Come Follow Me (Insights into Moroni 1-6, Nov 30-Dec 6)
I’m Taylor and I’m Taylor, this is Book of Mormon Centrals, come follow me, Insight’s today, Moroni one through six. There is a lot to like about this particular set of chapters before we dive into some of the specifics.
Let me share a couple of items with you from a big picture perspective. If you ever get the chance to to get your hands on an 18 30 replica edition of the book, actually if you get your hands on a real 18 30, count yourself very fortunate. Most of us have to settle for one of the replica editions. What I wanted to point out here is if you look carefully at the 1830 edition, there are no footnotes. There are no chapters like we have them today.
There are no verses.
It’s written in traditional book format.
Now, the original authors, we assume, because that’s how it comes to us in the original manuscript, seem to have put in little breaks, then become chapter breaks in the original. They’re much longer chapters than the ones we have in our current edition of the Book Mormon. These chapters and verses were added in the in a much later edition of The Book of Mormon by Orson Pratts in the eighteen seventy nine edition. Every book in the Book of Mormon that’s a multi chapter book, has a different chapter breakup than it is in the 18 30 except for the Book of Mormon.
It has 10 chapters there, exactly the same length there. They’re broken out exactly the same way as they are here in our current Book of Mormon. This is this is an amazing little gem, this Book of Mormon. Because Moroni had finished abridging the Book of Ether. He already said farewell to us once at the end of of Chapter nine in Mormon. Then he came back, abridged the book of the author. He’s going to say farewell to us at the end of ether.
And he he thinks he’s done. But then he opens up the book Amarone. Thank Heaven he’s not done because some incredible truths come out in these 10 chapters to conclude this amazing Book of Mormon liquidy. Look what he opens with in verse one. Now, I Marone I after having made an end of abridging the account of the people of Jered, I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished. And I make not myself known to the lemonade’s lest they should destroy me.
There’s a principle in here. Sometimes you’re working your way through life and you’re at point A and then you go to point B and you go to point C and you think, OK, I’m just going to get here. And then once you get here, the Lord opens up a new vision for you or a new direction for you and says, I want you to go there, I want you to accomplish this now. So we keep working on it.
It’s this line upon line precept, one precept walking with the Lord, one step at a time principle that you’re seeing play out right in front of you on the page here. Moroni did not get the plates from his father clear back at the in the Book of Mormon Chapter eight with this idea. OK, I’m going to first write chapters eight and nine.
Then I’m going to abridged the Book of Ether. Then I’m going to write some concluding thoughts where I’m pulling in all these are he didn’t do that. All he said was, I’m going to write some concluding thoughts here to my dad’s book and be done because there aren’t very many there’s not much space left on the plates.
Once he had fulfilled that command, then the Lord gave him another commandment. Once he had fulfilled the abridgment of the book of the Lord gives him another opportunity.
I like that. Why? Because that feels far less overwhelming to me than if God told me everything I’m going to have to do between now and the day I die.
Whenever that is so, it causes us to rely more on our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to move forward, trusting him that I don’t need to to guide my own future. I can rely on he who governs cosmic clocks to figure out the timing and the missions for my life and how they line up and in what order they come.
What’s fascinating about these little verses is that here we have a prophet of God and we often think the prophets know everything, but they do know what the most important things that Jesus is the Christ. And they teach us the truths that we need to know. But here, God’s prophet, he doesn’t know all things, and I want you to consider what does more moron I know, what does he not know and what does he believe? And how does his knowledge and belief help him to deal with what he doesn’t know and we can take this example in our own lives.
There’s always challenges in our lives. We can’t we don’t know all things either, as Tyler was pointing out. So if we get really clear, like Maroney has shown us about what we know and what we believe and let that inform or provide peace around the things we don’t yet know.
One more really quick thought on this original manuscript and the original 18 30 replicas of the Book of Mormon and how they lay this out. Some of you may be wondering, why should I care? There are 10 chapters in the original and there are 10 chapters here.
And it’s the only big book that fits that. I don’t know, there are a lot of a lot of potential areas that you could explore there, but for me, one of them is Maroney is sitting here writing down. It’s almost like he’s saying, I need to put down these other things that I’m not seeing contained in the rest of the work. And they may or may not be perfectly connected to one another. It’s not like he’s pushing a story forward anymore.
