Saturday, November 7, 2009

Moroni Chapter 7

My aim is to completely discern the 7th Chapter of the Book of Moroni. It has been one of my favorite Books for decades. I could say the same thing about any of Moroni's writings both pars of the Book which is called "Mormon" towards the end of this record as well as in Moroni's book.
What I find fascinating is how Moroni carefully wrote down a few more things.
Mormon 8:35 "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing."
Remembering that Moroni "saw our day and he knows our doing" brings EVERY word which he records to a much higher level of importance.



"An invitation to enter into the rest of the Lord— Pray with real intent— The Spirit of Christ enables men to know good from evil— Satan persuades men to deny Christ and do evil—The prophets manifest the coming of Christ— By faith miracles are wrought and angels minister— Men should hope for eternal life and cleave unto charity."
Between A.D. 400 and 421

We know this occurred between 400 and 421 A.D. while Moroni had time to wander in the wilderness. It was his charge to keep the record and hide it up unto the Lord. One can only wonder what sights he did see and what he was really able to do all those years. Space was limited on the plate to really record much.
Moroni valued that space so much that even the mere "phrases he chose to include on the remaining space of this record could be considered priceless!" He did this as well as all prophets in The Book of Mormon, like Nephi for example:
"And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God." 1 Nephi 6:3

1 And now I, Moroni, write a few of the words of my father Mormon, which he spake concerning faith, hope, and charity; for after this manner did he speak unto the people, as he taught them in the synagogue which they had built for the place of worship. 2 And now I, Mormon, speak unto you, my beloved brethren; and it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy will, because of the gift of his calling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you at this time. 3 Wherefore, I would speak unto you that are of the church, that are the peaceable followers of Christ, and that have obtained a sufficient hope by which ye can enter into the rest of the Lord, from this time henceforth until ye shall rest with him in heaven.

Now this is such a nice verse. I like it how most "Book of Mormon Prophets start out with something delightful. It is usually aimed at the faithful. Similarly to how Jacob began in the 3rd Chapter of Jacob. He started off giving the message of peace to the faithful, to let them know that the Lord was pleased with them, but then he had to deal with the "WICKED" for the remainder of his discourse...

4 And now my brethren, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men. 5 For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also. 6 For behold, God hath said a man being evil cannot do that which is good; for if he offereth a gift, or prayeth unto God, except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing. 7 For behold, it is not counted unto him for righteousness. 9 And likewise also is it counted evil unto a man, if he shall pray and not with real intent of heart; yea, and it profiteth him nothing, for God receiveth none such. 10 Wherefore, a man being evil cannot do that which is good; neither will he give a good gift. 11 For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a cservant of the devil. 12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.

This is the trouble with most people when they pray. They think they're making a "noise on their knees!" That's not prayer. Most people pray as though its a routine. When some try to extract answers from the Lord while not having real intent, HOW WILLING IS THE LORD TO ANSWER SUCH A MAN OR WOMAN?
I am willing to suggest that if a man or woman PRAY at all, that it be through works of faith. Just as God knows our hearts and our actions in life's daily course, so he also knows if our prayers are meaningful or not. One should pray with real purpose of heart even if he is not seeking answers from God. Otherwise, what does it profit a man? Nothing, just as Moroni suggests.

8 For behold, if a man being evil giveth a gift, he doeth it grudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.

What comes to my mind is if a man prays because he has to. I've heard it called, "The Post To" method. "I do it cuz I'm post to!" If a household is required to pray and the only answer his or her father or mother is able to give them which is, "You pray because you're supposed to" it neither helps the children nor the parent to start habitual prayers that don't mean anything.

It may sound like this:

"Heavenly Father.
Please bless the food. We thank you for our blessings. Thank you for my Mom and Dad. Thank you for everything. n'thnamahjesuzchrist, Amen!"

Firstly, its not reverent... secondly, its not teaching a man or woman how to sincerely pray. The necessary humility is not found and boys or girls are growing up without coming closer to our father in heaven because they aren't taught the sacredness of prayer.

13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.

This scripture is the "Axis" on what the whole chapter revolves around. Moroni goes from teaching a man how to pray and then it goes into God's answers and how to discern them. I'm sure if someone prays and asks God if its okay to fornicate or do whatever they could imagine to ask him doesn't ALWAYS need an answer but in the case of "what is the truth about the gospel of Christ or what is not, one must sometimes ask God in fervent prayer. Here Moroni gave us the formula:
Invites us to do good = good
Invites us to do bad = bad

Its really VERY VERY simple and so are most things in the Gospel. (Alma 37: 6)

Again, verse 13: But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do agood continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God. 14 Wherefore, take heed, my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the devil.

Oddly enough, when I was a teenager, this scripture became more true than than people ever thought it would when Michael Jackson came out with his hit song, "Bad"
People went around singing, "You know I'm bad, I'm bad... ya know it! Ya know!" and people began to go around thinking it was okay to be, "A bad ass!" and it didn't take long for the Gospel of Christ to be that thing that was boring or uncool. Like seminary, mutual activities, and so forth. But people still do this today. Latter-day Saints are a peculiar people compared to the world. We don't drink or smoke or do MANY things which are deemed 'Bad' so we are the ones that others are told to avoid while lewd behavior and wild parties began to entice many into that great and spacious building, which Lehi had seen. (Nephi Ch. 8)

15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. 16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. 17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him. 18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

