Summary of Omni + Omni 1

Summary of Omni + Omni 1

                The Book of Omni… is the sixth book in the Book of Mormon….

Omni opens up with Omni confessing that he fought many battles to keep his people, the Nephities from falling into the hands of their enemy the Lamanites. However, he confesses that he has failed to follow all the commandments of God, calling himself a wicked man. He passes the plates down to his son Amaron.

Because of the wickedness, explains Amaron; “…the Lord did visit them in great judgment; nevertheless, he did spare the righteous that they should not perish…” (Omni 1:7) This shows that even during great wickedness in the world, God does spare the righteous. Amaron passes the plates down to his brother Chemish, who only writes one verse testifying of what his brother had wrote to be true.

The plates are then transferred to the son of Chemish, Adinadom. Abinadom opens up by explaining that he has, with his; “…own sword, have taken the lives of many of the Lamanites in the defence of my brethren.” (Omni 1:10) Here we learn that killing another human being in defense of yourself or others IS justified, even under God’s wrath. Abinadom goes on to testify of the writing that has been added to the plates so far, and makes note that he has no prophecy to add, but that he would continue to preserve them by passing them down to the next generation.

Amaleki, the son of Abinadom continues to write on the plates, opening up by testifying of Mosiah, who was the king of Zarahemla. Amaleki explains that when Mosiah discovered the people of Zarahemla, he knew that they came out of Jerusalem; “…Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out of Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah was carried away captive into Babylon. And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.” (Omni 1:15-16)

                This is where things get very interesting, if we read in the Bible, in Jeremiah we learn that King Zedekiah was overtaken by the Chaldeans’ army in the plains of Jericho. Zedekiah is forced to watch his sons be murdered before his eyes, then having his own eyes removed and being bound in chains and sent to Babylon. (See Jeremiah 39:4-8). However, we learn from the Book of Mormon that one of the sons of Zedekiah escaped. Nephi testifies before corrupt judges who sought to incite the people against him, but Nephi testifies that Abraham, Moses, Zenock, Zenos, Ezias, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lehi all testified of Christ. Nephi questions the judges; “… will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yeah, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem…?” (Helaman 8:21) This and other instances throughout the Book of Mormon show how much it meshes with the stories of the Bible. The reason for this is simple, they are all interconnected. The people of the Book of Mormon have ancestral ties with the people of the “Old World” found in the Bible.

Mulek and his people traveled across the ocean to the “New World”, where they became numerous. However, with most civilization, eventually the prosperity ends. The people of Zarahemla had fallen away from the Gospel and denied that there was a Creator. Because of this they had many wars and contentions amongst themselves, they lost the record of their people and they even lost their own language. Mosiah taught the people of Zarahemla his own language and caused that a genealogy being written up based on his own memory. The people loved Mosiah and caused that he be there king. The people gave Mosiah a large stone that had engraving upon it, by the power of God he was able to translate these engravings.

The engravings gave an account of Coriantumr and the slaying of his people.  It also held a genealogy of his fathers, who came out from the tower, at the “…. time the Lord confounded the language of the people…” (Omni 1:22) Here we learn that more people going back thousands of years were living in the Americas that we know of today. Coriantumr’s father came from the Tower of Babel, when the Lord not only confounded the languages, but scattered the people around the World.

Amaleki continues to write that he was born in the days of Mosiah, after his death, his son Benjamin ruled in his placed. Amaleki, knowing that King Benjamin was a just and good man decides to pass the plates onto him upon his death. Amaleki explains that “…there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.” (Omni 1:25) How simple of principle is that?  If it is good, it comes from God. If it is bad, it comes from the devil. Before his death, Amaleki exhorts anyone reading his testimony to; “…come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.” (Omni 1:26) Again, another simple principle. To be “saved” and return to the presence of God, we must come unto Him. It is NOT enough to simply confess that He is your savior. Coming unto Him means that you offer your whole soul unto him, continuing in fasting, prayer and enduring to the end. This is a process and something that is ongoing throughout your life. We must always follow in the footsteps of Jesus and do as He would do. Remember, faith without works is dead.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jacob 5

Jacob 5: Allegory of the Olive Tree

Allegory of the Olive Tree (See also: Romans 11:17-24)

Jacob quotes Zenos about the allegory of the tame and wild Olive Tree. The Olive Tree in the Lord’s Vineyard is like Israel and the Gentiles, the scattering and gathering of Israel… the Gentiles will be grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel.

Symbol What it might represent
The Vineyard The World
Master of the Vineyard God
Servants The Lord’s Prophets
Tame Olive Tree The House of Israel; The Covenant People
Wild Olive Tree Gentiles
Branches Groups of People
Roots of the Tame Olive Tree The Covenants the Lord makes with us
The Fruit The Lives/Works of men
Digging/Pruning/Fertilizing The work of the Lord to help His children obey
Transplanting Branches Scattering groups of people throughout the world
Grafting The joining of one group to another
Decaying Branches People dying spiritually from sin and apostasy
Casting branches into the fire God’s Wrath and Judgment

What is ‘Grafting’?

To graft branches, healthy, living branches are cut from a tree or plant and inserted into another place. The branches in this allegory represent groups of people that the Lord takes from one place and plants them in another. In the scriptural sense, grafting means to “…come to the knowledge of the true Messiah…” (1 Nephi 10:14).

In this chapter (which is super long), we learn about the Lord’s Vineyard. The chapter can be likened to Missionary Work and Rise and Fall of God’s Authority on the Earth.

