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2 Nephi 3
And now, Joseph, my last-born, whom I have brought out of the wilderness of mine afflictions . . .
2 Nephi 3:3 Precept #1
Recognize your blessings even in the midst of your difficulties.
What blessings has the Lord given you in the midst of difficult times? How has this helped you grow into the person you are now? How are they helping you become the divine being He wants you to be?
. . . the confounding of false doctrines . . .
2 Nephi 3:12 Precept #2
Confound false doctrines in your own beliefs.
What things do you believe which are not actually founded on true doctrine? Do you know how to find them out? Do you know how to undo them?
. . . that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.
2 Nephi 3:12 Precept #3
Bi ble and the Book of Mormon establish true doctrine, stop arguments, and establish peace.
Do you know the teachings of the Bible and the Book of Mormon well enough to establish peace in your own heart, in your family, and in the world around you?
. . . and they that seek to destroy him shall be confounded . . .
2 Nephi 3:14 Precept #4
When someone seeks to undermine your faith in the Lord, trust in the Prophet Joseph Smith, and membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints search for the answers which confound their reasoning. They do exist.
Have you ever let a seemingly “unanswered question” get in the way of your faith and peace? Did you leave it at that? Or did you go searching for the answers?
And they shall cry from the dust; yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even after many generations have gone by them.
2 Nephi 3:20 Precept #5
What have you recently changed in your way of thinking, believing, or acting to be more in line with the way God wants you to think, believe, and act?
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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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