Sunday, September 26, 2010

41h - The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Part XIII, The Resurrected Jesus Christ Testifies of Himself To The Nephites!

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


Jesus the 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, which testify to us of His, Jesus, 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 actually crossing a portion of that desert

Nephi Crossing One of the Worlds Most challenging deserts with Family, Relatives and One Potential Foe Who Became a Friend -by Scott Snow
and then additionally, at least at one difficult time, a treacherous ocean to reach what is believed to be Central America, Father Lehi's group went through many severe trials and much tribulation.

Lehi and His People Arrive in the Promised Land -by Arnold Friberg
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.

Other than (Loyal to Nephi), Sam and then younger brothers after they were born during their journey across one of the most difficult deserts in the world, Jacob and Joseph, Nephi's two oldest brothers were always quick to point out that Nephi was their younger brother.

Nephi Rebuking 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 the two basic groups of Lehi's descendants, the Nephites and Lamanites.

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 very much 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).

 We all should strive to live in accordance with that sacred phrase rather than being content to being proud of our, so thought, 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 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 and listen to this particular Nephi's inspired words you will be reading and listening to by the scripture reader's voice. To me, his reading came with much feeling, particularly in chapter 8.

I believe that doing so 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 concerning, 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 timed how long it takes to hear the reader read through these three chapters. It takes only sixteen 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. That experience can be facilitated by your asking your Heavenly Father to touch you with His Spirit as you prepare to read and listen (You must click on the word listenon the upper left hand corner of the page that comes onto the screen, in order to listen) to each of these three Book of Mormon Chapters, one after the other.

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 personal 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. (emphasis added)
That was just one example of about ten such cases where Jesus Christ states that He brought about these particular deadly disasters. In one of those 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. (emphasis added)
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 have read today in this post. However, there are passages in the Gospels of the New Testament that are equally dynamic.

My next blog post in this series will be published in five days.


Now again as I have done in several previous posts, I quote an LDS Scholar about his findings from research he has done: (Let me just briefly note that after your intense and hopefully very spiritual experience reading and listening to the three chapters of the Book of Mormon I provided for you, you will firmly support Dr. Givens in the stands he takes regarding the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ!

Dr. Terryl L. Givens

I am quoting from his book, BY THE HAND OF MORMON, Published by OXFORD, University Press (2002) Pages 183-184

For criticism of the Book of Mormon to be sufficient to impugn its status as scripture, those criticisms must touch upon questions of origin, not accuracy. Certainly inexplicable anachronisms, wildly implausible scenarios, obvious nineteenth-century imports, and the like would challenge its divine authorship. But it will not do to establish an imperfection and consider the case resolved, as many currently seem wont to do.

As an early LDS publication declared,
"Besides, so much depends on an answer to the question, Is the story of its origin true or not: For, on the one hand, if it is not true, then the entire structure of Mormonism is built on a false foundation; and, on the other hand, it it is true, it becomes the strongest physical evidence for the authenticity of Joseph Smith's teachings."
Church enemies agreed. Inveterate anti-Mormon Symonds Ryder wrote in 1831 that "if a man once opens his heart to receive the Book of Mormon as a divine record, he is also under the necessity of receiving whatever Joseph Smith, Jr. is pleased to proscribe [sic] by way of commandment.

Some LDS scholars allege that Book of Mormon defender B.H. Roberts was wrong in this regard, that it is simply untrue that if the Book of Mormon "could be proved to be other than it claims to be, ... then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. . . must fall." As evidence, one such critic invokes the example of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS, a small branch--numbering some few hundred thousands by the 1990s--formally organized in 1860 largely of members who rejected the leadership of Brigham Young at the time of the exodus westward). In the 1960s, some members of that group challenged the factualness and literalism of their scripture. As a consequence, their church leaders "soft-pedaled the Book of Mormon in church curricula and publications; but this critic's expressed hope that the Utah church will follow this "wise practice" seems hopelessly naive and historically oblivious, both to the scripture's particular roles in Mormon religious life and practice and to the fate of the more progressive offshoot church. For simultaneous with a de-emphasis on the Book of Mormon, there had to necessarily follow a de-emphasis on its translator. And indeed, by the time of that critic's recommendation, the RLDS were already downplaying the founding epiphanies of the Prophet Joseph, calling them "religious experiences" rather than visions of angelic visitations. As for the Book of Mormon itself, the RLDS have gone beyond de-emphasis to virtual repudiation. In one Utah congregation a minister was removed in 1991 for repeatedly "emphasizing the Book of Mormon in his worship meetings" and mentioning Joseph Smith's name over the pulpit" in spite of warnings to desist. The eventual outcome of such a policy is not surprising. By April of the year 2000, delegates to their world conference voted to rename their church the "Community of Christ," thus severing their last link to a long history rooted in visions, prophecies, glorious angels, and gold plates.

There is no reason to suspect that a comparable move is likely with the Mormons--or that if it were, it would be any less a prelude to Protestant assimilation than has proven to be the case with the RLDS. Whether such assimilation would constitute the fall of the church or an enlightened rebirth may be an open question. But it would not be a church either B.H. Roberts or Joseph Smith would recognize."

This website is not owned by or affiliated with the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church.


TO ACCESS NEIL BIRCH'S BLOG INDEX To Either Read the Full Index Item Which Refers To This Blog Post, (Or An Item Which Refers To Any Other Blog Post You May Desire To Access): After Reading All of This Paragraph Please Click on the Following: Jesus Christ Testifies of His Own Eternal Role Personally To the Nephites in Ancient America- Post 41h. When You See the Picture of Our Savior Jesus Christ Sitting Next To a Little Boy, Please, Scroll Down To Your Target Item Or Use The Alphabetic Scrolling Device (When It Has Been Installed.)

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