1 Nephi 3

1 Nephi 3: The Brass Plates

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                Nephi comes out from his tent, after having spoken with God… he explains that he has ‘dreamed a dream’ in which him and his brothers are to return to Jerusalem to obtain Brass Plates from a man named Laban; “…Laban hath the record of the Jews and also a genealogy of my forefathers, and they are engraven upon plates of brass.” (1 Nephi 3:3) Nephi’s brothers murmur and tell Nephi that he asks too much of them. However, Nephi explains that it is not his command, but the commandment of God for them to retrieve these Brass Plates.

Nephi speaks to his father; “…I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Nephi 3:7) Lehi, after having heard these words was filled with joy… because he knew that Nephi had been commanded of God to do these things, and he felt blessed. Nephi showed great character and faith in following the commandments of God no matter how difficult. This example can be used for all!

Nephi and His brothers Travel to Jerusalem

 

Nephi and his brothers pack up their tents and head back towards Jerusalem, and while journeying they cast lots to see who would go into the house of Laban to retrieve the Brass Plates. The Lot is cast upon Laman. Laman enters the house of Laban and requests the Brass Plates, however Laban is angered; “…Laban was angry, and thrust him out from his presence; and he would not that he should have the records. Wherefore, he said unto him: Behold thou art a robber, and I will slay thee.” (1 Nephi 3:13)

Laman was able to flee from his presences and return to his brethren outside of the house. Nephi’s brothers are determined to flee Jerusalem; however Nephi reminds them that God had commanded them to obtain the records. Nephi speaks to his brothers; “…As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us. Wherefore, let us be faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord; therefore let us go down to the land of our father’s inheritance, for behold he left gold and silver, and all manner of riches. And all this he hath done because of the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Nephi 3:15-16) Nephi reminds them that with God, all is possible. Nephi derives a plan to return to the house of their father to take their inheritance (gold and silver) to please Laban and essentially buy the plates from him. Nephi explains to his brothers that after Jerusalem is destroyed, it would be up to them to preserve the record of their children.

Nephi and his brothers retrieve their inheritances and return to speak with Laban. This time Laban became greedy and desired both the Brass Plates and the precious metals; “…when Laban saw our property, and that it was exceedingly great, he did lust after it, insomuch that he thrust us out, and sent his servants to slay us, that he might obtain our property.” (1 Nephi 3:25) Nephi and his brothers AGAIN flee from the house of Laban. Because they were faithful, the Lord did protect them and the servants of Laban were unsuccessful of overtaking them in the wilderness and destroying them.

After two unsuccessful attempts, Laman and Lemuel became angered and they spoke hard words and beat both Nephi and Sam with rods. As they were being beaten by their brothers; “…an angel of the Lord came and stood before them, and he spake unto them, saying: Why do ye smite your younger brother with a rod? Know ye not that the Lord hath chosen him to be a ruler over you, and this because of your iniquities? Behold ye shall go up to Jerusalem again, and the Lord will deliver Laban into your hands.” (1 Nephi 3:29)

Even after having seen an angel of the Lord, both Laman and Lemuel began to murmur again saying; “…How is it possible that the Lord will deliver Laban into our hands? Behold, he is a mighty man, and he can command fifty, yea, even he can slay fifty; then why not us?” (1 Nephi 3:31) Both Laman and Lemuel had yet to come to believe in the Lord and His great power!

3 John 1 + Summary of 3 John

3 John 1: Those who Love Truth + Summary of 3 John

                John writes to Gaius and the members of the Church explaining that he has; “…no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 1:4) This is the same way the Jesus Christ and God the Father feel when they see us walking in the truth and light.

John explains that he would write to Diotrephes, who loved to have dominion over the church and the members. This man, would change words and deceive many… this is the start of important doctrinal changes that would eventually lead to the formation of 100’s if not thousands of churches and religions worldwide today. John explains that he; “…had many things to write…” (3 John 1:13) but would not, and would rather speak in person to the members of the church. This goes to show that the Bible does not contain all the words of the prophets, or apostles. It is a general account, but not a complete and accurate account. The Bible is in fact the word of God, but is not 100% perfect, due to the fact that good and evil men changed the words slowly. This chapter of the Bible proves that this happened from the start.

1 John 2

1 John 2: Christ is our Advocate

                John explains that Jesus Christ died for our sins and that if we wish to known God, we must follow His commandments. Those who say; “…I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4) Essentially John is saying that those who say they have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, but do not walk after His ways is a liar. In order to know God or to know His Son Jesus Christ and truly accept Him in your heart… WE MUST FOLLOW HIS COMMANDMENTS. If we love Him, we will follow Him.

“…whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God… He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:5-6) Again, we see that saying is different than doing. If we accept Jesus Christ, we must show it through actions. Salvation is FREE, but it is up to us to accept this FREE gift. Accepting the FREE gift means following Jesus Christ.

John writes to everyone who has overcome the wicked one [the devil] and has followed after Jesus Christ. John warns; “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:15-16) John instructs us to love not the things of the world, but does that mean we can’t enjoy some worldly things? I would venture to say that while we are living in this world, it is OK to enjoy worldly things. However, we must have our main focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Is it ok to have money? Yes. Is it ok to have a nice house or car? Yes. It is only when the love of the worldly things takes away from the love of our Savior or away from the love of our neighbors and family. What matters most is that when we pass on from this life into the next we leave behind good memories with those we loved, we take with us knowledge and experience and nothing else.

1 John 1

1 John 1: We Follow God by Obedience to His Law

                John writes a general letter to all the believers of Christ and explains that we must be obedient to God and His commandments. For; “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) Therefore our purpose to become like Him means that we need to also be filled with the light and rid ourselves of the darkness. John explains that “If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we life, and do not the truth.” (1 john 1:6) Because of this we must not be hypocrites and instead practice what we preach. If we follow Jesus Christ and say we follow Him, WE MUST FOLLOW HIM! For “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

Essentially, we need to confess our sins and admit that we have and/or are currently sinning. We are not perfect, and therefore will make mistakes that are contrary to the commandments of God. If we work hard to rid ourselves of our sins by confessing them and promising to no longer participate in those sins, God is merciful and just to forgive us. Just like Salvation is a FREE gift we must still accept the gift. Unfortunately many believe that these gifts come FREE without any stipulations, but the truth is not so… we have to do our part in order to receive these wonderful gifts from God.