Summary of Omni + Omni 1

Summary of Omni + Omni 1

                The Book of Omni… is the sixth book in the Book of Mormon….

Omni opens up with Omni confessing that he fought many battles to keep his people, the Nephities from falling into the hands of their enemy the Lamanites. However, he confesses that he has failed to follow all the commandments of God, calling himself a wicked man. He passes the plates down to his son Amaron.

Because of the wickedness, explains Amaron; “…the Lord did visit them in great judgment; nevertheless, he did spare the righteous that they should not perish…” (Omni 1:7) This shows that even during great wickedness in the world, God does spare the righteous. Amaron passes the plates down to his brother Chemish, who only writes one verse testifying of what his brother had wrote to be true.

The plates are then transferred to the son of Chemish, Adinadom. Abinadom opens up by explaining that he has, with his; “…own sword, have taken the lives of many of the Lamanites in the defence of my brethren.” (Omni 1:10) Here we learn that killing another human being in defense of yourself or others IS justified, even under God’s wrath. Abinadom goes on to testify of the writing that has been added to the plates so far, and makes note that he has no prophecy to add, but that he would continue to preserve them by passing them down to the next generation.

Amaleki, the son of Abinadom continues to write on the plates, opening up by testifying of Mosiah, who was the king of Zarahemla. Amaleki explains that when Mosiah discovered the people of Zarahemla, he knew that they came out of Jerusalem; “…Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out of Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah was carried away captive into Babylon. And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.” (Omni 1:15-16)

                This is where things get very interesting, if we read in the Bible, in Jeremiah we learn that King Zedekiah was overtaken by the Chaldeans’ army in the plains of Jericho. Zedekiah is forced to watch his sons be murdered before his eyes, then having his own eyes removed and being bound in chains and sent to Babylon. (See Jeremiah 39:4-8). However, we learn from the Book of Mormon that one of the sons of Zedekiah escaped. Nephi testifies before corrupt judges who sought to incite the people against him, but Nephi testifies that Abraham, Moses, Zenock, Zenos, Ezias, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lehi all testified of Christ. Nephi questions the judges; “… will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yeah, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem…?” (Helaman 8:21) This and other instances throughout the Book of Mormon show how much it meshes with the stories of the Bible. The reason for this is simple, they are all interconnected. The people of the Book of Mormon have ancestral ties with the people of the “Old World” found in the Bible.

Mulek and his people traveled across the ocean to the “New World”, where they became numerous. However, with most civilization, eventually the prosperity ends. The people of Zarahemla had fallen away from the Gospel and denied that there was a Creator. Because of this they had many wars and contentions amongst themselves, they lost the record of their people and they even lost their own language. Mosiah taught the people of Zarahemla his own language and caused that a genealogy being written up based on his own memory. The people loved Mosiah and caused that he be there king. The people gave Mosiah a large stone that had engraving upon it, by the power of God he was able to translate these engravings.

The engravings gave an account of Coriantumr and the slaying of his people.  It also held a genealogy of his fathers, who came out from the tower, at the “…. time the Lord confounded the language of the people…” (Omni 1:22) Here we learn that more people going back thousands of years were living in the Americas that we know of today. Coriantumr’s father came from the Tower of Babel, when the Lord not only confounded the languages, but scattered the people around the World.

Amaleki continues to write that he was born in the days of Mosiah, after his death, his son Benjamin ruled in his placed. Amaleki, knowing that King Benjamin was a just and good man decides to pass the plates onto him upon his death. Amaleki explains that “…there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.” (Omni 1:25) How simple of principle is that?  If it is good, it comes from God. If it is bad, it comes from the devil. Before his death, Amaleki exhorts anyone reading his testimony to; “…come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.” (Omni 1:26) Again, another simple principle. To be “saved” and return to the presence of God, we must come unto Him. It is NOT enough to simply confess that He is your savior. Coming unto Him means that you offer your whole soul unto him, continuing in fasting, prayer and enduring to the end. This is a process and something that is ongoing throughout your life. We must always follow in the footsteps of Jesus and do as He would do. Remember, faith without works is dead.

