D&C 46:13-14I must say that I really admire anyone who determines to read the book of Mormon cover to cover on a regular basis. It has taken me a while to read through the Book of Mormon and I used to think that because I was such a “slow reader” how could I have a testimony of this book? When I was investigating the church, I had some really great missionary’s. They had such great enthusiasm for the Book of Mormon and I know they must have prayed for me at least 3 times a day. One of the things they would do to encourage me to read was to summarize the various chapters that we would go over. For instance, one summary would start like this, “Did you know that the book of Mormon tells of a civilization that warred and fought until everyone died and there was only one person left to tell their story?” And this got my attention, so I said “Is this similar to the “Last of the Mohican's?” and my missionary would say “It’s more of the last of the Nephrite’s, which of course was the story of Moroni. Sometimes the lesson would be taught to me like a Primary lesson. I needed to have pictures sometimes, it helps me to visualize. LOL. In doing this I realized the meaning of the scripture: Except ye come as a little child……. I am a visual learner.
13 To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
14 To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful
I did not finish reading the entire book of Mormon while I was investigating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but I plugged through it one book, one chapter, one verse at a time. The Bible was my safety net, my familiar friend, so I literally “challenged “the Book of Mormon to “speak to me” and befriend me like my trusty Bible did. It’s funny how the Lord works in our lives. When I received my Patriarchal Blessing, I was assured that I would grow to love the Book of Mormon just like my Bible and it would be a companion to me. I had been waiting for a teacher and a class to attend so that I could learn some of those “historical tidbits” that lifelong church members know. But once I got to class, I realized that I already knew some of those things, I felt familiar with the Book of Mormon. It became easier for me to read and understand and even enjoy. My biggest challenge now is to be a credible Primary teacher to 3 very smart and wise 11 year old girls. I am always amazed at what the Spirit will teach me, it is incredible.
So in my study group and in my primary class we are coming to the end of 1 Nephi and I have to say that this record is remarkable in its “human element” and “believability”. I have heard discussions that say that when Nephi was writing this record, he was an older man, and these were his memoirs, because they doubted that anyone could remember everything that happened at a certain period in their lives. I believe that Nephi, being a prophet of God, was able to recount everything by virtue of help from the Holy Spirit of God. In 1 Nephi 18:15-16 is a poignant reminder of how humble and changed Nephi had become. In these verses he talks about being “bound”, his wrists and ankles tied up and he was held hostage somewhere in that ship and was tortured by his own brothers. Have you seen movies like this? Maybe Rambo; but then Rambo would break his bands and come out shooting. (And we would probably cheer for Rambo and laugh that he finally got revenge on his brothers Laman and Lemuel) .
1 Nephi 18: 11 And it came to pass that Laman and Lemuel did take me and bind me with cords, and they did treat me with much harshness; nevertheless, the Lord did suffer it that he might show forth his power, unto the fulfilling of his word which he had spoken concerning the wicked.But the verse that broke my heart for Nephi was this; 1 Nephi 18:15-16
15 And it came to pass that we were about to be swallowed up in the depths of the sea. And after we had been driven back upon the waters for the space of four days, my brethren began to see that the judgments of God were upon them, and that they must perish save that they should repent of their iniquities; wherefore, they came unto me, and loosed the bands which were upon my wrists, and behold they had swollen exceedingly; and also mine ankles were much swollen, and great was the soreness thereof.It caught me off guard for a minute, because I could “visualize” Nephi, his brothers grudgingly cutting off the ropes that had bound his wrists and ankles. I could see the horrible swelling and skin discoloration of his wrists and ankles; maybe he struggled to get to his feet. Maybe he was so overjoyed to be released, hugging his wife and kids, and he said “I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions”. I realized that in this instance the lesson Nephi was learning was one of an event in the life of the coming Savior. He was learning humility and complete trust and faith in Heavenly Father.
16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.
D&C 136:31 My people must be tried in all things, that they may be prepared to receive the glory that I have for them, even the glory of Zion: and that he may see, and his ears opened that he may hear.But here is that good part, Nephi said that he did “Look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long", and he didn’t murmur. What a lesson, it changed my tune.
So I found some praise worthy verses for Friday:
D&C 136:28 If thou are merry praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.Ezra 3:11; 13
11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord, because he is good, and his mercy endures for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.And some praiseworthy music
13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a lout shout and the noise was heard afar off
Ephesians 5:19 (19–20)The Lord blesses our efforts:
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
D&C 25:12 For my soul delights in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their headsMy Praiseworthy Play list
- Sunday :James Conlee (a medley of songs from the hymnbook, lovely)
- Every Step: Hillary Weeks
- All in One; Karen Clark Sheard (some serious gospel)