Mosiah 1

Mosiah 1

               The Book of Mosiah is the eighth book in the Book of Mormon…

Mosiah is most likely linked to the Hebrew term; “Moshia”, which represents a Champion of Justice against oppression, appointed by God, whose Mission is to liberate a chosen people from oppression, especially by non-violent means.

“And now there was no more contention in all the land of Zarahemla…” (Mosiah 1:1), King Benjamin was the ruler during this time and he had three sons; “…Mosiah, and Helorum, and Helaman. And he caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding…” (Mosiah 1:2) This would give King Benjamin’s sons the ability to know of the prophecies of the prophets that had come before them.

Because Lehi had preserved the records and the language (Egyptian), they now benefit of these things and understand the mysteries of God. We too in our modern age benefit from the preservation of these records from Lehi, to King Benjamin, to his sons, etc. King Benjamin speaks to his sons, but also to us the reader, when he testifies that the words that have been written as part of the plates he know holds are true. Not only that, but King Benjamin testifies that if we “…search them [the scriptures] diligently… ye may profit…” (Mosiah 1:7) We must not only read, but study the scriptures. If we do this and follow God’s commandments we will prosper!

King Benjamin sees that his days are numbered and that he soon will pass on. He decides to choose one of his sons to become King. He chooses Mosiah and confers the power of the kingdom to him. He commands Mosiah to make a proclamation through the land that he is “…king and a ruler over this people…” (Mosiah 1:10) He also explains to his sons that because the records have been preserved throughout time, God has had mercy on them. The chapter ends with Mosiah commanding the people to come to the temple to hear the words of his father, King Benjamin.

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Summary of The Words of Mormon + The Words of Mormon 1

Summary of The Words of Mormon + The Words of Mormon 1

The Words of Mormon… is the seventh book in the Book of Mormon….

The Words of Mormon opens up by explaining that Mormon will soon deliver the plates into the hands of his son, Moroni. Mormon explains that it “…is many hundred years after the coming of Christ…” (The Words of Mormon 1:2).

Mormon was abridging the plates, in other words he was condensing down the stories to fit a smaller volume of scripture. He explains that he abridged the plates from the time of Nephi down to the reign of King Benjamin, and from Jacob down to King Benjamin. Mormon explains that he is very pleased of what he sees written on the plates; “…because of the prophecies of the coming of Christ; and my fathers knowing that many of them have been fulfilled… Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them… [for] I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.” (The Words or Mormon 1:4-5)

Mormon was being instructed and was on a mission from God to maintain the records of the Ancient Inhabitants of America. He explains that he wrote down only the most important parts “…for they are choice unto me [Mormon]; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren. And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirt of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.” (The Words of Mormon 1:6-7)

Mormon writes and abridges these records with the hope that “…they [the future readers of this Book] may once again come to the knowledge of God…” (The Words of Mormon 1:8) Mormon then informs us that the work he has in his hands originally came from Amaleki, and then to King Benjamin and then combined with other plates [books], the record was passed from one generation to another until it finally came to Him. (The Words of Mormon 1:9-11) Mormon warns that in the Last Days, the words that are preserved in this Book “…shall be judged at the great and last day…” (The Words of Mormon 1:11)

Finally, Mormon ends this book by explaining that there were false Christs among them and that through King Benjamin, righteousness and peace had been restored throughout the land.

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.