Monday, July 25, 2016


Moroni chapters 4 and 5 contain the sacrament prayers as does Doctrine and Covenants 20 verses 77 and 79.  I guess I have never thought through that perhaps Joseph Smith got the exact wording from there.  It made me think of the many gems contained in Moroni's writing and how much we now benefit from his words.  When I read Moroni chapter 1, it seems to me that his writings were the purpose for which he was alive.  I wonder if he ever wished for the misery to end.  I mean, I know he writes that he is avoiding being killed by the Lamanites, but I can't help but think that would be a crushingly hard trial.  He is alone and in peril from the Lamanites.  He watched his countrymen and family wiped out, and yet he writes for the benefit of the people who committed those deeds--or their descendants at least.
"Wherefore, I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed; for I had supposed not to have written any more; but I write a few more things, that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brethren, the Lamanites, in some future day, according to the will of the Lord." Moroni 1:4
I don't think I can express in words the effect Moroni's example has on me, or I should say, that I hope I can always remember this feeling of awe and let Moroni's example strengthen my resolve to bear up under my trials a little better and to see the world and the future with a more hopeful heart.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

They Slept on Their Swords

Ether 13-15 tells of the destruction of the Jaredite people.  Actually, when I write it that way, it doesn't seem correct.  It makes it sound as though the Jaredite people are destroyed by something other than themselves.  The fact is that they fought and fought through warnings and prophecies until there was only Coriantumr left alive.

These chapters tell of battles wherein victory is won by one side and then the other.  Back and forth.  The wars so destructive and constant that they stopped taking time to pause and bury the dead.  They simply gave chase and fought some more.

It occurs to me that this can be seen as a parallel of my life at times.  Of course I am not in a war or shedding blood, but Heavenly Father has given me instructions, commandments, and personal revelation about what I should be doing to stay close to Him.  Often my days are filled with busyness that does not include enough of those wonderful things which he expects me to do.  Those things would give me joy.  Those things would save me.  I hope that I am not as bad as the Jaradites I just read about in these chapters, but I think sometimes by pursuing the wrong things with too much haste and vigor I am hurrying towards unhappiness.  Those people became lost in all the destruction.  They didn't stop to think.  They fought, slept on their swords, and awoke to fight again.  Maybe one of the reasons I have been having trouble sleeping is because I am "sleeping on my sword" and not allowing my mind to calm and put my trust in my Father in Heaven.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

What Charity Is

Ether 12 is a marvelous chapter about faith, hope, and charity.  I never really thought of it like that before, but I feel like Moroni gives us a glimpse into some of his personal struggles and worries and how these principles have helped him gain understanding.  My last posts talked about faith and hope being an anchor to our souls, so although there are many more gems in this chapter about faith and hope, today I am going to focus on charity.

In Ether 12:22, Moroni begins telling us about a worry that he has.  He says that he knows that these writings will, in the future, come to the Lamanites through the Gentiles, but he is afraid the Gentiles will mock because of the weakness in the writing.  He prays about this concern and is answered.  Moroni outlines for us the things he has learned by taking this worry to the Lord which are definitely worth reading, but the one I want to focus on is Ether 12:36 when he says:
"...I prayed unto the Lord that he would give unto the Gentiles grace, that they might have charity."
Moroni goes onto to say that he was told it was not his concern if the Gentiles have charity because he has been faithful to that which he was asked to do.

I read a quote by President Monson this week that helped me as Moroni was helped in this chapter.  It brings the principle of charity into my life as an answer to how I can more fully live how Heavenly Father would want me to live without worrying so much about the actions of others.  President Monson said:
"Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down.  It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily.  It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings.  It is accepting people as they truly are.  It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time.  It is resisting the impulse to categorize others."
All of this has made charity a little more real to me, and as it becomes less abstract it is easier to put into my daily life.  The only trick left is to remember.  Remember this lesson and put it into action.  That is always the great challenge, isn't it?  Well, I may not do so perfectly, but I will strive to live this lesson.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Chapters 9-11 in Ether are mostly about wickedness and war.  The Jaradites did have some kings that were righteous, but there are a lot of plots and overthrowing of kings in this period of Jaradite history.  Ether 12 is a nice change with its lessons of hope and faith.  Ether 12:4 is very interesting and perhaps answers the question I posed in my last blog post--How can Moroni sound so hopeful?
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
I have often heard this scripture quoted, but what hit me most this time was the representation of hope and faith as an anchor for our souls.  An anchor's purpose is to keep a boat from drifting with the current as our faith and hope can keep us from drifting along with the popular ideas that ride society's tides.  These ideas ebb and flow, change quickly, and often crash against the standards God has set for us.

