Saturday, January 7, 2012

Book of Moromon Study - 2 Nephi 9: 27- 54

I don't think Jacob could have been more clear with his message: Follow the Savior and you will live. Don't and you will die. The same message applies to us today.

Jacob warns us of pride, materialism, wrong priorities, arrogance, lying, murdering and sinning in all forms. Then, after his warning he recaps by saying "to be carnally-minded is death and to be spiritually minded is life eternal."

Both the Fall of Adam and the Atonement of Jesus Christ greatly influence our lives. Because of the Fall we are tempted to sin and live as a “natural man.” Through the Atonement we can repent, be forgiven, and enjoy the blessings of a spiritual life.

We can be spiritually alive each day by choosing to apply the Atonement in our lives.

I love the imagery in vs. 40-43. Entrance into celestial glory is granted only by our Savior, Jesus Christ. He has "marked the path and led the way and every point defines," and only those who have hearkened unto him, repented of their sins, and kept his holy laws may enter there. ("How Great the Wisdom and the Love," Hymns, 68.) What’s more, he is waiting with open arms for our return.

Anciently, the weakest part of defenses of cities were the gates, so they would put two right-angled turns in it. This would assure that armies were bottled up in that zigzag. The idea of those gates is that you didn't WANT to let people in, but rather keep them out. Sometimes people think that way. Christ is not taking steps to keep us OUT of His city, but would rather that we entered.

vs. 44–45 is the focal point of his whole two day sermon. In token that he is free from his people's sins, Jacob says, "Behold, I take off my garments and I shake them before you" (vs. 44). He then begs his people to "turn away from your sins" and "come unto that God who is the rock of your salvation" (vs. 45). This is the means whereby one readies himself for the judgment day, a day in which "justice shall be administered" (vs. 46), and all our unrepented sins will stand in bold relief before our eyes. We shall know our "awful guilt in perfectness" and acknowledge all the same (vs. 46). We will, in this sense, help to judge ourselves.

Jacob wants to help us know how to prepare, so that when the time of judgment appears, the judgment will be the kind that we want it to be. Our Lord is a merciful Lord, but He also is a just Lord. There are two words which might express what the day of judgment will be like. For the righteous, the word GLORIOUS might be used. It will be a GLORIOUS day! Are YOU looking forward to it, or are you feeling a little nervous when we talk about this subject? Are you ready to be judged right now or would you rather wait another six months? For those who are not prepared for the judgment day, the second word we might use to express our feelings about the judgment day is AWFUL. The judgment day is either going to be glorious or awful, one or the other.

One of the things I talk most about is the power of perspective- and that's what Jacob is referring to here. Where are my priorities? What are the things that I love? What do I value? Can I take the with me?

Do I abhor evil? Do I thirst for righteousness? Do I remember the words of my God?

This is a chapter filled with questions that I ask myself- almost like a personal interview.

I'm not perfect, but I am trying to keep the eternal perspective. It's hard sometimes when the world around me is tangible and enticing. It's easy to see. Things of a spiritual nature aren't as easily accessible to the five senses. But, with my perspective is spiritually minded, the things of this world that are before me take a different light. Some things have more meaning, other things have less. And other things' meaning changes completely.

How grateful I am for the ability to really see the world through His eyes by being spiritually minded. I see people differently, my problems differently. I see myself differently. And I see my Father in Heaven and my Savior differently, too. They are real to me. And nothing in the world can give me that.

What did you think/learn today?

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