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Jarom + Jarom 1

Summary of Jarom + Jarom 1

                The Book of Jarom… is the fifth book in the Book of Mormon….

Jarom opens up explaining that his father, Enos, commanded him to continue writing that a record of their genealogy might be kept. Jarom explains that there are many among him that have hardened their hearts and have made their necks stiff. However, he explains that those who are not stiffnecked; “…have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.” (Jarom 1:4) In other words, those who have Faith and do not harden their hearts or make their necks stiff can receive the Holy Ghost.

Jarom explains that 200 years have passed since Nephi, and the people of Nephi have been diligent in keeping the commandments of God. Because of their obedience, God has blessed them to be a mighty nation, with all manner of riches and weapons of war. The Lamanites on the other hand were larger in number, but stood no chance at overtaking the Nephites. The Nephites were blessed to have;
“…gold…silver… fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery… iron… copper… brass… steel… [and] weapons of war…” (Jarom 1:8)

However, there were some among the Nephites that were not following all the commandments, and because of this God urged the Prophets to heed warnings to the people to avoid sin. God promised that if they fell into transgression that the Nephites would be wiped off the face of the land. These teachings were a success, because the people of Nephi were continually repenting of their sins. Jarom hands off the plates to his son Omni.

Looking at this from the point of view of the United States in 2015, we see a similar situation, where sin is rampant and the warnings of God are everywhere. If the people do not repent and change their ways, God will bring destruction to the United States and to many parts of the world.

Summary of Enos + Enos 1

Summary of Enos + Enos 1

                The Book of Enos… is the fourth book in the Book of Mormon….

Enos opens up speaking of the knowledge his father had taught him, Enos goes out to hunt and while hunting finds himself pondering the words spoken by his father concerning eternal life and the joy of the saints.

                “And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens. And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, know that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away. And I said: Lord, how is it done? And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Enos 1:4-8)

                Here, Enos cried out to God for his sins to be forgiven. God answered his prayer, just like he answers all of our prayers. God forgave Enos of his sins, because of his faith in Jesus Christ. This is the first principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Faith in Him!

After having felt this remission of his own sins, Enos desires this same for his people and asks God to deliver them from their sins as well. Enos desired that they would be spared and that the record which he had would not be destroyed; “…that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephities… that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites…” (Enos 1:13)

Enos goes on to explain how the Nephites had attempted on numerous times to reach out to the Lamanites to help them come unto Christ, but their labor was in vain. Enos explains that the Lamanites were “…a blood thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness…” (Enos 1:20) Enos saw many wars and contentions between the Lamanites and the Nephites.

Summary of Jacob

Summary of Jacob

                The Book of Jacob is the third book in the Book of Mormon. Jacob, the brother of Nephi, was given the responsibility of writing down the history of his people. The purpose of this book, in the words of Jacob was to; “…persuade them [everyone] to come unto Christ…” (Jacob 1:7). The book is mainly the teachings between Jacob and his people, which include a lengthy Parable of the Olive Tree: which is an allegory of the scattering and gathering of Israel.

Around 545 BC, Jacob was given the task of continuing the history of the golden plates. At this time Nephi was  soon to pass on, but the people revered him so much that they desired all the kings of the land to be like him and even named after him. The Jacobites, Josephites, and Zoramites all became the people of Nephi or the Nephites, while the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites became the Lamanites.

The Nephites began to be lifted up in pride because they had been so blessed by God, and this led them to do wicked things. But Jacob and his brother Joseph tried as hard as they could to teach the people not to do wicked things. Jacob went to the temple to teach the Nephites. This temple was a copy of the one Solomon made in Jerusalem. Jacob said the people had begun to search for gold and silver. Some were better at locating the gold and silver and because of this, some would show that they were better or of a different social class, so they enhanced their apparel to show off that they were more ambitious and competent that their brothers.

Jacob then prophesied about events which would be fulfilled at the end of the Book of Mormon, around 385 AD, when the Nephites would be completely fallen away from God and wiped out to the last man by the Lamanites.

