1 Nephi 10

1 Nephi 10: Lehi tells of the coming of Jesus and the scattering of the Jews

                Nephi explains that before he starts his account of his people, he must speak concerning the words of his father Lehi. After the dream of Lehi, Lehi began to speak about the Jews, saying that the great city of Jerusalem would be destroyed and that they would be carried away captive into Babylon. Lehi also foretells that the Jews would be led out of captivity to return to the land of their inheritance. Nephi explains what his father told him; “…six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world. And he also spake concerning the prophets, how great a number had testified of these things, concerning this Messiah, of whom he had spoken, or this Redeemer of the world. Wherefore, all mankind were in a lost and in a fallen state, and ever would be save they should rely on this Redeemer.” (1 Nephi 10:4-6) Nephi explains that because the world was in a lost and fallen state, because of the Fall of Adam and Eve, mankind needed a Redeemer! This Redeemer would come and take upon himself the sins of the world!

Lehi mentions that before the coming of this Messiah, that a prophet would come before to prepare the way; “…he should go forth and cry in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose…” (1 Nephi 10:8) – See also Matthew 3:3 Lehi explains that this Prophet [John the Baptist] would baptize the Messiah and after this baptism the Messiah would become the Lamb of God, who would take away the sins of the World!

Lehi explained to Nephi, who then taught us that this Lamb of God would be rejected and slain by the Jews, then; “…rise from the dead, and should make himself manifest, by the Holy Ghost, unto the Gentiles.” (1 Nephi 10:11) Because of this Lehi explained that the house of Israel would be divided and be scattered and broken off upon all the face of the earth. This is compared like unto an Olive Tree, which in the last days the remnants of the branches of Israel [after having received the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ] “…should be grafted in…” (1 Nephi 10:14) into the Olive Tree. Nephi explains that all these visions and writings were done in a tent in the valley of Lemuel.

After Nephi had heard about these visions and dreams he became desirous to see and hear for himself through the power of the Holy Ghost. Nephi explains that; “…he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times as in times of old, and as well in times of old as in times to come; wherefore, the course of the Lord is one eternal round.” (1 Nephi 10:19) Nephi knew that if he had faith to know these things, that the mysteries of God could be unfolded before him. He just had to have faith to TRULY know if what his father Lehi had seen was true.

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1 Thessalonians 1

1 Thessalonians 1: The Gospel = Word and Power

                Paul addresses the Thessalonians and explains that he came unto them in word and power;

                “For our gospel, came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

                This chapter, although short, is very powerful. Paul explains that he is not just a minister of word, but actually has POWER from God. This power or “Authority” is necessary in the ordinances of the gospel and is needed for the TRUE Church of Jesus Christ.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the power of the Priesthood and its restoration began on May 15, 1829 when the resurrected John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon them.

John 3

John 3: Jesus Christ

                Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews and a Pharisee came to Jesus by night to tell Him that He came from God. Jesus tells Nicodemus that “…Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Nicodemus, being puzzled, asks Jesus; “…How can a man be born again when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” (John 3:4) Jesus responds; “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)

                Even after Jesus had explained what being born again meant, Nicodemus was still puzzled at how this could be possible. Jesus tells him that if He were to tell him of earthly things, he would not believe, so Jesus asks him; “…how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” (John 3:12) Jesus goes on to explain that God has a plan and anyone who follows that plan can obtain Eternal Life; “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John3:16-17)

After declaring these things, Jesus left with His Apostles to the land of Judaea, where they were baptizing. John was also baptizing in Enon, near Salim; “…because there was much water there…” (John 3:23) During the baptizing, a question arose between the Apostles and the Jews regarding purification during baptism. John tells them; “…A man can receive nothing, except it be given from heaven.” (John 3:27)

So, two things are taught about baptism; one you must have a lot of water, meaning you have to be baptized by immersion. Second, you must have the Authority from God to do the baptism. You cannot receive anything from man, except it be given from heaven first.

