Tuesday, May 12, 2009

35w - The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. He Taught Among the Nephites in Ancient Central America in A.D. 34. - Part II.

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Preparation for TODAY'S THEME

I hope your memories are still quite clear about that which you read and listened to during my just previous blog post. If you don't really remember what you learned in reading and listening simultaneously to Chapters eight, nine and ten of The Book of Third Nephi, you may want to review them!

The occurrences that were described in that blog post were exceedingly powerful and even unforgettable. However, if you feel the need to do so, I make it easier for you by giving you Chapter Eight right here then when you have finished listening to and reading it you can access each of the succeeding two chapters by clicking on Next.

You may remember it takes only 16.7 minutes to read and listen to those three very key chapters. Your reviewing those three chapters should firmly implant the memory of those exceedingly important historic events in your minds and hearts, again, only if you feel the need to do so.


The Resurrected Savior, Jesus Christ Ascends Toward the Surprised Nephites -by Arnold Friberg

The Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ Comes Among The Nephites in the Land Bountiful in (Central America in A.D. 34) -by John Scott

The following is the witness our Savior and Redeemer gave of Himself in His initial appearance to the Nephite people. Please read the entire eleventh chapter of Third Nephi by using the connection to that Book of Mormon scripture I have provided at the end of this post, just after you have watched the video I have provided you of a living apostle's testimony of Jesus Christ.
III Nephi 11:1 AND now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful; and they were marveling and wondering one with another, and were showing one to another the great and marvelous change which had taken place.
2 And they were also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
3 And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
4 And it came to pass that again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
5 And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
6 And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
7 Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
8 And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
9 And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying:
10 Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning. (emphasis added)
There will be yet several more of my posts that give us the Savior's personal witness through Book of Mormon - Third Nephi scriptural passages.

Now, for a few moments I would like to share with you some of the verses of 3 Nephi, Chapter 9 that caused me to do some personal reflecting. In these verses it was reported that the Savior's voice was heard during the great darkness that was experienced by the more righteous Nephite people. The unrighteous Nephites had already been destroyed. First, please read these quotes from:
3 Nephi 9:3. Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof. (emphasis added)
and then this:
4. And behold, that great city Moroni have I caused to be sunk in the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof to be drowned. (emphasis added)
There were a number of other cities mentioned whose destruction, along with all of the Nephites who lived in them, were reported by the Savior's voice.

I reflected on what the Savior's voice was heard telling the more righteous Nephites who had been spared from destruction and as He told them why He, Jesus Christ had brought about the deaths of thousands upon thousands of Nephites. Here are some examples:
2. ... and it is because of their iniquity and abominations that they are fallen! (emphasis added)
10. And behold, the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to declare unto them concerning their wickedness and their abominations. (emphasis added)
Those were just a few reasons the Lord's voice gave for having destroyed the people He had just destroyed. He gave more reasons, all of them having to do with the specifics of the unrepentant wickedness of that people.

I cited those examples so that I could perhaps put in proper perspective why our supremely loving Savior and Redeemer chose to bring about such destruction.
There is, of course, one great precedent for all of this destruction brought about by God, in the past history of this world. We are told in the Old Testament how, because of such all-encompassing wickedness in the world at the time of Noah, our Lord and our Heavenly Father brought about the great flood which killed everyone on the earth except for Noah and his family along with the animals they had been commanded to bring on to their ark (huge boat.)

Remembering the Great Flood should help us all to understand that mankind has been sent to earth for God's purposes, not for mankind's most often, selfish purposes. Our true challenge is to prove that we can become worthy of living with Heavenly Father and Jesus in Eternity and to become like them through their mercy and grace. Actually recalling the great flood of Noah and the destruction brought upon the wickedness of these Nephites is surely a WAKE UP CALL for each of us in our day.

The news of our day, as you know, is filled with the worst kinds of evil taking place throughout the world. That is true even in places like the Salt Lake City area of Utah in the United States of America. In the not too distant past we never heard of all the crime and evil that we do in this area today. How is it in your communities?

However, getting back to the destruction of the more wicked part of the Nephites in Central America in about A.D. 34. There was still something that I had to think and pray about: the deaths of the huge number of innocent Nephite children who must have been killed before reaching the age of accountability brought me and surely you too, a deep grief.

The Lord's first Latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith was told this: in a revelation given him which is now in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants:
D. and C. 137:10 And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.
We have to realize that if those innocent Nephite children had not been destroyed along with their "ripe in wickedness" parents and older siblings, most of them would have grown up to be as wicked as them.

God's word, given above tells us surely that all of the children who were killed in the great destruction in their land who had not reached the age of accountability, (eight years of age according to the Lord to His Latter-day prophets.) will be saved in the Celestial Kingdom. There can be no greater honor bestowed on a human as their lives continue on, first as a spirit person again like before their birth and then as a resurrected person because Jesus has brought the resurrection about.

Even their wicked parents and siblings will be resurrected, but will be unable to inherit the Celestial Kingdom of God because of their unrepentant sins.

In view of what I have just written I will now, as I have in a good number of earlier blog posts quote a scripture which accurately describes the Lord Jesus Christ's sacred and divine "Job Description."
Moses (Pearl of Great Price) 1:39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (emphasis added)
Now at this point I would like you to experience this LDS (YouTube) video that I included in my Easter morning (April 12, 2009) blog post 35m.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

We can learn from this living apostle's words and personal apostolic witness of our Savior's Sacred Sacrifice of Himself! I suggest you  prayerfully contemplate that which is presented to you in this video which I believe will more fully prepare you to appreciate the initial appearance of Jesus Christ to the Nephite people.

You have read the first eleven verses of this scriptural link. It is TODAY'S THEME. I may also refer to some of these 41 verses in my next post.

3 Nephi 11: 1-41

I'll look forward to having you log onto my next post, 35x in about three days.


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