Missionary Work

                “And the Lord of the Vineyard caused that it should be digged about, and pruned, and nourished, saying unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, that perhaps I might preserve the roots thereof that they perish not, that I might preserve them unto myself, I have done this thing. Wherefore, go thy way; watch the tree, and nourish it, according to my words. And these will I place in the nethermost parts of my vineyard, withersoever I will, it mattereth not unto thee; and I do it that I may preserve unto myself the natural branches of the tree; and also that I may lay fruit thereof against the season, unto myself; for it grieveth me that I should lose this tree and the fruit thereof.” (Jacob 5:11-13) God wants his servants to work hard, so that they will not lose one soul or “branch” of the Olive Tree.

                “Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all fruits. Wherefore, let us got to and labor with our might this last time, for behold the end draweth nigh, and this is for the last time that I shall prune my vineyard. Graft in the branches; begin at the last that they may be first, and that the first may be last…” (Jacob 5:61-63) This really shows the importance of Missionary work in the last days, God will prune his vineyard one last time before his second coming… and it is the responsibility of the members of the church and the full time missionaries to teach the truths that we know to the world… we must labor diligently and with all our might… this last time

Young and Tender Branches of the House of Israel

(Jacob 5:8, 13–14, 19–25)

The “young and tender branches” seem to be those people who responded to the “pruning and fertilizing” by God and His prophets. They were more teachable than the old established branches, or the groups of Israelites who had to be removed and destroyed.

President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “In that parable the olive tree is the House of Israel… In its native land it began to die. So the Lord took branches like the Nephites, like the lost tribes, and like others that the Lord led off that we do not know anything about, to other parts of the earth. He planted them all over his vineyard, which is the world” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., 5 vols. [1957–66], 4:204).

Zenos’s allegory helps us understand that the scattering of branches of Israel all over the world was a blessing both to Israel and to the rest of Heavenly Father’s children, the Gentiles. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained: “In general, the Lord sends to earth in the lineage of Jacob [Israel] those spirits who in pre-existence developed an especial talent for spirituality and for recognizing truth. Those born in this lineage, having the blood of Israel in their veins and finding it easy to accept the gospel, are said to have believing blood” (Mormon Doctrine, 81).

As scattered Israel mixed with the Gentiles around them, the blood of Israel was spread even further. Elder James E. Faust, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, commented: “The scattering of Israel throughout the world sprinkled the blood that believes, so that many nations may now partake of the gospel plan” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 127; or Ensign,Nov. 1982, 87–88).

When Did All the Trees Become Corrupt?

(Jacob 5:32–46)

The part of the allegory when all the trees bear evil fruit seems to represent the period of the Apostasy, prior to the restoration of the gospel. When the Lord spoke to Joseph Smith in the First Vision, He told Joseph that he should join none of the churches of that day because they were all “wrong” (Joseph Smith—History 1:19).In Jacob 5:48, we read; “…Is it not the loftiness [Pride] of thy vineyard – have not the branches thereof overcome the roots which are good? …behold they grew faster than the strength of the roots, taking strength unto themselves…” Essentially in this one verse we can see how easily churches after Christ was crucified began to pop up without any legitimate authority of power from God. However, they had some of the basic roots… but they began to lose their roots when they took strength upon themselves. The same people who claim that God won’t call another prophet, and that His word is complete the Bible.

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 18

2 Nephi 18: Seek the Lord

Isaiah has a son, whom the Lord tells him to name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, which means ‘speed to the spoil, hurry to the plunder’. Before the children can call his mother and father, the riches of Damascus and Israel will be taken away by Assyria. However, the Assyrian army, compared to water, will overflow its banks and flood Judah with violence and destruction. Judah can prepare for the invasion by fearing God rather than Assyria. When people say to seek the occult, rather than the word of God you shall know that they have no light in them (see: 2 Nephi 18:19-20)

Titus 1

Titus 1: Eternal Life Promised before the World was

                Paul writes to Titus, and explains to him that eternal life was “…promised before the world began;” (Titus 1:2) Paul explains that a bishop has stewardship over the flock of God; “…a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, not given to filthy lucre. But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort [urge] and convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1:7-9)

Paul explains that a Bishop must be all of those things, because of men who try to change the truth and lead people away by the “…commandments of men…” (Titus 1:14) For these people “…profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable and disobedient…” (Titus 1:16)

2 Timothy 3

2 Timothy 3: Apostasy and the Last Days

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

This is the second letter that Paul wrote to Timothy shortly before his death. In this letter to Timothy, he explained that in the Last Days there would come an Apostasy, which would bring on a time of war and wickedness.

Paul goes on to explain that those who have lots of knowledge may still not come to the knowledge of the truth; “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7)

Paul reminds Timothy and the followers of Christ that when this time comes; “…all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Paul ends this letter by explaining that even though all this bad will happen, that the followers of Jesus Christ need to hold on and endure to the end. He urges everyone to study the scriptures to know for themselves if they are true and to use them as a guide and tool for knowing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

For this very purpose members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encourage others to find out whether or not the Book of Mormon is also a book of Holy Scripture. For Paul said that ALL scripture is given by the inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine. One has to decide on their own after pondering its teaching and divine origin.

1 Timothy 4

1 Timothy 4: Latter-day Apostasy – “Hold Fast”

                Paul opens his letter to Timothy describing the Apostasy that would take hold of the world in the last days; “…in latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

In the Last Days, the Devil will try to deceive many, and make many believe they are doing good. For those who are following God, Paul exhorts them to be an example for the other believers, and urges them to study the words of the scriptures and to have their own knowledge of them:

                “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands…” (1 Timothy 4:12-14)

                Paul ends his letter to Timothy, by urging him to take “heed” to himself and the doctrine of Christ.

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16)