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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2 Nephi 31

2 Nephi 31: Baptism is Essential

                Nephi explains why baptism is so essential in the Gospel of Jesus Christ;

“…if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!” (2 Nephi 31:5)

If Jesus Christ, being perfect was baptized, how much more are we in need of baptism? Jesus Christ did not have to be baptized, but He did so, to show; “…the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.” (2 Nephi 31:7)

After Jesus Christ was baptized, the dove descended upon Him as a representation of the Holy Ghost and His willingness to follow the Commandments. Jesus Christ set the example, and those who believe in Him will follow in His footsteps.

 “…He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.” (2 Nephi 31:12)

The Gift of the Holy Ghost is promised to those who follow Jesus Christ and are baptized in His name.

“…if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.” (2 Nephi 31:13)

Here in verse 13, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is outlined… first we must follow Him with full purpose of heart, without hypocrisy. We need to have FAITH, we then need to REPENT of our sins and be BAPTIZED in His name. After having been faithful and baptized in His name we will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the Laying on of Hands and then the last step is completely up to us… the ENDURE and follow Him throughout our lives, repenting anytime we fall short.

Are we saved by Faith alone? Absolutely not! We must endure to the end and always follow the commandments of God. Nephi explains how just faith and baptism is only the first steps in Salvation….

“…. [after baptism] ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

We need to understand that after we have faith in Jesus Christ, we need to abound in good works by keeping the commandments. Good works alone will not grant anyone salvation, but faith without works is dead. Faith requires action.

Nephi reminds us that only through Jesus Christ can we be saved; “And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.” (2 Nephi 31:21)

 

Moses 8

Moses 8: Noah and His Sons Preach the Gospel

Enoch passes away at the age of 430, his son; Methuselah was not taken up with his father so that he might fulfill the covenants of the Lord.

“…Methuselah prophesied that from his loins should spring all the kingdoms of the earth (through Noah), and he took glory unto himself. And there came forth a great famine into the land, and the Lord cursed the earth with a sore curse, and many of the inhabitants thereof died.” (Moses 8:3-4) From this, Methuselah lived to 187 years, before he bore Lamech. Methusaleh died 782 years later at the age of 969.

Lamech bore a son named Noah, at the age of 182. He blessed his son Noah saying; “…This son shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed.” (Moses 8:9) Lamech died at the age of 777. Noah had children named Japheth, Shem and Ham. His children were called the “…sons of God.” (Moses 8:13)

As the men began to multiply on the face of the earth, the daughters born unto them were taken as wives. This angers the Lord, for; “…The daughters of thy sons have sold themselves; for behold mine anger is kindled against the sons of men, for they will not hearken to my voice.” (Moses 8:15)

Because of this Noah began to prophesy among the people and he taught the things of God, even from the beginning of man. The Lord tells Noah; “…My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for he shall know that all flesh shall die; … and if men do not repent, I will send in the floods upon them.” (Moses 8:17) Here we learn that God will not always have patience with His children!

Because Noah spoke these things the giants who lived on the earth [giants did live on the earth during the time of Noah], those giants; “…sought Noah to take away his life; but the Lord was with Noah, and the power of the Lord was upon him. And the Lord ordained Noah after his own order, and commanded him that he should go forth and declare his Gospel unto the children of men, even as it was given unto Enoch.” (Moses 8:18-19) God calls Noah as a prophet like He did in times past to preach unto His children and encourage them to repent! Noah called upon the people to repent; “…but they hearkened not unto his words; …And God saw that the wickedness of men had become great in the earth; and every man was lifted up in the imagination of the thoughts of his heart, being only evil continually.” (Moses 8:20;22)

God saw the wickedness of men, even while Noah pleaded with them and even warned them that God was going to flood the earth because of their wickedness. The Lord speaks to Noah and says;

“…I will destroy man whom I have created, from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Noah that I have created them, and that I have made them; and he hath called upon me; for they have sought his life… thus Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord; for Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generation; and he walked with God, as did also his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth… And God said unto Noah: The end of all flesh is come before me, for the earth is filled with violence, and behold I will destroy all flesh from off the earth.” (Moses 8:26-27;30)

Noah tried to warn the people and pleaded with them to repent. However, the people did not repent and instead sought to destroy Noah. God saw this and comforted Noah, but told Noah that He would destroy all of the earth; man and beast. This is the Great Flood.

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.

Revelation 9

Revelation 9: Wars and Plagues

                The Fifth Angel sounded; “…I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit… and there arose a smoke out of the pit… and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. And there came out of the smoke locust upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power… it was commanded of them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing… but only those men which have not the seal of God on their foreheads…” (Revelation 9:1-4) Here we have the Fifth Angel sounding the trumpet and a large hole opening from the earth, this hole would darken the sun and the air (so thick black air) and out of the smoke will come Locusts that have the ability to sting like scorpions, basically flying scorpions come out of the smoke. These locusts are commanded to only hurt men (and women) who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. Essentially they are commanded to only go after the wicked people of the earth.

In the next verse we read; “…to them [the locusts] it was given that they should not kill them [the wicked people], but that they should be tormented five months…And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.” (Revelation 9:5-6) So when this Fifth Angel sounds the trumpets, all the wicked people of the earth will be stun by locusts [essentially flying scorpions] and be tormented to the point of wanting to die, but be unable to die! John describes the locusts as “…horses prepared unto battle… faces of men… hair of women… teeth of lions… breastplates of iron… sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle… tails like unto scorpions…” (Revelation 9:7-10) John also explains that they are led into “battle” by Abaddon, which in Greek is Apollyon. Apollyon means destruction and is often times used to describe Satan.

Will there really be locusts that can sting like scorpions? The simple answer is no. We must understand that John was describing things that he saw from a perspective of his time. How would someone from thousands of years past describe an airplane, tank, machine gun? In the words and descriptions of that time, so perhaps the “locusts” he saw were actually modern infantry coming out of thick dark smoke that was caused from bombs. We don’t know, and we won’t know. But we can kind of understand what John might have been seeing.

The Sixth Angel sounded; “…and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God. Saying to the sixth angel… Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were release… [and]… were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year… to slay the third part of men… by these three was the third part of men killed.” (Revelation 9:13-15; 18) John explains that these last third of the worlds wicked were to be destroyed, because they never once felt bad for their sins and never desired to repent.

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.

Hebrews 10

Hebrews 10: The Just Live by Faith

                Paul explains that the way sin was taken away from the people in the Old Testament; through the shedding of the blood of animals can no longer take away the sin. Instead we “…are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Hebrews 10:10) The sacrifice, also known as the Atonement of Jesus Christ was the ultimate price paid for the sin of mankind. Jesus Christ gave us a way to return to live with our Heavenly Father again.

Paul invites those followers of Christ to “…draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22) For if we sin after we come to the knowledge of Him, it will be difficult for us to be forgiven, for we know right from wrong;

                “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” (Hebrews 10:26)

Essentially Paul is telling us that we need to live by faith and once we have knowledge of our Redeemer, we need to live a pure and clean life (as best our abilities).