lord which was in him.” Also 1Ne8:37 “He did exhort them then with all the feeling of a tender parent.” Do I speak to or correct my children in this way?
Day 10: 2Ne2-3 Ch2 includes powerful doctrine about the atonement and there’s so much good stuff that it’s hard to choose one thought. Ch2v2 “Thou knowest the greatness of God; and he shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.” Consecrate def: Make sacred, dedicate to a divine purpose. Our hard times can make us holy if we allow God to do this.
Day 9: BoM 2Ne1 ch1v25 Laman and Lemuel’s self-deception strikes again. They consistently murmur and complain against their father and their brother Nephi. “ye have accused him that he sought power and authority over you; but I know that he hath not sought for power nor authority over you, but he hath sought the glory of God, and your own eternal welfare… That which ye call anger was the truth, according to that which is in God.” When we are stuck emotionally it is often because we are deceiving ourselves about our own contribution to the problem. Bonds That Make Us Free: “When we learn how our troubled emotions and attitudes have a stranglehold on us… Our new understanding will have loosened that grip. Being honest with ourselves is the key.”
Day 8: BoM 1Ne20-22 ch22v19&28 I’m struck in this whole section with how much compassion the Lord has on His people. It talks over and over again about how he cares for them as he gathers them, will not forget them, and will comfort them. And it just takes a covenant with Him, no matter if you were originally a member of his covenant people or not. “He will preserve the righteous by his power… The righteous need not fear… All nations, kindred, tongues, and people shall dwell safely in the Holy One of Israel if it so be that they will repent.”
Day 7: BoM 1Ne18-19 ch18v2-3 Nephi turned his task over to the Lord for direction and then followed with exactness (building the ship). He also “did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord, wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.” Ask and ye shall receive.
Day 6: BoM 1Ne16-17 The power of perspective. Nephi saw the hand of the Lord in their wanderings in the wilderness. Their women were strengthened, they were nourished and led by the Lord (ch17v1-3). Laman and Lemuel felt like their women suffered too much and that it would have been better for them to have died before leaving Jerusalem (ch17v20-22). They didn’t see or acknowledge the hand of the Lord.
Day 5: BoM 1Ne14-15 How do we receive revelation from the Lord? Contrast ch11:1 (Nephi’s faith and seeking) with Laban and Lemuel in ch15:3,7-11. They did not inquire of the Lord, they hardened their hearts, they didn’t believe the Lord would make things known unto them. Yet v11 “If ye will not harden your hearts… ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive… diligence…. these things shall be made known unto you.”
Day 4: BoM 1Ne11-13 ch13v16 “because of the pride… and the temptations of the devil… did overpower the people” ch13v “gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves… and the power of the Lord was with them.” Pride –> overpowered; humility –> led out of captivity by the Lord.
Day 3: BoM 1Ne8-10 “I saw numberless concourses of people… They did… Commence in the path… There arose a mist of darkness… They wandered off and were lost.” All who did not hold fast to the rod of iron (word of God) were lost, even though they had started in the path. Shows the importance of reading / studying /following the scriptures continually.