2 Nephi 4

2 Nephi 4: Lehi Dies

                Lehi calls all of the sons of Laman, Lemuel and Nephi and all their families to give them a blessing before he departs (for Lehi must have known that his death was approaching).

“…it came to pass my father, Lehi, had spoken unto all his household, according to the feelings of his heard and the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, he waxed old…” (2 Nephi 4:12)

After Lehi died and was buried, Laman and Lemuel and their offspring were angered unto Nephi for he spoke many things of the Lord unto them. Nephi explains the purpose of his writings;

“…upon these [the plates] I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children. Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and myheart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.” (2 Nephi 4:15-16)

Nephi knows that the scriptures are important for man to ponder and learn from. Nephi knows that he is not perfect, but he knows that when he his encircled in temptations the Lord will deliver him.

“…when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted… God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me… he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.” (2 Nephi 4:19-23)

Nephi praises the Lord for being with him through all the hard times, and he puts his trust in the Lord. Nephi then explains how sin can come upon anyone, but how we should overcome our sin and lean on the Lord for strength.

“…why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” (2 Nephi 4:27-30)

Nephi asks why he should yield to sin and let the enemy encircle him. Nephi leans of the Lord, the Rock of his salvation to help him overcome the sins and temptations of the world.

“May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walkin the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

…Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.” (2 Nephi 4:32;35)

Nephi explains that the temptations of the world and the evil are shut off from him because he has a broken heart and a contrite spirit and leans on the Lord, his Redeemer and Savior! Nephi exclaims that the Lord will answer to anyone who asks.

Moses 5

Moses 5: Adam and Eve Bring Forth Children

 

“And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.” (Moses 5:1) God tells Moses that Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden and were now required to till the land and work for their food. It is interesting to note that God said that Adam and Eve worked together, Adam and Eve were not alone, they had each other.

“And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth. And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.” (Moses 5:2-3) Here we learn that Adam and Eve had many Sons and Daughters, who then separated off and had more sons and daughters. By this, Adam and Eve were able to fulfill the commandment of God to ‘multiple and replenish the earth’.

God tells Moses that since Adam and Eve man has had some sort of religion, Adam and Eve would pray unto the Lord and would hear His voice, but would not see His presence; “And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.” (Moses 5:4)

From here, the Lord God gave them commandments and they fulfilled these commandments, even when they did not understand them. And he gave unto them commandments, that they shouldworship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of theirflocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.

God explains that Adam was filled with the Holy Ghost and that he bore witness of the Lord. Adam was also able to come to a knowledge of the reason both him and Eve had to transgress and break the commandments of God;  “… as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will. And in that day Adam blessed God and was filled, and began to prophesy concerning all the families of the earth, saying: Blessed be the name of God, for because of my transgression my eyes are opened, and in this life I shall have joy, and again in the flesh I shall see God. And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient.” (Moses 5:9-11) Here we learn that the Fall of Adam and Eve (or what some consider the ‘Original Sin’) was actually part of God’s Plan, for if they did not partake of the fruit, they would not have had their eyes opened and would not have had the knowledge that they now had. Eve even realized that if they had not partaken of the fruit, they would not have had children, for they knew not good or evil. Adam and Eve were both innocent and did not even know that they were both naked before they partook of the fruit; How were they supposed to of reproduced?

Here is the part of Moses where some may argue the thought of ‘Original Sin’ comes from; “…Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God; and he commanded them, saying: Believe it not; and they believed it not, and they loved Satan more than God…” (Moses 5:13) From this moment on, many of the decedents of Adam and Eve became; “…carnal, sensual, and devilish.” (Moses 5:13)

Adam and Eve have two more sons; Cain and Abel; “…Cain loved Satan more than God…” (Moses 5:18) Abel was loved by the Lord, because he brought forth great offerings unto the Lord; however Cain did not offer any good offerings unto the Lord, for he loved Satan. Cain begins to call himself “…Master Mahan, and he glorified in wickedness.” (Moses 5:31) Some believe that ‘Mahan’ refers to ‘Mind Destroyer’ and the ‘Great One’.

