Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lost and scattered, gathered and loved (1 Nephi 19)

So, I went to Gospel Doctrine class last Sunday for the first time this year because of being involved in a Family History class.  When the teach says, "We're going to talk about 4 Josephs today", I knew my well intended intention of keeping ahead of the Sunday School curriculum was in a lost and fallen state.  I shoulda figured.  This BOM blog is going to take me a couple of years at least. They're already in 2nd Nephi.

I can't fight City Hall.  We are where we are...

...and we are in 1 Nephi 19. In this chapter we find out the reason we have this chapter.

1 Nephi 19: 1-3
1.  And it came to pass that The Lord commanded me, wherefore I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people.  And upon the plates which I made I did engraven the record of my father, and also our journeyings in the wilderness, and the prophecies of my father; and also many of mine own prophecies have I engraven upon them.

2.  And I knew not at the time when I made them that I should be commanded of The Lord to make these plates; wherefore, the record of my father, and the genealogy of his fathers, and the more part of all our proceedings in the wilderness are engraven upon those first plates of which I have spoken; wherefore, the things which transpired before I made these plates are, of a truth, more particularly made mention upon the first plates.

3.  And after I had made these plates by way of commandment, I, Nephi, received a commandment that the ministry and the prophecies, the more plain and precious parts of them, should be written upon these plates; and that the things which were written should be kept for the instruction of my people, who should possess the land, and also for other wise purposes, which purposes are known unto The Lord.
I've never read this book.

Nephi made 2 sets of plates. One (the larger plates), Nephi says, gives a greater account of their experiences, and gives a record of Lehi's geneology.  All of that was in the Book of Lehi, which was lost by Joseph Smith and Martin Harris after the first 116 pages were translated.  The other (the smaller plates) were for the purpose of recording their gospel doings, their prophecies, and the plain and precious things that The Lord revealed to them.

Painting taken from this website

Here's an example of what Nephi was talking about when he said "the more plain and precious parts", which would be for the instruction of his people (his descendants) and for us:

1 Nephi 19: 8-10
8.  And behold He cometh, according to the words of the angel, in six hundred years from the time my father left Jerusalem.

9.  And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge Him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge Him, and He suffereth it; and they smite Him, and He suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon Him, and He suffereth it, because of His loving kindness and His long-suffering towards the children of men.

10.  And the God of our fathers, who were led out of Egypt, out of bondage, and also were preserved in the wilderness by Him, yea, the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, yieldeth himself, according to the words of the angel, as a man, into the hands of wicked men, to be lifted up, according to the words of Zenock, and to be crucified, according to the words of Neum, and to be buried in a sepulchre, according to the words of Zenos, which he spake concerning the three days of darkness, which should be a sign given of his death unto those who should inhabit the isles of the sea, more especially given unto those who are of the house of Israel.

I love these verses and others like them that describe some of what the atonement did to The Savior, and I love the simple explanation as to why He was willing to suffereth such things: Because of His loving kindness towards the children of men.   Loving kindness.  I really like that.  If there is anything about The Savior that I would strive to emulate, it's His loving kindness.  My strivings, although they may yield some, small victories, fall flat on their face most of the time, but it's the very nature of His loving kindness that both helps me in my success and suffers long my inadequacies.  I love Jesus Christ very much.

I like looking words up that I think I know the meanings of, but may not fully get:


The digit 0; zero.

Nothing: "he's naught but a worthless fool".

Worthless; useless.

noun.  nil - nought - nothing - zero - cipher - nix - cypher
adjective.  worthless - nugatory - useless - vain - valueless


A whip used as an instrument of punishment.

Whip (someone) as a punishment.

noun.  whip - plague - lash - pest
verb.  whip - flog - lash - flagellate - castigate - punish

(these lines were brought to you by the inefficiencies of blogger)

Definition of SUFFER

transitive verb
1: to submit to or be forced to endure <suffer martyrdom> b : to feel keenly : labor under <suffer thirst
2: to put up with especially as inevitable or unavoidable

So, the reason we have 1 Nephi 19 is because The Lord commanded Nephi to make a 2nd set of plates just in case, sometime in the future, Joseph Smith and Martin Harris lose the Book of Lehi. Wow, I'm glad that worked out.

Warning:  No violations of D&C 89 were committed during the placement of this segway

The House of Israel

A major theme of the BOM and all scripturedom is the scattering and gathering of Israel.  At the time the BOM was written, the scattering is still in progress.  There were 2 kingdoms in Palastine when Lehi's family left, Judah in the south and Israel in the north.  Israel was a combination of a few tribes that were brought together by King Saul and then more so by King David.  Lehi lived in the Kingdom of Judah, but found that he was actually a part of the tribe of Joseph when he read the brass plates. 

Keep that in mind when we start getting into the Isaiah chapters (insert scream here).

This verse is a prophecy of Zenos Nephi writes about the future of the tribe of Judah, or Jews:

1 Nephi 19: 13-15
13.  And as for those who are at Jerusalem, saith the prophet, they shall be scourged by all people, because they crucify the God of Israel, and turn their hearts aside, rejecting signs and wonders, and the power and glory of The God of Israel.

14.  And because they turn their hearts aside, saith the prophet, and have despised the Holy One of Israel, they shall wander in the flesh, and perish, and become a hiss and a byword, and be hated among all nations.

15.  Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers.

I need to say something here that I feel very strongly about.  I feel strongly about it because of some people's beliefs expressed to me in the past regarding the Jews deserving what history has done to them.  I cannot believe and refuse to accept that there is any truth in that.  I believe what happened to the Jews was absolutely not inflicted upon them by God, but by man in his most wicked and sinful state.  To bring something about and to prophecy of something are two distinctly different things.  I guess I'll leave it at that, except to give you 2 words in opposition to the words "sin" and "wicked":

Loving Kindness

-Carl Bloch
Peace be with you...

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