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2 Nephi 13
And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbor; the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable.
2 Nephi 13:5 Precept #1
Don’t oppress other people and be humble in all your interactions with them.
Have you ever made someone feel bad by telling them they’re not as cool as you, or because they made a mistake you haven’t made or have a weakness that to you is a strength?
For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, because their tongues and their doings have been against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.
2 Nephi 13:8 Precept #2
Don’t do things to provoke the Lord.
Have you ever deliberately done something to make someone else mad? Your parents, perhaps? Or maybe a sibling? How about the Lord Jesus Christ and your Father in Heaven?
Say unto the righteous that it is well with them; for they shall eat the fruit of their doings.
Wo unto the wicked, for they shall perish; for the reward of their hands shall be upon them!
2 Nephi 13:10-11 Precept #3
Make sure what you choose to do will lead to the outcome you want to reap later on down the road – there are no shortcuts.
What decision did you make today that will bring the Lord’s greatest blessings in years to come?
O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err and destroy the way of thy paths.
2 Nephi 13:12 Precept #4
Compare what your leaders say against the word of the Lord. If they don’t line up don’t support them. And don’t let them lead you astray.
Think of the last person you voted for, or perhaps someone currently in authority who you support. Are their policies and lifestyle in line with the expectation, standards, and teachings of our Heavenly Father?
Moreover, the Lord saith: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet –
Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.
2 Nephi 13:16-17 Precept #5
Remove all pride and pretense from your life.
How often do you find yourself looking down on other people for any reason – but especially because you have the gospel and covenants of the Lord and they don’t?
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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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