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1 Nephi 4
Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians. 1 Nephi 4:3 Precept #1
If you want to doubt something, place it in man. Always trust that God is able to do what He says he’ll do – and to help you accomplish what He asks of you.
Did you have an occasion to choose to trust God over someone on earth, like a friend or colleague? What was the outcome? And how did it affect your relationship with God?
Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise. . . .
Surely the Lord hath commanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord?
1 Nephi 7:14, 34 Precept #2
Be diligent in keeping God’s commandments.
In what ways has recognizing opportunities to keep God’s commandments allowed you to feel connected to Him?
And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath unto us, our fears did cease concerning him. 1 Nephi 4:37 Precept #3
Be honorable. Keep your word always. If you make a promise – follow through. This includes your covenants with God.
How has honorably keeping your covenants brought you closer to God?
And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. 1 Nephi 4:6 Precept #4
Listen to the Spirit as you strive to accomplish your goals and God’s goals for you.
What opportunities have you taken to let the Spirit of God lead you in your day to day experiences? How has that blessed your life?
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I remember my first truly sacred experience when I was 12 years old. The next was somewhere around 14. My teenage years after that - after beginning a life-long study of the LDS canon of scripture - was chalked full of sacred experience after sacred experience which have developed in me a love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a devotion to His teachings as taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of those experiences as a young man I can say for sure that Jesus Christ lives today and is the Son of the Living God. He atoned for me and has "redeemed my soul from hell."
It was in those years that I learned for myself that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God. That came to be a huge social battle for one young as I was growing up in the Bible belt. I spent those years trying to live my life in such a way that people would know that I was a follower of Christ only to find out after years of hanging out with my friends that none of them believed I was Christian. This was devestating to me, a young man simply trying to show a good example as a follower of Christ. I felt like I had failed. It was only after serving my two year mission for the LDS Church that I realized the reason for their opinion was simply because our definition of what it meant to be Christian was drastically different. For me it had been about following Christ and living His teachings. For them it was whether or not my beliefs fell within their narrowly defined window of what they believed about God and Jesus Christ. I realize now that I was doomed to fail from the beginning!
It was in those years while I was trying to show people that I was a follower of Christ - facing opposition from friend, minister, and teacher alike - that I began studying the scriptures not just to understand His Gospel, but to come to understand answers to the challenges I was being presented with. In short I became as much of a Mormon apologist as a teenage boy with little education could ever become. But I at least had the scriptures and and the guidance of truly devoted and inspired friends and teachers -
and that was all I needed.
It is this pattern of questioning and searching for answers which has informed all of my scripture study and learning over the years of my life since then. My research and understanding of the Gospel, the Church, The Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith have all grown and expanded because of that constant and consistent devotion to studying. And they will all continue to do so - for the knowledge of God is infinite and there is no way in the life to learn it all.
This blog is an outlet for all I have learned and considered over the years of my Gospel study. I have found - as many people who have come to know the teachings of Christ the way I have - that when the Word is a part of one's soul he or she cannot escape the desire to share It. So share it I do. There are imperfections and missing pieces in what I write, but all in all I truly feel the Lord has blessed me with the one thing I have desired more than almost anything else: a well rounded understanding of His doctrine and truth as He has given to us at this point. Please forgive my imperfections for this blog is as much about improving myself and my own knowledge and faith in God and Christ as it is for helping anyone else do the same.
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