After a number of years a man named Sherem went around saying there would be no Christ, and for Jacob to preach the gospel of Christ instead of adherence to the Law of Moses was blasphemy. Jacob asserted that every prophesy ever made was really about Christ, and that it was revealed to him that if Christ does not make atonement, all humanity will be lost. Sherem demanded a sign to prove what Jacob said was true. Jacob explained that he would not tempt God.

God smote Sherem, making him fall unconscious for many days. When he eventually regained consciousness, he asked for the people to be assembled so he could make his last sermon. He confessed Christ, and said he had been deceived by the devil, and retracted everything he said about Jacob. He said he feared that he had committed the unpardonable sin, which is lying to God. Then he died.

When Jacob finished writing on the plates he bequeathed them to his son Enos.

Jacob 7

Jacob 7: Testimony of Christ

                There came a man among the Nephites by the name of Sherem, who “…began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ….” (Jacob 7:2), he did this with the purpose of overthrowing the doctrine of Christ and confusing the people. Sherem labored diligently that he might lead away many hearts. Indeed, Sherem was “…learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore he could use much flattery, and much power of speech….” (Jacob 7:4)

Sherem sought out Jacob to contend with him. He explained that no man could have a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sherem was arguing with Jacob when “…the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my [Jacob] soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words.” (Jacob 7:9) Jacob asks Sherem if he would deny Christ and Sherem explained that he wouldn’t deny Christ, if there was a Christ. Jacob then asks Sherem if he believed in the scriptures, to which he responded yes. Jacob then explained that he “…did not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ…” (Jacob 7:11)

Often times this contentious manner exists among the world, even when the truth is right before their eyes. Jacob, being filled with the Spirit of God, was able to confound all of the teachings of Sherem. After this conversation Sherem asks Jacob to show him a sign, so that he might know that what he spoke was true. Jacob responds: “…What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign in the things which thou knowest to be true? Yet thou wilt deny is, because thou are of the devil….” (Jacob 7:14)

Immediately after speaking these words, the power of God came down upon Sherem, causing him to fall to the earth. Out of fear, Sherem called all those who he had preached to against Christ saying that he had been deceived by the Devil and that he feared he had committed “…the unpardonable sin, for I have lied unto God.” (Jacob 7:19) Immediately after Sherem had confessed that he was a liar, who was trying to deceive them, he died. The people of Nephi were overcome with the power of God and fell to the earth. Jacob was pleased with this, for the love of God was restored amongst the people; “…they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man.” (Jacob 7:23)

Jacob explains that he felt as if his death would soon come, he charged his son Enos with the preservation of the records.

Jacob 6

Jacob 6: World Burned by Fire

                Jacob explains that in the last day the Lord will not forget about those who diligently labored in His vineyard. The vineyard will be pruned one last time before the wicked branches are consumed with fire; “…even the last time, the servants of the Lord shall go forth in his power, nourish and prune his vineyard; and after that the end soon cometh.” (Jacob 6:2) Jacob explains that those who do His work will be saved when the “…world shall be burned with fire.” (Jacob 6:3)

Jacob urges his people (and the reader) to repent; “…and come with full purpose of heart, and cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you…” (Jacob 6:5) Jacob explains that before the power of redemption and resurrection that is in Christ, we will stand before God with guilt at the judgment day if we haven’t worked diligently enough.

Jacob leaves us with some create advice; “…be wise; what can I say more?” (Jacob 6:12)

Jacob 5

Jacob 5: Allegory of the Olive Tree

Allegory of the Olive Tree (See also: Romans 11:17-24)

Jacob quotes Zenos about the allegory of the tame and wild Olive Tree. The Olive Tree in the Lord’s Vineyard is like Israel and the Gentiles, the scattering and gathering of Israel… the Gentiles will be grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel.

