Thursday, September 16, 2010

41f -The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ! Part XI: Lehi, Amaleki, Two Nephis, Each Testified of Jesus Christ in That Book of Books!

To Access This Blog's Index, Please Scroll Down To the Fifth Paragraph From The End of This Post.


Lehi's Vision of the Tree of Life -by Jerry Thompson

I Nephi 11: 1 FOR it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
2 And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?
3 And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw.
4 And the Spirit said unto me: Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken?
5 And I said: Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father.
6 And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.
7 And behold this thing shall be given unto thee for a sign, that after thou hast beheld the tree which bore the fruit which thy father tasted, thou shalt also behold a man descending out of heaven, and him shall ye witness; and after ye have witnessed him ye shall bear record that it is the Son of God. And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. (emphasis added)
Those were the words of the prophet Nephi, fourth oldest son of the prophet, Lehi. Below is a picture depicting Nephi on his trek across the Arabian Peninsula along with his father and the rest of the family, some relatives and at least one friend, towards their Promised Land in the Western Hemisphere. Below the picture are additional words spoken by an angel to Nephi:
Nephi, along with the Rest of His Father's Family and Others Trek Across a desert! -by Scott Snow

I Nephi 11: 21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul. (emphasis added)
Thus Nephi became a witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a part of the ten posts in this series of posts entitled: "The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ"

I included those three verses of Nephi's in an earlier post. I also led you to the testimonies of many additional prophets whose words of testimony of Jesus Christ are recorded in the Book of Mormon. And there are still others to come in upcoming posts!

Actually, I inadvertently overlooked including in my list of prophecies of Christ, the very first prophecy found of Him in the Book of Mormon which was made by Nephi's father, Lehi and recorded by Nephi. It is found in the very first chapter of the Book of Mormon. It is in the book of I Nephi which was written by Lehi's son, Nephi. It is as follows:

Lehi Preaching -by Del Parson
I Nephi 1:8 And being thus overcome with the Spirit, he (Nephi's father, Lehi) was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God.

9 And it came to pass that
he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven, and he beheld that his luster was above that of the sun at noon-day.
10 And he also saw twelve others following him, and their brightness did exceed that of the stars in the firmament. (emphasis and clarification added)
Although Lehi did not mention the name of the one he saw whose luster was "above that of the sun at noon-day," it is clear, that He, about whom he, Lehi, was speaking was Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, as he mentioned the twelve others following him, who we can easily determine were the future Twelve Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I mistakenly thought that this post, 41f would be one of the very final posts in which I feature the testimonies of Jesus Christ which are found in the Book of Mormon,
Another Testament of Jesus Christ. In the process of writing this series which was proceeded about one year earlier by another, very similar series, I became truly amazed at the number of testimonies of Jesus Christ found in this book of books. By the way, The word, Jesus, is mentioned in that book a phenomenal number of times. In Post 41d I quoted LDS scholar, Terryl L. Givens as having written:
"For sheer number of references to Christ, the Book of Mormon is a scripture without parallel. In one study, for example, an LDS scholar calculates that "a reference to Christ occurs every 1.7 verses, or once every two sentences" throughout that scripture. More frequently per verse than in the New Testament asserts another. The irony of all this is that Mormons find themselves reviled as non-Christians by many fundamentalist Protestants while holding sacred not two testaments of Christ, but three."
The point of all of this is that the Book of Mormon is very truly and surely, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It stands side by side with the New Testament in bearing witness to that splendiferous truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God! Forgive me for getting carried away about this great truth by brightening up that long, but meaningful word. (In case English is not your native language, my 1953 Webster's Collegiate Dictionary tells its meaning: splendiferous: splendid, gorgeous.)

Now, here come some more of the testimonies of Jesus Christ that are found in this book of books, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Amaleki, son of Abinadom, (279 to 130 B.C.)
Omni: 1: 25 And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord; and that which is evil cometh from the devil.
26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.(emphasis added)
Here is another sure testimony of Jesus Christ.

Nephi, son of Nephi, son of Helaman (About 23-20 B.C.)
Helaman 8: 13 But, behold, ye not only deny my words, but ye also deny all the words which have been spoken by our fathers, and also the words which were spoken by this man, Moses, who had such great power given unto him, yea, the words which he hath spoken concerning the coming of the Messiah.
14 Yea, did he not bear record that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come.
15 And as many as should look upon that serpent should live, even so as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal.

Moses and the Brass Serpent -by Judith Mehr
16 And now behold, Moses did not only testify of these things, but also all the holy prophets, from his days even to the days of Abraham.
17 Yea, and behold, Abraham saw of his coming, and was filled with gladness and did rejoice.
18 Yea, and behold I say unto you, that Abraham not only knew of these things, but there were many before the days of Abraham who were called by the order of God; yea, even after the order of his Son; and this that it should be shown unto the people, a great many thousand years before his coming, that even redemption should come unto them.(The prophets' names below which are marked with an * are prophets before Father Lehi's times whose records were on the Plates of Brass which Lehi's sons obtained from Jerusalem through challenging circumstances. They are some of the records of prophets' words that are not found in our Old Testament. (emphasis by an asterisk added)
19 And now I would that ye should know, that even since the days of Abraham there have been many prophets that have testified these things; yea, behold, the prophet Zenos* did testify boldly; for the which he was slain.
20 And behold, also Zenock*, and also Ezias, and also Isaiah, and Jeremiah, (Jeremiah being that same prophet who testified of the destruction of Jerusalem) and now we know that Jerusalem was destroyed according to the words of Jeremiah. O then why not the Son of God come, according to his prophecy? (emphasis and clarification added)
Noah Building the Ark -by Harry Anderson

