Thursday, January 5, 2012

The things which I have written are true (1 Nephi 14)

So, Happy New Year to all y'all.  Christmas was a perty busy time, as it is for most, and then my wife and I went to Vegas on New Year's Day and stayed for a few days; it was our anniversary on January 2nd.

Em & me at the Vegas Temple
Anywayz, it's been 10 days since last I wrote, so I hope I can sync my thoughts with my intentions and deliver unto you a most profound and poignant post on 1st Nephi chapter 14.  I highly doubt it, but here's a couple of thinks.

In this, the final chapter inclusive of his vision, Nephi is shown the eventual inhabitants of the promised land (the Americas) to which Lehi's family are on their way, and the future state of the abominable church as opposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the days leading up to the 2nd coming of The Savior.  Despite a great effort by Satan and the idiots who support his goals to overcome the Church of The Lamb, followers of Christ, though few in number (relatively speaking) will be found all across the earth.  Key to this victory will be the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

In these pictures: The left is Moroni burying the golden plates, an abridged combination of all the records of the Nephites and the Jaredites (the book of Ether), near Palmyra, New York about 421 A.D.  The one on the right is Joseph Smith in 1830 holding the 1st edition of the newly translated plates, called The Book of Mormon.  

1 Nephi 14: 1-2
1.  And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks.
2.  And harden not their hearts against The Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be numbered among the house of Israel; and they shall be a blessed people upon the promised land forever; they shall be no more brought down into captivity; and the house of Israel shall no more be confounded.

And 1 Nephi 14: 7
7.  For the time cometh, saith The Lamb of God, that I will work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men; a work which shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other -either to the convincing of them unto peace and life eternal, or unto the deliverance of them to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds unto their being brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil, of which I have spoken.

The "great and marvelous work" the angel spoke of is the miracle the restoration of the gospel in our day, the coming forth of the BOM, and the spreading of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to every nation on earth, beginning with 6 original members in 1830 in New York state to over 14 million world wide today. 

1 Nephi 14: 12-14
12.  And it came to pass that I beheld the church of The Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of The Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the great whore whom I saw.
13.  And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.
14.  And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of The Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of The Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.
In this world where it seems like there are so many bad ducks that the good ducks don't have a chance, it's nice to understand that the Armor of God can both protect us and enable us.  Being armed with righteousness and the very power of God in great glory is no small thing.  In order to have this blessing applied to us, we must follow the principles contained in the scriptures.

Here's one:

1 Nephi 14: 5-6
5.  And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, Nephi, saying:  Thou has beheld that if the Gentiles repent it shall be well with them; and thou also knowest concerning the covenants of The Lord unto the house of Israel; and thou also has heard that whoso repenteth not must perish.
6.  Therefore, wo be unto the Gentiles if it so be that they harden their hearts against The Lamb of God.

So we come to the end of the chapters covering Nephi's big vision, but not the end of the vision itself.  The angel told Nephi that he must write the vision he has seen up to this point, but that he must NOT write what he will be shown after that point, which included the end of the world as we know it.  That responsibility, the angel said, was given to the Apostle John from the New Testament.  The book of Revelation can be a beast (beast, get it?) to understand, and I guess that was intended to be the case.  The angel told Nephi that John's original writings were plain, pure and precious, and easy to the understanding of all men.  Something must have happened between then and now, 'cause I don't understand so much of it.  It's interesting to me that, although the corruption of the record of the Jews (The Bible) was done by the abominable church, it seems to me it was also part of the overall plan of our Heavenly Father.

And Nephi closes with this groovy verse:
1 Nephi 14: 30
30.  And now I make an end of speaking concerning the things which I saw while I was carried away in the spirit; and if all the things which I saw are not written, the things which I have written are true.  And thus it is.  Amen.
Peace be with you.


  1. Ok, I have a question. Is this what Pres. Benson warned us about?... about what will happen if we don't share, if the gentiles don't accept the gospel? Is it possible that the things going on in America right now are because of those who have hardened their hearts? and possibly because of those of us who have not shared the Book of Mormon? I'm interested to hear your thoughts.
    Just found your blog and I'm really enjoying it. Thanks.

