2 Nephi 33

2 Nephi 33: Those who Believe in Christ, will Believe in Nephi

“And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I mighty in writing, like unto speaking; for when a man speaketh by the power of the Holy Ghost the power of the Holy Ghost carrieth it unto the hearts of the children of men.” (2 Nephi 33:1)

Here Nephi explains that not EVERYTHING God says or commands can be written down. However, the most important and precious things can be recorded. Nephi explains that he is just a man, a man who God called to speak, and while his writing is not the best… his speaking, through the Holy Ghost is perfect, because it is the word of God that can be carried to the hearts of the children of men.

Nephi also knows that not all men will open their hearts to the Holy Ghost, and therefore makes it difficult for some to believe the words of God.           Nephi hopes that “…the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good… And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainnessof the truth; wherefore, no man will be angry at the words which I have written save he shall be of the spirit of the devil.” (2 Nephi 33:4-5)  

Nephi explains that the words he writes comes from God, those who cannot see the plainness of truth, and are angered by its words can only have the spirit of the devil. Nephi urges his own people and those people who will read this book in the future (us) to heed to its words; “…hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.” (2 Nephi 33:10) Again, Nephi explains that these words are the words of Christ. Those who believe in Jesus Christ will know that these are His words and shall believe in them also.

Nephi calls out the non-believer and explains that these are the words of Christ; “…for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.” (2 Nephi 33:11)

Those who believe in Jesus Christ should recognize His words, and will be shown that they are His words, whether in this life, or in the next life… before the bar of judgment. These are simple truths; the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Nephi testifies of Him, and those who believe in Jesus Christ will believe the words of Nephi, and those who believe the words of Nephi will know that the Book of Mormon is truly Another Testament of Him. Those who believe that the Book of Mormon is true, will know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint is His Restored Church on the Earth today with Modern Prophets who lead and guide His people.

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 3

2 Nephi 3: Joseph Smith

                Lehi speaks to Joseph, his last born in the wilderness and proclaims unto him that he [Lehi] was a descendent of Joseph (who was sold into Egypt). Lehi also explains that Joseph of Egypt saw the day when the Lord would bring his people into a land of promise (see: Genesis 50:24-38).

“…Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.” (2 Nephi 3:7) Lehi is speaking of Joseph Smith, who would be the instrument in the hands of the Lord to RESTORE His Church!

Lehi explains that the Lord will command the fruit of the loins of Judah and Joseph to write what we know today as the Bible and the Book of Mormon; “Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.” (2 Nephi 3:12)

The Book of Mormon would come forth among the world and shall become a companion to the Bible to help confound false doctrines and contentions amongst the many churches and religions of the world. Joseph [the son of Lehi] explains that the seer who the Lord would raise up would be named after him [Joseph] and that the Seer would be named after his father. Joseph Smith, Jr. was named after his father; Joseph Smith Senior. The Prophecy of Joseph [Lehi’s Son] came to be; “…his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me…” (2 Nephi 3:15)

Introduction to the Pearl of Great Price

Introduction to the Pearl of Great Price

“A merchant man, seeking goodly pearls … , when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:45–46).

The Pearl of Great Price contains four books and the Articles of Faith; Selections from the Book of Moses, The Book of Abraham, Joseph Smith Translation of the Gospel of Matthew and the History of Joseph Smith. The Articles of Faith outline the basic beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. All of the books are divine in nature, and were originally published in Church publications and were declared by Joseph Smith to be; “a source of much instruction and edification to many thousands of the Saints, who will by an acquaintance with its precious contents, be more abundantly qualified to set forth and defend the principles of our Holy Faith before all men” (Millennial Star, 15 July 1851, 217).

                On 10 October 1880, by action of the First Presidency and the general conference, the Pearl of Great Price became part of the standard works of the Church. In the beginning of the Book it states;

“Several revisions have been made in the contents as the needs of the Church have required. In 1878 portions of the Book of Moses not contained in the first edition were added. In 1902 certain parts of the Pearl of Great Price that duplicated material also published in the Doctrine and Covenants were omitted. … [In 1976] two items of revelation were added. In 1979 these two items were removed from the Pearl of Great Price and placed in the Doctrine and Covenants, where they now appear as sections 137 and 138” (Pearl of Great Price, Introductory Note)

Selections of the Book of Moses:

The book of Moses is a small excerpt from Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible. It is a more complete record of Moses’s writings at the beginning of the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It contains many doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and gives additional information about the plan of salvation, the creation of the earth, and the Lord’s dealings with Adam and Enoch.