Symbol What it might represent
The Vineyard The World
Master of the Vineyard God
Servants The Lord’s Prophets
Tame Olive Tree The House of Israel; The Covenant People
Wild Olive Tree Gentiles
Branches Groups of People
Roots of the Tame Olive Tree The Covenants the Lord makes with us
The Fruit The Lives/Works of men
Digging/Pruning/Fertilizing The work of the Lord to help His children obey
Transplanting Branches Scattering groups of people throughout the world
Grafting The joining of one group to another
Decaying Branches People dying spiritually from sin and apostasy
Casting branches into the fire God’s Wrath and Judgment

What is ‘Grafting’?

To graft branches, healthy, living branches are cut from a tree or plant and inserted into another place. The branches in this allegory represent groups of people that the Lord takes from one place and plants them in another. In the scriptural sense, grafting means to “…come to the knowledge of the true Messiah…” (1 Nephi 10:14).

In this chapter (which is super long), we learn about the Lord’s Vineyard. The chapter can be likened to Missionary Work and Rise and Fall of God’s Authority on the Earth.

Missionary Work

                “And the Lord of the Vineyard caused that it should be digged about, and pruned, and nourished, saying unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, that perhaps I might preserve the roots thereof that they perish not, that I might preserve them unto myself, I have done this thing. Wherefore, go thy way; watch the tree, and nourish it, according to my words. And these will I place in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, withersoever I will, it mattereth not unto thee; and I do it that I may preserve unto myself the natural branches of the tree; and also that I may lay fruit thereof against the season, unto myself; for it grieveth me that I should lose this tree and the fruit thereof.” (Jacob 5:11-13) God wants his servants to work hard, so that they will not lose one soul or “branch” of the Olive Tree.

                “Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all fruits. Wherefore, let us got to and labor with our might this last time, for behold the end draweth nigh, and this is for the last time that I shall prune my vineyard. Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last…” (Jacob 5:61-63) This really shows the importance of Missionary work in the last days, God will prune his vineyard one last time before his second coming… and it is the responsibility of the members of the church and the full time missionaries to teach the truths that we know to the world… we must labor diligently and with all our might… this last time

Young and Tender Branches of the House of Israel

(Jacob 5:8, 13–14, 19–25)

The “young and tender branches” seem to be those people who responded to the “pruning and fertilizing” by God and His prophets. They were more teachable than the old established branches, or the groups of Israelites who had to be removed and destroyed.

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “In that parable the olive tree is the House of Israel… In its native land it began to die. So the Lord took branches like the Nephites, like the lost tribes, and like others that the Lord led off that we do not know anything about, to other parts of the earth. He planted them all over his vineyard, which is the world” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 4:204).

Zenos’s allegory helps us understand that the scattering of branches of Israel all over the world was a blessing both to Israel and to the rest of Heavenly Father’s children, the Gentiles. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained: “In general, the Lord sends to earth in the lineage of Jacob [Israel] those spirits who in pre-existence developed an especial talent for spirituality and for recognizing truth. Those born in this lineage, having the blood of Israel in their veins and finding it easy to accept the gospel, are said to have believing blood” (Mormon Doctrine, 81).

As scattered Israel mixed with the Gentiles around them, the blood of Israel was spread even further. Elder James E. Faust, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, commented: “The scattering of Israel throughout the world sprinkled the blood that believes, so that many nations may now partake of the gospel plan” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 127; or Ensign,Nov. 1982, 87–88).

When Did All the Trees Become Corrupt?

(Jacob 5:32–46)

The part of the allegory when all the trees bear evil fruit seems to represent the period of the Apostasy, prior to the restoration of the gospel. When the Lord spoke to Joseph Smith in the First Vision, He told Joseph that he should join none of the churches of that day because they were all “wrong” (Joseph Smith—History 1:19).In Jacob 5:48, we read; “…Is it not the loftiness [Pride] of thy vineyard – have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? …behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves…” Essentially in this one verse we can see how easily churches after Christ was crucified began to pop up without any legitimate authority of power from God. However, they had some of the basic roots… but they began to lose their roots when they took strength upon themselves. The same people who claim that God won’t call another prophet, and that His word is complete the Bible.