Luke 3

Luke 3: Baptism of Jesus

                In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the word of the Lord came unto John in the wilderness. John departed from the wilderness and went to Jordan, where he preached “…baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;” (Luke 3:3) John cried out to the people and said; “…Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…” (Luke 3:4) There came one man who wished to be baptized, yet John must have found him not worthy or lacking in repentance, because he tells the man; “…O generations of vipers…. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance…” (Luke 3:8) John explains that everyone who does not bring forth the fruit of repentance will be like a bad tree, which will be cut down and tossed aside.

What are fruits worthy of Repentance?

In order to be baptized, one must first find Faith in Jesus Christ, Second Repent of those things not in alignment with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning that you must follow ALL of God’s commandments. It is not just enough to believe in Jesus Christ, for if one truly believes in Him, and accepts Jesus as their personal Savior, then that same person will want to make their life like His, and follow in His footsteps. Third, that person can receive a baptism, for the remission of those sins. But that baptism needs to be done with the proper authority. Why do you think people came to John? It is because John had the Authority given to him. Finally after baptism you can receive the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, again by someone who has the Authority to do so.

Many people who have gathered to be baptized of John ask him, how they can be baptized for a remission of their own sins. John explains that they need to give freely of themselves and their time, talents and wealth.

“…He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none….” (Luke 3:11)

                “…Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14)

The people were astonished by John’s words, but he reassured them that he was only a man; “…I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)

                John then rebukes Herod for marrying Herodias, who was Phillips wife and for all the evils which Herod had done, including putting John into jail.

Jesus then comes to be baptized of John; “…the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22) Jesus was about 30 years old when He was baptized.  Jesus was baptized at a later age to help us understand that baptism should be done at an age of accountability. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that age of accountability has been decided through revelation of being eight years old. Baptizing before that age is a mockery before God.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ is given, however it differs from the genealogy given by Matthew, giving his actual lineage through Mary, instead of his legal lineage through Joseph.

Lineage of Jesus Christ:

  • Joseph was the son of Heli
    • Heli was the son of Matthat
      • Matthat was the son of Levi
        • Levi was the son of Melchi
          • Melchi was the son of Janna
            • Janna was the son of Joseph
  • Joseph was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Amos
      • Amos was the son of Naum
        • Naum was the son of Esli
          • Esli was the son of Nagge
            • Nagge was the son of Maath
  • Maath was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Semei
      • Semei was the son of Joseph
        • Joseph was the son of Juda
          • Juda was the son of Joanna
            • Joanna was the son of Rhesa
  • Rhesa was the son of Zorobabel
    • Zorobabel was the son of Salathiel
      • Salathiel was the son of Neri
  • Neri was the son of Melchi
    • Melchi was the son of Addi
      • Addi was the son of Cosam
      • Cosam was the son of Elmodam
        • Elmodam was the son of Er
          • Er was the son of Jose
            • Jose was the son of Eliezer
              • Eliezer was the son of Jorim
                • Jorim was the son of Matthat
                • Matthat was the son of Levi
                  • Levi was the son of Simeon
                    • Simeon was the son of Juda
                      • Judas was the son of Joseph
                        • Joseph was the son of Jonan
                          • Jonan was the son of Eliamkim
  • Eliamkin was the son of Melea
    • Melea was the son of Menan
      • Menan was the son of Mattatha
        • Mattatha was the son of Nathan
          • Nathan was the son of David
            • David was the son of Jesse
  • Jesse was the son of Obed
    • Obed was the son of Booz
      • Booz was the son of Salmon
        • Salmon was the son of Naasson
          • Naasson was the son of Aminadab
            • Aminadab was the son of Aram
  • Aram was the son of Esrom
    • Esrom was the son of Phares
      • Phares was the son of Juda
        • Juda was the son of Jacob
          • Jacob was the son of Isaac
            • Isaac was the son of Abraham
  • Abraham was the son of Thara
    • Thara was the son of Nachor
      • Nachor was the son of Saruch
        • Saruch was the son of Ragau
          • Ragau was the son of Phalec
            • Phalec was the son of Heber
  • Heber was the son of Sala
    • Sala was the son of Cainan
      • Cainan was the son of Arphaxad
        • Arphaxad was the son of Sem
          • Sem was the son of Noe
            • Noe was the son of Lamech
  • Lamech was the son of Mathusala
    • Mathusala was the son of Enoch
      • Enoch was the son of Jared
        • Jared was the son of Maleleel
          • Maleleel was the son of Cainan
            • Cainan was the son of Enos
  • Enos was the sons of Seth
    • Seth was the son of Adam
      • Adam was the son of God.