The Book of Abraham:

The book of Abraham is a translation of ancient records written on papyrus that came into the possession of the Church in 1835. The records were translated by Joseph Smith through revelation. This book contains truths about the premortal Council in Heaven, the creation of the earth, the nature of God, and the priesthood.

Joseph Smith – Matthew:

Joseph Smith—Matthew is an excerpt (Matthew 24) from Joseph Smith’s inspired revision of the Bible and adds to our knowledge of the Savior’s teachings about His Second Coming.

Joseph Smith – History:

Joseph Smith—History, which is an excerpt from the Prophet’s history of the Church. This book contains a narrative of the events leading to the restoration of the Church, including the First Vision, the visits of Moroni to the Prophet Joseph, the obtaining of the gold plates, and the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood.

The Articles of Faith:

The Articles of Faith, were written by the Prophet Joseph Smith to help explain the basic teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There are 13 of them and anyone who reads them can quickly understand what the LDS (aka Mormon) Church and its members believe.

Truths taught in the Pearl of Great Price

  • Adam was taught the Plan of Salvation and made sacrifices in the similitude of Christ’s eternal sacrifice.
  • All prophets, beginning with Adam, have known of and testified of Jesus the Christ and His atonement.
  • Moses was shown many visions by the Lord and saw all the inhabitants of the earth.  Moses was tempted by Satan, but withstood Satan’s influence Moses 1:12–23.
  • “As far as men on this earth are concerned, evil had its beginning in pre-(mortal) existence. The Eternal Father begat spirit children, ordained laws to enable them to progress, and endowed them with free agency. Disobedience to those laws was in its nature evil, and consequently without the possibility of committing evil there could be no hope of progression toward exaltation. Lucifer and one-third of the spirit hosts of heaven chose evil rather than good, failed to exercise their free agency in righteousness, and finally coming out in open rebellion against the Lord, they were cast out onto the earth and denied (mortal) bodies. (Moses 4:1–4; Abr. 3:24–28; D&C 29:36–40; Rev. 12:7–13.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, [Bookcraft, 1966], p. 245.)
  • “Secret combinations,” or evil oaths, began with Cain and have been in existence on the earth from the beginning.  These combinations are revealed and encouraged by Satan himself (Moses 5:29–30; Moses 5:51–55).
  • We lived with God before we were born onto the earth (Abraham 3:22).
  • Enoch preached of Christ, established a city, and led a people so righteous, that they were “translated” and taken into heaven (Moses 7).
  • Adam kept a book of remembrance that was passed down through the prophets to Abraham (Abraham 1:28, 31).
  • Adam was baptized and came to understand the fall, the atonement, faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, as well as the doctrines of justification and sanctification. Adam’s spiritual rebirth was attested to and his possession of priesthood after the order of the Son of God was announced. (See Moses 6:15–68.)
  • Abraham was taught principles of astronomy by God.  Abraham traveled to Egypt and conveyed this knowledge in the high courts of the Egyptians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revelation 14

Revelation 14: The Restored Gospel

                John explains that he sees the 144,000 who were; “…redeemed from the earth.” (Revelation 14:3) He also sees an; “…angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue and people. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come…” (Revelation 14:6-7) John says that this angel was followed by another angel who announced the destruction of Babylon because of their wine and fornication.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that this Angel, who brought forth the ‘everlasting gospel’ was Moroni, who first appeared to Joseph Smith to guide him in restoring the Church of Jesus Christ, that had been lost with time.

John explains that we need to “…Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap: for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” (Revelation 14:15) Essentially John is saying that it is time to move missionary work forward, because the harvest of men is ripe.

James 1

James 1: Ask God!

                James, as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ writes a letter of wisdom. While the letter is not addressed to any specific people or person, it serves as New Testament literature and as a letter written to all.

James explains that we should be filled with joy when we fall into temptation, knowing; “…that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:3) In other words, when we are tempted and overcome those temptations we will be made stronger for having been through the temptation.