You’ll notice that in the Book of Moroni, there’s not a single instance, not one. And it came to pass. There’s no there’s no narrative flow, he’s not propelling a story so he doesn’t need to use and it came to pass here in the book tomorrow night, you’ll notice in your study of the Book of Mormon whenever whenever we leave a story telling mode. You lose the end, it came to pass idea, and it’s more let me just share some things with you that are important or that could benefit you in one way or another.
And thank heaven that, like I said, that he was given the command or given the opportunity to write these things down because there are some incredible gems in these 10 chapters. Let me begin with one of those gems in verse two and three.
He’s speaking of the laminitis for behold, their waters are exceedingly fierce among themselves. And because of their hatred, they put to death every fight that will not deny the Christ. And I marone, I will not deny the Christ wherefore, for I wonder whether soever I can for the safety of my own life. This reminds me of the seventh verse of my all time favorite hymn. How Firm a foundation. That’s the kind of person I want to be maroney’s demonstrating this principle for us here, the sold it on Jesus Kathleen for repose, I will not I cannot desert to his foe’s.
That sole, though all hell should endeavor to shake, I’ll never know, never know, never forsake. That’s the kind of bedrock faith I want now. Here’s a guy who has every reason, like every reason on Earth, to be angry at God and to shake his fist at heaven and say, why are you doing this to me? And forsake him. But instead of having these trials and these setbacks and incredible loss in his life caused him to become bitter, it’s causing him to become better.
You’ll notice the difference between those two words, bitter and bitter. If you choose the bitter root, the focus is on the I. It’s on poor me. Versus letting God shaped me through those struggles and trials now, this isn’t this isn’t a small issue here because let me just orient us on the timing for a moment. You have three eighty five, and when we get the last battle, the next timestamp we get is for one ad and we know the plates, according to maroney’s timeline, are going to be buried finally and hidden up the sealed up in the hill camera and for twenty one.
So we know his dad gets wounded Mormon, and he’s going to die sometime after three eighty five, Moroney tells us he’s wandering all alone in four one and we know that. It’s at least twenty one year or at least 20 years, he’s alone, but possibly up to thirty six years alone. That’s a long time, even if even if his dad somehow lived this long before he died, we know he’s alone here, that’s a long time to feel forsaken, cut off and not not given the things that the world would say we deserve or we should have in order to be happy.
Here’s the point. You and I, when we experienced trial, when we experienced adversity, we don’t like it. We want it to stop right now. We want quick resolution to our to our issues. But we don’t always get quick solutions. Sometimes God has problems and loneliness and despair and trials stretch out for decades because once again, the purpose of our Heavenly Father’s plan is not to help us get somewhere alone. It’s to help us to become something so that when we return to heaven, we will return there.
Changed. I find it hauntingly beautiful that one of the proposed meanings of Madonna is name. Is from the Egyptian word for love. There’s been a proposal that maroney’s name means I was beloved. And. He was by his father, his mother. Possibly a wife and children, friends, family, and he’s all alone. And I just, again, find it hauntingly beautiful that here he is alone and yet fully with God. And that even though for potentially thirty six years he’s wandering.
He feels the presence of God and fully trust in God that God will do his work. We, too, can be fully beloved by God. Now, how would you expect a guy to address a group of people that has been responsible for taking away from him everything that mattered to him in an earthly mortal context? Well, look what he says in verse. For wherefore, I write a few more things contrary to that which I had supposed for.
I suppose not to have written any more. He reminds us again, but I write a few more things that perhaps they may be of worth unto my brother in the laminitis in some future day, according to the will of Lord looks to me like the embodiment of part of the baptismal covenant to. Do good to those who, despite fully use you and persecute you, it’s it’s a very Christian thing to be able to turn the other cheek and to not return reviling and anger when somebody is persecuting you.
Notice how he then. Closes the this the intent for why he’s writing this, I’m writing this so that it can hopefully benefit my brother and the laminitis in a future day and in the process that’s benefiting everybody else, whether you’re a descendant of Lihi or not, he then opens with all these different elements. So in Chapter two, he talks about the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. And he describes how there’s this need to lay on hands in order to give this this ability to somebody to then fully seek the gift of the Holy Ghost, I don’t mean to be sacrilegious here, but.
Why put hands on somebody, why not breathe on them? Why not use your elbow, maybe your feet? If God tells us to walk in, his feet are pretty powerful, so why the hands? Well, turns out hands have always been a symbol of power and agency. There are some words actually, let me share a couple of thoughts about this. If we look at. Ancient languages, particularly if we look at, say, Latin and Greek and the use of the word hand, the word hand there means.