I know some in the world today relegate religion and Jesus Christ to a place alongside fantasy and fairy tales.  Yet, they still look for a way to anchor themselves because we all need to feel tethered as the world swirls around us.  They look to the world.  I see them finding things that can be considered good, but when taken as their anchors are just insufficient to provide real stability.  When the buffeting storms of adversity come those people feel terrified and lost.  It can be quite sad to see.

I have been thinking about this anchor analogy and realized that hope and faith truly do keep us anchored.  If we put in the work to keep them in good condition, these anchors will make us "sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works."

So that is how we "do good continually" and loose Satan's hold on us as Moroni purposed in Ether 8:26.  We beef up our anchors.  We slowly but surely strive each day for obedience to God's commandments and use the Atonement as we go, showing that we do hope for a better world and strengthening our faith bit by bit.  We add good solid metal to our anchors, glorifying God as we see His hand in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Persuuaded To Do Good Continually

Ether 8:26 reads: "Wherefore, I, Moroni, am commanded to write these things that evil may be done away, and that the time may come that Satan may have no power upon the hearts of the children of men, but that they may be persuaded to do good continually, that they may come unto the fountain of all righteousness and be saved."
This scripture has a very hopeful feel to it.  I think that's amazing considering the circumstance in which Moroni wrote it.  He had just watched his people destroyed by wickedness.  He was being hunted by the Lamanites.  And, yet, he writes with hope of a time when all people will use their free will to choose that which is good...always.

It also makes me wonder.  If I get to the point when I "do good continually" then has Satan lost his power as far as my life's choices are concerned?

Monday, September 14, 2015

Like Corihor and Shule

I am grateful for all the life contained within the pages of the Book of Mormon.  These are real people making real mistakes.  They repent.  They try again.  Things are good, but not for very long...

Ether 7 is an overview of the kingdoms and wars of the Jaradite people.  In Ether 6, Jared and his brother are growing old and ask of their people if there is anything more they can do for them before they die.  The people ask for a king.  The brother of Jared warns this will lead them to captivity, but they do end up with a king, Orihah, the son of Jared.  He is righteous and so leads the people well, but soon enough trouble is brewing.

Kib is the son of Orihah and becomes king after his father.  Kib's son, Corihor rebels against Kib and draws away many people with him.  He eventually raises and army and takes his father captive.  Kib has a son named Shule while in captivity, and Shule grows up to be a big, strong man who is angry at his brother for holding their father captive.  So Shule raises an army and attacks his brother.  He frees his father and restores him to the throne.  Kib is old and so bestows the kingdom on Shule.  Chapter 7 documents other conflicts after this one, but it is verse 13 that caught my attention.  It reads:
"And Corihor repented of the many evils which he had done; wherefore Shule gave him power in his kingdom."
 Corihor repented.  He must of sought forgiveness of his brother, although I imagine when he saw the error of his ways, he must have felt great shame and sorrow for his actions.  So many times people can't get over that realization that they have done wrong.  They continue to excuse themselves and rationalize, and so they can never repent and move on.  Way to go, Corihor!  Thank you for your example.  Shule is no less amazing.  The son born in captivity forgives his brother--forgives him so completely that he gives him power in his kingdom even though the evil he committed concerned usurping power in the kingdom.  Wow.  I hope I can repent of wrong doings as completely as Corihor, and I hope I can be forgiving like Shule.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Trip to the Promised Land

The trip to the promised land made by Jared, his brother, and their family and friends sounds like a difficult one.  In Ether 6:5-6 is says:
"...the Lord God caused that there should be a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, towards the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the waves of the sea before the wind.  And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests which were caused by the fierceness of the wind."
What really struck me in this chapter was the humility and gratitude of the people traveling in these difficult conditions.  In Ether 6:11 it tells us that "they were driven forth three hundred and forty and four days upon the water."  Wow.  That is a long time.  For nearly a year they were in that ship, but they made the trip with gratitude in their hearts.  In Ether 6:9 it says:
"And they did sing praises unto the Lord...all day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord." 
 Verse 12 reads:
"And they did land upon the shore of the promised land.  And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them."
It sounds like there was no grumbling about the rough trip, or the length of time they had to endure it.  I can learn a lot from their example.