Monday, January 30, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 2 Nephi 26

Christ will minister to the Nephites—Nephi foresees the destruction of his people—They will speak from the dust—The Gentiles will build up false churches and secret combinations—The Lord forbids men to practice priestcrafts. About 559–545 B.C.

I loved this chapter.

vs. 3 ~ Nephi says, “After all of the wars and contention, you know He is going to come!” When it comes to the Second Coming, sometimes people think that the Lord wants to sneak up on us and catch us unaware in the midst of all our sins. But that is NOT the case. He never sneaks up on us. His whole message is, “I’m going to give you EVERY chance and reason to prepare. I’ll not tell the exact day, but I’ll give you all kinds of signs so that you’ll know the time is growing closer!”

Remember, back in school. We knew an assignment was due, and put it off and put it off, and then hurriedly complete it the night before it was to be turned in. Well, God knows human nature! He’s not going to tell us the date of His coming because He knows that’s exactly what many of us will do! So He says, “I’m not going to tell you. Just be ready. I’ll give you the signs. Just be ready.”

vs. 4 ~ This destruction will come because...

vs. 5 ~ ... they killed the prophets and the saints. I wonder if destruction will come in the latter-days because so many disregard the prophets. Something to think about.

vs. 6-7 ~ Have you ever imagined how very painful it is for Nephi to have to have witnessed the destruction of his own people? I don’t know if I could have done that.

vs. 8 ~ Notice that he doesn’t say those who won’t perish are perfect people. Rather, they are those who were righteous and who were willing to listen to the prophets. It is MOST important to listen to the prophets. You will notice that when we study 3 Nephi we will see that it is those who were willing to listen to the prophets and not slay them who were able to see Christ in the new world. They certainly weren’t perfect... but they WERE willing to listen to truth and they tried to live more righteously than others tried.

vs. 9 ~ The people will listen to the prophets, look forward to His coming, and after His coming they would live for three generations in perfect peace and harmony, and in the fourth generation they would begin to reject truth and begin to apostatize.

vs. 11... when the Spirit withdraws, destruction comes speedily.

vs. 12-13 ~ The same gospel which Paul and Peter taught will be taught to the Gentiles.

vs. 20 ~ Eventually what happened in Christianity? A lot of beautiful churches were built and they still believed in Christ, but they turned it into a wealth-seeking, power- seeking institutions.

vs. 21 ~ Eventually it would get so bad that “Christians” would justify slavery, war, and crusades all in the name of Jesus Christ! For instance, think of all the violence going on between the Catholic and Protestant sects.

vs. 22 ~ So it is complete. In chapters 25-26 we have all three major groups ... each of which had been taught the Savior’s teachings... rejecting the gospel. We see the whole world in the darkness of apostasy. What will Jesus Christ do? What kind of Being is He?

vs. 23-24 ~ In our personal lives, it is CRITICAL we understand and believe this principle: The Lord loves us and He won’t do anything which isn’t for our benefit!

vs. 24-26 ~ Now, has Christianity done any of this? What about Judaism? It’s a pretty exclusive kind of religion... one of the reasons which caused apostasy.

vs. 27-32 ~ Speaking a little about priestcraft... The Savior and true saints are never motivated to teach and preach priestcraft. What is priestcraft? “Three basic characteristics dominate Satan’s priestcrafts: (1) men set themselves up as a light; (2) men preach for gain and praise, or, as Nehor taught, ‘every priest and teacher ought to become popular’ (Alma 1:3); (3) men do not seek the welfare of Zion. “All three of these are motivated by selfishness. The man or priest himself is the focus of attention or praise; he seeks his own welfare. All three of these characteristics are foreign to the motive underlying the true priesthood of God.” (Wilcox, “The Power and the Priesthood,” p100.)

How do you fight back? Charity! Love really does make the world go round.

vs. 33 ~ There was a lot of great things in this chapter, but the one verse that stood out to me today was verse 33:...and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness..."

His invitation is to everyone, of every race, of every economic class, of every personality - every one. The Atonement wasn't just for the few or the righteous. We are all imperfect. We all need it. We all need him.

What did you think/learn today?

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