Cain calls Abel to the fields and while they are talking, Cain kills Abel. God knew that this would happen, but decides to ask Cain about what had happened; “…Cain: Where is Abel, thy brothers? And he [Cain] said: I know not. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Moses 5:34) God becomes angry and asks why Cain had done such a thing? Cain responds that he was jealous of the things that Abel had and wanted to kill him because of that. God then punishes Cain, and curses him; “…thou shalt be curse from the earth…A fugitive and a vagabond [wanderer] shalt thou be in the earth…” (Moses 5:37) Cain, coming to the knowledge of what he had done, pleads with God; “…my punishment is great than I can bear.” (Moses 5:38)

In this chapter of Moses we are then drawn to the following family tree;

“…Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch, and he also begat many sons and daughters. And he builded a city, and he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.

“…unto Enoch was born Irad, and other sons and daughters. And Irad begat Mahujael, and other sons and daughters. And Mahujael begat Methusael, and other sons and daughters. And Methusael begat Lamech.

“…Lamech took unto himself two wives; the name of one being Adah, and the name of the other, Zillah… Adah bare Jabal… And Zillah, she also bare Tubal Cain…  the sister of Tubal Cain was called Naamah…. “ (Moses 5:42-46)

Lamech had entered into a covenant with Satan, wherein he became Master Mahan, who was; “…master of that great secret which was administered unto Cain by Satan; and Irad, the son of Enoch, having known their secret, began to reveal it unto the sons of Adam; Wherefore Lamech, being angry, slew him, not like unto Cain, his brother Abel, for the sake of getting gain, but he slew him for the oath’s sake. For, from the days of Cain, there was a secret combination, and their works were in the dark, and they knew every man his brother.” (Moses 5:49-51) Here we learn that after Cain was cursed, part of his family continued to worship Satan and from that time forward, they worked in secret combinations. Think about what is going on in the world today, or throughout all history! Who is behind all of the wars? Plagues? Etc… it is Satan.

The disbelief and wickedness of the Devil was spread throughout all of the earth to all of God’s children. Lamech and his entire house were also cursed by God, but the Devil continued to work hard to spread the word of wickedness and evil.

Because of this spread of wickedness, it was necessary from day one to preach the Gospel; “…thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by his own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost. And thus all things were confirmed unto Adam, by an holy ordinance, and the Gospel preached, and a decree sent forth, that it should be in the world, until the end thereof; and thus it was. Amen.” (Moses 5:58-59)

God had a plan for his children, and part of that plan is agency. God has given us a choice on who we should follow. It is obvious that we should follow God, and slowly learn our way back to him. Because Satan disobeyed and rebelled, He was cast out of Heaven and never given the ability to obtain an earthly body. For this reason Satan desires that all be miserable like unto himself.

1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15: Baptisms for the Dead

                Paul preaches to the Corinthians and tells them that the Gospel he preached to them is the word of God and that Jesus Christ did in fact die for our sins; “…that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; “(1 Corinthians 15:4) Paul explains that the evidence of Him is all around, for many saw His great works and miracles. Paul explains that all men will be resurrected, Paul explains that if there is no resurrection then Jesus Christ also did not rise on the third day; “…if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ is be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14) Paul goes on to make a very bold statement; “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:16)

Essentially we learn that if you believe that Christ rose on the third day, then you must also believe that all men will one day be resurrected. Paul goes on to explain the purpose of Jesus Christ and the Fall/Redemption of Mankind through Him;

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him…. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:20-29)

So, Paul is telling us that through the Fall of Adam and Eve, death was brought into the world, but through Jesus Christ we can eventually overcome that death. The Corinthians participated in Baptisms for the Dead and because of this Paul was essentially asking them; ‘if you don’t believe in resurrection, why are you participating in the baptisms of the dead?’ – From this we learn that Baptisms for the Dead were performed in ancient times and that it was for the very purpose of those who did not get a baptism in this life. This practice of Vicarious Work is done today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Paul goes on to explain what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints already know as the Plan of Salvation. Paul describes the different bodies; “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory…” (1 Corinthians 15:40-41)