2 Nephi 5

2 Nephi 5: Lamanites are Cursed

                Because of the continued anger from Laman, Lemuel and their families over Nephi being their ruler… Nephi was warned from the Lord that they sought to take away his life and that he should depart into the wilderness with everyone who believed on his words. Nephi departed into the wilderness and traveled many days with those who believed on his words.

Nephi and his people stopped in an area that they called Nephi and the people named themselves the ‘People of Nephi’; “…we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.” (2 Nephi 5:10)

                Nephi and his people began to prosper in the land, because the Lord was with them. Nephi took the sword of Laban and did make many swords like unto it as defense in case the Lamanites returned to kill the Nephites, because of their great hatred toward them. Nephi taught his people; “…to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.” (2 Nephi 5:15)

Nephi and his people even built a temple like the Temple of Solomon; “…the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.” (2 Nephi 5:16)

Because of their prosperity, the people of Nephi desired that he be their king. However, Nephi desired that they have NO king! Nephi explains that because the Lamanites disobeyed God, they were cut off from His presence and; “…the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” (2 Nephi 5:21)

Because Nephi and his people followed the commandments of God, they; “…lived after the manner of happiness.” (2 Nephi 5:27)

Nephi explains that he writes the things that are desirous of God; “And I [Nephi] engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates.” (2 Nephi 5:32) Essentially, if you believe in the Lord and have faith on Him… you will believe in all His words… including the Book of Mormon.

2 Nephi 1

2 Nephi 1: Prophecies of a Land of Liberty

                Lehi instructs his children that he had received a vision and in this vision he saw the destruction of Jerusalem and prophesied unto them that if they had stayed in Jerusalem, they too would have perished because of the destruction.

Lehi goes on to explain that he saw a “Land of Liberty” in his dream; this Land of Liberty is present day United States of America. Lehi explains that many will flock to this land and that; “…none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.” (2 Nephi 1:6) This means that many great men and women throughout history have been led to the United States by the hand of God. The forefathers of the United States established the first Free Nation of the World, and we led by God to establish a nation with religious liberties.

One might question how throughout ALL time and History; why was the North American Continent NEVER discovered… until much later in the history of mankind? Lehi explains; “…it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.” (2 Nephi 1:8) The Lord had a purpose for the future “America” the world knows today, to be a safe haven and inheritance for His believers. Lehi exclaims that those who follow God will prosper in the Land of Liberty, but those who chose the path of wickedness shall be judged accordingly.

Lehi prophesied of a day when “…they shall dwindle in unbelief, after they have received so great blessings from the hand of the Lord—having a knowledge of the creation of the earth, and all men, knowing the great and marvelous works of the Lord from the creation of the world; having power given them to do all things by faith; having all the commandments from the beginning, and having been brought by his infinite goodness into this precious land of promise…” (2 Nephi 1:10) Because of their wickedness they shall be led captive by other nations and shall be led down a path to hell.

Because of this great judgment that will fall upon those who fall captivity to the devil, Lehi exhorts [urges] all to “…observe the statutes and the judgments of the Lord; behold, this hath been the anxiety of my soul from the beginning.” (2 Nephi 1:16) He reminds us that: “…Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments [God’s Commandments] ye shall prosper in the land; but inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.” (2 Nephi 1:20) Lehi invites his family and the reader to “…be determined in one mind and in one heart, united in all things, that ye may not come down into captivity;” (2 Nephi 1:21)

Lehi explains to his family that his time is limited upon the earth, but urges his sons and the sons of Ishmael to take heed to the words of Nephi and follow his counsel as they have followed his own counsel.

Luke 12

Luke 12: Much is Given, Much is expected

                Jesus teaches to a multitude that is without number, so much so that they were on top of each other to gather closer to Jesus. He teaches that “…there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid that shall not be known.” (Luke 12:2) The Kingdom of God is not secret, but sacred. Those things that we do not understand now, we will understand later, for all things will one day be revealed.

Jesus explains that we should no fear physical death, nor fear those who can bring inflict that death upon us; “…Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do… ye shall fear… him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell…” (Luke 12:4) We should never fear the power of humans, for if someone wants to kill, that is all they can do. No one, besides God can “kill” us beyond physical death. We have no need to fear man, but only God.

Jesus then reminds His followers that they are precious in the eyes of God; “…even the very hairs on your head all are numbered. Fear not therefore…” (Luke 12:7) Those who follow God, and do not deny Him, the same shall not be denied before the angels of heaven. Jesus warns, that those “…that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost… shall not be forgiven.” (Luke 12:10) But those who do follow the Holy Ghost do not need to fear before men; for unto him “…the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.” (Luke 12:12)

                Jesus reminds the people that the animals (more specifically ravens/birds) of the world do not have storehouses, or farms. Yet “…God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?” (Luke 12:24) Essentially, God love us, and we needed to be reminded of His love. Jesus also explains that we should not have a “…doubtful mind… your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things…. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Luke 12:29-31)

Jesus teaches those gathered that where “…much is given, of him shall be much required…” (Luke 12:48) If the Lord blesses us, we have an obligation to repay that debt. We will be called upon.  Jesus ends His speaking in the chapter in a very interesting way, He asks; “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” (Luke 12:51) So if Jesus is not come to give peace, He is come to cause division? He explains that, YES, the Gospel of Jesus Christ will cause division; “…there shall be five in one house divided… The father shall be divided against the son…” (Luke 12:52-52) etc.

This division I find to be very interesting, especially in the current time. Look at the United States of America, and the division that has been caused over the past decade or so. The country is almost 50% divided on issues. A house, divided cannot stand. Jesus knew this, and was telling His Apostles and followers that this would be a sign of the end times.

Deuteronomy 15-16

Deuteronomy 15-16

Chapter 15: Care for the Poor

The first two verses talk about the “Lord’s Release” which is when creditors lend money and you are unable to pay it back, that after 7 years they release the debt and pretend that it doesn’t exist. This is actually very interesting because in at least most of the states in the U.S.A exist laws that protect the debtor, releasing or having statute of limitations on debt that is 5, 6 or 7 years old. Essentially if the creditor doesn’t collect in those years, then the debt becomes invalid. It is interesting how we base our laws off of things as old as the Bible. But if you think about it, the 10 commandments are probably the most basic idea of civility in the world. Ask people what is considered “bad”, I guarantee they will say; murder, stealing etc. The point is that the Bible and all holy texts have a huge benefit for mankind. If used properly.

Verse 6 warns about debt. Something the world is very much in. It states that we should be the lenders, and that if we are we will be blessed. Now this is just my idea, but a lot of righteous people are blessed financially and can be “lenders” to those in need. Always staying away from debt when at all possible.

Chapter 16: Israel Shall Keep the Passover

See Numbers 28 for rituals of the Passover and Exodus 12 for the Origins of the Passover.

Israel is commanded to keep the Passover in the Month Abib. All males appear 3 times annually before the Lord at three feasts.