Happy 2015 and Goodbye to 2014!

Happy New Year’s Eve to all my Followers!

I don’t know about all of you, but my 2014 has been one of the craziest of my entire life! I had promised at the first of the year to post daily to this blog, unfortunately later in the year I changed those postings to only twice a week. As many of you have noticed I have failed to deliver on daily and even twice weekly postings… often missing a post for days. While I love reading the scriptures and studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ… I have been preoccupied by other responsibilities, obligations and other unfortunate circumstances.

Besides being a full-time student, working full time, and keeping up with personal friendships/relationships. I am also a full-time caretaker for my mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s and to top it all off this year, back in May, I was rear-ended at a stoplight. Because of this accident I have spent the last six months going to weekly Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapist and Acupuncture treatments to get myself back to pre-accident condition (of which I am still struggling).

So, like I said… 2014 has been one of the craziest years of my entire life. I am hoping that 2015 comes with new challenges that will help me to learn even more about myself and those around me. It is amazing how challenges and trials in this life can help bring people knowledge, understanding and wisdom that can only be obtained through life’s own journey.

While I know 2015 will bring new challenges, I know that with patience, diligence and hard-work I can overcome any challenge placed before me. Unfortunately 2015 will be my last year in school before I graduate at the end of the year. Because of this my schedule will only get more crowded from appointments, deadlines, etc.

Starting in January I will only be posting once per week, on Sundays. This will ensure that I get at least one good post in per week for you all, this also means that I can, at a minimum study scriptures once per week! However, I will continue to squeeze in time for scripture study other days of the week. This means that I will occasionally post 2 or more times during the week, but this will be unscheduled. I will even try to throw in topics of interest, or topics of deep doctrine.

My plan is to finish reading and posting about The Book of Mormon, then move on to the Doctrine and Covenants. After this I will tackle other volumes of scriptures, including the Apocrypha and the Lost Books of the Bible and even topics of History that link to the scriptures!

I wish you all a Happy 2015 and hope it is a prosperous one!

  • Zach

2 Nephi 30

2 Nephi 30: Wicked – Destroyed

                Nephi explains that the Gentiles who convert and repent of their sins can be numbered as the “Covenant People of God” and any Jew who does not repent can be cut off. Because of the Book of Mormon, the world will know that the Nephites (the ancient inhabitants of America) descended from the Jews; “… For after the book [The Book of Mormon] of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed. And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews. And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers, and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.” (2 Nephi 30:3-5)

Because of the Book of Mormon, the Jews shall come unto Christ! How amazing is that? Nephi goes onto explain that in the Last Days there shall be; “…a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.” (2 Nephi 30:10) Can we not see this today? Race wars, Class wars… Liberals, Conservatives… pro-life, pro-choice… etc.

The Book of Mormon will come forth during this time of great division, but because of this great division the Lord God will sort out the righteous from the wicked and shall destroy those who follow the darkness. Nephi explains that there is nothing secret, that won’t be revealed in the Last Days, and when this happens the Devil will be locked up and shall not have power over the children of men for a period of time;  “Wherefore, the things of all nations shall be made known; yea, all things shall be made known unto the children of men. There is nothing which is secret save it shall be revealed; there is no work of darkness save it shall be made manifest in the light; and there is nothing which is sealed upon the earth save it shall be loosed. Wherefore, all things which have been revealed unto the children of men shall at that day be revealed; and Satan shall have power over the hearts of the children of men no more, for a long

2 Nephi 29

2 Nephi 29: Rejection of the Book of Mormon

                In the Last Days the Book of Mormon will be rejected by the voice of many, claiming; “…A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.” (2 Nephi 29:3)

However, God reminds us of the importance of having more than just the ‘Bible’; “…O fools, they shall have a Bible; and it shall proceed forth from the Jews, mine ancient covenant people. And what thank they the Jews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles? …Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?” (2 Nephi 29:4,6)

                Those who claim to know that the Book of Mormon is a fraud, without even trying to actually read it for themselves will be among this group of people that have, currently are and will continue to reject it!

However, these same people need to ask this question; “…Know ye not that there are more nations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.” (2 Nephi 29:7-8)

In  other words, the Bible and the Book of Mormon are both the Word of God, because God has had children throughout the ENTIRE world and not just in the ‘Ancient World’. God loves all His Children, and in doing so ensured that they would ALL hear His word in ancient times as well as modern times. To reject that God has given His children more of His word is just plain silly.

God is the SAME, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow! He will always call Prophets, He will always give us more of His word and guidance… we just have to sincerely try to understand through prayer and pondering and earnest study to know His word.

“…because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever. Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. For I command all men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall write the words which I speak unto them; for out of the books which shall be written I will judge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.” (2 Nephi 29:9-11)

God has called Prophets to write His word throughout the world, since the dawn of man. Out of all His books shall the world be judged! The Jews shall have the writings of the Nephites (The Book of Mormon) and the Nephites shall have the writings of the Jews (the Bible) and they shall come together as companions and they shall be of great worth unto His Children!

