Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Becoming More Christlike, Book of Mormon, D & C, Pearl of Great Price, Fruits of gospel living, Gospel Principles, Practices & Precepts, Jesus Christ, Obedience, Teachings
Mormons are a covenant-making people. When they are baptized, they covenant that they are willing to take on the name of Jesus Christ and to keep the commandments. In the temple, as adults, they make additional covenants with God, promising to keep the commandments at an even higher level.
A covenant is a two-way promise between God and man. God sets the terms, but if we keep our part of it, God will always keep his part. They’ve been a part of God’s relationship with mankind from the earliest days. The Old Testament is filled with stories of covenants God made with His people and the results that came about when people chose to obey or disobey the covenant.
You don’t have to be Mormon to make a covenant with God. Throughout the Bible, we find many places where God has asked us to do something and told us what He will do for us if we obey. As you read the Bible, begin marking those verses and recording them in a notebook. Be sure to record both the commandment and the promise. Then, as you pray, make a personal covenant with God to honor His request. Read more
Filed under: Basic Beliefs of Mormons, Book of Mormon Stories, Finding Truth, God in the Book of Mormon, Inside the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ in the Book of Mormon, Joy in our relationship with the Savior, People in the Book of Mormon, Recognizing Truth, Teachings, Written for Our Day
In the previous post, we learned that a missionary named Alma, whose story is found in the Book of Mormon, had gone to preach to an apostate group called the Zoramites. He found the wealthy among them engaged in an arrogant, self-centered form of religion, in which they showed up to the synagogue once a week and each, in turn, climbed onto a tower to recite an identical prayer that simply bragged about how chosen and wonderful they were. They came in their expensive clothing and fine jewelry. Once they returned home, they gave no further thought to God until they returned.
In addition, they kept the poor out of the church. Wealth was, in their minds, proof of their specialness, proof that they had been chosen and all others were doomed. Alma, encountering these poor, realized they had been humbled through their trials and longed to be allowed to worship. He decided not to bother with the arrogant wealthy people and instead to preach to the poor.
In this sermon, he gave one of the greatest sermons on faith ever written. The people were upset about being kept out of the temple because they believed this meant they were unable to worship God. Alma assured them you don’t have to be in a church building to worship. Worship was not a once a week event, but a way of life. Read more
Have you ever been faced with a personal problem in which you felt you knew exactly how the problem should be solved, but also knew it was beyond your ability to solve it? Have you ever been tempted to go to the Lord and say, “Okay, God, here’s the problem and here’s what you need to do about it?”
Jacob was the third prophet of the Book of Mormon. His family had left Jerusalem before he was born, when his father, Lehi, a prophet, was in danger. They came to a new land in the Americas. Sometime after their arrival, their father died. Lehi had two older sons who were wicked and they and their families had taken to persecuting and even trying to kill a younger son named Nephi. Nephi became the prophet after his father’s death, and the persecutions became so strong, the two factions of the family split off. Nephi took his family and friends away from those who chose to follow his older brother, Laman.
There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that has occupied my time this morning. I wrote an article on it, focusing, as most of us who read it do, on how to use our wealth to help the poor. However, there is a small phrase tucked into this verse that caught my attention today:
As we’ve been reading the Book of Mormon together, we’ve seen that the Nephites (the people who chose to follow God and so went with the prophet Nephi) had prospered since separating from their wicked family members, the Lamanites, who followed a rebellious young man named Laman, the brother of the prophet Nephi. Since this time, Nephi has died, a new man has been appointed king, and Nephi’s younger brother Jacob has become the leader of the church, assisted by the youngest brother, Joseph.
Jacob, the third prophet of the Book of Mormon, warned his people of the sin of pride. Today, we tend to praise pride as a value, but never does the Book of Mormon speak of pride as a virtue. God just doesn’t see pride the way we do today. Jacob warned:
17 Wherefore I, Jacob, gave unto them these words as I taught them in the temple, having first obtained mine errand from the Lord.
The Book of Mormon chronicles the history of the family of Lehi, a prophet who lived in Jerusalem in 600 BC. After being instructed by God to flee into the wilderness to protect his life, Lehi’s family was led by God to a personal promised land across the waters, in what is now the Americas.
When Lehi, the first Book of Mormon prophet died, his family split into two groups, the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Nephites were the part of the family (and those who traveled to their own, personal promised land with them) who chose to follow God, and wanted Nephi as their leader. Nephi was the fourth son of Lehi.