Thursday, October 4, 2012

Book of Mormon Study - 4 Nephi 1

This chapter is so full of contrasts!

Perfect living vs. complete wickedness!

Just two years after the Savior came to visit all the people converted to the Lord. How cool is that?

There is so much to learn from this chapter that covers 100s of years of history.
First, I love how each person that was converted was baptized and received the Holy Ghost, just as we do today. It shows that Jesus' Church is truly the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Verse 15:...and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

I want to live there!

What made these people so happy for two hundred years?  What can I do to live like that?

Here is a list of the things they did:

They were each and every one fully converted to the Lord.
They worked miracles.
They dealt justly with each other.
They did not fight with each other.
They gave freely and shared.
They worked hard and were industrious.
They understood the importance of marriage.
They fasted and prayed.
They met together often to hear the word of the Lord.
They were exceedingly fair and delightsome.
They kept the commandments.

And because they did these things, they were blessed with:

Great and marvelous works by the disciples in the name of Jesus Christ (the Priesthood)
Their sick healed
Their dead were raised
Their lame walked
The blind saw
The deaf heard
The Lord prospered them, helping them rebuild cities, and build new ones.
The love of God
No robbers, murderers
A united people- no -ites, just believers.
A fair and delightsome people
They were happy

Sweet!  What a list!  I'd vote for someone that could give me that.  (oh yeah... I can every day with the choices I make.  In that way I vote for Christ.  :D).
It comes down to the simplest formula:

True conversion

+ The love of God in our hearts

= Pure Happiness

It was what their forefather, Lehi, tried to teach his family over 600 years before.

And it's what they are trying to tell us.

It's a simple equation, a profound lesson.
  In contrast, it is amazing to me, and so sad, how the tragically rapid decline of the righteous started with the insidious seed of pride. Pride led to greed, selfishness and sin.   Isn't it interesting that one of the sins of the false churches was allowing sacred things to be given to unworthy people. In these modern times we are often mocked for not allowing just anyone into the temple. But, we know that there must be a level of worthiness to qualify ourselves to participate and partake in sacred things. It is one of the characteristics of the true church of Christ. Those who are unwilling to abide by higher standards tend to search for churches that acclimate to their views, rather than changing their views to match the Saviors.

This is one of the saddest chapter of the Book of Mormon for me. It showed the height of their righteousness, and their tragic collective plummet into darkness so clearly.

Sigh.... could that happen to my generation or my children's generation or my grand children's generation.  Sadly, I see personal apostasy in a few of the people I love and it is every bit as tragic.
What are your thoughts today?

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