2 Nephi 28

2 Nephi 28: Apostasy

                Nephi explains to his people that in the Last Days, many false churches shall be built up;

“…it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord—And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.” (2 Nephi 28:3-4)

This foretelling of the Last Days by Nephi was incredibly accurate, anyone who takes a close look into the many religions and churches that have been built up in even the last 20 years can see that this has come true. So many churches that proclaim to have the “truth”, without offering any evidence of their divine “truth”, the same churches that are built up for gain.

Nephi knew that this would happen, and continues to explain; “…they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel; and they say unto the people: Hearken unto us, and hear ye our precept; for behold there is no God today, for the Lord and the Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men; Behold, hearken ye unto my precept; if they shall say there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.” (2 Nephi 28:5-6)

How many churches or religions would say that all we have and ever will have of God is the Holy Bible? These same people fail to understand that the Bible itself, by definition, is a “collection of books” and this ‘collection’ was put together by men who (denying the Holy Ghost) put together the ‘Bible’ omitting parts of the words of God, and did all this by their own precepts and usually by VOTE. God however does not VOTE on these things. His word, and what He wants in His Gospel is to be determined by HIM and not a counsel of so called religious experts.

Today we see so many churches that will claim to preach the Gospel, however, many will actually say its ok to commit a little sin, for if God loves us He will have mercy on us… Nephi explains; “….there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.” (2 Nephi 28:8)

How many see people who claim that all we need is FAITH in Jesus Christ in order to be saved? They claim that good works are not necessary in order to enter into the Kingdom of God. However, by saying this they are doing exactly what Nephi said they would, they justify committing sin if we just place Jesus in our hearts. Is that really how it works?

Are we saved by Faith alone?

The simple answer is YES. However, one must first ask… What is Faith? Is Faith simply believing that Jesus Christ is your Savior? Could it really be that SIMPLE?

In order for us to BELIEVE in Jesus Christ, we must believe in all of His teachings! If we believe in His teachings we will desire to follow HIS commandments! If we follow His commandments… we will do good works! So yes, Faith requires good works, and it requires us to be good people.

What if I commit sin and then commit good works, will that get me into the Kingdom of God? No, we cannot JUST do good works. We have to have a desire in our hearts to do the good works and to be good people without the reward of ‘getting into Heaven’, so to speak. Faith alone is dead without works.  It is also important to know, that while sinning “a little” is not encouraged with the idea that someone can “repent later”, it is good to know that if we do mess up, we can be forgiven because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ… for He took upon Himself all the sins of the world!

Nephi explains that in the Last Days many intelligent and ‘learned’ men will pervert the right way of God and fool the poor into believing their false doctrines;  “…O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, and all those who preach false doctrines, and all those who commit whoredoms, and pervert the right way of the Lord, wo, wo, wo be unto them, saith the Lord God Almighty, for they shall be thrust down to hell!” (2 Nephi 28:15)

Nephi, speaking of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the Last Days, explains that many will exclaim that; “…We have received, and we need no more!” (2 Nephi 28:27) However, Nephi reminds us that even the Bible explains that we (the Children of God) will receive His Gospel; “…line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” (2 Nephi 28:30)

We must ask ourselves, why would God only leave His children with the Old and New Testaments? Surely an Eternal God would have more to say and teach to His children!

2 Nephi 27

2 Nephi 27: Apostasy will cover the Earth

                Nephi explains that in the Last Days, that the world will fight against those who believe in God. Because of the rejection of the Prophets throughout the ages, the Lord had a book hidden from the world, with a purpose to come forward in God’s own time, this book is the Book of Mormon;

“For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity. And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. And behold the book shall be sealed; and in the book shall be a revelation from God, from the beginning of the world to the ending thereof. “(2 Nephi 27:5-7)

This Book would come forth at the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times, or the beginning of the End. The book would contain an account of the beginning to the end of the world. However, the Book will be sealed and hidden, until God called a prophet to complete His works.

“Wherefore, because of the things which are sealed up, the things which are sealed shall not be delivered in the day of the wickedness and abominations of the people. Wherefore the book shall be kept from them. But the book shall be delivered unto a man [Joseph Smith], and he shall deliver the words of the book, which are the words of those who have slumbered in the dust, and he shall deliver these words unto another;” (2 Nephi 27:8-9)

When the time comes to reveal this book; “…the book shall be hid from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God, besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein. And there is none other which shall view it, save it be a few [Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon] according to the will of God, to bear testimony of his word unto the children of men; for the Lord God hath said that the words of the faithful should speak as if it were from the dead.” (2 Nephi 27:12-13)

Here is where things get interesting…

 “…it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall say unto him to whom he shall deliver the book: Take these words which are not sealed and deliver them to another, that he may show them unto the learned, saying: Read this, I pray thee. And the learned shall say: Bring hither the book, and I will read them.” (2 Nephi 27:15)

Isaiah also said something similar; “the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” (Isaiah 29: 11-12)

Joseph Smith received this book [The Book of Mormon], being unlearned. What’s more, he sent it with Martin Harris to the learned Professor Anthon, who reportedly said precisely “I cannot read it, for it is sealed.”