Things like protection, guardianship, a protector or guardian. Very interesting, I think that it’s one of the power one of the things that the priesthood provides for us is guardianship and protection and invites all of us to do the same for others. But look at some words that actually show up in our language. The ancient word for hand in European languages is usually managment Monáe like in Spanish or Portuguese, you have the word mono, but only to look for some words that show up in maroney’s text.
That are actually related to the word hand about power and protection, so here’s the words command. Commandment, mandate, command. Demand, maintain, manage, maneuver, manifest, a manual, manuscript review, recommend these all are based on the ancient word for hand and they’re all about power and protection and the ability to get stuff done. So I could have had many ways in which he shared his priesthood power with others. He chose to use the hand because in part, it has this really powerful symbolism of protection and guardianship and empowerment to do the work of God.
It’s a beautiful concept to picture how we use our hands if they’re. If they’re constantly in the labor of blessing and lifting and comforting and healing people. Versus the opposite of abusing or controlling or forcing or hurting. There’s great power like Taylor’s talking this this power to act and how we how we interact with other people is beautifully and symbolically encapsulated with these hands and and how we use them. So let’s talk briefly further about why the imposition of hands in part is talking about I want people to receive the Holy Ghost.
We receive it. Similarly, the temple is a gift to us that we can receive with gladness and only conclude this chapter with the thought about ordinance. The word ordinance comes from this really amazing word order. I want to take your mind back to Genesis, to the creation when God created the world. There was chaos or disorder. What did God do? He provided order, and so when God shows up any dispensation, he creates order where there has been disorder or chaos or contention or confusion and ordinances.
The word ordinance comes from the word order. And so ordinances are a way for God’s creation to roll forth. It’s a way for order to dispel disorder. So when you participate in any kind of ordinance, just know that you are part of God’s creative act. And each of us on a weekly basis can participate in that order, which is the sacrament. And of course, there’s many other ordinances, temple ordinances, baptism healings, somebody being set apart for calling.
But the one we weekly get to have order is the order of the sacrament, where the disorder of our lives is put at the feet of Jesus. And he brings order through his love and his atonement.
So in Chapter three, he’s now going to describe this ordaining of teachers and priests by the elders. And in addition to ordaining other people to offices of the priesthood, elders have the opportunity to give blessings. Now, he doesn’t go into that here in in Chapter three specifically. It’s a very unique opportunity that God gives us as holders of the Melchizedek priesthood. To lay hands on people and not just be able to ordain them to priesthood offices, but at other times to be able to bless them.
To be able to stand there and give voice for the Lord to be able to bless this individual, that can be very intimidating for people who don’t feel like they’re good enough to be able to speak for the Lord and giving a blessing. I would encourage you, if you’re in that category to reread the talk given by at the time Eldard Deloney chokes it was in 2010 April general conference and it was called Healing the Sick. In that talk, he says there are five things that are that are going on when you heal the sick, when you lay hands on somebody’s head to heal them.
Number one, there’s an anointing. Number two, there’s a ceiling of the anointing. Number three, there’s faith, faith of the individual being healed. Faith of the people laying hands on the individual. Number four, they’re the words of the blessing. And number five, there’s the will of God. And it’s quite empowering. When you read elder or president talk to see how he refers to the words that I use. They’re not the most powerful part of what’s going on in that blessing.
God’s powers manifest. Even if I don’t have the most profound words to say and don’t even know exactly what to say. There’s great hope for us as we move forward. Now, let’s shift gears and get into what what I might consider to be the. Kind of a powerful core of these first few chapters as we move forward. But before we before we move on, let me just ask a simple question, and I have to emphasize this. This is this is theoretical case.
This is a big if. I am not making a statement that it’s true.
I’m just asking the question, if God had a favorite scripture, what do you think would would be in that scripture? What would it talk about? What would what would the elements be? I suppose you would if he had a favorite scripture, it would probably refer to the Godhead, it would probably refer to us and the kind of relationship that we need to have with the Godhead. I would think that there would have to be something in that favorite scripture about the the redemptive power of Jesus Christ or the infinite atonement of Jesus Christ to one degree or another.
It would have to be a scripture verse that that instills greater faith and hope and motivation to to move forward. I suppose that if it were his favorite verse of scripture and again, this is theoretical, but if it were his favorite, he would probably want us to know it really well and never go very long before we are reminded of it. Perhaps if if he had a favorite scripture, if we got it wrong. And in quoting it or reading it, maybe it would be so important that he would say.