Mark 8

Mark 8: Jesus feeds the four thousand

The disciples who followed Jesus had been so devoted that they had gone for 3 days without food. Jesus had compassion on them and commanded His Apostles to bring Him forth all the bread that they had.

Jesus asks them; “…How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven.” (Mark 8:5)

Jesus then commanded the multitude to sit on the ground and he took the seven loaves and gave thanks while breaking the bread. They also had a few small fishes, which Jesus divided and gave thanks.

In the end the amount of leftovers filled seven baskets. Jesus managed to feed around four thousand men, women and children with only a few small fishes and seven loaves of bread. After feeding the multitude of people, Jesus departed by ship to Damanutha. Immediately upon arrival the Pharisees came forth asking Him questions, and tempting Him for a sign from heaven.

Jesus “…sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation.” (Mark 8:12)

Jesus then departed by ship to the other side, but commanded that His Apostles buy no bread from the Pharisees or from Herod “…Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod.” (Mark 8:15). Perhaps Jesus said this, because He knew that they had tampered with the bread or possibly poisoned it?

The Apostles were confused and did not understand how they could continue their journey without restocking their supplies, for they only had one loaf of bread. But after seeing the miracle of feeding four thousand with only seven loaves of bread, Jesus said unto them; “… Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?” (Mark 8:17-18) Jesus was most likely very disappointed that His Apostles had already forgotten of His marvelous power. Jesus continues to ask them about His abilities; “When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven…. How is it that ye do not understand?” (Mark 8:17-21)

How did they not understand? It is because they hardened their hearts!

Jesus and His Apostles then depart to Bethsaida, where the people brought a blind man to them, where they desired for Jesus to touch and heal the man. Jesus “…took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw bought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” (Mark 8:23-25)

Jesus then sends the man on his way and departed with His Apostles into the towns of Caesarea Philippi. On the way Jesus asks His Apostles “… Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.” (Mark 8:27-29)

Jesus then tells them that He will be persecuted, killed and then rise again on the third day. Peter, who was in unbelief, disagreed with Jesus. Jesus then responded to Peter; “… Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.” (Mark 8:33)

Jesus then leaves His Apostles and all that follow Him with this important message; “…Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall again the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)

Essentially Jesus tells His Apostles and all His followers that they need to follow Him in all things. Those who spent their lives in the service of God and others will not lose their life, but gain their life. Anyone who denies Jesus and does not follow Him are an adulterous and sinful generation, who will lose their souls to gain the riches of the world, which profiteth man nothing!

Mark 6

Mark 6: Sending of the Twelve

                   Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach and heal on the Sabbath Day, those who are in His presence ask themselves; “…From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought with his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses… and Simon?” (Mark 6:2-3) The people marveled at this man who was just a simple carpenter. We learn from this statement that Jesus actually had siblings! Meaning, Mary and Joseph had children together after Jesus was born. Making them at least His half-siblings. For further evidence of this please read: Jude 1:1

Jesus marveled at their unbelief, after all He had already performed countless miracles and yet the people still did not believe. Jesus leaves to call His Twelve Apostles:

“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; and commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey… no scrip [bag/luggage], no bread [food], no money in their purse.” (Mark 6:7-8) Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out by two’s [pairs] to preach His gospel. He tells His Apostles that they should leave with no bag, food or money. This goes to show that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ should never be done for money or glory.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles; “…In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide [stay/remain] till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them… they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and were anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:10-13) These same exact things are done today in the LDS church; Missionaries are sent two by two to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. The LDS Church has a presence in every country that allows by law the preaching of religion. These full time missionaries for the church are currently at almost 90,000 strong, as of 2013. The missionaries are called “Elders” and do exactly what Jesus is instructing here, they preach repentance and heal the sick, among many other things, including service projects.

The fame of Jesus spread throughout the land, many questioned if this man was Elias or John the Baptist back from the dead. When King Herod heard of this fame of Jesus he wondered if this wasn’t the resurrected John the Baptist, who he had beheaded. King Herod had a quarrel with his brother, who was Phillip, because he had taken his wife, Herodias, to marry. John the Baptist instructed Herod that it was unlawful for him to marry his brother’s wife, and King Herod feared John the Baptist, because he knew that he was a just and holy man. On King Herod’s birthday, he had a huge feast and the daughter of Herodias came in to please and dance with King Herod. To commemorate this occasion he told the young lady that she could have any wish, up to half of King Herod’s kingdom. Herodias’s daughter was already instructed by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist. When King Herod heard of this he was saddened, but he wouldn’t go back on his word, so he commanded that the head of John the Baptist be brought to Herodias.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles and many others who were gathered. While Jesus taught, He commanded His Apostles to bring the people something to eat. The Apostles instruct Jesus that there were five loves of bread and two fishes. Jesus blessed the food and commanded the Apostles to divide the food among the 5,000 gathered there. When everyone was done eating, and full, they gathered up twelve baskets of fragments [leftovers]. Once Jesus was done teaching, He commanded His Apostles to leave by ship to Bethsaida. Jesus them departed His own way to go and pray in the mountain. Jesus meets up with them on the sea later, walking on water! When the Apostles see Him walking on the water, they become afraid and think it is a ghost, but Jesus comforts them: “…Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50) The Apostles were amazed at what they saw; “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” (Mark6:52) Even after seeing such an amazing miracle as feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves of bread and two fishes, the Apostles are still amazed by the power Jesus has.

Jesus board the ship and departs to the land of Gennesaret, where he is met by a large number of people who all meet Him, to be healed of Him.

Mark 1

Mark 1: Jesus is Baptized

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, Jesus tells us; “…I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before me…” (Mark 1:2) Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist, who was truly sent before Jesus to prepare the way for Him. All of the land of Judea and Jerusalem came to hear the words of John the Baptist, who spoke of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.

John was so important that even Jesus Christ came to be baptized of him; “…Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.” (Mark 1:9) We learn that after Jesus was baptized that He came “…straightway…up out of the water…” (Mark 1:10), which clearly points to Jesus being baptized by FULL IMMERSION and no other means. This is important for baptism, a repentant heart, a baptism by full immersion by someone who is AUTHORIZED to do the baptism, in other words has the power given to them. After His baptism, the heavens opened and the Holy Ghost, like a dove came down to give Him the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus is then pushed into the wilderness for 40 days, where He is tempted by Satan, but Jesus overcame Satan and angels administered unto Him. John continues to preach repentance to all those who will hear. Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Simon and Andrew by the shore; they were fishers who Jesus converted into fishers of men, meaning; that they would do the Lord’s work and fish for the men who would come unto Jesus. Jesus also finds James and John, who stop what they are doing and follow Jesus.

Jesus teaches His new disciples, and they “…were astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:22) This is important to know, that Jesus HAS the AUTHORITY, the disciples recognized this AUTHORITY, because the Holy Ghost testified of that to them. In order to administer in the gospel, you MUST have proper PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY!

Jesus ends the chapter by casting out devils, healing the sick and cleansing a leper.