This is the part in verses 15-18 where Moroni knows that his words along with all the words spoken from the Book Of Mormon prophets may come back to haunt the world and even members of the church who do not read from them and adhere to their words as counsel. For those who "wrongfully judge their words as a thing of naught will also be judged. Nephi as well as Moroni BOTH warned the world that if they did not accept their words, they should stand face to face with us and declare that they are the "Words of Christ" and in no uncertain terms, those who did not do well with them or even reject them, it isn't gonna be a very good day for them, to say the least. 2 Nephi Ch. 33
According to Nephi, if people don't accept his words, then they won't be seeing him ever again. Nephi and the faithful will be in one place while the non-believers of Christ will be in another. He says good bye for ever, so certain that god will not be happy with their unwillingness to accept this great gift prepared for them.
Nephi actually says,
"And you that will not partake of the goodness of God, and respect the words of the Jews, and also my words, and the words which shall proceed forth out of the mouth of the Lamb of God, behold, I bid you an everlasting farewell, for these words shall condemn you at the last day." 2 Nephi 33:14
There will be a lot of people who will not see Nephi anymore and they think that is a good thing! There are plenty of enemies to righteousness that don't think that the Book of Mormon is anything of "God's making" They, unfortunately, will all have to stand face to face with God at the judgment bar and pointlessly make their case about why they never read the Book of Mormon. Some will fight it until the bitter end and not only will call the LDS religion a liar but will also curse God in that day for not making it better known unto them somehow.

19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the alight of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ. 20 And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? 21 And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.

I like how Moroni stays true to form. He also said that "Charity never faileth and he or she who possesses charity, it will be well with them. Charity is one of those "Good Things" that one should lay a hold of and if it be possible, we should lay up in store as much of that kind of thing as we can, the continually reading of good books and listening of good music couldn't be far behind.

22 For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing. 23 And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come. 24 And behold, there were divers ways that he did manifest things unto the children of men, which were good; and all things which are good cometh of Christ; otherwise men were fallen, and there could no good thing come unto them.

Moroni must have known that one day, he would return to this earth as an Angel. He is hoping that mankind will accept this return visit just as we accepted "The Angel Gabriel" who had come to prepare the way of the Lord, visiting Mary and also visiting the humble followers of the Law. Moroni must have known full well that he TOO would declare as it were with a trumpet unto all nations of the Earth.

25 Wherefore, by the ministering of angels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ. 26 And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you. 27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?

He fears that mankind will not accept miracles or anything like them, including the ministering of Angels because of their lack of faith for it is by faith and obedience of the law that ALL blessings are predicated.

D&C 130: 20-21
20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens. 29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men. 30 For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.

All too many people believe in a God without power. That somehow he no longer has the ability to send down miracles. Thus their faith is dead along with him. Some just say that God's work is done, but MAN will never tell God to work or not to work. He just DOES his work because it is his purpose. To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of Man. (Moses 1:39)

31 And the office of their ministry is to call men unto repentance, and to fulfill and to do the work of the covenants of the Father, which he hath made unto the children of men, to prepare the way among the children of men, by declaring the word of Christ unto the chosen vessels of the Lord, that they may bear testimony of him. 32 And by so doing, the Lord God prepareth the way that the residue of men may have faith in Christ, that the Holy Ghost may have place in their hearts, according to the power thereof; and after this manner bringeth to pass the Father, the covenants which he hath made unto the children of men.

"The Residue of Men" means this, simply: That which remains after a part is taken, separated, removed, or designated; remnant; remainder or in other words, "those who remain or who are yet to come to this earth.

33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.
34 And he hath said: Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.

This is how Moroni explains that someone just as seemingly insignificant as yourself or me could possibly do the work which he truly believes we can do. If we have faith in him, we'll be able to do our task and help build the Kingdom of God, for instance, but it is not limited to just that. He desires that we become better: line upon line, precept upon precept so that we may be saved an in turn, we can spread the gospel to those around us. We now have the power to do so!

35 And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased? 36 Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? 37 Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have cease woe be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.

He returns to his original thought he had been setting up to give his conclusion. We must know that Angels do not cease to visit man neither do they cease to do the work of the Lord. We must be like unto these angels also and be the miracles which are wrought among the children of men for we have power from on high to do so.

38 For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.

Faith is the key. There are far too many who read the scriptures and blindly quote them either to their own satisfaction or attempt to quote scriptures to refute the true church of God and do so without faith. It is said of them, "Forasmuch as this people adraw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men" Isaiah 29:13

39 But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.

I just love this verse!

40 And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? 41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. 42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. 43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. 44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.

The conditions that must exist for a man to have "Charity! Like a cookbook recipe, the ingredients for Charity are outlined"

45 And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— 47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

All the knowledge of the world won't save a man. Not even if he's well versed. A man must truly live as he lived, meaning the savior, for things to go well for him or her at the last day.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

It is my prayer too that you be found with Charity, which is the pure love of Christ and we shall see then who Christ will recognize at the last day. Jesus Christ is my support, my friend, and my hero! He is my King and my master and I know that he is divine, son of our loving Father in Heaven, and he has come back to the earth before his second coming to help prepare a world where Charity may exist. God has given us this great gift, the Book of Mormon and we ought not to take it lightly!

For the Mormon and the Christian, for the Jew and also the Gentile, Even unto the Muslim and also unto the Hindu, and also unto the Buddhist as well as the Heathen.

I'm going to close this discourse with one of the last few words Moroni wrote in the entire book. It is my prayer that you will find these words as, "of God" and feel inclined to follow Jesus Christ and also be perfect in him, wherein Moroni writes,

"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." Moroni 10:32

I write these things in the name of Jesus Christ, my master, Amen.

No comments: