Friday, September 25, 2009

1 Nephi 9-12

1 Nephi 9 - 1 Nephi 10 - 1 Nephi 11 - 1 Nephi 12

In chapter 10, Lehi prophesies of the coming of the Messiah--Jesus Christ and also of John the Baptist. Lehi also talks of the scattering and gathering of Israel.

The part that struck me the most was about the power of the Holy Ghost--which has been on the earth since the beginning of time. It is the gift given to those who "diligently seek him" (1 Ne 10:17). "The mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them by the power of the Holy Ghost" (1 Ne 10:19).

It is through the power of the Holy Ghost that I know the Book of Mormon is a true book; that Jesus is the Christ and Savior of the World; that Joseph Smith is a prophet who restored the true church in the latter-days; that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet today; that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true; that I am a child of God.

I can't honestly remember when I didn't believe. My parents taught me as a child and I simply believed. But the Holy Ghost has borne witness to me of the truthfulness of these things hundreds of times--in the warmth and joy I feel inside as I read the Book of Mormon; listen to the prophet speak in General Conference; see the beautiful faces of my little ones so fresh from God; sit in worship in his holy temple; partake of the sacrament; sing the hymns of worship; pray with my eternal companion; and countless other experiences I have on a daily basis. I cannot deny it. I know it.

In chapter 11, Nephi asks the Lord for the vision Lehi had and is shown the vision of the Tree of Life. Nephi includes his interpretation of the Tree of Life. Nephi also sees the birth, baptism, ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

In chapter 12, Nephi see the Land of Promise and the people--his descendants. He sees Christ's ministry to them after His resurrection; the following four generations of righteousness and then the wickedness and destruction of his seed. How saw it must have been for Nephi to witness the fall of his people. I can only imagine how awful it must be to see your children and descendants turn away from God. My husband mentioned that he had read that Joseph F. Smith would rather see on of his children dead than immoral. My husband went on to say that when he was young, he thought was foolish but now thought that Joseph F. Smith was correct. How devastating to have a child turn away from the commandments of God--to reject the fruit of eternal life and God's love. I pray that our children will be faithful. I pray that my husband and I will be able to teach them, lead them and guide them and that they will develop their own testimonies of Jesus Christ and choose to follow Him. I pray for His guidance and help as we tackle the job of parenting in the midst of this decadent and evil world.

In 1 Nephi 12:17 it reads "...hardeneth the hearts of the children of men and leadeth them away into broad roads..." We learn that the narrow path is what leads to eternal life. It's opposite is the "broad road". Is it broad because it encompasses so many ideas contrary to the teachings of Christ? Is it broad because of the masses who choose to walk it? Is it broad because it's so easy to go along with the flow of the world? Often we are accused by the world of being narrow minded. Is that a bad thing? We hear of tolerance; of celebrating diversity. Yes, we should love our fellow men. Yes, we should celebrate the uniqueness of each individual. But the world wants us to embrace these worldly alternative life styles; to be open minded and broaden our horizons to new definitions of the family.

In my additional reading right now, I am reading "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis and "Covenant Hearts" by Bruce C. Hafen. Both books have talked about how the devil wants to destroy the family. The world gives a negative connotation to words such as "puritanical", "intolerant", "narrow minded", "prude" to make those who oppose changes to the basic family structure look stupid, and "Unchristian". Some people seem so afraid of being labeled "intolerant" that they cease to stand up for the moral values they once believed in.

We cannot embrace or even ignore these blatant attacks on the family. We must stand up and fight--at the very least in our own family so that we can preserve our eternal family.

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