Ezequiel prophesied of a Stick of Judah, (a stick is a book or a scroll) these are the Jews and this stick is the Bible. He also prophesied of a Stick of Joseph, these are descendants of Joseph, down through Lehi and his descendants who came to the New World. He and his descendants wrote the Book of Mormon. If this were not true, could we simply ignore prophecy?

The Book of Mormon was all part of God’s plan to reveal more of His word in the Last Days. For many false teachers and churches will teach; “…fear towards me [God] …taught by the precepts of men.” (2 Nephi 27:25)

This marvelous work and wonder has already come forth among the Children of God. Those who pray to know, shall know of its truth!

2 Nephi 26

2 Nephi 26: The Abominable Church

                Nephi explains that after the death of Jesus Christ in the Old World, that He would come and visit His “…other sheep… which are not of this fold…” (John 10:16) Christ is referring to the other sheep, as those who are in ancient America. Nephi explains; “…after Christ shall have risen from the dead he shall show himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren…” (2 Nephi 26:1)

                Nephi explains that in the day of His birth, they shall be shown signs in the heavens; “…there shall be signs given unto my people of his birth, and also of his death and resurrection; and great and terrible shall that day be unto the wicked, for they shall perish; and they perish because they cast out the prophets, and the saints, and stone them, and slay them; wherefore the cry of the blood of the saints shall ascend up to God from the ground against them.” (2 Nephi 26:3) Here Nephi exclaims the joy to his people that they will know of His birth and His death, and those who go against God shall have His vengeance against them!

Nephi encourages his people;  “…behold, the righteous that hearken unto the words of the prophets, and destroy them not, but look forward unto Christ with steadfastness for the signs which are given, notwithstanding all persecution—behold, they are they which shall not perish.” (2 Nephi 26:8) Nephi warned his people that it would not be easy, but that they would be blessed for keeping their beliefs!

Nephi teaches a very important doctrine about the Holy Ghost, which is that the Holy Ghost; “…will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction…” (2 Nephi 26:11)

                Nephi warns of churches that will be built up in the Last Days for Money and Power… He also warns of Secret Societies, Secret Works and Combinations! Organizations such as; Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, The Illuminati, Bilderberg Group, etc.

“…the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor. And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice. And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.” (2 Nephi 26: 20-22)

Nephi explains that God does not work in secret combinations, nor for power or money. He does what is best for His children and the World.

Nephi reminds us of a commandment unto all men;

“…the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.” (2 Nephi 26:30)

Nephi ends by explaining that God invites all to receive of His goodness and grace!

2 Nephi 25

2 Nephi 25: Isaiah’s Prophecies will be Understood

                Nephi opens up this chapter by explaining that he is going to share some of the words of Isaiah, but he explains that many will not understand, for the words of Isaiah; “…were hard for many of my people to understand…” (2 Nephi 25:1)

Nephi explains that the words of Isaiah are difficult to understand, for those who are not filled with the Holy Ghost; “…the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy…” (2 Nephi 25:4)

Nephi stresses that while he speaks, he is inspired by the words of Isaiah and encourages everyone to read them, for; “…they are of worth unto the children of men…” (2 Nephi 25:8) and he warns that “…in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.” (2 Nephi 25:8) In other words, when things come to pass, men will know that Isaiah did in fact preach of these things!

Nephi goes on to explain that the Jews shall return from Babylon, and they shall crucify the Messiah; “Behold, they will crucify him; and after he is laid in a sepulchre for the space of three days he shall rise from the dead, with healing in his wings; and all those who shall believe on his name shall be saved in the kingdom of God…” (2 Nephi 25:13)

                Nephi explains that Isaiah prophesied that after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Jerusalem would be destroyed and the Jews would be scattered among all nations; “… after they have been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation until they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind—and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, at that time, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things.” (2 Nephi 25:16)

                After many generations of being scattered, God the Father would once again bring His Children together, “… he will proceed to do a marvelous work and a wonder among the children of men.” (2 Nephi 25:17) This Marvelous work and Wonder would be the Restoration of His Gospel and Church, here on the Earth. This was done through Joseph Smith, who was a servant to Jesus Christ.

Nephi warns that any nation with these words, will be judged by them. The works of the Lord will continue from generation to generation until the world no longer stands! Nephi explains that; “…we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do… we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:23 and 26)

                Nephi ends his writing in this chapter by telling his people that if you believe in God, you believe in His prophets. If you believe in His prophets, you believe in God;

“I have spoken plainly unto you, that ye cannot misunderstand. And the words which I have spoken shall stand as a testimony against you; for they are sufficient to teach any man the right way; for the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law… the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out.” (2 Nephi 25:28-29)

The right way is to believe on and worship Jesus Christ and no one else. It is true that we are saved by God’s grace, but only after we have also done our part. We have to at least try and where we fall short, God will make up in His grace.