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SPECIAL NOTE: A LDS Mother's Day Video can be accessed at the end of this post - just before my usual ending.
|Jesus Christ -by Heinrich Hofmann|
As I explained in my just previous blog post, I'm extending this current blog series in order to include more actions and statements of our Savior, Jesus Christ as recorded by the Nephites just before and during His visits with them in the Western Hemisphere after His resurrection.
I have attempted to gear these additional posts to helping us focus on what our Redeemer Jesus Christ had to say, soon after His resurrection, by both the spoken word and by His actions among the more righteous portion of the descendants of Father Lehi and their ancestor, Joseph, Who Was Sold Into Egypt, that testify to us His being the resurrected Son of God.
Ever since their departure from Jerusalem and along their arduous journey on the edge of one of the world's most formidable deserts, then, while
Nephi, Fourth Son of Lehi Leads the Way Across the Formidable Arabian Desert -by Scott Snow
crossing a great and ofttimes, treacherous ocean to reach what is believed to be Central America, they went through many severe trials and much tribulation.
They were a divided nation in many respects, right from the beginning with the rebelliousness of Laman and Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael countering the righteous and proven leadership of Lehi's fourth oldest son, Nephi who was supported in his leadership by their father whom Nephi respected and honored. Nephi's brothers were always quick to point out that Nephi was their younger brother.
Nephi Subdues His Rebellious Brothers -by Arnold Friberg
Reading the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ, from its beginning to the Book of Third Nephi shows us that the struggle between righteousness and wickedness was quite constant among them. I believe that successfully facing those challenges served to produce a portion of Lehi's people who were fully prepared for the visit from their Redeemer whose coming had been regularly prophesied for about six centuries among them.
The Book of Mormon also has something to say about what happens to those who failed to prepare for His visit. You will learn of this in this post.
I believe that you and I will learn something about true spiritual preparedness, that could apply to and help us from what we experience as we now delve into that which is presented in this post.
I also believe that you and I will learn from the experience of the Nephite people, that true spiritual preparation has more to do with "having a broken heart and a contrite spirit" (I urge you to remember that phrase and recognize it when the Savior uses it in the second chapter you will read, and listen to in this post- III Nephi 9:20) than just being proud of our more spiritual accomplishments and abilities.
I searched hard for a picture which would help you feel what the more righteous Nephites were feeling after having witnessed a "great cataclysm of nature"* that killed many of their people and caused extraordinary destruction in their land. I couldn't find such a picture in lds.org nor even from Google Search.
What I discovered, and I'm very grateful for this actually, is that our just reading the words written by the Prophet Nephi who lived in A.D. 34 (and chosen and transcribed later in about 400 A.D. by the Prophet Mormon), can never come close to fully impacting us as much as when we simultaneously read while listening to the very inspired reading by the the lds.org scripture reader's voice. To me, his reading came with much feeling, particularly in chapter 8.
Perhaps such gives us special images of what was occurring that no picture could fully equal.
You may have noticed that I placed quote (") marks around the words, "a great cataclysm of nature," above. I and other LDS writers have used that term to describe that which caused such extraordinary destruction among the Nephites, but after reading and listening to the three chapters of the Book of Mormon to which I will soon link you, I would like you to tell me what our Resurrected Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ tells us about, what and who caused this great destruction to fall upon this Nephite Nation.
You may have also noticed that I mentioned you will be reading three chapters one after the other. I made that decision to suggest your doing that only after reading recently all three of them myself, one after the other. My experience shows that your experience will be magnified many times by reading them one after another.I'm sure that you readers of this blog are very busy people and perhaps you often just glance at a few things that I have written in any one of my blog posts. In view of that, I prepared by timing how long it takes to hear the lds.org reader read through these three chapters.
It takes 16 minutes and seven seconds to read and listen to all three chapters, back to back.
I suggest that you evaluate what time you have available to you right now. If reading and listening that long would take more time than you have available right now, I suggest you schedule a time later today to get back into this blog and have this special experience.
Even though you may, as is true in my case, have read and listened to each of these chapters many times before separately, I'm sure you will have a special experience reading them one after another. One more suggestion: You may want to write yourself a note to remind yourself: When you have reached the end of Chapter 8, please click on the word, Next, which appears under the line found at the end of the chapter on the right side of the page. That will take you to Chapter 9. You will then need to again click on the word, Listen, when Chapter 9 is on your screen. You will repeat all of that for Chapter 10. That will take you back to this blog post for just a few summary comments from me. Please forgive me if I seem to think you need more help than you actually do. I'm focusing on those readers of this blog who may be less experienced in Internet matters as is the case with me!That will take you back to this blog post for just a few summary comments from me. Please forgive me if I seem to think you need more help than you actually do. I'm focusing on those readers of this blog who may be less experienced in Internet matters as is the case with me!That will take you back to this blog post for just a few summary comments from me. Please forgive me if I seem to think you need more help than you actually do. I'm focusing on those readers of this blog who may be less experienced in Internet matters as is the case with me!
That experience can be facilitated by your asking your Heavenly Father to touch you with His Spirit as you prepare to read and listen to these three Book of Mormon Chapters, one after the other.As I suggested above after Listening to and Reading Chapter Eight select "Next" and proceed until you have read all three chapters. III Nephi 8:1-25
In your reading and listening to Chapter 9, did you find what the Savior told the Nephites about "having a broken heart and a contrite spirit?" Earlier in that same chapter did you notice that our Savior took responsibility for causing the great destruction which took place? An example:
III Nephi 9:3 Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof.That was just one example of about 10 such cases where Jesus Christ states that He brought about the deadly disasters. In those same passages He tells of their specific wickedness and explains thus:
Verse 8, . . and the inhabitants thereof have I buried up in the depths of the earth, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and saints should not come up any more unto me against them.I suggest that you will be hard pressed to find anything that has been written about Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer that is more dynamic than than that which you will read from the scriptures suggested today in this post. There are passages in the Gospels of the New Testament, however, that are equally dynamic.
My next blog post in this series will be published in about three days.
* The Neal A. Maxwell Institute at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah has done research on Cataclysms of Nature that have taken place in our day and time. The very unusual things that occurred in the cataclysm in the Nephite area of the world just before the resurrected Savior's visit there, had highly unusual identical elements in them that were also found in the modern cataclysms that the scientists had studied.
Nonetheless, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus the Christ, in the first portion of Chapter 9, took responsibility for the destruction that took place among the more wicked portion of the Nephites. That is not something that causes me to doubt that the Lord unleashed those powers of nature to bring about righteous punishment. After all, He, along with His and our Eternal Father, created the earth because of which, these potential cataclysms have to be something that could occur at His command.
Later in the day I published this post I found this lds.org Mother's Day Video. I decided to share it with each of you. Please feel free to share it with your family and particularly with any mothers in your family.
Happy Mother's Day! Neil Birch
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