Paul urges us all to ask God when we are in doubt; “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:5-6) In this life we will pass through trials and tribulations, we may have doubts and we may not understand everything in this world. But we can ask God, and those who ask God with faith will be given the answers to their righteous desires.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God: The Restoration of the Gospel

firstvision

                This very same scripture is what led Joseph Smith to ask God the question; “Which of all the sects was right?”

Joseph Smith was a young farm boy who lived in the east coast of the United States in the early 1800’s, he explains in his own words;

“I was born in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and five (1805)… in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, State of Vermont… My father, Joseph Smith, Senior, left the state of Vermon, and moved to Palmyra, Ontario (now Wayne) county, in the state of New York, when I was in my tenth year… In about four years… he [Joseph Smith Senior] moved with his family into Manchester in the same county of Ontario… Some time in the second year of our removal to Manchester, there was in the place where we lived an unusual excitement on the subject of religion. It commenced with the Methodists, but soon became general among all the sects in that region of country… which created no small stir and division amongst the people, some crying, “Lo, here!” and others, “Lo, there!” Some were contending for the Methodist faith, some for the Presbyterian, and some for the Baptist…. Priest contending against priest, and convert against convert… During this time of great excitement my mind was called up to serious reflection and great uneasiness… though I attended their several meetings as often as occasion would permit. In process of time my mind became somewhat partial to the Methodist sect, and I felt some desire to be united with them; but so great were the confusion and strife among the different denominations, that it was impossible for a person young as I was… to come to any certain conclusion who was right and who was wrong…. In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself : What is to be done? Who of all these parties is right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it?” (Joseph Smith History 1:3;5-6;7;8)

                Joseph Smith, like many today may ask themselves, which of all the sects is the correct one? Why would there be different beliefs, if there be one God? Joseph Smith was confused and unsure of which religion was right. So he consulted the Bible, God’s word! He read in James 1:5-6; which says that anyone who lacks wisdom will be given it. So, who better to ask which religion was right… then GOD HIMSELF!?!

Joseph Smith decided to take this advice from James and retired to a grove of trees near his home;

“ After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.

But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.

It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description,standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My BelovedSon. Hear Him!

My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Joseph Smith History 1:15-19)

Joseph Smith followed the advice given by James and asked God; which of all the sects was right. Joseph Smith was answered and told that none of the sects were right. This single question from a young, 14 year old boy would lead to God restoring His Church on the Earth, using Joseph Smith as an instrument in His hands.

James goes on in the first chapter to explain that those who endure temptation shall receive a just reward; “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13) James explains that God does not tempt anyone, but rather we choose to sin on our own accord; “…every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust…” (James 1:14)

James explains that anything GOOD is from GOD, and anything BAD or EVIL is from the DEVIL; “Every good gift any every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights…” (James 1:17)

James encourages people to be DOERS and not just HEARERS; “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.” (James 1:23) James explains that anyone who seems to be religious but does not follow his religion; “…deceiveth his own heart… this man’s religion is in vain.” (James 1:26) James goes on to explain that pure religion is; “…undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27) While many may claim to be religious, anyone who fails to take care of those around them and stay clean and worthy are not following the will of God.

Hebrews 5

Hebrews 5: Importance of the Priesthood

                Paul explains the importance of Priesthood, but most importantly he explains the importance of proper authority in the Priesthood. Paul explains; “…no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” (Hebrews 5:4) In other words, no one can claim to take upon themselves the Authority of the Priesthood, except they be called of God, like Aaron was called.

How was Aaron called of God? In Deuteronomy we learn how the Authority was transferred from Moses to Joshua upon the death of Moses; “…Joshua… was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him…” (Deuteronomy 34:9) In the same manner, Aaron received the Priesthood from someone who had been called of God, through temple ordinances (see Exodus 40).

Paul explains that Christ was also given the Priesthood from God, and He gave the Priesthood to His Apostles; “…also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou arty my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisadec.” (Hebrews 5:6)

 

jesus-ordains-apostles1

                In Matthew, Christ called His Apostles and gave them the priesthood power; “… he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power…” (Matthew 10:1) This power was given by the laying on of hands.

priesthood3

This same power and authority exists in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was restored to the earth through Joseph Smith. In the Joseph Smith History it reads;

“We still continued the work of translation, when, in the ensuing month (May, 1829), we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, that we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying: Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness. He said this Aaronic Priesthood had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter [The Melchizadek Priesthood];” (Joseph Smith History 1:68-70)