It’s OK, don’t feel bad, but start over, get it, word for word. That’s how important it is. Every word is important here. So enough of the theoretical.
I don’t know if God has a favorite scripture, but if he did. I think the sacrament prayers would have to be on the short list of possible favorite scriptures for him. In fact, I’ll just say it this way. There is not a verse of scripture that that we collectively hear or interact with more in our lifetime. I’m speaking collectively, not individually. This may not be true for you as an individual, but for us as a group collectively.
The verses of scripture that we hear more than any other scripture by far are the two verses that are going to come here in Chapter four and Chapter five, the blessing on the bread and the blessing on the water. Now, here’s the problem. Sometimes we get so familiar with something or we hear it so many times that it becomes very easy to just zone out and not really focus and not really pay attention to what we’re hearing because it’s so familiar to us.
Let me share a little perspective that I learned from elder Richard Holsapple when he was a mission president down in the South during a particular election cycle, a presidential election cycle here in the United States. There were a lot of questions raised about a particular candidate and his religious beliefs being a member of the church. And because elder Holsapple at the time was President Holsapple, president of a mission down in the Deep South, in those southern states in the United States.
He got a lot of questions and a lot of requests from a lot of different places about what do you really believe? Because there there are a lot of people out there who say members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints aren’t really Christian. They don’t really worship Jesus Christ. They’re worshipping something else. They’re different. And they can’t be trusted as Christians. Rather than getting into arguments with people about what we believe or what we don’t believe, what we stand for.
We’re a Christian like everybody else, or we’re different or we’re the same rather than getting into arguments. There’s a better way to approach this, a concept that, again, elder Holdsclaw will share with me years ago. Stop and look at it from this perspective, what if what if you’re in a conversation with somebody and they’re saying, well, I don’t know if you’re really a Christian. What if you said. I’m not going to try to convince you one way or another about whether or not I’m a Christian based on your definition of what a Christian is.
But I want you to listen very carefully to a scripture that we in our church hear more than any other scripture, and it happens during the most special and sacred time of our weekly meeting when we gather as members of the church. This this sacrament ordinance that we participate in is a pinnacle event for us during the week, and I want you to just listen to the words with fresh ears. To this prayer that is offered and when I’m finished, then you make your own conclusion as to what I believe about Jesus Christ and who he is and what he’s trying to do with me.
So listen carefully, even though you’ve heard this, some of you tens of thousands of times, I want you to listen very carefully as I read it slowly with fresh ears, as if you’ve never heard it before. And you’re trying to make a judgment call on what kind of people are these members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints or as other people still refer to as these Mormons. Right. OK, verse three. Oh, God, the eternal father.
We ask the in the name of thy son. Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy son and witness and to thee, oh, God, the eternal father. That they are willing to take upon them the name of this son and always remember him. And keep his commandments, which he has given them. That they may always have his spirit to be with them.
Aymen. Who are these people? What do they really believe or are they really trying to do or are they really trying to become? We don’t hear any scripture more than this one and the blessing on the water. And for me, it encapsulates the essence of everything we’ve been trying to to teach and learn this year as we’ve done come follow me. Working our way through the Book of Mormon. You’ll notice in these prayers you have God, the father, you have God the son, and you have the Holy Ghost.
You have all three members of the Godhead. You have the the multitude mentioned, but it’s you that’s the critical point here, it’s a connecting point between you and the Godhead and what we’re willing to offer in this covenantal relationship with God and what he’s willing to offer us along the way. You know, if we if we could get better as a people collectively in how we talk to others, people of other faiths or other other belief traditions. And not feel so defensive when people say you’re not Christian or you don’t believe in the same Jesus as all of the rest of the Christian world, instead of getting defensive or argumentative, if we could take a softer approach and help people understand that, that there are sometimes we use labels like Christian and we’re defining those terms differently.
But if people can understand at the root level where we’re coming from, then they’ll better understand the fruits of our discipleship. Whatever label you want to put on us as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, we love God. We are devoted to his son, Jesus Christ. We’re trying very, very diligently to be like him and to emulate him. And we’re relying on the Holy Ghost to bless us and to help us through that process.
Then we’ll probably end up spending less time arguing or in contentious conversations or debates with people and more. Gentle, kind conversations seeking for understanding and to be understood and will probably be able to help people understand who we are better if we take that approach. Now, let’s look carefully at something here. You have the bread and its blessing, and then you have the water and the blessing on the water in chapter five verse to a quick. Reading through and you’ll say, OK, these are these are two very, very similar blessings.
