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1 Nephi 5
. . . and she also had complained against my father, telling him that he was a visionary man; . . . And it had come to pass that my father spake unto her, saying: I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God . . .
1 Nephi 5:2-4 Precept #1
Stand firm in the knowledge God has given you. Nothing can change the truth and reality of your own personal experiences.
What experiences have you had with Heavenly Father or the Savior that give you strength to stand firm in your faith, even when the people closest to you might stand against you?
Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness.
1 Nephi 5:8 Precept #2
Take responsibility for gaining and maintaining our own personal testimony. It is not enough to rely on those around you.
How have you gone about gaining your testimony? What do you need to do now to help it grow stronger?
And after they had given thanks unto the God of Israel, my father, Lehi, took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning.
1 Nephi 5:10 Precept #3
Search the scriptures. And don’t forget to start with a prayer.
Do you begin studying your scriptures with a prayer asking Heavenly Father to show you what He’s trying to tell you? How does this change your study? How has it changed 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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