Mosiah 4

Mosiah 4

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.

Chapters 2-5 encompasses the speech given by King Benjamin to his people.effectiveleaders

 

Following from Mosiah 3, the people after hearing the words which King Benjamin shared with them, they immediately fell to the earth in fear, because “…they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.” (Mosiah 4:2) Upon speaking these words they were instantly filled with peace, knowing that they had received a remission of their sins, having a clean conscience.

After seeing the people fall to the earth and repent, King Benjamin continues his address…

“I say unto you, if ye have come to a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards the children of men; and also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world. And this is the means whereby salvation cometh. And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.” (Mosiah 4:6-8)

This is a subject of contention for many, Salvation. How does it come? Some believe that you can be saved by simply allowing Jesus into your life. Is it really that simple though? King Benjamin makes it clear that Salvation comes only through obedience to the commandments that have been given to us. It is true that through the atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind have been loosed from the bonds of death and now have a path to return to our Heavenly Father. However, this “path” if you will is open for all, but it still requires someone to have the desire to stay on the path. It is not enough to simply step on the path and be done. You cannot be saved by simply accepting Jesus in your heart. It’s not that simple, accepting Him means more than just expressing this through words, it also takes an action. We must show our acceptance of Jesus Christ through our works. The great part about the atonement? We don’t have to be perfect, as we walk the path, there will be times we wonder off. But through repentance we can always jump back on the path and follow His commandments.

King Mosiah then explains that we must; “Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.” (Mosiah 4:9) Isn’t that interesting? Man does not comprehend all things, which the Lord comprehends. God has not asked any of us to be perfect. What He HAS asked us to do, is to try. To sincerely give it our all! He wants us to get on that path and stay there! The path is not easy, this life is not easy. But it is for our benefit, so that we can return to live with Him!

King Benjamin reminds them that they all must “…believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you.. if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.” (Mosiah 4:10;12)

King Benjamin explains that if we follow His path, we will be filled with joy and will not have a reason to harm others. In fact, if we follow His commandments, we will have only the greatest desires for our own children and loved ones. We shall even have a love for our neighbors, and spread that joy!

“…ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?” (Mosiah 4:16-19)

King Benjamin reminds those gathered and the readers in our day that everyone needs some help from time to time. For are we not all beggars? No one can honestly say that they have become wealthy and wise all on their own. Everyone stands in need of help, and everyone has had help in their success! He even chastises those who say; “…I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.” (Mosiah 4:24) This is not an excuse, everyone has something to give, even if it is their time!

King Benjamin imparts some wisdom:

  1. Give of yourself, your talents and your wealth. If you do not have money to give, then lend a helping hand. Physically, mentally or emotionally help those in need. “I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.” (Mosiah 4:26)
  2. Do not run faster than you have strength! Everything has it’s time and place, there is no need to work harder than you are physically or mentally able. All that God asks of us is to do OUR best. “…see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. (Mosiah 4:27)
  3. If you borrow something, return it. This goes for something physical, like borrowing a a tool from a neighbor. But this also goes for something intangible. If you receive help from someone, return the favor! “…whosoever among you borroweth of his neighbor should return the thing that he borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin…” (Mosiah 4:28)
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1 Nephi 11

1 Nephi 11: Nephi’s Vision of the Tree of Life

                Nephi , believing on the words of his father Lehi desired to see for himself the things which is father was able to behold he prayed to the Lord and; “…was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord… into an exceedingly high mountain, which I [Nehpi] never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.” (1 Nephi 11:1) Nephi is then asked by an angel of the Lord if he truly believed on the words of his father, and Nephi responded that he believed all the words. Because Nephi believed the words (had faith without seeing) he was then granted the ability to see what his father had seen in visions and dreams.

The Angel then shouts for Joy that Nephi believed, and told him to LOOK. Nephi looked and asked the Angel to give him an interpretation of the Tree which his father Lehi had seen. Nephi is then left by the Angel to see a vision;

“…it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.” (1 Nephi 11:13) The heavens then open and the angel comes down and asks Nephi; “…what beholdest thou?” (1 Nephi 11:14) Nephi responds; “…A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.” (1 Nephi 11:15) The Angel then asks; “…Knowest thou the condescension of God?” (1 Nephi 11:16)

What is the Condescension of God?

Condescension: the act of descending to a lower and less dignified state; of waiving the privileges of one’s rank and status; of bestowing honors and favors upon one of lesser stature or status.

The Angel asks Nephi if he understood what the condescension of God was, to which Nephi responded; “…I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.” (1 Nepi 11:17)

The Angel explains that the virgin he had seen is; “…the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh…. [the Angel then carries Nephi into another vision and commands him to look] …I [Nephi]  looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!” (1 Nephi 11:18;20-21)

So what is the Condescension of God? Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained it better than I could;

“When we think of him, we think of the most noble and exalted being there is. Then we read this question, “Knowest thou the condescension of God?” and discover that somehow it is associated with his love for us, his children, his spirit children who are now dwelling as mortals here on earth. We discover in our text that he shall be the Father of a Son born “after the manner of the flesh”; that is, he condescends, in his infinite wisdom, to be the Father of a holy being who shall be born into mortality…

So when we think of Christ’s condescension in this matter, we must think of the glory and dominion and exaltation that he possessed. We read in the revelations that he was ‘like unto God’ (Abraham  3:24). We read the language of the Father where he says, ‘worlds without number have I created; … and by the Son I created them, which is mine only Begotten’ (Moses 1:33). We discover that Christ was like the Father; that he was co-creator, that he had the might and power and dominion and omnipotence of the Father and that he acted under his direction in the regulating and the creating of the universe.

We read the words which an angel spake to King Benjamin, in which the angel described him as “the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity,” and then said that he would come down and tabernacle in a body of clay and minister among men; that he would be the Son of God and that Mary would be his mother (see Mosiah 3:5, 8).

Here we have a glorious thing. Here we have exalted, noble beings on a plane and status so far above our present circumstance that we have no way of comprehending their dominion and glory, and we have one of them, God our Eternal Father, through the condescension and infinite love and mercy that he has for us, stepping down from his noble status and becoming the Father of a Son after the manner of the flesh. We have that Son being born, that Son who was his firstborn in the spirit, who had like power and omnipotence with the Father. We have each of them performing a work that there is no way for us to understand as far as magnitude and glory and importance is concerned.” (Bruce R. McConkie – Behold the Condescension of God; December 1984)

Nephi, after seeing the virgin and the Lamb of God being born explains to the Angel that the Tree is; “…the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.” (1 Nephi 11:22) The Angel confirms that this is true and proceeds to show Nephi more visions of the Lamb of God and his ministry upon the earth. Nephi is commanded to look, and he looks; “….I [Nephi] beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.” (1 Nephi 11:31)

Nephi is commanded again to look, and he beholds the Lamb of God being judged before the world, lifted upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world. Nephi is then shown the vision of the Tree of Life, which his father Lehi had seen. In the vision, there was a great and spacious building which Nephi declared; “….was the pride of the world; and it fell, and the fall thereof was exceedingly great. And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” (1 Nephi 11:36)

2 John 1 + Summary of 2 John

2 John 1: John Rejoices + Summary of 2 John

                John writes a general epistle and explains that; “…love [is when we]…walk after his commandments…” (2 John 1:6) He explains that if anyone comes to you and teaches you something different than Jesus Christ and His doctrine; “…receive him not in your house, neither bid him God speed.” (2  John 1:10)

                In other words, if someone comes preaching something other than Christ, do not listen. If you love God, you will follow His commandments, simple as that!

1 John 4

1 John 4: God is Love

                John warns the believers of Christ to “…believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) During John’s time there were many false prophets and he warned that there would be many more in the future, even into our own times. We need to pray always and ask God what we should believe or not believe.

                John explains that if we are following God and His commandments we will know whether a messenger is of God or of the devil. Those who follow the things of the world, will hear and respond to a message that is geared towards the desires of the world. The things of God may be hard for lovers of the world to understand or accept;

“Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:4-6)

                John encourages us to love our neighbors as Jesus commanded, for if we love one another we will feel the Love of God and His Son Jesus Christ; “…let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:7-9)

                Those who say they love God, but not their fellow man are hypocrites; “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1 John 4:20-21)

Hebrews 13

Hebrews 13: Marriage is Honorable

                Paul opens his address to the Hebrews by exclaiming; “Let brotherly love continue.” (Hebrews 13:1) Paul explains that we should be kind to everyone, including strangers. Paul explains that often times you may run into an angel and not even know, just as the Apostles did not recognize Jesus Christ (see Luke 24)

Paul explains that “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4) Essentially Paul is telling us that marriage is a very honorable thing to do, and is even encouraged. However we should never cheat on our spouse and anyone who commits adultery or fornication will be judged by God.

Paul explains that we should “…be content with such things as we have.” (Hebrews 13:5) We should never complain about or situation or want things that are beyond our basic needs. Be content! We should never fear man, because; “…The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” (Hebrews 13:6)

Paul explains that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He warns us to “Be not carried about with… strange doctrines…” (Hebrews 13:9), because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple.

1 Timothy 6

1 Timothy 6: Money = Root of all Evil

                Paul explains that there are men who have “…corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw theyself.” (1 Timothy 6:5) Paul tells us that we should not associate ourselves with those who love money. Paul goes on to explain; “For we brought noting into this world, and it is certain we carry nothing out.” (1 Timothy 6:7) Therefore, we should focus on things that do leave with us… our bodies, our minds and our service unto others.

Paul explains that “… the love of money is the root of all evil…” (1 Timothy 6:10)

Instead of loving money and material possessions, we should “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…” (1 Timothy 6:12)

1 Thessalonians 4

1 Thessalonians 4: The Dead Shall Rise

                Paul urges the members of the Church in Thessalonia to follow in their footsteps, even as they (The Apostles) follow in the footsteps of Christ. Paul promises that if they do, they will be blessed;

“…as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

Paul goes on to remind them of the importance of having sexual relations in the bounds of marriage; “… this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

Paul reminds them to not defraud their brother, and to the importance of loving on another and treating one another as you would want to be treated;

“…no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter… ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.” (1 Thessalonians 4:6,9)

Paul writes and tells them that they need to “…study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands…” (1 Thessalonians 4:11) In other words, study hard, strive to do good in your own business and with your own hands. You should obtain skills, education, etc. You should not lie, cheat or steal from others.

Paul ends his letter to the Thessalonians  by telling them to keep their heads up and not worry about those who will die without Christ;

“…I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

He then goes on to explain the Second Coming of Jesus Christ;

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18)