The only difference is this one is overbred and one is over water. There are some pretty significant differences and some incredible similarities between the two the two prayers. Let me just show you one. In the bread, you promise three things, and it starts halfway down here in verse three of Chapter four, where it says they are willing to take upon them the name of thy son.
So we’re willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ. To to become his sons and his daughters through his the power of his redemption, right, willing to take upon them the name of the son, always remember him.
And by the way, the word is always not just occasionally remember him. And number three, keep his commandments. Notice three things that you’re promising in that verse.
If you do that, then he gives you a promised reward that you will always have his spirit to be with you.
OK, so far, so good. It’s pretty straightforward. You do those three things. You’re always going to have his spirit with you abounding in your mind and in your heart, in your life, guiding you forward. Most of us as mortals here on this earth, we. Sometimes struggle to keep his commandments, we sometimes struggle to take his name upon us and to fully represent him, be a part of his family. Sometimes we fall short and sometimes we feel a loss of the spirit.
I love the fact that when you then turn the page to chapter five, verse two in that prayer, it’s a little bit shorter. It’s a little a little more simple.
And what is going on in the exchange of what we promise and what comes in return notices that they may witness and to the oh, God, the eternal father.
They do always remember him. That they may have his spirit to be with them. Amen. Hmm, that’s interesting because in the blessing on the water, you only have one promise you’re going to always remember him. So we take that element right there. That’s your one promise with the blessing on the water and look at the reward. He didn’t say you’ll always have his spirit to be with you. He said that they may have his spirit to be with them.
I could be I could be totally wrong on this. I could be making too too big of a deal of passing out words here. That’s possible. But. It strikes me as odd. That there have been times in my life where I’ve struggled. With my my diligence and and obedience in keeping the commandments or my ability to take his name upon me fully and stand as a witness of him at all times and all things in all places that I may be in.
Taking us back into Mosaad, chapter 18. Verse through 10.
And at those times. When I’m struggling to be as good as I know I need to be. I find it very comforting that the Lord gives me a lifeline. That if I’ll just keep remembering him, if I’ll always remember him in those moments, that I’m that I’m able to remember him and think about Jesus Christ and call upon the name of Jesus Christ for help and for mercy and for deliverance and for grace. There’s a feeling of a return of that spirit.
It may not abide permanently in that time that I may be struggling, but it comes and it brings with it hope. And it brings with it power and energy to to get up off of the ground to to shake off the dust that has coated me as I’ve as I’ve sat down and struggled and to move forward and then work with his grace and with his help to better take his name upon me and keep his commandments more fully so that I can return to that feeling, to that state of always having his spirit to be with me again.
I might be reading too much into this, but just know that there’s power in remembering Jesus. And what he did for us, and I love the fact that once a week that secretary comes, comes by us and we get to remember that awful price that was paid to redeem and to cleanse and to purify and to ultimately save our souls. There’s great hope. So if somebody ever accuses you of not being a Christian, my recommendation would be to take them into our sacrament prayers and a non combatively, non argumentatively non-threatening.
Just explain where we’re coming from in our efforts to try to become followers of and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you can put whatever label you want on that. But that’s what we are and that’s who we’re striving to become, is more like him through his merits, his mercy and his grace. And the sacrament is a beautiful manifestation of his grace. Every week we can bring into that sacrament experience all of our pains, our sorrows, the bitterness of life, partake of that sacrament and be be cleansed, be made pure.
You’ll notice in English that the letters and the E and T, we’ve talked about this before, if you put M, E and T on the end of certain words, the dictionary definition for this is the process or product of whatever that is. So, Judge. Judgment becomes the process of judging somebody or the product of having judged someone you look at advertize meant you look at allurement, you look at at one ment process or product. And in our context today, you look at this process or product becoming sacred or holy or purified sakra meant it’s a process.
And it repeats over and over and over again, and there’s a reason we get to hear these scriptures more than any other, it’s because contained in these two prayers is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope that we have for salvation and to be able to to have the faith to move forward another week on the covenant path in the face of great adversity and trials and tribulations in a variety of ways. Now, notice how Moroni pulls some of these elements together.
In Chapter six, he talks in verse one by saying, Now I speak concerning baptism. Behold, elders, priests and teachers were baptized and they were not baptized. If they brought forth fruit meat that they were worthy of it. And what is that fruit? He describes it in verse two, it’s a broken heart and a contrite spirit witnessing under the church they truly had repented of all their sins. Then when they received, they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.
