2 Nephi 18

2 Nephi 18: Seek the Lord

Isaiah has a son, whom the Lord tells him to name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, which means ‘speed to the spoil, hurry to the plunder’. Before the children can call his mother and father, the riches of Damascus and Israel will be taken away by Assyria. However, the Assyrian army, compared to water, will overflow its banks and flood Judah with violence and destruction. Judah can prepare for the invasion by fearing God rather than Assyria. When people say to seek the occult, rather than the word of God you shall know that they have no light in them (see: 2 Nephi 18:19-20)

2 Corinthians 6

2 Corinthians 6: Today is the day to Repent!

Paul opens this letter by explaining that we as believers in Jesus Christ should not take His grace in vain. Essentially, Jesus died for our sins and made it possible for us to return and live with our Heavenly Father; we should not abuse this grace. We need to be actively engaged in doing good. We need to work hard through our afflictions and trials and learn from them! Paul delivers a wonderfully written piece that we can all live by day to day:

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-10)

Paul then reminds the believers in Christ, to be around people that share their beliefs. Light and darkness should not coincide, righteousness cannot fellowship with unrighteousness.

“Be ye no unequally yoked [attached, coupled] with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Essentially, Paul is telling us that we need to choose our friends and our spouse carefully that we might; “…come out from among them, and be ye separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:17) Separate from the world, but still living in the world. We should never cave into the temptations of the world, just because it is being “accepted”. If we do these things, Paul promises that God; “…will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

 

Romans 2

Romans 2: Judged by our Works

                “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Romans 2:1)

Essentially we learn that those who judge others are themselves condemned. Why? Because those who judge others are usually just as guilty of another sin, if not the exact same sin! God demands humble repentance before Him. Those who judge others will not escape their own punishment from God. If we follow the commandments of God, we will not face the tribulation and anguish of God’s judgment.

“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” (Romans 1:12) This means that those who did not have God’s commandments and through ignorance sinned, they will not be held accountable. However, those who sinned and knew the commandments of God will be judged according to their knowledge of those things. However, “…their conscience also bearing witness…” (Romans 1:15); essentially God gave us all the Holy Ghost to be able to tell right from wrong… if our conscience told us it was bad and we did it anyways, God will use that in His judgment against us. The Gentiles may by nature act according to the law, being a law unto themselves. Jews boast of the law, but the law condemns them. Circumcision of the heart and of the Spirit is more important than circumcision in the flesh. This means that Faith, without works is dead. If we only profess to Love Jesus Christ, but do not follow His commandments, then we will be judged by our works as well as our faith.

Exodus 10-12

Exodus 10-12

Chapter 10: Darkness and Plagues

The Lord tells Moses to go in unto Pharaoh and ask him (as if God was speaking) “…how long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? Let me people go, that they may serve me.” (Exodus 10:3)

God tells Moses that he continues to harden Pharaoh’s heart that he might bring about these plagues to show Egypt his power. Moses asks Pharaoh to let the people go and he asks Moses who will be going. Moses responds with everyone and Pharaoh tells him and Aaron to go and serve the Lord and removes them from his presence. So the Lord tells Moses to stretch his rod over the land of Egypt to bring the locusts. The Locusts come and cover the land, Pharaoh tells Moses and Aaron that he has sinned and Moses has a strong wind blow the Locusts into the Red Sea, but again the Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart and refuses to let them go. So the Lord commands Moses to stretch his hand toward heaven and cause a thick darkness to cover the land of Egypt for 3 days. Pharaoh agrees to let the Hebrews go, but does not agree to let the animals go with them. Moses tells Pharaoh that they need sacrifices and must go with the animals. Pharaoh’s heart is hardened and tells Moses to come in unto him no more, or else he will have him killed. So Moses promises to not come back to see Pharaoh.

Chapter 11: Promise to Slay

The Lord tells Moses that one more plague will occur in the land of Egypt, and then Pharaoh will let the Hebrew people go, but to be ready to quickly leave all together when the moment is right.

All of the firstborn of the land of Egypt shall be killed at midnight, except the Hebrew first born children.

Chapter 12: The Passover

The Lord speaks unto Moses and Aaron; “This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” (Exodus 12:2) The Passover.

Every household is to gather an unblemished male lamb of its first year; kill it and eat it. Then they are commanded to take the blood and strike it on two side posts and on the upper door post. They are commanded to eat the meat that night with unleavened bread and only cooked by fire. If meat is left after the feast it must be burned.

The blood shall be a token for the Hebrews that when the Lord sees the blood he will pass by the house and will not destroy it. This will be an ordinance for the Jews for ever. But we learn in the Book of Mormon (when Jesus visited the Lamanites in America) that he will no longer require offerings, besides a broken heart and a contrite spirit (3 Nephi 9:19-20).

In the first seven days the Hebrews are commanded to only eat unleavened bread. Anyone caught with leaven or eating leavened bread during those seven days shall be cut off from the presence of Israel. On the first day there will be a Holy Meeting and on the seventh day as well.   

                So the Lord commands them to do this and the night comes, at midnight the Lord killed all of the first born of the land of Egypt. Pharaoh wakes up in the morning and finds that in every house throughout Egypt there is at least one dead. Pharaoh calls Moses and tells him to gather all their people and things and make haste. The Egyptians push the Hebrews out of the land, for fear of more dead. The Egyptians give them what they need, supplies, jewels etc. The Israelites had spent a total of 430 years in the land of Egypt.

The Hebrews leave Egypt and Moses tells them that no stranger may participate in the Passover without first being circumcised.