Enoch and the City of Zion -by Del Parson
I just now noticed several points made by this later Nephi who lived in about 23-20 (B.C.) that some of you might question. How did he know several important things that had occurred in Palestine many thousands of miles away and across a great ocean. It is mentioned in verse 20 of Helaman Chapter 8 that the Nephites knew that Jerusalem had been destroyed. He also wrote that King Zedekiah, who was the king in Jerusalem at the time this Nephi's ancestor, Lehi fled Jerusalem in about 600 B.C. along with his family and relatives, had been killed by the Babylonians after Father Lehi and his group had left Jerusalem on their way to their promised land which turned out to be in Central America! How did this Nephi know of these two facts of history?
You may know the answer to this question already (highlighted below), but perhaps not. Let me explain:
In the Book of Mormon, in the book of Helaman (perhaps this Nephi's grandfather (Helaman), reported: (Helaman, Chapter 8, verse 21) that King Zedekiah (King of Israel at the time Lehi and his group left Jerusalem) and each of his sons except for his youngest, Mulek, were killed by the Babylonians.

How did the Nephites know of this? They didn't have T.V. or the Internet or cell phones or transoceanic cables! They had no means of communication with the Jews in Israel!
The Nephites knew that, from what we read in those Book of Mormon passages, that Jews, other than Lehi and his group, also had later fled Jerusalem, and also had built a boat and were guided to Central America as had Lehi. Helaman reports that these Jews, the Mulekites, came without the holy scriptures and therefore, their spirituality was greatly neglected. They linked with the Nephites who had the holy scriptures (contained on the Brass Plates of Laban) which gave them access to spiritual matters.
From this large group of people who called themselves, Mulekites (after the youngest and only surviving son of King Zedekiah) Helaman and his Nephite people learned many facts concerning the killing by the Babylonians of their king Zedekiah and all his sons except for the kings's youngest son, Mulek. There his descendants and the descendants of his people were found by the Nephites. The Mulekites became a part of the Nephite nation.
That's how the Nephites found out about that piece of history which they otherwise could have never found out about, living so far from Jerusalem (in Central America)! The Book of Mormon is a true record and what I have just written is one important piece of evidence that that is so! (emphasis added)
Birth of Baby Jesus -by Carl Heinrich Bloch
I have decided that there is most likely enough scriptural references for you in this post already even though I have additional prophetic testimonies of Jesus Christ to tell you about.

Once again I have chosen to not feature a Mormon Message because I have chosen to feature the writings of an LDS scholar. These scholars are each personally devoted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and are active members of His church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as am I. Although not being a scholar in the sense that these men are, I greatly appreciate and welcome their scholarly insights into the Book of Mormon. They are skilled in research on what has been written, for and against the Book of Mormon. They are particularly skilled in expressing clarifying insights into that book of books!

In this post I will quote from an article written by a Law Professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah (U.S.A.). He is John W. Welch whom I have quoted previously in my blog posts. This article is found in the April 1985 issue of the Ensign Magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In order to make the entire article available to you I will provide a link below which upon clicking on it you will have access to the entire article which you can save in your Internet and bookmark it so you can access it at various times in your efforts to read all of it.

However, I have copied John Welch's introduction to his article to give you a feel for what is to follow in his complete article. Actually his article is about another LDS scholar who I have quoted in a number of my blog posts, Dr. Hugh Nibley. His scholarly insights into the Book of Mormon are exceptionally clear and convincing.

John Welch is a very experienced writer who I have quoted previously, specifically on the subject of Chiasmus in the Book of Mormon, he being the first LDS Church Member to discover this.

John W. Welch, “Hugh Nibley and the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, Apr 1985, 50

Drawing by Chris Maggio
At first light on 6 June 1944, the first of many allied landing craft began hitting the beaches of Normandy. At Utah Beach, twelve men dangling from one of the emerging jeeps cheered their driver on as they surged up from beneath the surface of the chilly English Channel waters.
That driver, an army intelligence officer with a Ph.D. in ancient history from the University of California at Berkeley, was none other than Hugh W. Nibley, age 34.

While preparing for the invasion, Hugh had visited several antiquarian bookstores in London—walking out with armloads of Arabic and Greek literary treasures. He had also, on the sly, slipped a copy of the Book of Mormon into one of the fifty-five pockets in his regimental intelligence corps fatigues.

“It was right there at Utah Beach,” Hugh still vividly recalls, “as we were a couple of feet under water, that it really hit me—how astonishing the Book of Mormon truly is. It had never occurred to me before, but all I could think of all that day was how wonderful this Book of Mormon was.” 1
Judged by any standard, the Book of Mormon is nothing ordinary. So it seems only right that possibly the most illustrious scholar yet to have investigated the Book of Mormon should have become fascinated with it in no ordinary way. Since Utah Beach, Hugh Nibley was never again the same. Nor was Book of Mormon scholarship.
Hugh Nibley and the Book of Mormon


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