With that said, I'll be starting today with Book of Mormon Lesson 1: The Keystone To Our Religion. I'll be utilizing the class member study guide, not the teacher's manual.
- According to the second paragraph of the title page of the Book of Mormon, what are three purposes of the Book of Mormon?
" Which is to *show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and **that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also ***to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations..." -Book of Mormon Title Page
*All members of the house of Israel (church members) have the need to be reminded continually of the things the Lord has done for their fathers. This has a lot to do with gratitude. How can we as people grow and have a loving relationship with our Father in Heaven if we are not thankful for what He has done not only for us personally, but also for those who paved the way for us to have the fulness of the gospel in our lives today? I have learned so much from history in general--we have a great need to remember history and LEARN from it. What a wonderful gift from God we have! The opportunity to read the scriptures on a daily basis, in our own homes, whenever we choose, and to learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before is just one example of the loving nature of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.
**Covenants made with the Lord are important parts of our mortal life. The purpose of this life is for men to prepare to meet God, for us to grow and learn and remember the things we were taught before we came here. The greatest thing about covenants is the HOPE associated with them. My DH and I have struggled for years with infertility and have found great hope and comfort in the promise of the covenants we made with God in the temple when we were sealed for time and all eternity. We may never be parents in mortality to our own children, but we have the opportunity to be parents as Primary teachers, Youth leaders, and in other ways. The Lord NEVER forgets His covenants. We need to ask to know His will so that we can see how He will fulfill them for us personally. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn from other faithful members and leaders by searching the resources on lds.org. They have brought great comfort to me and my husband as we continue through the struggles of life.
***If there is any book that I have read that has tried to convince me that Jesus Christ is my Savior and has completely succeeded it is the Book of Mormon. It is the perfect companion to the Bible. It explains all the mysteries of God and shows His love for ALL of His children. Would you forget a child who decided to leave home and live on another continent? Never! God remembers ALL of His children--that means each human being who lives on this earth--and He has always provided a way for the to have the gospel of Jesus Christ available for them. The Book of Mormon truly is another testament that Christ is our Savior, that He was born of Mary, that He lived and died for us, and that He lives today!
- What have you learned from the Book of Mormon about Jesus Christ? How has the Book of Mormon strengthened your testimony of Jesus Christ?
As I stated before, I have learned by studying the Book of Mormon that Jesus is the Savior of ALL of our Father in Heaven's children. God is no respecter of persons. He loves each of us the same. It is our actions that He hates, never a person. As I've read the Book of Mormon each time, I have found comfort and peace from it's teachings. I have found answers to all of the questions that I have had while reading it's pages. This inspiration has come from faith in my Savior and by trusting Heavenly Father to answer my prayers. I have learned that Jesus Christ's church is to be a world-wide church--there truly is one true faith and one true religion. The true church will span each continent and fill each home, as it was intended to do. Jesus Christ truly is the head of the church. He organizes and calls under authority from our Father in Heaven. He is a personage of flesh and bone. He loves little children and wants what is best for them. He cares for those who follow Him, and listens to and answers prayers in the most correct way. He calls all to repentance, repentance made possible through His Atonement, because true repentance is the only real way to be completely happy in this life and in our life in the eternities.
- What passages in the Book of Mormon are particularly inspiring to you?
The verse from this lesson that particularly inspires me is 2 Nephi 19:23. I LOVE the book of Isaiah and LOVE learning the hidden teachings and treasures in that book, so hearing that the prophet Nephi felt the same way makes me feel a great kinship to him. I also love the charge to liken the scriptures to our lives. If we cannot do that, what is the purpose of reading them? I love to hear stories from others that show how all things pertain to the gospel, and I love reading the scriptures and finding jewels of wisdom just for me written in the words of these books. :)
This is my digital print of the verse~
I also love 2 Nephi 29:8-9 about the importance of the Book of Mormon and it's need to compliment and support the Bible. I personally am eternally grateful that God is unchanging and will speak and give modern revelation as well as the fact that He speaks His word to all of His children. It is another testimony to me that God truly loves ALL of us.
I LOVE this quote by President Marion G. Romney, as well, “I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness.” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1980, 90; or Ensign, May 1980, 67).
- One of the first events described in the Book of Mormon is the departure from Jerusalem of Lehi and his family. What circumstances led to this departure? (See 1 Nephi 1:4–15, 18–20; 2:1–3.)
The prophet Lehi was called to preach repentance to the people of Jerusalem. Because of the reception that this information received (negative to the extreme--the people wanted to kill Lehi), Lehi received a commandment from the Lord to leave their home and travel to the "promised land." We later find out that the "promised land" is the American continent and that this land is incredibly important and plays a great role in the restoration of the gospel. I'm sure I'll write more about that one later on. ;)
- Why did the people of Jerusalem reject the message of Lehi and other prophets? (See 1 Nephi 1:19–20; 2:12–13; 16:1–2.)
Why do some people today rebel against the Lord and His servants? What
can you learn from Nephi about how to make your heart more receptive to
the teachings of the prophets? (See 1 Nephi 2:16, 19.)
The people of Jerusalem rejected Lehi's message because they were wicked and unrepentant. They had stopped living the gospel and were seeking justification for their actions--a truly godless attitude. People today do the same thing. They think that if something is "hard" then it can't be from God. Whoever said that living the gospel was easy?! If God needs us to do something hard, He will ask us to do it! BUT, He always prepares a way for us to accomplish that thing, as we learn in 1 Nephi 3:7. People do not like to be told they are wrong. I have made it a personal goal that if I hear something that if I hear something given in a talk or lesson at church and am offended by it, that I will go home and pray to know if the real reason is because I am in the wrong and need to change or if the reason is that what was said was incorrect. This is what Nephi did. More times than not, I am in the wrong and have some changing to do. I try to make sure that if I am pricked that I do NOT feel ill-will towards the messenger. It's my fault for sinning! All messengers are imperfect people--but their message is from the Lord and should be taken as such. Tender Mercies, a good talk about this subject. And a short movie of the highlights of the talk.
Here's my digital print~
- Why did Lehi’s family need to obtain the brass plates? (See 1 Nephi 3:3, 19–20; 4:15–16; see also 1 Nephi 5:21–22; Mosiah 1:3–7.)
The scriptures are a vital part of acting in faith. The Lord knows what happens when people do not have scripture readily available--apostasy. Because of this, in His great wisdom, He commanded Lehi to have his sons go back to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates--which were their scriptures. Without the availability and the use of scripture daily, each of us runs the risk of dying spiritually and of listening to words that are more pleasing to the natural man rather than listening to the things of God. We NEED to read!