    1. Hi Robinnan! Nice to meet you. That's a good question. I wish I was more learned, and could give you a great answer. I was a missionary when Pres. Benson gave his warning/promise about the BOM, and I remember how we used his talk with members and stuff. Since then I have seen a surge in members reading and using the BOM. Up till fairly recently I drove a city bus around Utah County. When Pres Hinckley gave his challenge to read the BOM it was just neato to see all the people reading their BOM at bus stops, on the bus, or just carrying them around.

      Society in the US and elsewhere seems to be dividing into the good duck/ bad duck camps in ever increasing numbers, and with an ever increasing distance. I believe this is something prophets have foretold since long ago. I can't help but remember Pres. Hinckley's optimism though.

      I have two thoughts about the future (and remember, I am not the standard of truth): 1. Satan's efforts are increasing exponentially, bringing "the world, and the pride thereof" to our front door and into our living rooms. And 2. I believe that The Church is and will provide a steady and unshakable foundation for those who choose good, and this will cause folks to flock to The Gospel in great numbers, much like the Nephites running to join with Captain Moroni because of the safety his leadership provided.

      Thanks for your thought provoking question. Feel free to drop in again.

  2. do you teach gospel doctrine? I taught the 16 year old's this lesson (#4, actually ch 12-14) today, but I wasn't able to get through it all. I see that I need to pick a few things that will strike a cord with them or they need to know and teach that. I was surprised that one yw didn't know what the great apostasy was and that they had never heard of the great and abominable church. Just wondering if you teach, is that what you do, focus on one chapter or a few principles or what?

    1. Hi Becky,
      I don't teach Gospel Doctrine now, but I used to. I appreciate your question 'cause I also used to teach the youth in my ward. So here's my thought.

      At one time I wanted to go into CES, and actually took the required classes at Weber State before I washed out. I'll tell you some stuff I learned about teaching adolescents.

      1. On the average (there are always exceptions), people tend to have the same attention span in minutes as their age in years. So, a 16-year old can pay attention to your lesson for about 16 minutes before they leave you. How we were taught to work around this was to have several different teaching styles ready to teach different concepts. You might go from lecture/discussion to activity to visual aid demonstrations to video, or any number of combinations.

      2. The first thing you do needs to grab them and bring them to you. This is called a "ready", because it gets them ready to learn. You try to incite their curiosity enough to get them to want to turn to a scripture or whatever without you having to tell them to turn there. The manual usually has an idea for one of these at the beginning of the lesson, although I find most of them a bit dull. But, they can lead you to other ideas that fit your class members better. Also there are lots of good ideas being put up on the internet these days.

      Example: Once when I was going to teach about Captain Moroni,I brought several items with me and placed them in front of the class without any explanation. The items were a set of battery jumper cables, a club, a large maglite flashlight, and a few other things I can't remember. After the prayer I asked the kids which of these things most accurately represents Captain Moroni? After discussing how prophets can jump start our energy and commitment, and a club symbolized knocking sense into people, and such and such was used for such and such, we settled (unanimously) on the maglite, which I knew they would because of how I phrased it. After discussing the cool stuff about Moroni, they wanted to turn to the scriptures and read it.

      This is the cool part: I picked up the maglite and showed them how it is both a weapon to defend against those who wanted to take away his religion and a shining light to show us the way, as a prophet always does. Then I took out this picture of Christ in Gethsemane, which I had covered with card stock white paper, and held it up. I asked the kids what this was a picture of. Nobody knew. I took the maglite and shined it from my side through the picture and, voila, Christ appeared. They really thought that was cool. So, about 15 to 20 minutes on that concept was all I was going to get before I had to back out and approach again with a different "ready" and a new style of teaching.

      3. Lecture is the least effective of all teaching methods. Next higher is stories, visual aids, etc. Next is demonstrations. Next is video. But we're still only up to about a 55% retention level. Ranked highest, with a 90% retention rate is having the kids teach each other, if you can figure out how to pull that one off.

      4. In deciding which concepts to cover you should consider three things: a. Your own knowledge of the needs of the class. b. Time constraints. c. Prayerfully inquiring and letting the Spirit guide you. When preparing the lesson, read it through from beginning to end and learn things for yourself. Then read it again with a,b and c in mind. Then go back through and prepare the lesson.

      Sorry I'm long winded. I really appreciated the question. Good luck.