Brothers and sisters, this is our definition of what it means to be a Christian, to be a follower of Christ is it’s not just saying nice things about him or quoting scriptures about him. That that makes that defines our Christianity, it’s literally taking upon us the name of Christ, having faith in him repenting, getting baptized with a broken heart in a contract spirit, and then verse four, after they had been received under baptism and were brought upon and cleansed by the power of the Holy Ghost, they were numbered among the people of the Church of Christ and their names were taken that they might be remembered and nourished by the good word of God to keep them in the right way, to keep them continually watchful and to prayer.
Relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who is the author and the finisher of their faith, it all comes to him. It’s not about the missionaries, it’s not about the leaders of the church. It’s not about the scriptures. It’s about Christ. He’s the author and the finisher of our faith and of everything that happens for us moving forward as a church, not to five in the church did meet together off to fast and to pray and to speak.
One was another concerning the welfare of their souls. And they did meet together off to partake of the bread and the wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. So when you come together as we gather. That’s where we can draw strength from one another. Have you ever had the opportunity to sit in a church meeting of any kind, whether it’s a secret meeting, a class, a home teaching or visiting, teaching from the pastor and ministering visit in more recent times?
Or in a fireside, any of these settings. Have you ever had the experience of sitting there and thinking to yourself, this is this is so boring, I’m not getting anything out of this? Have you ever had that experience? In the spirit of gathering here, in the spirit of coming together to strengthen one another. What difference would it make if people in that classroom or people in that sacrament meeting or people in whatever that setting is, instead of sitting back and thinking.
And this is this isn’t helpful. This is. This is wasting my time or I’m not getting anything out of this. What if more of us spent more of that time thinking thoughts like these? Heavenly Father, I’m struggling to be edified here. I my heart is not feeling what I know it could fill my mind is being expanded and stretched. I don’t want to just sit here and feel seat time to to check a box to say, yeah, I, I went to that meeting or I sat through that class.
That’s not what discipleship is. That’s not the kind of discipleship that’s going to help me progress along the covenant path. So what is the shift then became Heavenly Father, please bless that speaker. It’s apparent she’s having a hard time or he’s struggling. Help them to relax and know that they’re loved and not judged and condemned, help them to be able to teach in such a way that not just me, but everybody in the congregation to one degree or another can feel of of the spirit of the Holy Ghost, helping them to want to be better and giving ideas of how we can be better, how we can be edified, or in a lesson setting.
How might I be able to help this situation in this classroom that struggling right now? How could I contribute in a way that would invite the spirit of the Lord? So it’s not just that we come together to physically be in the same place so that we can, again, check that box to say, wow, I did my duty, but rather have it be an edification, a building up of each other. And in the process, when we help build up others, the Lord is going to be building up, building us up in the process.
What a difference it would make for all of us if we approached it. As elder David Bednar loves to distinguish objects waiting to be acted upon versus agents ready and willing to act, use their agency and move forward. What an amazing thing it would be if we stopped taking a object, waiting to be acted upon mentality into our gatherings and went in saying, Lord, who needs me today? Who can I lift? How can I bless? How can I be a conduit for for them to be able to invite the spirit of the Holy Ghost into this meeting in whatever way I can do that in my in my capacity.
What a difference that might make for our gathering opportunities. Now, let’s finish with verse nine, actually, verse eight and nine Bazoft, as they repented and sought forgiveness with real intent, they were forgiven that verse. Because as one who knows very well what it feels like to not do the right thing and need mercy and grace and the power of forgiveness, there’s so much hope in that little verse eight that when you read that, you’re really intent.
I want to be good. I’m trying hard, but the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I love the fact that as often you could circle words as oft that means every time they come with real intent, they were forgiven. I love that promise. And now finally, verse nine, their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the spirit and by the power of the Holy Ghost for is the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach or to exhort or to pray or to supplicate or to sing.
Even so, it was done. Brothers and sisters, regardless of what other labels the world may want to put on you and on me individually and collectively, I hope you will increasingly take upon you. The only label that really matters take upon you the name of Christ. And plead with him to help you to keep his commandments, to always remember him and to keep that name. Upon you as you move forward and his promise is sure he will forgive you, he’ll always send his spirit and keep his spirit to be with you and he’ll walk that covenant path with you.
You won’t walk it alone. I know he lives. I know he loves you. And I wish that with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Stayman. He his. It’s like. Oh, my God. Just.