Except Men Shall Have Charity They Cannot Inherit the Father’s Mansions

Thinking that he would have no more occasion to add to the Gold Plates, the prophet Moroni records a prayer to the Lord and bids farewell to his readers.

“…I…remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared. And again, I remember that thou hast said that thou hast loved the world, even unto the laying down of thy life for the world, that thou mightest take it again to prepare a place for the children of men. And now I know this love which thou hast had for the children of men is charity; wherefore, except men shall have charity they cannot inherit that place which thou hast prepared in the mansions of thy Father. Wherefore, I know by this thing which thou hast said, that if the Gentiles have not charity, because of our weakness, that thou wilt prove them, and take away their talent, yea, even that which they have received, and give unto them who shall have more abundantly.” (Ether 12:32-35)

“And it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity. And it came to pass that the Lord said unto me: If they have not charity it mattereth not unto thee, thou hast been faithful; wherefore thy garments shall be made clean. And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.” (Ether 12:36-37)

“And now I, Moroni bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood. And then shall ye know that I have seen Jesus, and that he hath talked with me face to face in plain humility, even as a man telleth another in mine own language, concerning these things: And only a few have I written, because of my weakness in writing. And now I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be abide in you forever. Amen.” (Ether 12:38-41)

Questions:

-What is the sacrifice that God requires of his children now that the ancient practice of animal sacrifice, as prescribed in the law of Moses, has been done away?

-Is pride, and distain for others, an easy thing to let go of in order to offer a broken heart and a contrite spirit to the Lord?

-Would there be any hope for humanity if Christ chose to condemn us rather than doing all in His power to emphasize the good in us and lift us?

-Will a person ever be right with the Lord if they don’t take on His name and reflect His pure love in the way they live with and view others?

Ye Receive No Witness Until after the Trial of Your Faith

God expects his children to seek after Him in faith during this mortal life. One comes to know God through the concerted exercise of faith and not by waiting for God to reveal himself separate from this faith in action.

“…Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith…For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them…And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God.” (Ether 11:6,12,18)

Questions:

-Will those who learn to earnestly seek God’s influence in this life, through faith, be in a natural position in the eternities to continue to learn from God?

Ye Shall See Me, and We Shall Stand before God at the Last Day

The prophet Moroni foresees that three individuals would receive a special witness from God that the Gold Plates are a true record written by ancient American prophets, and that Joseph Smith received divine authority and power from God to translate the Gold Plates as what is now known as the Book of Mormon. The testimony of these three special witnesses can be read here: Testimony of Three Witnesses (churchofjesuschrist.org)

“…In the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God, and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day. And if it so be that they repent and come unto the Father in the name of Jesus, they shall be received into the kingdom of God. And now, if I have no authority for these things, judge ye; for ye shall know that I have authority when ye shall see me, and we shall stand before God at the last day. Amen.” (Ether 5:4-6)

Questions:

-Are you willing to make a clear judgment (in line with Moroni’s challenge) about the truth of the Book of Mormon as God’s word and work? What is the role of the Holy Ghost in helping you make that judgment?

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon go to https://www.comeuntochrist.org/site/book-of-mormon

When Ye See These Things, Ye Shall Know That the Time is at Hand

The Lord declares that He is prepared to give greater light and knowledge to those who will hear His voice and come unto Him. The coming forth of the Book of Mormon text is a sign that the apocalyptic events as seen in John’s revelation (found in the second half of the book of Revelation in the New Testament) are at hand.  

“Come unto me, O ye Gentiles, and I will show unto you the great things, the knowledge that is hid up because of unbelief. Come unto me, O ye house of Israel, and it shall be made manifest unto you how greater things the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief. Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, O house of Israel. And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed. Therefore, when ye shall receive this record ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon all the face of the land. Therefore, repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and believe in my gospel, and be baptized in my name; for he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned; and signs shall follow them that believe in my name. And blessed is he that is found faithful unto my name at the last day, for he shall be lifted up to dwell in the kingdom prepared for him from the foundation of the world. And behold it is I that hath spoken it.” (Ether 4:13-19)

Questions:

-How many are in a place spiritually where they are willing to call upon the Father, in the name of Christ, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit?

-Will the numbers who are prepared to humbly seek God increase as the events described in John’s Apocalypse begin to unfold?

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon go to https://www.ComeUntoChrist.org/site/book-of-mormon

Ye Shall Know That It Is I That Speaketh at the Last Day

The Lord, Jesus Christ, testifies of the truth of the Book of Mormon as His word and His voice:

“…He that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things, saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh. And at my command the heavens are opened and are shut; and at my word the earth shall shake; and at my command the inhabitants thereof shall pass away, even so as by fire. And he that believeth not my words believeth not my disciples; and if it so be that I do not speak, judge ye; for ye shall know that it is I that speaketh, at the last day. But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true, for it persuadeth men to do good. And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. I am the same that leadeth men to all good; he that will not believe my words will not believe me—that I am; and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father, I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.” (Ether 4:8-12)

Questions:

-Why is the person described above, to whom God will give no additional revelations, in a cursed state?

-What are your feelings about the Lord’s voice and testimony above?

