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2 Nephi 18
The Lord spake also unto me again, saying:
Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son;
Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks.
2 Nephi 18:5-7 Precept #1
Rely on the Lord and accept His guidance and protection more than you do on other people.
Can you think of a time when you had the opportunity to trust the promises of the Lord or the reassurances of a friend or colleague? Which did you choose? How was your relationship with God affected by it?
Take counsel together, and it shall come to naught; speak the word, and it shall not stand; for God is with us.
2 Nephi 18:10 Precept #2
Don’t believe that you can make plans which will trump the plans and work of God.
How often do your personal plans get foiled because God wants something better for you than you want for yourself?
Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
And he shall be for a sanctuary . . .
2 Nephi 18:13-14 Precept #3
Give respect, honor, and deference to the Lord in all your behavior and decision making.
Does your daily decision making sanctify the Lord in the eyes of the people around you?
And I will wait upon the Lord . . .
2 Nephi 18:17 Precept #4
Be patient in waiting for the Savior to accomplish His work in your life.
Do you have sufficient patience with the Lord to allow Him to sanctify you? Do you have sufficient patience with yourself to allow for that kind of change?
To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
2 Nephi 18:20 Precept #5
Fill your soul with God’s law and a testimony of Him and His plan for mankind.
Does your testimony help you feel full of light?
And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done
2 Nephi 18:5- Bonus Precept
Forgive. Everyone who harms you in any way. Intentional. Unintentional. Forgive them no matter the cost.
How has forgiving others brought freedom to your life and soul?
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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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