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2 Nephi 24
For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land; and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
2 Nephi 24:1 Precept #1
Cleave to the house of Jacob.
Have you made the covenants which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob made with the Lord (i.e. baptism and temple covenants)? How diligently do you keep those covenants? Are you working to find and build up the house of Israel on this side of the veil?
And the people shall take them and bring them to their place; yea, from far unto the ends of the earth; and they shall return to their lands of promise. And the house of Israel shall possess them, and the land of the Lord shall be for servants and handmaids . . .
2 Nephi 24:2 Precept #2
Seek for your own personal land of promise.
Do you know what the Lord has in store for you? Do you know the blessings He wants to give you? Are you seeking for them and living in a way so as to qualify for them?
The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet . . .
2 Nephi 24:7 Precept #3
Make time to rest and be quiet.
How often do you pause to be still?
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and shall consider thee, and shall say: Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?
2 Nephi 24:16 Precept #4
Do not give consideration to Satan, his temptations, or his works.
Do you trust that God is more powerful and more glorious than Satan is?
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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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Passage/precept #1 Uncle Paul and I spole about Priesthood power for men and women this last Sunday in Sacrament Meeting. Then both the Elders Quorum and the Relief Society meetings were focused on Elder Rasband’s talk from last October’s conference where he speaks of keeping promises and covenants with integrity. One thing that really stood out to me about priesthood power is that we have access to it through simply keeping our covenants. The more faithfully and intentionally we keep them, the more access to God’s power we have. I believe that is because He knows he can trust us with that portion of His power to do His work.
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