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon go to https://www.ComeUntoChrist.org/site/book-of-mormon

There Never Were Greater Things Made Manifest

The brother of Jared was the first prophet among the Jaredite civilization that existed in the Americas prior to 600 B.C. He recorded a revelation from the Lord that was translated by the Nephite king, Mosiah, and included in the sealed portion of the Gold Plates that the prophet Joseph Smith was commanded by God not to translate (the unsealed portion of the Gold Plates that was translated became the Book of Mormon).

The Nephite prophet Moroni, who abridged the record of the Jaredites after it was translated, testifies that the power, meaning, and contents of the Lord’s revelation to the brother of Jared were as great as any other revelation received by a human being.

“Behold, I have written upon these plates the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared. Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them; and I have written them. And he commanded me that I should seal them up…For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord. And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.” (Ether 4:4-7)

Questions:

-Who is Moroni referring to when he uses the word “Gentiles”?

-Could a revelation as great as that which the brother of Jared received be accurately captured by an earthly language?

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon please go to https://www.ComeUntoChrist.org/site/book-of-mormon

All Men Were Created in the Beginning after My Own Image

In seeking a way to cross the ocean in enclosed barges, the brother of Jared, prays to the Lord and asks that He would touch a number of clear stones so they could serve as a light source during the ocean journey. In seeking this help from the Lord, he also learns important truths about the nature of God.

“…I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea. Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men. And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.” (Ether 3:4-6)

“And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him: Arise, why hast thou fallen? And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood. And the Lord said unto him; Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this? And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me. And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak? And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie. And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.” (Ether 3:7-13)

“Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and daughters. And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image. Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.” (Ether 3:14-16)

Questions:

-Do you believe that the human form is not a semi-arbitrary function of some kind of evolutionary force, but is, actually, intentionally patterned by God after the same form He has always taken?

Whosoever Should Possess This Land Should Serve the True and Living God

The Jaredites were led by the Lord to a promised land in the Americas thousands of years ago. This land had special blessings and, proportionately, potential cursing for the Jaredites. Moroni (an ancient American prophet who abridged the Jaredite record around 400 A.D.) makes it clear that these same blessings and potential cursing apply to any nation or people who would possess the land thereafter.

“…[The Jaredites] did travel in the wilderness, and did build barges, in which they did cross many waters, being directed continually by the hand of the Lord. And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people. And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them. And now we can behold the decrees of God concerning this land, that it is a land of promise; and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off when the fulness of his wrath shall come upon them. And the fulness of his wrath cometh upon them when they are ripened in iniquity. For behold, this is a land which is choice above all other lands; wherefore he that doth posses it shall serve God or shall be swept off; for it is an everlasting decree of God. And it is not until the fulness of iniquity among the children of the land, that they are swept off.” (Ether 2:8-10)

“And this cometh unto you, O ye Gentiles, that ye may know the decrees of God—that ye may repent, and not continue in your iniquities until the fulness come, that ye may not bring down the fulness of the wrath of God upon you as the inhabitants of the land have hitherto done. Behold this is a choice land, and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall be free from bondage, and from captivity, and from all other nations under heaven, if they will but serve the God of the land, who is Jesus Christ, who hath been manifested by the things which we have written” (Ether 2:11-12)

Questions:

-Has liberty and freedom from bondage been increasing or decreasing in the United States in recent years?

-Based on the promises detailed in the above verses, is the loss of freedom (i.e. more captivity) in an American nation a sign that it is going in the wrong direction?

-Is there any way to be truly free without serving the true and living God who created us?

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon please go to https://www.ComeUntoChrist.org/site/book-of-mormon

I Know That Ye Shall Have My Words

The prophet Moroni (writing around 401-421 A.D.) knew that you would have his words through the divinely inspired translation and distribution of the Book of Mormon. He describes the purpose of the ancient American prophets’ writing, which is to bring the modern-day descendants of Lehi to a knowledge of Christ, their Savior, and – more generally — to gather the house of Israel to Christ wherever they may be throughout the world.

“Behold, I speak unto you as though I spake from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words. Condemn me not because of mine imperfection, neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been…But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof. And these things are written that we may rid our garments of the blood of our brethren [the Lamanites] who have dwindled in unbelief. And behold, these things which we have desired concerning our brethren, yea, even their restoration to the knowledge of Christ, are according to the prayers of all the saints who have dwelt in the land. And may the Lord Jesus Christ grant that their prayers may be answered according to their faith; and may God the Father remember the covenant which he hath made with the house of Israel; and may he bless them forever, through faith on the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” (Mormon 9:30-31, 34-37)

Questions:

-What does God’s Holy Spirit say to you about the above testimony from the prophet Moroni?

-How does it feel to hear from this American disciple of Christ who wrote the words almost 1,600 years ago?

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon please go to https://www.ComeUntoChrist.org/site/book-of-mormon

Be Wise in the Days of Your Probation

“Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask, with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God. See that ye are not baptized unworthily; see that ye partake not of the sacrament of Christ unworthily, but see that ye do all things in worthiness, and do it in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God; and if ye do this, and endure to the end, ye will in nowise be cast out. (Mormon 9:28-29)

Questions:

-Is it tempting to consume the precious gift of mortality on lusts?

-Is it common to live with motivations higher than satisfying material pleasure separate from striving to serve the true and living God?

For a free copy of the Book of Mormon please go to https://www.ComeUntoChrist.org/site/book-of-mormon