Monday, January 2, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 2 Nephi 5

The Nephites separate themselves from the Lamanites, keep the law of Moses, and build a temple—Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord, are cursed, and become a scourge unto the Nephites. About 588–559 B.C.

Sad as it is, this chapter gives new meaning to sibling rivalry. It is heartbreaking!

Let’s look at the contrast between what types of people the Nephites were in comparison to that of the Lamanites. Note how each met the same trial: full of mischief; idle; hunted beasts; vs. built buildings; industrious; carpenters; metal workers; temple builders.

Verse 11 - "And the Lord was with us..." They kept the commandments of God and cried much unto Him (vv 10 &1) and in return they were blessed.

What faith to be able to see and acknowledge His hand in their lives even during the toughest of times.

I love how in verse 15 Nephi says that he taught his people to work. Industrious people are happy people. It's ingrained in us to prosper and grow.

What happened to the Lamanites because of their disobedience? The Lamanites were cut off from his presence. To be cut off from the Lord’s presence in this life means to lose the Holy Ghost. The Lamanites cursed themselves when they chose to reject the Spirit of the Lord. The Lord, as a result of that choice, set the dark skin upon them to separate them from those who had not rejected the Spirit. The sore cursing was not the dark skin, but the loss of the Holy Ghost, of which the skin coloring was but a mark. The result of losing the Spirit was that the Lamanites became “an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety…a scourge” to the Nephites. The Lamanites who were converted by Ammon and others received a lighter skin.

Though Laman & Lemuel had all the advantages that Nephi did, they chose a different course and ultimately they are the ones responsible for their actions. Joseph Fielding Smith said:

“The Spirit of the Lord will not argue with men, nor abide in them, except they yield obedience to the Lord’s commandments. It is the duty of each member of the Church to live humbly, sincerely, and in strict obedience to the commandments that have been given. If this is done, a man will know the truth. Evidently there are many members of the Church who have not received a testimony simply because they do not make their lives conform to the requirements of the gospel. The Spirit of the Lord cannot dwell in unclean tabernacles, and because of this the knowledge which is promised is not received. Then again, there are members of the Church who take no time to inform themselves by study and faith, and all such are without the inspiration which the faithful are promised. When this is the case, those who are guilty are easily deceived and are in danger of turning away to false doctrines and theories of men.”

Basic Principles in chapter 5:
Warned to leave areas of contention and temptation…
Follow the prophet…
Key to prosperity? God with you…
Compare and contrast…
Following the plan brings happiness…
Must search scriptures

What did you think/learn today?

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