Tag: belief

Mosiah 3: 10

The angel’s message in Mosiah 3: 10 is the same as Zenos’ message. Zenos prophesied more than a century before Lehi left Jerusalem. His record was on the brass plates obtained from Laban. During the three days in the tomb, Zenos added the detail that the isles of the sea (which included the Americas/2 Ne. 10: 20) would be given the sign of three days of darkness. (1 Ne. 19: 10.) King Benjamin knew this information from existing scripture. Once the angel declared it, however, rather than having belief in the account based on study, he would have faith of the event because the angel told it from heaven. The Book of Mormon regularly moves one from belief, to faith, to knowledge. This is an example of moving from belief based on study of scripture, to faith based on the testimony of an angel.

Not only would the Lord rise from the dead, but He would also “stand to judge the world.” That is an important reference. It identifies the Lord’s status as judge, and it clarifies He would “stand” to judge the world. The word “stand” is symbolic. It implies, among many other things:
-He will endure.
-He will be in control.
-He will triumph.
-He will rise up.
-He will command respect and obedience.

However, the strongest implication is that after death He will return to life to “stand” to judge the world. He who passed through the grave, and triumphed over it, will live again as the triumphant judge of the living and dead –  for He has been both.

He gains capacity as He passes through these states. He does all these things “that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.” Or, the judge will necessarily experience all He will go through so He can understand all things required for a proper judgment. (See D&C 88: 41.)

God’s mercy is extended to all who have “fallen by the transgression of Adam” or, the death that comes upon mankind will be defeated. (D&C 88: 14-17.) Christ’s death, or His “blood atoneth” for mankind’s death. Through the infinite sacrifice of an innocent life, death is satisfied. It would be unjust to ask for more than an everlasting life, for by definition that life is infinite. Christ deserved everlasting life. Instead He submitted to death.

“The sins” of Adam’s descendants are paid, also. He will blot them out. However, those who refuse to repent, or turn away from their sins will remain “filthy still.” (D&C 88: 35.) They may have the power to return from the grave through Christ’s grace. However, if they refuse to abandon their sins, forgiving them will accomplish nothing. Because they love their sins, they remain as if there were no redemption made.

All those who died without knowing the will of God are also benefited by His atonement. For them it will be “tolerable” in the day of resurrection. (D&C 45: 54.) Though they may not have received a fullness because they failed to qualify (D&C 130: 20-21), they may still be “added upon.” (Abr. 3: 26.) Joseph explained it this way: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.” (King Follett Discourse, TPJS, p.348.)

No one can arrive at the throne of God in any other way than all have taken to arrive there. Everyone develops the same way, through the successive stages of Jacob’s Ladder.

Christ’s atonement makes it possible for all of us to attempt that trek.

2 Nephi 30: 3

2 Nephi 30: 3:
“And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord, there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed.

Nephi speaks again prophetically about our time. He makes no distinction between the Jews and “the remnant of our seed,” or Nephite remnant in what he says here. The “book of which I have spoken” is the record of the Nephites. It will come forth, written as a warning to the gentiles. Here is another attempt to establish a time frame for a prophecy. It will be after the record exists, gets brought forth “unto the gentiles” and then is “sealed up again unto the Lord.” We are in that era now. The record exists, even if part of it is sealed. It has come forth, at least in that part intended to be released at the point of this prophecy. And it has been “sealed up again unto the Lord.” We don’t have possession of it at present.

I’ve addressed the cover story that the Angel Moroni still has the plates in what I’ve written before. Briefly, the Book of Mormon tells Joseph Smith to “seal them up unto the Lord” in detail in three places. This is one of them. The other two are 2 Nephi 27:22 (giving the most detailed instruction to Joseph) and Ether 5: 1-4. All of these instructions are to the same effect. Once the Book of Mormon has been translated, to the extent it is to come forth in our day, the plates are to be “sealed up again” by Joseph. Since he did everything else in the way he was instructed, there is no reason to believe he wouldn’t have sealed up the record and hid it again.

Here Nephi prophesies that “there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written.” Meaning that those words “written unto the gentiles” or what we have in print now, will in fact be believed by “many.” They “shall believe the words.” Nephi has assured us of that. Therefore, it is necessary that some group from among the gentiles distinguish itself by actually believing the words of the Book of Mormon. It will be this group which “shall carry them forth unto the remnant of” Nephi’s seed. Notice that they will “believe” in the book. (That will require them to have a correct understanding of the book’s content, otherwise they would have unbelief.)

Those who do not believe (or have unbelief) in the Book of Mormon will not, indeed cannot, bring the words to the remnant. They aren’t qualified. They would not be able to convert any of the remnant. It will be those who actually believe in and accept the precepts of the Book of Mormon who will carry them forth unto the remnant.

Considering the otherwise direful predictions about the gentiles, this is the one way where hope may come to them. The group that believes in the Book of Mormon will necessarily have to be preserved to fulfill their responsibility to carry the words to the remnant. This is a subset of the Saints, and clearly not all of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the church itself, there remains a condemnation because of their unbelief in the book. ( D&C 84: 54-57.) This condemnation of the church was repeated by President Benson and again by Elder Oaks.

If, therefore, you would like to be preserved, the manner in which that will happen, according to Nephi’s prophecy, will necessarily require you to abandon the condemnation of the larger church, and become one of those who believe in the Book of Mormon. Not only to say, but to do; as Section 84 above requires.

It is surprising how much information the Book of Mormon has for us. It is even more surprising that with such detail available to us, we have done so little to understand and teach it. The words of this prophecy by Nephi ought to be proclaimed among us. However, very little attention has been given to it.

One of the effects of pride is blindness. We can’t see what our pride prevents us from seeing. We have to come down to the depths of humility (to use a phrase Nephi coined in 2 Nephi 9: 42.) Interestingly it is only the Book of Mormon which tells us to “come down in the depths of humility.” (2 Ne. 9: 42; Helaman 6: 5; and 3 Ne. 12: 2.) Once Nephi coined the phrase, Mormon used it twice in his abridgement. It is a good phrase. It does tell us what we must do.

The great work of the Lord in this day revolves around the Book of Mormon. More instruction, prophecy and promises are contained in that book for our day than any other. You can get closer to God by abiding its precepts than any other book.

Joseph Smith didn’t write it. It was written by ancient prophets, sealed up to come forth in our day, and translated by the gift and power of God.

It is a perilous book. We neglect it at the risk of failure. Don’t let it remain a “sealed book” for you. Anyone can come to believe in it if they are willing.

Faith, belief, knowledge

The psalmist’s words, “by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer[.]” (Psalms 17: 4) refers to all the words of God.  Not just those in scripture alone, but also those that came from “thy lips” O Lord.  The Lord visited with the psalmist as he recorded: “thou hast visited me in the night.” (Psalms 17: 3.)
This idea of God’s visitation with those who follow Him is as ancient as creation itself.  Belief was always intended to grow into faith.  Faith was always intended to grow into knowledge.